The Child’s Change Cycle- how children feel during a parent’s recovery

The Child’s Change Cycle- how children feel during a parent’s recovery

The Child’s Change Cycle- how children feel during a parent’s recovery

I came across the Child’s Change Cycle in Fiona Harbin and Michael Murphy book, ‘Secret Lives: Growing with Substance Misuse – Working with children and young people affected by family substance misuse’ in 2006. It’s a fantastic book and in it they developed the Cycle of Change to add further context to it in terms of how children might feel during their parent’s recovery from substance misuse.

I previously wrote about the Cycle of Change- How to use it to support a loved one’s recovery. This was an introduction to the cycle of change and how to understand it to support a loved one’s recovery. In this blog, I’m taking it one step further to consider children on the change cycle. Here’s a reminder of what the Cycle of Change looks like.

Substance Misuse and Parenting

It is no surprise that parenting capacity is affected by a parent who is drinking or taking drugs. I do not like to drink in front of my children and I don’t like other people drinking around them either. Why? I know that after a couple of drinks, my guard is down and my parenting is not as good as it is when I’m not drinking. I also know that my tolerance levels these days are critically low, so I can feel the effects from one drink. I recognise that when adults drink around children, the conversation can change to inappropriate topics, swearing freely and that children can see a difference in adult behaviour when drinking (or have the time of their lives because they have fewer boundaries!). So wherever possible, I keep my own children away from it.

It is important to remember here that SUBSTANCE USE DOES NOT MAKE PARENTS BAD PARENTS! How everyone manages their own use is up to them, I have formed my own view from over fifteen years of working with children, young people and families and helping many of those families recover from parental substance use. Many people use substances and manage and function very well in their daily life, including in their parenting capacity. Many parents still go out at the weekend, ensure their children are safe and cared for and have a great time using recreational drugs or drinking and slip back into their routine when they’re done.

In my work, however, the parents I supported had significant problems with their use and there was not one child who has not known about their parents’ problems with drug or alcohol use in one way or another.

A friend of mine told me a few year’s ago that she had given up drinking when her son told her she drank too much. She described that this was a realisation for her and she decided to have a break months ago. She feels so good from giving up that she has continued. Is she an “alcoholic”? No. Was alcohol causing her some problems? Yes.

Children and the recovery cycle

It would make sense that when a parent stops drinking or using drugs, that everything in family life will be happy and there would be a great deal of positive changes. There will be positive changes, but a parent stopping using is the very start of that change in a family. For a child, having a parent that is more present than they have been in a long time, perhaps actually parenting for the first or a long time can be confusing and needs to be handled with care.

So, Harbin and Murphy, created an additional layer to the Cycle of Change to reflect how children may feel at each stage of the cycle (diagram from Children and Young People affected by Parents’/Carers’ or Siblings’ Drug or Alcohol Misuse Guidance for Professionals)

child's change cycle

When a parent is in active use and has no intention of changing, a young person can experience neglect and emotional abuse. This sounds harsh, but in reality, when a parent’s priority is drugs or alcohol, their child is not. The relationship is affected and the child will not understand why.

In contemplation, a child has hope that things might change.

In preparation/decision, there is further hope but also anxiety about change.

In action/active change, this hope and anxiety increases.

Liane Goryl, who has managed young people’s services and is now managing locally commissioned contracts said, “If the parent is in the maintenance phase and living a substance free life, the young person will have been impacted upon during other stages of the parental cycle of change.  As the adult moves through the cycle of change, so does the child.  They experience their own worries and concerns which can impact on their mental wellbeing.  Even when the parent successfully stays in the maintenance phase, the young person can wonder why all of a sudden their parent is putting in boundaries and rules and interested in where that young person is.  This can contribute to a young person trying to regain control and pushing back and not obeying rules that are now being implemented by parents.  Where there are much younger siblings that have only known the parent to be drug free compared with an older brother or sister; it can be difficult for that teenager to understand why the parent could become substance free to look after that child but not them, causing an emotional response in the form or anger and depression”.

