Free Workshop For Family Members Of Those Affected By Substance Misuse

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Are you or do you know someone affected by someone’s misuse of alcohol or drugs?

A free workshop for family members affected by someone’s substance misuse is being organised on 11 October 2014 from 12.30pm until 4.00pm in the Training Rooms in Downshire Hospital, Downpatrick. The workshop is free and is available to anyone over 16 who would like support in dealing with a family member’s excessive use of alcohol or drugs. dn_screenThe workshop will explore what addiction is and explore ways to cope with the pressure of having a family member with an alcohol or drug problem. A toolkit of self-care, ‘Using Positive Emotions in the midst of stress,’ is used to promote well-being. The family members benefit from talking to others who understand the problem and exploring different sources of support. When you talk to any family member affected by someone’s excessive use of alcohol or drugs you hear familiar stories: *  They are plagued by constant, corrosive worry. *  They experience a range of feelings: shame, embarrassment, anger. *  They question where they went wrong as it is their fault *   It causes stress and strain in the family *  They often feel alone. Living with someone’s substance misuse or addiction can have a negative effect on the family member’s mental health. As one family member attending the Relatives Support Group in the Addiction Unit in Downpatrick said, “It is a living a nightmare that just does not end.” There is hope however. Help and support is available for family members both young and old. As Ed Sipler, Health Development Specialist in the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust said: “One of the biggest challenges for a family member is that they don’t know where to turn to. They desperately want help for the person affected by substance misuse and they forget about their own needs.” Al-Anon Groups for family members meet all over the country. Services such as the Family Intervention Service run by ASCERT or Family Matters from FASA provide invaluable support. ‘Steps to Cope’ is a new service for young people from age 11 to 18. The Relatives Support Group in the treatment unit in Downpatrick meets every Tuesday night. A self-help workbook ‘Taking the Lid Off’ is available on the South Eastern Trust’s website under the Healthy Living section. For more information contact the Addiction Unit, Ward 15 (Shimna House) on 028 44 513921 or 028 44 5131 3922.

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