Change- What are we waiting for with alcohol and drug users?

Change- What are we waiting for with alcohol and drug users?

“They’re not ready”

“They haven’t hit rock bottom yet”

“They aren’t motivated”

“They are treatment resistant”

“They are hard to reach”

“They will get help when they’re good and ready”

 

Heard any of these phrases? They are used by many of us to describe people who appear to be or are refusing to change. When we apply this to our loved one’s who are using alcohol and drugs, what exactly are we talking about?

Let’s take the example of “rock bottom” how do we know what this means for an individual person? What it means to me might mean something else entirely to our loved one. Have we asked them what it would take for them to stop using? My rock bottom would be losing my relationship with my husband and my children because I value them so much. Somebody else’s might be losing their home or possessions, the next person might be on the streets and still not want to change.

I said that these phrases can be used to describe people who appear to be or are refusing to change. I have worked with clients where people have never even spoken to the individual about their drug or alcohol use, but everyone else is fully aware of it and is discussing it in vast detail. I get it, it’s tough, but we cannot then describe someone as ‘unmotivated’, ‘treatment resistant’ or ‘not ready’ when they might not even realise the extent of their problems and we haven’t even tried to talk to the about how we feel about it. The first thing we need to do is to find a way to speak to them. I teach this on my Vesta Programme, but we can cover that another day!

I have heard and used these terms in the past in drug and alcohol treatment services that I’ve worked in and now I think that most of the time, it’s a load of rubbish, an excuse or lazy practice because it’s easier not to work with someone who is ‘treatment resistant’ that it is to find a way. I’m not calling individual practitioners lazy- it’s usually to do with money (funding) and time constraints that prevent us from trying new techniques with potential clients. Sometimes, it’s true, an individual might be treatment resistant or not ready. Fine! We only truly know this if we have evidence. That evidence can come from assessing an individual in services, or from you.

So, maybe there is a way that we can influence change?

Here are 5 points we need to consider:

 

1.Recognising a change is needed

 

If you are living with a substance user, you might have been waiting for them to change and/or trying your hardest to get them to. They might have had attempts at abstaining from their substance use. False promises and lies will have occurred. Think about those attempts at changing them for a minute.

I discussed change today with a good friend of mine and she said that sometimes, we don’t even know the extent of our problems while we’re living in it. She has had some life changing experiences, and so have I. She said that whatever the situation is, when we’re in it, we sometimes don’t even realise we are. We normalise situations, especially within families. ‘Sweeping under the carpet’ becomes the norm! Waiting for people to change becomes a way of life and accepting situations we’re in just seems to happen as we are ground down by the toll it takes on us.

How can we recognise a change is needed? If we identify a problem with our lives, we know it’s there. The only thing we can do is act on it. Even just speaking to one trusted person about what’s going on in our lives can help. Talk about how your situation is making you feel. Ask for their opinion. Ask more than one person and look around and listen to what other people are telling you about themselves. Is what you are going through in comparison a, dare i say it ‘normal’ way of life? Everyone is different but trust your gut as those feelings won’t go away until some sort of action is taken.

Ask yourself ‘what am I going to accept?’, ‘what am I not going to accept?’ and ‘what needs to change?’

Going back to your attempts at getting your loved one to change- what if we could look at new ways to do this?

 

2. Waiting for change

 

‘Rock bottom’ doesn’t happen to every drug or alcohol user. Some will experience losing everything and some won’t. Rock bottom can be described, however,  as the turning point for a substance user, rather than what we perceive. What are we waiting for then? Waiting for the day that they are going to change might mean we are waiting for eternity. What if there was a way that you could influence them to change? My advice is don’t wait! Taking action might not make them stop using or drinking, but what it will definitely do is show you a way to lead a less stressful and happier life yourself.

 

3. Motivated or not?

 

The cycle of change is a fantastic model for working out where your loved one is currently placed around their motivation to change. There has been loads of work around this and it shows us that someone is not either motivated or not.  Levels of motivation can change, even day by day and there are techniques we can use to motivate them at each stage of the cycle. The key point to remember here, is that motivation is influenced by social interactions, among other things. Most people enter treatment for substance use because of their families. It is also influenced by the quality of the professional they end up working with (just so you know- I am top of the range!)

