“Loved Ones Unite” is a support group set up for the family, friends and loved ones affected by drug / alcohol addiction. Education and support is offered in a range of capacities, be it emotional, spiritual or practical. This support is offered to anyone. Coffee and a chat is available if that is what you need. No pressure, just people who have been through your pain of witnessing a loved one who is affected by a drug or alcohol addiction, or even both.
Being a carer in our society is to be in a minority but it is usually seen as socially acceptable. However, to be a carer of someone who is experiencing problematic substance dependency is often seen as socially unacceptable. If the substance is a class A drug such as heroin or crack with the attached social stigma, the carer often feels judged alongside the person they care for. This can lead to misplaced shame, isolation and concealment causing social exclusion by association. They are taken into a world they often know nothing about.
The carer of a person with a substance dependency will also often experience having to witness withdrawals, deal with chaos, and cope with courts, prisons and police knocking at their door. All these things are small beside the carer’s most urgent fear – that of losing their loved one.
There have been many studies demonstrating that if the whole family unit is worked with there is more chance of successful treatment. It makes sense. Every time someone is unable to access appropriate treatment it affects the whole support network around that person and everyone suffers.
“A carer is someone, who, without payment, provides help and support to a partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour, who could not manage without their help. This could be due to age, physical or mental illness, addiction or disability.” – www.carers.org