As Liane states, I have seen young people react in this way to their parent’s recovery. The shift easily moves to their behaviour rather than anyone actually considering the change for them and why their behaviour is occurring. I have sat in many child protection meetings which have focussed on the behaviour of a child without a connection being made that that behaviour is due to a parent’s substance use.  Please bear this in mind.

Lapse and Relapse cause disappointment, fear, confusion and sadness.

How can we help?

At each stage of the cycle, we need to consider where a child is at too. What are they thinking? How are they feeling? Families think they hide a loved one’s substance misuse well, but the best thing to do is speak to children in an age appropriate manner. A good starting point is to ask them how they are, what makes them happy and is there anything that makes them sad. I explain more about this in my blog Helping Children with a Drug and Alcohol Using Parent.

The thing to remember is not to feel guilty if you have children. The key with family support is communication. Talk to your children about the problem, create an open forum for them to talk and ask them how they are. Discuss any changes and make sure they have good quality time with you, your loved one and their friends and family. I always advise to let school know about the situation so that they have someone to talk to that they can trust outside the family. Use this model to establish how they might be feeling and work through those feelings. Not all children will feel the same but they need someone to talk to.

I can help you!

We work on this and more in my one to one programmes. This month, I have an offer on for 10 sessions for £997. This is a low investment for the changes that I help my clients make.

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 help my clients reduce stress and live a better life.

Sign up to my mailing list here and get my free 10 Steps to Family Recovery download with my top tips for family recovery.

Take Care.

 

Victoria x

 

www.vestaapproach.co.uk

A message to parents from a child of an alcoholic

A message to parents from a child of an alcoholic

 

 

 

 

I’ll be posting some stories from families who have lived with a loved one’s addiction. I saw this lady post in a group and she gave me permission to share this in a blog.  I knew how much she had to give to others. 

 

Thank you so much for sharing.

 

Please pop your thoughts and feelings in the comments below the post so she can check back and see how she has helped.

 

 

 

So, today is my Dad’s funeral.

 

A sad day for any Daughter that loses her dad but you see, my Dad was a CHRONIC alcohol most of my life.

 

Growing up with him as my father was horrible, not gonna lie.

 

My only memories of him is being drunk out his face, coming round by where I lived, and me being embarrassed and running away with my friends and hiding! That is the ONLY word I can use to express how I felt about him, Embarrassed.

 

Come the age of 17, I’d had enough of him and never saw him again until (fast-forward) 15 years later, when he contacted my mum to let her know that he was sober and asked if I want to see him, along with my sister.

 

To be honest I had lost all kind of respect for him but, me being me, I thought, ‘You know what? I’ll do it.’

 

But… it was only for his sake. After all…why would I need him now after all these years of nothing.

 

So, that was it. I met my sober dad for the first time ever in my life, aged 33ish.

 

It was very strange to begin with. I liked the idea of having a ‘dad’ but the reality was very different.

 

I just couldn’t help but see these memories of him being drunk and doing my head in. It took a long time to trust him as well.

 

He wanted to meet my daughter but, at the time, she was only young and I thought, ‘No.’ This is about ME and YOU. Bringing my daughter into the equation would’ve been far too much for me (emotionally) and she had a very good relationship with her step-grandad anyway from a baby, so why jeopardise that?

 

He did get a bit funny about it, but I stayed strong and just said, ‘Look, when she is older and we have established a relationship then, ok, yes, you can meet her. Right now she is too young to take it all in.’

 

If I’m honest peeps, I think I was a bit embarrassed still if that makes sense?

 

Fast-forward a few years, we stayed in contact. I’d go round and visit him and everything was fine.

 

Then I’m not sure what happened but we had a falling out. I think he got back into his selfish ways and started telling me things (family stuff) that could’ve damaged me but didn’t . (I already had an idea anyway..nothing too serious btw).

 

Then, he started to have a go at me about not letting him meet him daughter and so, for about a year or so, we hardly spoke. Anyway. We became friends again and carried on.

 

But here’s the thing. I would say that even though we were in contact for around 10 years, it’s only been the last 2 that we had become really close.