We need to really understand what our loved one is getting out of using their substance. Once we unpick this, we can start to understand their individual problem, their individual drivers and what individual help and support they need

 

4. Influencing change

 

Change occurs when the cost of something outweigh the benefits. So, if this is the case, I can tell you two things

a) that it is possible to tip the balance for your loved one so that the costs of their substance use outweighs the benefits and that stopping using or drinking can be more attractive to them than using.

b) If they wont change, you can! You can learn new skills and re-align your approach to your loved one when they use to influence the change. The best thing about this is that you can do that pretty quickly. Changing the environment that a substance user is living in can change their behaviour. What have you got to lose?

 

Just so you know, you are not to blame for your loved one’s substance use and you cannot change them, but you can change the environment to become a catalyst for them to accept help.

 

5. Change for you

 

I keep banging on about this, I know! You need to listen to me though. You need help too! I go to Slimming World because I know that without it, I will not sustain the changes I’ve made with my weight loss. Substance users in recovery might continue to attend meetings because they need ongoing support to stop them relapsing, or support them if they do. Poorly people take medication because they need it to recover from or stay well with their health problems. You are no different.

 

I can help!

 

If you are living with a loved one’s drug or alcohol use, I can help you.

My service, The Vesta Approach, supports families affected by a loved one’s substance use. You can access confidential support from me wherever you are in the world. I will help you to get your loved one into treatment and lead a better life. I offer face to face sessions in the Manchester (UK) area. You can also get help via Skype and an online group therapeutic programme.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

I share lots of great information and advice on my Facebook page.

Sign up to my mailing list here to keep up to date with Vesta news and get my free 10 Steps to Family Recovery download.

Take Care.

See you next week,

 

Victoria x

Drug and alcohol help- choices for a friend or family member

Drug and alcohol help- choices for a friend or family member

Getting help

 

One of the aims of The Vesta Approach is to get your loved one into treatment. When I’m working with family members, I encourage them to find out what treatment is available to them, so that they at the right time, when treatment is discussed with your loved one, that they can access the best treatment for them. A referral into unsuitable treatment can set the whole process back.

 

What to consider

 

Treatment depends on a lot of things! The questions we need to ask are:

  1. How much has alcohol or drugs affected a loved one’s life?
  2. Are they physically dependent on their substance?
  3. Is a detox needed?
  4. Is substitute prescribing needed?
  5. Will they benefit more to recovering at home or away from home?
  6. What happens after that? When they come back, what support will be in place?

 

Is rehab the only option?

 

We naturally assume that if someone is going to get well from their substance use, that they need to go to residential rehab. Why? Because this is the message we are fed from the media. It’s what famous people do and sending someone away to get better is what we think works. Does it work?

That depends, the level of treatment needs to be relative to the problem. Why?

Imagine if you had recently developed a problem with cocaine. You had started to use with friends every now and again and then it was every weekend. You recently had a death in the family and you’re enjoying the effects of the drug. You start using three times a week and you know it’s probably not a great idea, but you haven’t given it much more thought. This has been going on for about a month. Nobody has spoken to you about it. One day, a family member asks you if you want help. You say yes and before you know it you are off to rehab.

Okay, so this might be a bit of an extreme example, but why might this not work? Firstly, because you have not implied you haven’t got a problem and you have considered it yourself. Secondly, you might have been happy to address the issue yourself and seek out appropriate treatment. Thirdly, there are options for support locally. For example, the drug and alcohol team, Narcotics Anonymous and other peer or mutual support groups.

 

Different types of treatment

 

What does this tell us? Depending on the level of problems surrounding a loved one’s substance use, we need to consider all types of treatment. There are some fabulous organisations such as Port of Call, who family members and substance users can contact for information about UK wide treatment. Services like this are extremely useful because they offer a variety of options. You can also contact your local drug and alcohol service which are commissioned in every area as they have free accessible support in your area.

 

Detox

 

A detox is where an individual requires support from alcohol, heroin and opiate-related drugs, prescriptions drugs such as Oxycontin, Xanax, Vicodin, and Hydrocodone. The reason for this is that a loved one will experience physical withdrawal symptoms when stopping the use of these drugs. These withdrawal symptoms can be extremely harmful and can cause seizures and fits. This is why it is vital that people who use these substances do not stop is they are heavy users without medical support.

