We care, for the better.
A place for families, because you don't have to use drugs to be affected by them.
- How do I know if they're using drugs?
- Why do they use drugs/alcohol?
- Is it my fault?
- How can I cope with their behaviour?
- Understanding the stages of addiction and recovery
- Where do I get the help I need?
- Getting support for your loved one
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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.
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