 

I soon realised where I get my personality from and my ‘wild side’ from LOL and then it would be like,  ‘Wow dad, we really are like 2 peas in a pod’.

 

I can say finally I felt proud of him being my dad! It was brilliant!

 

I used to feel sad looking at him playing his guitar (he was a master on the guitar). I thought, ‘What a shame. He could’ve taught me to play when I was younger’.

 

I thought about how much of a laugh we’d have had if we ever were to have gone to a pub for a pint together (had he not been an alcoholic) and that we would’ve had great times together had he not have drank…

 

So here I am today. Dreading the day ahead as it’s time for me to say goodbye.

 

The fact that he lived this long is a miracle in itself, because when I say he was chronic, I mean chronic. He was very close to death just before he stopped.

 

And so… the main point of me sharing this with you all is please… If you are struggling to come off drink or drugs and you have children and it is affecting your relationship with them, please don’t wait to change until it’s ‘too late’.

 

My dad was lucky in the sense that he, for one, didn’t die sooner before getting the contact with me that he did. 

 

Also, that I didn’t let his alcoholism stand in the way of us both.

 

I let him back into my life.

 

Not all people are like that. Some children might be like, ‘Fuck you!’ and hold a grudge and I would HATE that to happen to any of you!

 

I feel lucky that we were able to finally be able to connect the way that we did, but, I tell you what…I wish that my good memories of us were not just within the last couple of years!

 

My sister asked me about them speaking at the funeral and she said, ‘Are there any good childhood memories of him you can think of that the service director can say?’ Of course my answer was, ‘No …… because there aren’t any!’

 

Let them have some good memories of you!

Oh. Just in case you were wondering, he never did meet his granddaughter. By the time she was older and I was proud of him, it was too late. He died from poor health due to all the years of the drinking.

 

So please .. if you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your children before it’s too late!

 

Hope this all makes sense and I’m sending you all the love and strength in the world.

 

Anon

 

Thank you so much for sharing. If you’re reading this and you need help with a loved one’s addiction…

 

Join my free group here

 

Download Ten Ways to Family Recovery here

 

How to help children living with parental substance use

How to help children living with parental substance use

How to help children living with parental substance use

 

Have you ever thought about the impact of parental substance use on children?

It’s something that many overlook when we think about addiction.

Here’s the thing, NACOA (The National Association for the Children of Alcoholics) say that 1 in 5 children are affected by parental alcohol use. The writing of this blog is timely, as it’s NACOA’s Children of Alcoholics Week starting this Sunday.

Hidden Harm (2003) estimated that between 2-3% of children lived with parents with a serious drug problem. For this research, the focus was on serious or dependent drug use only. Keep in mind that this research is nearly 20 years old. We need to consider that most people don’t even enter treatment!

Many people don’t consider themselves to have a problem when drinking a bottle or two of wine very night or snorting a few grams of cocaine on a weekend either.

BUT.. we do need to consider the children in this. In all types of substance misuse.

What are they seeing, hearing and feeling?

What version of their parent/carer are they getting today?

 

The impact on children

NACOA say…

A research study with 4,000 respondents estimates there are 3 million children in the UK living with parental alcohol problems. They are:

  • Six times as likely to witness domestic violence
  • Five times as likely to develop an eating problem
  • Three times as likely to consider suicide
  • Twice as likely to experience difficulties at school
  • Twice as likely to develop alcoholism or addiction
  • Twice as likely to be in trouble with the police

So, we know that there can be an impact on children through to their adulthood (check out the Adverse Childhood Experiences – ACES- studies to find out more)

 

What have I seen and how can we help?

 

I started working in the substance misuse field in 2005, helping individuals, children and families to recover. Some of the themes I’ve seen are as follows…

 

Secrets and lies

 

Families tend to close rank when someone has a problem. This is usually because they don’t know what to do and because of the stigma and shame of the problem. Sometimes, it’s because they have drank or used drugs with the family member and they feel responsible.

What this leads to is nobody in the family getting the help they need! Children know something is wrong, but nobody is explaining what?

