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The parents' experience: coping with drug use in the family

Butler R & Bauld L (2005) The parents' experience: coping with drug use in the family, Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy, 12 (1), pp. 35-45.

The families of drug users are often overlooked in the planning and delivery of services. This paper is based on interviews with parents of heroin users and staff from a support agency that worked with families affected by drug use. Findings highlight the devastation parents experienced in learning that their child was using heroin, and the subsequent impact that this had on their lives. Accessing support from a specialist agency provided tangible benefits for parents. These included a reduced sense of isolation, an increased knowledge of drugs and drug-related issues, and greater empathy for their son or daughter. This resulted in an improved support network for the drug user. However, parents faced many obstacles in accessing support, not least a lack of awareness of their needs amongst appropriate agencies. The paper concludes by highlighting the need to develop further tailored interventions to support families affected by drug use, and to improve the knowledge and awareness of the issue among treatment agencies and a range of other relevant organizations.

AuthorsButler Rachel, Bauld Linda
Publication date02/2005
PublisherInforma Healthcare
ISSN 0968-7637

Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy: Volume 12, Issue 1 (FEB 2005)

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