Families and carers
There is now growing evidence to show that by involving and supporting families and carers we can improve outcomes for service users. It can encourage them to engage in treatment initially, it helps retention, speeds up the treatment process and is associated with more positive outcomes, both drug related (e.g. maintained abstinence) and social (e.g. reduction in re-offending, improved employment outcomes).
The impact of someone else’s drug or alcohol use on family members can be devastating. There are effects on their physical and psychological health, home life, friendships and relationships, employment and education. Furthermore family members will often feel anger, shame, hurt, embarrassment, guilt, confusion and despair, which can mean that they are very reluctant to seek help for themselves.
However there is now considerable evidence to demonstrate that by supporting and involving family members, their own outcomes (including reduced level of symptoms, better coping skills and better quality of life) are greatly improved.