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Relationship Realities: a summary of findings

17 Feb 2017

OnePlusOne and Adfam have launched the findings from a survey into how couple relationships are affected by drugs and alcohol. The survey, conducted with 100 people in August and September 2016, revealed that 1 in 3 couple relationships affected by drug or alcohol misuse break down.

Drug or alcohol misuse often puts a huge strain on couple relationships, whether it is within the couple’s relationship, or if it is another loved one who has the problem. 71% of people said their relationship was affected to a large extent, with 77% reporting arguing with their partner, 54% having intimacy problems and 26% stopping talking to each other.

Many of the people surveyed sought formal or informal support, and the survey revealed that with time and with the right support, couple relationships can survive the effects of drug and alcohol misuse. When asked about the status of their relationship now, there were some encouraging signs: 27% said that their relationship was now stronger, and 16% said that they talk to each other more.

The survey is part of a wider pilot project, ‘Relationship Realities’, a partnership between relationship research charity OnePlusOne and Adfam, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions. ‘Relationship Realities’ is an audio resource featuring short stories and relationship advice from real people living in families affected by drug or alcohol misuse. The audios can be heard here.