Speak to children about what is going on in an age-appropriate manner. Even if your loved one doesn’t want to change, I recommend you speak to your children and explain that your loved one has a problem and you are helping them.

Get them someone to help outside the family home, ideally a professional. School is ideal so that they can check in with them. There may be specialist services in your area who can help.

 

Families waiting for the person using substances to change without getting help

 

This doesn’t usually work and is mostly down to addiction and  recovery not being understood. Families live their lives based on the mood of their loved one’s substance use and waiting for them to change. This leaves children in the middle, possible for longer than they need to be.

Even if your loved one doesn’t want to change, you can get your own help and can support you and your family to recover. Helping ONE person within a family can have a huge impact on everyone else. In most cases, my clients see a change in their loved one and many cut down or stop their substance or get the help they need.

 

 

Family Conflict

 

Children may experience parental conflict. I have worked with families where their children are used as pawns in arguments by parents. This obviously isn’t a healthy place for a child to be.

Children may react to the situation they are in and then professionals and families can then focus on the children’s behavior, rather than considering their behaviour being a reaction to what is going on around them. This can push children into an even more difficult place and feel responsible for the situation or confused.

People may read this and think this doesn’t apply to them.

I think it’s important to think about this…
What experience are children getting from the person/people using substances when they are sober, when they are intoxicated and when they are coming down/hungover?

Even if children can’t name it. They notice these differences.

One way of avoiding conflict is to walk away from your loved one when they are intoxicated.

When they are sober, speak to them about your feelings and not their behaviour.

Think about the boundaries of what you want your life and your children’s lives to look like. Remember that you can’t put boundaries around someone else! You telling your loved one to stop drinking or using probably hasn’t worked that well so far.

 

Seeing or hearing a parent being intoxicated or being drawn into substance using behaviours

 

Parental Substance use is one of the Adverse Childhood Experiences that have been identified as having an impact on children’s health outcomes moving into adulthood.

Children may experience other adults being intoxicated.

Dealers may be dropping substances off at the family home or children may to taken to dealers houses.

Children may have their own strong feelings about seeing a parent’s substance use such as fear, embarrassment, shame, worry, normalisation of their situation.

Protecting the children from harm is absolutely crucial in terms of safeguarding.
We need to be working towards children being shielded from this type of behaviour and, if possible, not being around the substance use.
An example of this is having an agreement that if a loved one is drinking, they do this away from the family home or in a separate room.
Perhaps you could agree that your loved one can meet their dealers away from the family home, if they are choosing to continue to use their substance.

The children can be shielded BUT remember they need to talk about what’s going on too.

 

 

The instability of a parent moving around the cycle of change

 

People in recovery can move around the Cycle of Change from pre-contemplation to change, however, children and families may not move at the same pace. They have often experienced and remember a great deal of stress and strain which, sadly, are not often taken into consideration in our current recovery treatment models.

While an individual is delighted to be doing well in their recovery, the children and family may not feel the same. I’ve seen parents in recovery suddenly setting boundaries and completely changing their parenting approach, which is a real shock for children and does not actually help to build up he trust and love that they need.

When a parent stops using a substance, it’s just the beginning for the family. Children may be anxious and worry that things will go back to the way they were. It takes time to build a sense of trust and rebuild the relationships. I wish this was taught more in drug and alcohol treatment services.

Keep speaking to the children about how they feel and what their wishes are.

The non-using parent/carer please speak to the children and get your own help.

To the person using substances, please consider the needs of your children in recovery. You are often taught to put yourself first and prioritise recovery over everything, but you also have children and a family waiting for you who love you.

 

 

Next steps

 

I help family members living with a loved one’s drug or alcohol use and I can help you too.

Get my free download Ten Ways to Family Recovery here with a handy checklist and free services who can help, including NACOA.

If you are a women living with a loved one’s addiction, join my Facebook support group The Family Recovery Club. 

If you want to know more about my programmes, click here.

