Monday, 20 October 2008

Trying to support family support groups

As some of you know, I am very passionate about trying to support family members, families and family support groups. They just don't get a good deal from the system - in fact, they generally get a lousy deal.

There are so many family members who need help. There are so many family support groups who are trying to do something positive - but exist in isolation and need help to further their agenda.
I would like to contact as many family support groups as possible, to try to help bring them together into a coherent whole. Or at least communicate with each other.
It is time we worked together to push an agenda that helps those who are indirectly affected by substance use problems. 
If you are a family support group, or know of any such group, could you please contact me.  

9 comments:

veselina208 said...

We - Mothers against drugs- try to fo the same thing in Bulgaria. We exist almost 5 years and are deeply involved in helping families of drug addicted as well as motivating the drug addictes to recover. Just now we encourage parents in other cities to follow us, because we believe the support groups of family members is the way ou of the hell. Look at our website www.antidrugbg.com. Veselina Bojilova, chairman of MAD

David Clark said...

Veselina,
Great to hear from you. You can contact me directly at david@wiredin.org.uk
if you wish. I will soon send you the url for our new online community which has section for family members.
My very best,
David

Ian MacDonald said...

It’s great to see someone with a real voice trying to take the family agenda forward. As I think you well know by now David we’ve been trying in a small way to do just this over the years since we started CPSG, and it is hard going! I don’t understand why, but apart from within a few enclaves there’s a distinct lack of communication between groups and services and between groups and groups. Whether it’s down to preciousness and the fear that there aren’t enough clients out there to sustain more groups (and we all know there are more than enough), or to a perception among certain services or government funded bodies that we’re just a lot of wishy-washy do-gooders who don’t have the knowledge or ability to do a proper job, doesn’t matter. There are lots of excellent people out here providing successful and much needed support, and we need to get that recognised not only by those who aren’t aware of what’s available for them (and how we best promote our services is another issue), but by the funders and others who could help.
We’re dedicated believers in joined up working and communication, as it’s the way to make progress and in displaying a united front towards getting recognition for the impact of substance misuse on families and others affected, and in doing something positive to improve the situation.
There did exist, a number of years back, a federation of family support groups known as FAMFED that did some really good work, but died largely due to lack of sufficient funding being available to sustain it, and it remains only as a forum (though not a particularly active one) at www.padanetworkfc,org.uk
Perhaps within the Wired In community we can re-energise those that were involved.
Anyway - happy to be on board with this and I sincerely hope we get enough responses to really get things moving!

Ian

Yenwarp said...

Ian, I agree totally with all you have written, yesterday iphoned round all services where i am based and seriuosly the response was to say the least "WHY?" I was trying to establish whether the public sector had anything in place, yes they have but only once families have become mentally ill through their loved ones addiction. Now that to me is total madness, to much is put onto the private sector and individuals like yourself. This new web site will hopefully educate every one as a whole in the country. As a recovery addict I seriuosly wish my loved ones, family friends who I enabled to feed my illness knew about addiction, even if it was just a fraction, as just maybe my recovery would of been far sooner than what it was!

Ian MacDonald said...

Hi Yenwarp - I was in the process of replying to your previous comment about my blog when I came across this one too, and I think that what I’d started to say echoes your latest views:
I really welcome and endorse your comments. It’s always encouraging to hear from those who appreciate the effect of their addiction on their families, and sad that this often only becomes apparent to them as they move towards recovery. We believe that it’s really important for the family or concerned others to gain an understanding of the addiction and recovery process to enable them to look beyond the effects of the drug, and the personality changes it’s made, so that they can give appropriate encouragement and support once their user makes the decision to address their use, and that’s why it’s one of the key things we discuss with those who use our service.
I wish you all the best for your continued recovery, and I know that Wired In has enormous potential to promote changes for the better by developing a supportive and much needed network for users, families, and all the others who really care about the many issues involved.

Anonymous said...

There is a scottish national network called Scottish Network of Families Affected by Drugs (SNFAD) which is strongly supported by the Scottish Government.

Can we stop blaming the system and realise that it is peddlers of morality that causes drug use and users to be despised by our wonderful society and consequently their families also get a raw deal

Yenwarp said...

Intersting to say the least? The person who so bravely commented today 24th October at 12.00. "STOP BLAMING THE SYSTEM!" Wonderful, sounds like you really havn't read what has been written and you sound so defensive it seems very apparent that the new web site will hopefully reajust your thinking process in what ""Addiction" as a whole causes to "This wonderful Society!" So glad there are those like your self who take a risk in putting your views across as it not only Justifies the debate yet also clarifies the problem of lack of awareness. Well done.

Anonymous said...

STOP BLAMING THE SYSTEM ( I said that)ahem , I may have been misunderstood, but maybe not, so I will expand.

Well, as in all these things it's always nice to name and shame oneself but some of this debate does not lend itself to such doings. It seems anytime anyone says anything that doesn't gel with "the NHS don't care, we're lone pockets pf resistance trying to get rehabs in, they don't care about families... etc" their view is cast aside with as obviously flawed. Well I would suggest that due to the size of the problem our "wonderful " society (oh the irony, the irony)has with substance use, the willingness to actually tackle it with funding and policies that actually changes anything, rather than just keeping everyone ticking over, is due to (again I say it and I may explain further this time) "peddlars of morality" causing substance use, especially illicit drugs, to be seen as totally morally reprehensible and if users do that to themselves then "they deserve it, just dont let anyone break into my house , do you here, and stop them peddling to my kids, by the way". This bias is perpetuated by members of government on both sides, the establishment , media, religious nutters (and having a fairly moderate religious view myself, I'm not anti religious, just anti extremist), industry, medicine nursing and social care, and some researchers to keep themselves in bread and butter.
We are NOT going to suddenly solve our problems by recovery, we will solve some because this approach that good old Albert Ellis advocated (without the AA bit) does work when funded properly. Unfortunately there is a much greater problem rumbling down the line at us as society decays further. In a weird kind of way it is almost the best thing that could happen that we have total financial collapse currently because some form of reason for existence , other than the collecting of wealth or stature, is the ONLY way we can help people to become sensitised to the false god of drug use.

By the way getting my thinking process "adjusted" sounds very Orwellian.

Tracey said...

I work at Family Drug Help, a Victorian based agency in Australia. We have been operating for 7 years now and have been going from strength to strength. We currently have approx 25 family support groups across Victoria. check out
www.familydrughelp.com.au