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Adfam Families, drugs and alcohol. Vivienne Evans September 2013. The numbers. Nearly 1.5 million adults will be significantly affected by a relative’s drug use

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adfam families drugs and alcohol

AdfamFamilies, drugs and alcohol

Vivienne Evans

September 2013


the numbers
The numbers
  • Nearly 1.5 million adults will be significantly affected by a relative’s drug use
  • The cost of harms they experience as a result amounts to about 1.8 billion per year
  • The support they provide would cost the NHS and local authorities about 750 million to provide if it were not available
the numbers1
The numbers
  • 61,000 children in care in UK
  • Up to 350,000 children affected by parental drug use
  • Up to 1.3 million affected by parental alcohol use
  • In 2007, local authorities spent £117 million dealing with families where substance misuse is a problem
  • Substance misuse linked to DV, mental health, poverty ......
the policy drivers

Families affected by addiction problems are important for four significant and related reasons:

  • Involvement of family members in the treatment of their relatives with addiction problems can enhance positive outcomes
  • Family members in these circumstances show symptoms of stress that merit help in their own right
  • Effective treatment of the parent can have positive benefits for the child
  • Better outcomes for children are achieved if they remain with their families
why support families
Why support families?
  • They provide practical, emotional and financial support to the substance user, improving the likelihood of recovery
  • Health and welfare of family members is improved if they are given support
  • Engaging families in a prison setting can reduce drug supply and re-offending
  • Isolation and stigma increases stress and its related problems, placing added strain on statutory services
  • Economic advantages
  • Why not?????
why families
Why families?
  • Rebuilding family relationships is a key constituent of recovery
  • Families provide vital recovery capital
  • Families are well placed to help map individualised routes away from drug dependency
  • Families need to recover too
case studies
Case studies
  • The family has been torn apart in many ways, and my grandchild has faced stigma at school
  • We’ve had to deal with drug dealers demanding money and had to pay back thousands of pounds in drug debts for our son…
  • My daughters were scared of their drug using brother….the emotional stress meant they missed school…
  • We didn’t have any routines .. Everything revolved around the drugs. There wasn’t much food about…. Bread and not much else
  • Social
  • Financial
  • Physical
  • Psychological
  • Criminality
  • Stigma
  • Personal and societal
what does family support mean
What does family support mean?
  • Policies and guidance :
    • Drugs
    • Families
    • Children
  • Systems:
    • Strategic and operational partnerships
    • Interventions and services
  • Culture and language
six key messages of the original hidden harm inquiry
Six key messages of the original Hidden Harm inquiry
  • Estimated 250,000/350,000 children of problem drug users in the UK
  • Parental drug use causes serious harm to children at every age from conception to adulthood
  • Reducing the harm to children should become a main objective of policy and practice
  • Effective treatment of the parent can have major benefits for the child
  • By working together, services can take practical steps to protect and improve the health and well-being of affected children
  • The number of affected children is only likely to decrease when the number of problem drug users decreases
key challenges opportunities
Key challenges/opportunities
  • How to deliver at a time of austerity
  • Outcomes
  • Localism
  • Public Health
  • Workforce
  • Recovery
  • Troubled families