Detoxes can take place in a detox unit, some rehabs or at home. If rehab is chosen that offers it, a detox will be the first part of this. Otherwise, a detox can take place elsewhere first. Detox usually take from 7-10 days.

 

Rehab

 

A rehab allows a loved one to stay away from home, work on being drug or alcohol free and, depending on the length of stay, can learn the skills required to live a substance free life. There a lots of different variations to the type of rehabs available. For example, some will use the 12 steps model, some will not affiliate with any particular model and use integrated, evidence based methods. A stay at a rehab will usually be for around four weeks, but can be for twelve or more. The aim of rehab is to help people to cleanse their body of the substance but also, to learn how to manage their recovery from their substance and stay drug or alcohol free when they leave.

 

Recovery Communities

 

These groups are brought together by individuals in recovery themselves. They are a fabulous resource for getting support and strength from others who have or are experiencing their own recovery journey. These can include peer led meetings, 12 steps such as Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART Recovery recovery cafe’s and online forums. They are a brilliant and highly recommended for anyone who wants to enhance their recovery journey. Again, not all will be suitable for your loved one but having an awareness of what is available locally and whether your loved one is likely to go to a local group is worth taking into consideration.

 

 

What’s next?

 

This may all seem really complicated. The best way to research options is to keep a log of what is available and ring them to ask for details. This will give you a great idea of what is available, what you feel comfortable with and what will suit your loved one.

I’m sorry to say this, as it can be disheartening but addiction can be a chronic relapsing condition which means that it might take several attempts until they can recover from their substance use. Consideration for this might be necessary before spending all your savings on one attempt at rehab. Rehabs are also accessible through the local drug and alcohol team. It is a longer process as they make sure a person is likely to succeed with the treatment before funding it.

On a positive note, many families have and do recover from substance use and it is possible for you too. Go and find out about the services available because when your loved one decides they are open to getting help, you can present the information to them and get them on the phone to someone quickly.

My service supports you as a relative or friend of a loved one who is using drugs or alcohol. If they don’t want to get help at the moment or even refuse they have a problem, I can help you.

Email me for help.

 

I can help

 

If you are living with a loved one’s drug or alcohol use, I can help you.

For a safe space to share your situation, go to my closed group, Vesta Confidential, where family members living with a substance user support each other and get lots of information and advice from me.

My service, The Vesta Approach, supports families affected by a loved one’s substance use. You can access confidential support from me wherever you are in the world. I will help you to get your loved one into treatment and lead a better life. I offer face to face sessions in the Manchester (UK) area. You can also get help via Skype and an online group therapeutic programme.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Sign up to my mailing list here to keep up to date with Vesta news and get my free 10 Steps to Family Recovery download.

Take Care.

See you next week,

 

Victoria x

Hidden Harm- how drug and alcohol use affects families

Hidden Harm- how drug and alcohol use affects families

It’s alcohol awareness week and it’s focus has been on substance use and families. It felt like the right time to post about Hidden Harm. What it is and what we can do about it.

 

What is Hidden Harm

 

Hidden Harm was originally a report of the findings in 2003 of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) inquiry on the children of problem drug users in the UK. It made 48 recommendations and the following 6 key messages for policy and practitioners:

 

  1. there are between 250,000 and 350,000 children of problem drug users in the UK – about 1 child for every problem drug user
  2. parental problem drug use causes serious harm to children at every age from conception to adulthood
  3. reducing the harm to children from parental problem drug use should become a main objective of policy and practice
  4. effective treatment of the parent can have major benefits for the child
  5. by working together, services can take many practical steps to protect and improve the health and well-being of affected children
  6. the number of affected children is only likely decrease when the number of problem drug users decreases

 

Although research around the impact of parental substance misuse had taken place before this, this was the first time it was brought to attention on a national level. Unfortunately, the recommendations were just that, recommendations. This meant that local authorities were not legally required to fulfill any of them. However, the report made a huge change in the services available to families affected by substance use and I was lucky enough to work for two of them.

