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A place for families, because you don't have to use drugs to be affected by them.

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Posted by Kath on 15 March 2016.

I'm sharing this here because I don't know where else I can express my frustration. I appreciate that drug and alcohol services do their best and have to make difficult decisions, but often they seem to completely fail to take into account the safety and wellbeing of carers and family members. I care for a close family member who is on a methadone script and has in the past also drunk alcohol very heavily. When he drinks he becomes very intimidating and abusive and has seriously assaulted me several times. As a result I have to leave our home as soon as I know that he is drinking because I need to be safe. He is on a high dose of methadone, and has recently had his script stopped as he was late for an appointment. He can't get another appointment for over 2 weeks. If he could manage without the drugs he wouldn't need the script, so I'm not sure what they expect will happen when it's stopped. The first thing that happens is he starts demanding money for drugs.  Then he pawns everything he still has left for money for drugs. Then he starts drinking because he doesn't have money for drugs and believes that alcohol might make him feel better.  At that point I have to leave my own home. Luckily I have somewhere to go. What I do have to worry about though is that he will turn up at my work, as he has before, threatening and refusing to leave unless I give him money. I don't think that services have any real idea about how their treatment decisions impact on families, how many times I've had my possessions stolen and sold for a fraction of their monetary value, let alone their emotional importance to me, how many times I've had to sleep with the car keys under my pillow to stop him loaning my car out to drug dealers in return for drugs. I understand completely that it is his responsibility to comply with his treatment and he needs to take that responsibility seriously, but their decision to stop his treatment has devastating consequences for me. I have to protect myself and be safe, but I know that without me there, things are going to deteriorate even further and his recovery capital has gone. I feel like I'm walking away and leaving him when he needs me most but I can't risk my own safety again.


16 Mar 2016

Hi kath, I can feel your sadness jump out of your post....I totally understand where you are coming from, and when a family member is going through addiction we just want to keep them safe and save them,,,,I did it for afew years, until my health was suffering and my family was really sounds like you literally can't go on, and why should you...sounds to me like this family member is calling all the shots... Take back your life Hunni, before it's too late...this is their addiction, not's your home,so why are you moving out when things get bad.?i think you've answered your own question Hunni....make the changes, and set boundaries....educate yourself, get to some groups for families, and look after you! Drugs take away the person we love and leave a's heart breaking.....I'm at the stage now that I love my son from afar...he never asks for money cause we don't give him anything, he doesn't live with us, and we will only see him when he isn't under the influence of anything....I love my son completely, but only he can change.....

17 Mar 2016

THE ABOVE COMMENT IS SPAM.  Not sure how to report it

17 Mar 2016

Hi Kath, thank you so much for sharing your story, and we're very sorry about the spam, which we've now deleted.

Unfortunately we do have a problem with spam on this blog, we do check every day we're in the office and delete it and ban the spam accounts each time.

We are looking into how to get a better spam filter to stop this from happening in the first place.


Icarus Trust
22 Mar 2016

Hi Kath,
What a very hard time you are having. I was wondering if you have anyone that is supporting you. I work for a charity called The Icarus Trust that is set up for  the family and friends of people with addictions. If you feel you would like some support for yourself you could talk with one of experienced trained volunteers called Family Friends. Talking with someone who understands what you are going through might help you to make sense of how you are feeling.
You can contact us on or visit the website
I hope that things improve for you.

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