Written for those who are affected by the addiction of a loved one, this book sets out the complex realities of dependency by looking at how addiction can become the whole family’s illness.
It is a no-nonsense guide to where your responsibilities lie when a partner, parent or child is dependent, detailing the emotional and practical dilemmas these situations can demand. Relatives will find knowledge, understanding, reassurance and practical advice throughout this book, regardless of the stage of addiction or recovery their loved one is at.
Through the many years experience of the Northlands Centre, evident in particular in the helpful case studies, this book shows families what they can do in the midst of this confusing and damaging situation. Above all, however, it offers hope: families need, and can achieve, their recovery too.
Over thirty years ago, Northlands became the first community-based, independent treatment centre in Ireland and the first small unit to take the treatment of alcohol problems out of the mental health setting. Since then it has been helping individuals, families and communities to understand and deal with the many issues that contribute to problems with alcohol, drugs, gambling and other addictive behaviours. Northlands has always had a strong ethos of working not only with the addicted person, but also with those who are involved in their lives.
Few Irish families in the past have escaped the scourge of alcohol addiction in a close relative. Today can be added the now commonplace dependency on illegal drugs and all of the social ills that accompany them from overcrowded A&E units in hospitals at weekends, needless road tragedies and the epidemic of petty crime which seeks to feed the ‘habit’.
In Coping with a Relative’s Addiction produced by the Northlands Centre, Ireland’s first community based independent treatment centre for addiction 30 years ago the authors offer information, advice and support to those who are affected by the addiction of a loved one. Based on many years’ experience, some of which is recounted very effectively through helpful and frequently poignant case studies, families who are suffering are shown what they might do and can achieve in practical
terms in helping the addict to recover, as well as redeeming their own family life which may have become seriously disrupted and damaged by a selfish and hurtful dependency that has infected the entire life of the family.
Despite the chronic nature and the anguished consequences of many of the addictions described this short guide of 8 chapters over 82 pages offers genuine encouragement, guidance and hope for recovery to addicts and their families. As well as offering a forensic examination of addiction, its routes, stages and consequences, one of the main tenets of the guide is that addiction must be challenged or it will have the final word and it urges those affected to seek the help which is out there at the earliest stages in order to the limit the damage caused. The final page includes useful numbers and other resources for those affected by addiction.
- Fr Paul Clayton-Lea Clogherhead, Co Louth, Intercom, April 2011