 

Who are we talking about?

 

I like to think of Hidden Harm in a much wider context and it applies to both alcohol and other drugs. Firstly, the fact that it may be assumed from a lot of the research that Hidden Harm is prominent in lower-income families. This is not the case. In my opinion, there are many issues around substance use in ALL families, regardless of income, class or whatever else you want to call it.

The recent craze of humorous accounts of parenting such as “Hurrah for Gin” and “Why Mummy Drinks” are, granted, hilarious and the writers talk about difficult topics around motherhood in a brilliant way. However, the focus on downing alcohol could be seen as normalising drinking within the ‘middle-class mummy’ crowd, to a certain extent. The fact is, it doesn’t matter who you are, problematic substance use can affect anyone, from middle-class mummies to binge drinkers to the homeless fella on the street or a CEO of a multinational business. The harm to families is often hidden, often due to stigma and shame, regardless of who they are.

The other point to make is that substance use doesn’t just affect just the individual and children, it affects whole families.

 

What sort of substance use counts?

 

We can sometimes get hung up on the terminology of substance use. There’s binge drinking, substance misuse, dependency, addiction, and substance abuse disorder among many others. All we need to remember is that if a person has problems with drugs or alcohol, whether it is because they are using drugs or drinking because of their problems; or whether it is because the substance is causing them problems, then they need help. They are not the only ones, you need help too, and so do children.

 

Effects of parental substance use on children

 

Taken from “Secret Lives: Growing with Substance”, Harbin and Murphy (2006), they found that some of the main effects of substance use on children is:

  • Children may be born withdrawing from a substance
  • Lack of attachment to parental figures and periods of separation and loss
  • Poverty and lack of provision of basic needs
  • Age inappropriate levels of responsibility or caring for other children
  • Unpredictable, inconsistent lifestyle and instability
  • Stigma and shame
  • Living with secrecy and isolation
  • Exposure to aggression or offending

I wrote about this in my previous blog, Helping children with a drug or alcohol using parent.

Effects of parental substance use on parenting

 

When a substance user is a parent, their parenting skills, perceptions, emotional control and attachment towards their children is affected. If anyone has ever had a hangover with their children around the day after having one too many, it’s easy to see why the above is true. Once a substance becomes a priority for an individual, children are not. Even if alcohol or drugs is not a priority as such, the effects and after-effects will impact on parenting capacity.

 

What about adult carers?

 

Adult carers is anyone who is caring for a loved one with alcohol or drug problems and can access support for this role.

Adfam (Alcohol, Drugs and the Family) in The Care Bill: What does this mean for carers of drug and alcohol users? (2014) said 1.5million people who are ‘significantly affected’ by a relative’s drug use and 17% of the population are family members affected in this way.

UKDPC research has estimated that in the UK, at the very least:

  • nearly 1.5 million adults will be significantly affected by a family member’s drug use;
  • the cost of the harms they experience as a result amounts to about £1.8 billion per year; and
  • the support they provide would cost the NHS or Local Authorities about £750 million to provide if it was not available.

Have a look at this info from The Carers Trust. See my previous blog, Living with a drug or alcohol user- why you need help too.

 

So, what can we do about it?

 

In summary, in order to prevent the Hidden Harm and long-term effects of a substance use on the family, everyone in it needs to be supported. There should be no shame and you are not alone! There are some fantastic organisations out there locally. My service, The Vesta Approach can help anyone living with a drug or alcohol user. Email me for help at victoria@vestaapproach.co.uk

 

I can help

 

If you are living with a loved one’s drug or alcohol use, I can help you.

For a safe space to share your situation, go to my closed group, Vesta Confidential, where family members living with a substance user support each other and get lots of information and advice from me.

My service, The Vesta Approach, supports families affected by a loved one’s substance use. You can access confidential support from me wherever you are in the world. I will help you to get your loved one into treatment and lead a better life. I offer face to face sessions in the Manchester (UK) area. You can also get help via Skype  and an online group therapeutic programme.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Sign up to my mailing list here to keep up to date with Vesta news and get my free 10 Steps to Family Recovery download.

 

 

Take Care.