Take Care,

Victoria

What children need when they are living with parental substance use

What children need when they are living with parental substance use

What children need when they are living with parental substance use

My specialism is working with individuals, children and families affected by drug and alcohol use. I have been in this field since 2005 and have directly supported, designed and delivered services to help families to recover from substance use. I thought I would share my thoughts on what children need from grown ups when they are living in this situation.

  1. At least one trusted adult outside the family home that they can speak to – it can be so easy for families to think that closing ranks and keeping problems within the family is the safest way to deal with things. How many times have you spoken to people outside your family about familial issues? Ask yourself, Why? Because our family members are either part of the issues or they are simply too connected. Children need someone to know about the situation at home. School as an absolute minimum. Just so they have somewhere to go where they can talk about how they feel.
  2. For families not to diagnose the level of a problem with drugs or alcohol themselves Here’s my advice- most families are not equipped to make a judgement on what is safe and what is not. Please don;t dwell on how much of a problem someone has. Whether or not they are an ‘addict’ does not matter. It may have crossed your mind as a grown up that something isn’t right, that someone is drinking or taking too many drugs and is incapable of caring properly for themselves, let alone a child. If a child has been left alone whilst a parent or carer has gone out, it’s time to take action. Speak to the adult about your issues. Get advice, ring your local drug and alcohol service, children’s services or NSPCC. It does not matter if someone is an ‘addict’ and I do not believe someone has to hit ‘rock bottom’. If a substance is causing problems for them, they may need some help. They may be a binge drinker or a daily drinker. Every night from 5pm or every day from getting up. This can range from a direct conversation with a friend to drug and alcohol treatment. The child also needs their own help. Don’t leave them out of the process.
  3. Age appropriate explanations of drugs and alcohol and how they affect people – It is very important to understand that children need an explanation of what alcohol and drugs are and how some people can have problems. Calling substances ‘medicine’ is not appropriate. They need to feel like they are not alone in their situation.
  4. For professionals and families to listen, hear and take action on what they share so that they are truly heard – imagine what a relief it is when you share something that has been worrying you? Now imagine you are a child. Imagine that you have told a grown up and it takes a month to hear anything back. Imagine that you never hear anything and your parents find out you have told someone outside the family home. Imagine that a social worker came to see you and then nothing really happened. Imagine that your whole family know what’s going on, but nobody does anything about it. It doesn’t feel very nice does it? We need to take action. Always. And if someone doesn’t get back to you about that action. Follow it up.
  5. For families not to ask them to cover up what is going on in the family home – Just don’t do it. This causes so much more trauma for children than the substance use in itself. Once professionals get involved, families can prime children to say this and not say that. Allowing them to say what they need to means they can deal with their own thoughts and feelings. Plus adults get the help they need too.
  6. For professionals to understand the child’s change cycle- Just because an adult is in recovery, does not mean that things change for them. It brings a whole new (or much repeated) journey into recovery, This journey is often filled with anxiety, worry or a whole new set of parental boundaries or even affection implemented by their parent in recovery. So often, if cases are at Child Protection (have a social worker), once a parent has been in recovery for quite a short amount of time, the case gets closed. This means the family can be on their own again navigating this new path together. It can be a tricky one! Please keep professionals involved with the family to help them in their recovery journey.
  7. Not to be told they are naughty! Yes- behaviour will be impacted upon for many reasons. Please do not label them as being ‘naughty’/ I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this happen, even when we know about the situation they are living in.
  8. For -grown-ups to be trauma aware understand, consider and ask how they feel, what they want and how they wish to be worked with or helped.

To Close

I could write all day about this.

What I want to close with is that parents who use substances are NOT BAD PARENTS. People use substances often because of trauma they have experienced themselves or in times of stress and chaos. Every person within the family needs help and support. Children need protective factors in place when they are living in this situation.

A specialist service delivering work with families on parental substance use may be available in your area. This is the ideal service to support children and families.

If anyone needs any advice or support my inboxes are open this week.

