Family members urged to share their experiences

A major new national survey on the impact of addiction and recovery on family members has been launched by Adfam and Sheffield Hallam University, with funding from Alcohol Research UK.

The Family Life in Recovery project aims to provide vital insight into the experiences of family members to support and encourage others, as well as create the first evidence-based resource able to recommend ‘which support services are urgently needed for family members of people at each different stage of recovery’. The survey is open to ‘anyone who considers themselves a family member, friend or loved one’ of someone with substance issues or in recovery, with the results to be published later this year.

‘Much is known about the economic and social costs of addiction and problematic drug use, but we know very little about what happens to family members of those using or in recovery, and how they manage their own wellbeing through this incredibly stressful and challenging process,’ said project lead, Professor David Best of Sheffield Hallam University.

‘The survey will explore what people can do to look after themselves and to support the person in recovery, which is particularly pertinent at a time of personalised budgets and reductions in specialist care and support.’ The results would not only identify the most urgently needed services but would also give ‘a voice to a disempowered population’, he added.

‘We have been working with families affected by substance misuse for over 30 years and we know that the journey of recovery has a large impact on the lives of family members,’ said Adfam chief executive Vivienne Evans.

‘As the national charity for children and families affected by substance misuse, we are looking forward to the findings from this research to see how we can better support and advocate on behalf of families dealing with issues surrounding addiction and recovery.’

Survey at