See you next week,

 

Victoria x

My Go Sober for October Experience

My Go Sober for October Experience

I thought about participating in the Go Sober for October Challenge only for a few days before I took the plunge and signed myself up. It’s alcohol awareness week next week so I’m kicking off the week with my own experience of quitting the booze.

Being a substance misuse worker, I know all the risks and consequences of drinking. I know about addiction, problematic use and binge drinking. Do I still drink? Yes. Why? Because I like it and I am in control of it. Alcohol is not in control of me.

 

Binge Drinking

 

I’m a binge drinker so no alcohol at all in the week but at weekends I like to have a few drinks. Of course, there are many, many problems that can be associated with binge drinking. Drinkaware are a brilliant resource for alcohol and they say that “the definition used by the Office of National Statistics for binge drinking is having over 8 units in a single session for men and over 6 units per women.” We should also not exceed 14 units a week. Units depends on a lot of things like the strength or ABV% of alcohol, the volume of the drink (we need to take into consideration measures also when drinking at home!) Have a look at this video about units. It may surprise you!

Don’t get me wrong, there have been times in my life when too much partying has taken it’s toll, but some people, like me, are aware of these times and can knock it on the head for a while to get healthy again. Some people can’t and this is when we need to look at the problems surrounding it and help those individuals.

 

Why Go Sober for October?

 

I always wondered what it would be like if my alcohol breaks were not so meticulously timed around a quiet month where we have no events! I also wondered what it must be like for someone recovering from substance use to have to continue the relationships with people with whom their activities have often included alcohol.

So, I signed up for Go Sober for October on the month of my 40th birthday. I wanted to put myself in the shoes of a client in recovery and see what it was like. I wanted to see if I could enjoy my planned activities without alcohol being involved. I experienced this during pregnancy and breastfeeding but I wasn’t that keen on watching other people get drunk when I was sober. It just was not fun. I’m sure it’s not fun for someone in recovery either.

Having children took away the planned hangovers, lazing around watching TV together, snoozing off the effects of the booze and generally enjoying the experience. It’s just not an option anymore to have heavy nights out as our parenting capacity is affected the day after. Our children aren’t going anywhere. They’re still up at 6.30am the next day, despite seventeen attempts at hiding under the pillow, they’re still there waiting to be entertained. I’m not sure whether it’s okay to take one, two or even three days to recover from a weekly or even a 6 monthly event for our health alone, let alone the look on their little faces when they want to play.

 

What did I want to know?

 

The questions I was asking myself were:

  1. Can I have an equally good time doing activities without alcohol?
  2. I’m tired all the time. Is it because my sleep is of a lesser quality at the weekend?
  3. Is alcohol at weekends stopping me losing a few pounds?
  4. Could I go sober permanently?
  5. What might it be like for someone in recovery to be around other people drinking?

It was time to practice what I preach.

 

Results

 

  1. Can I have an equally good time doing activities without alcohol?

I went on a night out with friends and had a great time. Everyone else was drinking and I drove some of us into Manchester. We did Breakout Manchester so we met in a bar and then everyone went to a bar after. Although I enjoyed chatting earlier on and loved Breakout, I went home before the second bar visit having had a lovely evening. I also went to gig which I have never done without having a few drinks. It was amazing! In the top 5 actually. I would definitely go sober again.  We went on holiday to Paris. This was my first ever time not drinking while on holiday. We went to Montmartre on our last day and this was the only day I really wanted a glass of wine throughout the whole month, as people were sitting outside the bistros having leisurely lunches. Then I remembered we wouldn’t be able to do that anyway with the children so quickly snapped out of it! We did lots of brilliant things instead, including Eurodisney and I loved it.

  1. I’m tired all the time. Is it because my sleep is of a lesser quality at the weekend?

I think, being a parent of two small children, I am just tired full stop. I didn’t feel any less tired by the end of the month but we had a lot on! Maybe if I was a more regular drinker I’d have felt a difference in this.

