Addiction support - where can family and friends get help and support?

Self care
The effects of anyone's excessive drinking or drug taking can be devastating for families, friends and even work colleagues who often blame themselves for the addict's erratic behaviour, mood swings and inability to cope. It is easy for them to fall into the trap of believing that if only they did things differently their loved one would be okay. This attitude, borne out of the best of intentions, can actually make things worse. One of the most effective and constructive ways to deal with the situation is - perhaps surprisingly - to focus less on the problem and more on taking care of oneself. Without adequate self care, it is difficult to function properly, let alone help anyone else.

This self care can take different forms, such as physically (eating well, getting plenty of sleep, fresh air and exercise), emotionally (spending time with supportive people and having fun), intellectually (stimulating your mind by exploring new interests or further study) or perhaps spiritually.

Setting boundaries
If you are closely involved with someone who has a problem with alcohol or drugs, then it's essential for your own sanity to set boundaries about what is and what is not acceptable to you. There is no prescription for this: each situation is different and will depend on the individuals involved.

Counsellors can be enormously helpful and reassuring throughout all the confusion, fear, anger and sadness experienced by those close to someone with addiction problems. Their role is to listen without judgement, guide you through your conflicting feelings and help you to manage your own inner journey as well as offering strategies for coping with difficult situations.

For further information call 0800 081 0700