Families & carers affected by loved ones' substance misuse: John Taylor speaks out

DHIFOR EVERY PERSON grappling with drug and alcohol misuse, it’s estimated that at least five others are affected – husbands, wives and partners, mothers, fathers, siblings, children, grandchildren, friends, employers – each of these has their own story to tell about how they are affected.

The DHI Reach Out one day event in Bristol, UK – now in its 7th year – will offer a unique opportunity for families and loved ones to share their experiences with peers and professionals during a free, day-long festival at The Station, Broadmead on Saturday 14th June 2014.

DHI is holding this event because thousands of families and loved ones suffer in silence due to the stigma often associated with caring for a family member struggling with substance misuse. The day will help to break that silence and offers hope to those whose voices are so often unheard.

The day will feature:

  • Opportunities for families’ voices to be heard

  • Special self-help toolkit devised by families and careers for families and carers

  • Keynote speech and Q & A session with John Taylor (Duran Duran bassist and best-selling author)

  • Question and answer panel with peers and professionals

The festival is an important opportunity for families and carers experiencing struggles with a loved one’s drug and alcohol misuse. People will be able to find ways to help break down the stigma and shame surrounding addiction and to ensure they get the support they need. Last year’s event was a great success, and was attended by families and carers who want to be heard, and learn from others, as well as professionals and policy makers.

John Taylor, keynote speaker, says:

“Over the last year I have met many people who have experienced the tremendous benefits that DHI offer, from their facilities and programmes in and around Bath.  Events such as these are vital to both the families and support communities dealing daily with issues of addiction. So often they feel isolated, unclear of how to proceed and silenced by the stigma they perceive to be attached to this widespread and indiscriminate disease.  I believe DHI holds many keys to personal transformation. That’s why I will be at the Reach Out Family Festival in Bristol on Saturday June 14th.”

Rosie Phillips, DHI CEO, says:

“It is impossible to underestimate the effect of addiction on families and carers of those misusing. Many suffer anxiety, depression and poor health because of the stresses and strains in their lives. This conference brings them together, alongside drug treatment and other professionals, to enable them to shape services and get the best possible support.” Rosie went on to say that as well as supporting families and carers needing help in their own right “the conference is also important for those in treatment, as all the evidence shows that those in treatment for drugs or alcohol are more likely to succeed in their treatment if families and carers are involved. We have seen proof of this with numerous clients. It’s vital for all professionals working with families to listen, understand, and offer appropriate support. Families and carers pay a great personal cost and we want to ensure they get the support they need.”

About DHI clients and how the DHI families and carers service helped them: (Names below have been changed to protect identity):

“I saw the FAM service every Tuesday for evening groups and would also sometimes have one to one sessions. I don’t see the service so much as I’m in a better position now. But at the time when it was all going really bad I could turn to FAM if I had a problem. The best thing is having my daughter back.” Client, FAM Service

“Now I am attending DHI’s Families Service with my husband I feel I am involved in his treatment and feel that we are supported as a couple.”

Client, FAM Service

“We found the group incredibly supportive and helpful in terms of learning how to deal with the issues of our daughter’s alcoholism… I believe the support group is invaluable and thank you so much for helping us to express ourselves at a time of crisis and when stress levels had got so bad that we ourselves were not functioning as we should be.”

Client, FAM Service

DHI run families services across Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bristol, and the event is kindly sponsored by South Gloucestershire Council.

If you want to know more about the conference, please call Jason Bhandari on 01225 478730 or email JasonBhandari@dhi-online.org.uk

Find out more about DHI http://www.dhi-online.org.uk/

Follow DHI on Twitter @DHI_online

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