  1. Is alcohol at weekends stopping me losing a few pounds?

I’ve hovered around the same weight for most of this year. I wondered if my craving for my daughters Aldi monster munch after a glass of wine was the cause of this. What actually happened was that I ate more sugar so I replaced the alcohol with that. I wonder how many people in recovery do a similar thing? I felt I just wanted a ‘treat’. Isn’t it strange that our food and drink based treats are so bad for us!?At the end of the month, I had put two pounds on but, that was after a holiday to Eurodisney and living off carbs and snacks while we were there. Plus a wonderful afternoon tea made by my best friend on my birthday. Normally, after a holiday I put a lot more than that on, so I think the lack of alcohol really did make a difference despite the bad food.

  1. Could I go sober permanently?

I could, but I’m not going to. I feel that alcohol enhances the good times I have and as long as it stays that way, I’m going to keep it that way. If it ever starts causing me problems then I would reconsider this choice. I know i can have a good time without it. My activities aren’t planned around drinking so I’m happy with that.

  1. What might it be like for someone in recovery to be around other people drinking?

Extremely difficult. The reactions from my friends varied from “There’s no point coming out on your birthday because you’re not drinking” to “I can’t believe you’re doing this on your birthday!”. If I was in recovery, I would avoid going anywhere that is based around drinking. Bars, pubs and clubs would be off my list. If I don’t enjoy watching everyone else get drunk, I can’t imagine it would be a place for them either. There are so many other things to do!

Thanks to my horrified, yet supportive friends, as they helped me raise £300 for Macmillan!

 

How do we help someone in recovery?

 

Alcohol is so entrenched in our society that it’s still hard to avoid. Everyone’s recovery journey is different so one person might be okay with others drinking around them, but someone else may not. This will also depend on how long a person has been in recovery and what their triggers for drinking are. So, how can we help as friends or family members?

  1. Don’t exclude someone who has stopped drinking from events.
  2. Ask them if they are okay around alcohol or not.
  3. Plan activities that don’t involve drinking.
  4. Be yourselves around them and don’t act weirdly. Stay considerate.
  5. Ask them about their triggers. They may not want to tell you this but as a friend or family member, it will be useful to know.
  6. While someone is in recovery, don’t drink at home in front of them. Put yourself in their shoes. Would you be alright with sitting in a room with everyone else drinking? What might it be like for you if you had problems with alcohol?

The above also applies to people we know who have problems with alcohol. They may not have admitted it themselves, but it is unfair to drink around people for our own benefit when we know they need to stop.

 

I can help

If you are living with a loved one’s drug or alcohol use, I can help you.

For a safe space to share your situation, go to my closed group, Vesta Confidential, where family members living with a substance user support each other and get lots of information and advice from me.

My service, The Vesta Approach, supports families affected by a loved one’s substance use. You can access confidential support from me wherever you are in the world. I will help you to get your loved one into treatment and lead a better life. I offer face to face sessions in the Manchester (UK) area. You can also get help via Skype  and an online group therapeutic programme.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Sign up to my mailing list here to keep up to date with Vesta news and get my free 10 Steps to Family Recovery download.

 

 

Take Care.

See you next week,

 

Victoria x

 

5 Days Towards Family Recovery- A short programme for people living with a substance user

5 Days Towards Family Recovery- A short programme for people living with a substance user

Hello everyone! I’m just back from a lovely holiday and have also completed Go Sober for October Challenge. I’ll write about that in a few weeks for Alcohol Awareness Week, which starts on the 13th November. On the same day, I’m going to launch my introductory course, Five Days Towards Family Recovery.

Let me ask you:

  1. Is someone you love having a problem with alcohol or drugs?
  2. Are they refusing to get help or admit they have a problem?
  3. Have you tried to help but you’re not getting anywhere?

Read on… (click on the links for more info)

 

The Vesta Programme

The Vesta Programme

The Vesta Approach supports families affected by a loved one’s substance use. I have created The Vesta Programme, a twelve-week therapeutic programme. It’s a programme that teaches ‘concerned others’ (that’s you!) how to change the environment to shape a loved one’s behaviour towards their substance use.  In other words, you cannot change their substance use but you can influence it by making being sober or drug free more rewarding than alcohol and other drug use. You can motivate and unmotivated substance user to get treatment for their alcohol and other drug use.

 

The Vesta Programme aims to:

  1. Help you to recover from a loved one’s alcohol or other drug use.
  2. Improve your quality of life.
  3. Get your loved one into treatment.

