Presentation on theme: " People use alcohol and other drugs for many reasons. Some use these substances to help them to relax, to feel more lively, to feel less inhibited or."— Presentation transcript:
People use alcohol and other drugs for many reasons. Some use these substances to help them to relax, to feel more lively, to feel less inhibited or to feel pleasure. Some find the effects of substances make it seem easier to cope with problems. Some use substances for religious reasons or to fit in with the crowd. Others may be curious about the effects of a specific drug.
No one plans to become addicted. People may think that they can handle their substance use and that they only use when they want to. But when they want to change the way they use, they may find it’s not that simple. Because substance use is common, it’s important to be able to see when a person’s use puts him or her at risk of developing a problem.
How do I know if someone I care about is experiencing difficulties associated with alcohol, other drugs and/or gambling? AFM’s “Levels of Involvement” (LOI) is not an assessment tool but can be used to determine if use/behaviour is becoming harmful or serious.
NON-INVOLVEMENT Never used alcohol, other drugs or gambled OR have chosen a non-involved lifestyle after some involvement in the past IRREGULAR INVOLVEMENT Random or infrequent involvement with alcohol, other drug or gambling that includes experimenting Little or no evidence of any problems caused by involvement
REGULAR INVOLVEMENT Actively seeking involvement with alcohol, other drug or gambling on a regular basis with some pattern (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly) May be some minor or isolated problems caused by involvement HARMFUL INVOLVEMENT Involvement with alcohol, other drugs or gambling causes problems in one or more of the life areas (listed on sheet)
DEPENDENT INVOLVEMENT Despite involvement causing problems in life areas, involvement continues plus… There are failed attempt to cut down / quit A lot of time is spent being involved or thinking about being involved Strong urges to be involved are experienced There are uncomfortable feelings when not involved More of the substance / gambling activity is required to get the same altered state
Two important signs that a person’s substance use is risky, or is already a problem, are harmful consequences and loss of control.
The harms of substance use can range from mild (e.g., feeling hungover, being late for work) to severe (e.g., homelessness, disease). While each time a person uses a substance may seem to have little impact, the harmful consequences can build up over time. If a person continues to use substances despite the harmful consequences, he or she may have a substance use problem.
Some people may be aware that their substance use causes problems but continue to use, even when they want to stop. They may use more than they intended, or in situations where they didn’t want to use. Some may not see that their substance use is out of control and is causing problems in their lives. This is often referred to as being “in denial.” This so-called denial, however, might simply be a lack of awareness or insight into the situation. Whether people realize it or not, lack of control over use is another sign that substance use is a problem.
When a family member has a dependency, the whole family usually develops ways of coping with the problems associated with the dependency. Often, there is less communication: the family avoids talking about the issue, avoids expressing emotions, and may keep the addiction secret from the community. Some family members may take on some of the responsibilities abandoned by the addicted person.
While these coping strategies may help the family to operate more smoothly and get along better, they may also allow the dependency to continue. Unfortunately, family members may also use alcohol, drugs or gambling themselves as a way of coping with the problems in their family.
Members of an addicted family often experience loneliness, frustration, fear, anger and shame. They may also feel a sense of hopelessness about the situation. It’s important for them to realize that the addiction is not their fault. Often, seeking outside help from a support group or professional counsellor can help them cope with what is going on in their family.
Addiction often creates an unstable family environment. Parents may not effectively discipline their children or provide them with training in basic life skills. Children may feel insecure or unloved. They may also begin to take on adult responsibilities that are not appropriate to their age. Children in families where an addiction is present are more likely to show anti-social behaviour and have problems such as skipping school, aggressiveness, hyperactivity and eating disorders.
Living with an addicted person isn’t easy, but most children are resilient. This means that they can overcome these difficult circumstances and become strong, healthy adults. They build on their own and others’ strengths. For those who may have problems resulting from addiction in the family, help is available.
Al-Anon/Alateen Addictions foundation of Mantioba dex.htm dex.htm
Gina / Andrea
Addictions Foundation of Manitoba Al-Anon Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Alberta Health Services