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25/09/13 13:56

Support for families

Charity to help those affected by drugs and alcohol.

Families that have been affected by alcohol misuse will be offered further vital support from an expert charity thanks to extra funding from the Scottish Government.

Scottish Families Affected by Drugs was established in May 2003 and has over 60 family support groups across the country.

The organisation had seen a growing incidence of problematic alcohol use, often at the same time as drug use, and the additional funding will allow the charity to extend its remit to cover those families affected by alcohol.

Now known as Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs, the charity supports families of substance users, raising awareness and offering advice and support to those families living with or supporting a problematic drug or alcohol user. Scottish Families has already seen an increase in people joining local support groups since inclusion of alcohol within its remit and expects that membership will increase further.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said:

“We all understand the damaging effects of alcohol on us as individuals, however alcohol and drug misuse can have a huge impact on those closest to us.

“It’s a stark fact that Scotland’s drink problem remains significantly worse than the rest of the UK. In fact, Scots drink almost a fifth more than their counterparts in England and Wales, fuelling the much higher levels of alcohol-related harm.

“Many families are supporting or caring for a family member that has problematic drug and alcohol use. These families need support, which is why the work of Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs is so important and why I’m pleased the Scottish Government are able to invest in such a worthy cause.

“I recognise the bravery and courage of those in recovery, as well as the loving and strong families and friends that support them.”

Christine Duncan, Chief Executive, Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs said:

“The purpose of this event is to formally launch the inclusion of alcohol into the remit of Scottish Families. This is a landmark occasion for us and for many families across Scotland as in the past we have been aware that we have worked to support many families who have been impacted by alcohol and drugs but have never been able to address the specific issues that alcohol misuse has on families.

“Adult family members are an important part of the support network and contribute to improved outcomes, a reduction of negative effects on family members and better engagement with treatment.”

Scottish Families has updated its website to include information on alcohol and training on the impact of alcohol has been given to Scottish Families staff and volunteers. Family members often play an important role in the recovery of a loved one and Scottish Families recognise that families and communities need to recover too.

Notes to editors

Scottish Families extended alcohol remit (with Scottish Government funding of £60,000) includes:

  • Upgrade website to demonstrate the inclusion of alcohol in its remit and information on the support provided
  • First two months orientation process with both existing staff and Board members to include training and development on alcohol issues
  • Actively recruiting a new post (Development Support Officer to work predominantly in the Grampian area to help extend the geographical reach of SFAD)
  • Offer its “gold standard” response to anyone calling in to the SFAD Helpline or writing in to its web page who is impacted by alcohol and/or drugs;
  • Develop new support groups and support SFAD existing 60+ family support groups for both drugs and alcohol misuse
  • Deliver CRAFT training - Community Reinforcement and Family Training’ - an evidence based intervention that has worldwide support. The CRAFT programme aims to improve the quality of their own lives; interact with the substance user in a way that minimises the consumption of alcohol/drugs; and ultimately, encourages the substance user to seek treatment. CRAFT is an intervention that is scientifically based and it teaches family members how to positively influence their loved one to reduce his or her substance use. It also focuses on communication and emphasises the establishment of healthy, positive and enriched relationships.
  • Offer tailored trainings to both the drug and alcohol and generic workforces on the impact of substance misuse on family members; and work to promote the needs of children affected by parental substance misuse.
  • Undertake fundraising and awareness raising in support of its work and to raise profile.

Scottish Families helpline (08080 10 10 11) has been extended and now provide help and support for families and friends of those affected by an individual’s alcohol or drug use.

Web based support is also availble on the Scottish Families website