Drug and Alcohol Abuse – Families Urged to Get Support

Drug and alcohol experts in Forth Valley are urging families of the 3,000 people in the area believed to be affected by drug or alcohol misuse to come forward and seek support. Their appeal coincides with International Families Day on May 15th and comes amidst the growing use of so-called legal highs, wrongly touted as legal as some of the key components may have already been re-classified under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Services are now seeing young people with physical injuries after taking them and the damage caused will have lasting effects requiring medical intervention. The Alcohol and Drug Partnerships recognise these issues will be a real concern for families in Forth Valley, and want them to know that help and more information is available to them.

NHS Forth Valley’s Elaine Lawlor, Forth Valley Alcohol and Drug Partnership Coordinator , said: “ We want people to feel that they can ask for help, so please don’t worry about seeking support. The service we provide is non judgemental and highly confidential. Support can be delivered for families on a one-to-one basis or in a group setting. We can also chat things over with you on the telephone and can also offer practical training to help empower families to take action to support the one they love. This includes drug use and its effects, overdose prevention training and how to use Naloxone which reverses the effects of overdose, its use can and has saved lives in Forth Valley.

The Forth Valley Alcohol and Drug Partnership team estimate that for every person who has problems with substance misuse, there are likely to be two or three other people who are directly affected. These include spouses, partners, children and siblings, as well as co-workers and friends. Families have a critical role to play in helping people on the road to recovery by engaging more fully in their recovery plan.

Meanwhile staff who work within Alcohol and Drug Support Services will be attending a ‘Family Inclusive Practice’ masterclass as part of International Day of Families , where an internationally renowned speaker, Dr Jan Ligon, an Associate Professor of Social Work at Georgia State University, will deliver his evidence on the importance of families in treatment. This session is designed to improve services response to families, and to aid them adopt a more family-inclusive approach.