Families long wait for drug help

14th June, 2021 3:14 pm

Families affected by alcohol and drug addiction are waiting eight years for support according to a new survey.

The ‘Ask the Family’ project set out to understand the impact on friends and families of people using alcohol or drugs to a harmful extend.

It looked at the wider inpact a persons addiction has on those around them and on the lack of adequate support services for families also trying to cope with the situation.

The aim was to give a wider perspective on ‘whole family support’ as well as treatment for the individual.

It found that each person using drugs or alcohol in this way was harming another 11 people around them.

The survey funded by the Scottish government and carried out by Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs found that families facing this harm are waiting an average of 8 years to reach support for themselves.

The survey found that on average, family members had been affected by problem substance use for 16 years and it took them an average of eight years before they got family support for the first time.

The survey asked people who were already engaged in some form of family support for either their own or someone else’s drug or alcohol problem.

Those who responded felt every single type of relationship was harmed by the alcohol or drug use, including parents, partners, children siblings, extended family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues.

Only 13% reached support within a year, whereas 36% had to wait for up to five years and 34% waited between six and 15 years. The longest wait reported was 35 years.

The report also found individual examples of people dealing with other issues like domestic abuse and homelessness at the same time .

There were 177 families who took part in the survey. It found there are some “very strong whole family approach and family inclusive practice evident in Scotland”.

However it also found: “It had generally taken a long time to find this support.

“However this must be matched by equitable funding for the families harmed by such substance use.

“There are good examples of high quality family support in Scotland but, as families have told us directly, there is nowhere near enough of it to go around to meet the need.

“We are calling for significant, sustained and strategic investment in high quality family support for children, young people and adult family members harmed by Scotland’s longstanding relationship with alcohol and drugs.

“This must reach right across the country so all families can get the support they need as soon as they need it.”

Source: Glasgow Times, June 2021

Categorised in: