FDS Support Group Evaluation 2013-14 - page 11

FDS Support Groups Evaluation 2014.
can only change when they are ready, treatment options and relapse rates. For family
members, understanding addiction not as a choice, but rather as a chronic illness, or
unfortunate accident, was reported to be very helpful (and see the section below
‘destigmatising’), as the following comments show:
I wanted to know what makes these people have a problem with drugs and not other
people. Why they do it. And they don’t pick addiction, it picks them. And it can pick
We thought we’ve gotta stop him. And you realise you can’t stop them. It’s not their
It’s an illness. Just because it’s drugs or alcohol people think it’s not. But it is no
Parents also found it useful to receive information about drugs and how to most
effectively respond to problematic use, as these comments indicate:
“We’ve received good information about marijuana and the health effects. It has been
helpful to talk to our daughter that way, as a health issue
“It’s been a life saver, we would never have known what to do.”
“A police officer comes to the group 4 times a year, and talks about drugs, and the
parents find that very informative.”
Destigmatises the experience, and reduces self blame
Parents and other family members can often feel enormous shame about drug use.
We felt so ashamed, our son had been top of his year, a star performer at university,
and whenever anyone asked about what Liam
was doing, we’d just say he was
interstate. We spent two years trying to hide it
.” Compounding the shame, can be the
feeling that they are somehow to blame, that their child’s drug use resulted from
something that
did, or failed to do as parents.
Destigmatisation and reducing self blame were powerful themes in the interviews.
Coming to the support groups helped parents to stop feeling ashamed, and to be open
with family and friends about what was going on; group leaders and other participants
provided a constant and reassuring message that they were not to blame, that it was
not their fault. These sentiments are reflected in these comments:
Name changed.
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