The Vesta Online Programme will be launched in January and is an amazing, unique and confidential service that people can access anywhere in the world. It’s based on an evidence based programme by Phil Harris.

 

Why work with the family member and not the person using alcohol or drugs?

 

When we look at the number one reason why people enter into a substance misuse service the biggest single factor is family pressure.  Studies show that 80% of people sought help for drug and alcohol problems because of family pressure to do so.  Families are a central force that drive change. Through working with people close to a drug or alcohol user, you are in a far better position to help them to change than many professionals! You just need to know how to do it. That’s where I come in.

As well as influencing your loved one to make changes to their substance use, the programme also works for the family members in other ways.   After what might be years of battling with the loved one and the incredible toll this can take, it is a huge relief to share this with someone who is prepared to understand and not judge.  It can help remind you of your own needs and sense of self after a long period of self-neglect.

I know, having worked with young people and families affected by substance use for a decade, how difficult it is to get out of the house and get support for yourself. It’s hard enough to admit you need help in the first place when you’re constantly looking after somebody else’s needs. That’s why I’ve taken this programme and developed it so that anyone living someone else’s drinking and other drug use can get the help they need to change their life.

I also offer my confidential programmes one to one via Skype, wherever my support is needed, and face to face in the Manchester (UK) area.

 

Five Days Towards Family Recovery

 

The Five Days Towards Family Recovery Programme is an introductory week-long programme. I’ve created this as my vision is to provide services and forge a community, helping as many families as possible live their lives fully and free from addiction. I realise that the Vesta Programme being twelve weeks long is quite a commitment, so I wanted to give you the opportunity to gain some wonderful learning and strategies to take away with you from the week so that you can start putting yourself first. It will also give you the opportunity to see how I work and a taste of what the complete programme looks like.

If you complete Five Days Towards Family Recovery, you will:

  1. Have an understanding of what addiction and recovery are.
  2. Have reviewed the strategies you have tried, to stop your loved one using drugs or drinking, and planned which to continue and which to stop.
  3. Explored the costs and benefits of your loved one’s substance use and why you need to know.
  4. To map the possible reactions of your loved when you make changes in your behaviour towards their substance us.
  5. To make a plan to lead a better life, regardless of whether your loved one chooses to use substances or not.

 

Who is it for?

 

  • The programme is for anyone who is worried about a loved one’s drinking or drug use.
  • The programme works best if you see them regularly.
  • You might be a friend, partner, child, parent, grandparent or any other extended family member. If you are worried about your loved one’s substance use, this is for you.
  • At the moment, this programme is for adult family members and your loved one must be 18 or over. If you or your loved one are under 18, please call me, email me or message me on my Facebook page. I will direct you to some alternative support.

 

How do I get more information

 

Call or text me on 07984 837302, email me or join my Facebook page and message me

 

To sign up

 

Contact me if you are intersted. You can also request individual support from me. 

When you complete the course, you will have access to a Facebook group where you will get ongoing support from others in the same situation as yourself and information and advice from me.

 

Make time for you

 

help for loved ones drug or alcohol use

When living with a problem user, it is really difficult to get time for yourself.  This is especially true if you have sought sanctuary from home life in work or other commitments.  Vesta offers the flexibility, ease and convenience to give you the help you need at a time and place that is best for you. The added benefit is that you will be accessing an evidence based programme of support. That means it has been tried and has

The important thing I want you to remember is that you are not alone. For every problematic substance user in the country, five people are negatively affected. Living with a problematic drug or alcohol users is the country’s best kept secret.  It is a not your fault that the loved one uses, but you can influence their use.

 

I can help

 

For a safe space to share your situation, go to my closed group, Vesta Confidential, where family members living with a substance user support each other and get lots of information and advice from me.

My service, The Vesta Approach, supports families affected by a loved one’s substance use. You can access confidential support from me wherever you are in the world. I will help you to get your loved one into treatment and lead a better life. I offer face to face sessions in the Manchester (UK) area. You can also get help via Skype  and an online group therapeutic programme.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Sign up to my mailing list here to keep up to date with Vesta news and get my free 10 Steps to Family Recovery download.

 

 

Take Care.

See you next week,

 

Victoria x