Drug Addiction and Families
Drug problems have a profound impact on families. Mothers and fathers, brothers, sisters and children are frequently caught in the maelstrom that drug problems almost inevitably create. Within the UK there is a serious lack of information on the experiences of families attempting to live and cope with a family members' drug problem. Drug Addiction and Families is an exploration of the impact of drug use on families, and of the extent to which current practice meets the needs of families as well as problem drug users. Drawing on a substantial research study comprising interviews with problem drug users and their extended family, Marina Barnard examines the effects of drug use not only on drug users themselves, but also the feelings of anger, sadness, anxiety, shame and loss that are commonly experienced by their extended family. She records the effects of drug use on family dynamics and relationships, including possible social and emotional costs. Its impact on the physical and mental health of family members is also discussed. The author highlights the often overlooked role of grandparents in protecting the children of drug users and considers the perspectives of practitioners such as teachers, social workers and health professionals. The conclusions drawn point to the fact that current service provision, in treating the problem drug user in isolation, fails to address the needs of drug-affected families, and misses the opportunity to develop family-oriented support and treatment. This accessible and insightful book is invaluable reading for drug workers, social workers, health professionals and all practitioners working with families affected by drug use.