Keeping safe

Those who use drugs and alcohol may sometimes put their loved ones at risk. Here are some examples:

  • Threatening, aggressive, violent and abusive behaviour when under the influence or in an attempt to get money to buy drugs / alcohol.
  • Drug dealers coming to the home to collect debts.
  • Using the home for illegal or anti-social activities.
  • Acting irresponsibly when in a position of responsibility for children.
  • Acting irresponsibly when in a position of responsibility for property e.g. causing a fire whilst trying to cook whilst drunk or high.

Whilst you cannot control the risks someone takes with their own health or safety, you can take steps to protect yourself, and others.

  • Establishing clear boundaries about when your loved one will or will not be allowed in your home.
  • Involving the necessary authorities if you feel there is a risk of harm to children. Ring the free, 24/7, confidential NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.
  • Making a plan to have somewhere else to go to keep yourself safe should the need arise.
  • Seek support if experience abusive behaviour. Ring the free, 24/7, domestic violence helpline on 0808 2000 247.
  • If you ever feel you, the substance user or a third party is at risk of immediate physical harm don’t hesitate to call 999.

These decisions can be extremely difficult and can take time to work through. It is always a good idea to seek support for yourself to talk through your options and hear how others have coped in similar situations.