Take care,

 

Victoria

Drinking around children

Drinking around children

I’m a total and utter party pooper when it comes to drinking around children. A bit of an outcast in terms of my opinion on the subject. It’s what our mums and dads always did and it didn’t do us any harm right? Wrong! Before I begin, I don’t want to come across as patronising. Those who know me know I love partying with the best of them. I enjoy drinking to enhance a night out or a Saturday night in. I do not enjoy hangxiety or alcohol-induced-depression one little bit. As a drug and alcohol practitioner, I do not always practise what I preach. But, that’s another story for another day (maybe).  

Who are we talking about?

  I’ve specialised in familial substance misuse for the majority of my career (since 2005). I’ve supported hundreds of families into recovery as well as some who have not managed it. I’ve met people who are desperate to change in order to prevent their children being removed from their care. I’ve met families where I’ve been involved in decision making about the need to remove children from their care. I don’t want to focus on talking about families who are subject to child protection plans or in the ‘safeguarding arena’. I’m talking about professional people who have enough disposable income to pick up the phone and text a dealer or pop out and or give crate man/woman a call (do they still exist?!) to drop off some more booze while their mates are round and the kids are upstairs. When my husband and I had our daughter, we made a decision to have a child focused parenting style. Our lives changed to adapt to her needs. Other parents might have a parent focused style where the baby, still very much loved, slots into the lives of the parents and things carry on as before. There is nothing wrong with either of these approaches. We stopped drinking around our children and have drinking curfews so that we have a few drinks after the children have gone to bed (mostly!) We made this decision because of the work I do and for other reasons.  

My memories

  I remember my parents (sorry dad) going out drinking and friends coming back to the house. I remember them coming in my room stinking of booze and garlic (bleugh), hammered. I remember my mum screaming at my dad because he got drunk the night before a holiday. I remember the times they were drunk and it was totally cringe. I remember being at family parties where all the grown-ups were acting weird. I remember being at friends’ houses where other people’s parents were drunk, with their adult friends around when I was 13. Not great memories. I’m sure they remember when I was drunk too but we aren’t talking about that today either! Am I traumatised by these memories? Not really, but I didn’t particularly like it and I didn’t feel particularly safe. We remember these things because our memories are connected to our emotions. Fear, embarrassment, shame, worry (and feelings of pleasure and happiness too- it’s not all doom and gloom!). Do you remember your parents drinking? Or maybe they’re still at it!  

Like Sugar for Adults

  A report was published in 2017, Like Sugar for Adults. It found that it isn’t just dependent drinkers or alcoholics that have an impact on children. Parents don’t have to be wasted for children to understand that there is a difference in their behaviour. They experience negative feelings but also have an understanding that their parents have less boundaries and control over their children when they have had a drink, so can get away with more. It also found that:

  • 29% of parents reported having been drunk in front of their child.
  • 51% of parents reported having been tipsy in front of their child.
  • 29% of parents thought it was ok to get drunk in front their child as long as it did not happen regularly.
  • If a child had seen their parent tipsy or drunk, they were less likely to consider the way their parent drinks alcohol as providing a positive role model for them – regardless of how much their parent usually drank.

The more parents drank, the more likely children were to experience a range of harms, beginning from relatively low levels of drinking. As a result of their parent’s drinking:

  • 18% of children had felt embarrassed.
  • 11% of children had felt worried.
  • 7% of children said their parents had argued with them more than usual.
  • 8% of children said their parents had been more unpredictable.
  • 12% of children said their parents had paid them less attention.
  • 15% of children said their bedtime routine had been disrupted; either by being put to bed earlier or later than usual.

 

Safeguarding

  Sorry to go on, but, having worked in the safeguarding children arena, there is also a risk of the following when adults drink and take drugs; *Child Sexual Exploitation *Neglect *Sexual abuse *Witnessing violence (domestic or relatives scrapping at the family wedding) *Emotional abuse *Impact on routines and boundaries *Developing an unhealthy attitude to alcohol (normalising or fear)  

Considerations

  Without riddling you with guilt or turning you into a safeguarding professional over-protective freak (if you know, you know), here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re getting ready for some recreational alcohol or drug use tonight:

  1. Are my children safe?
  2. Are they being cared for while we get drink/take drugs?
  3. Have they got access to the alcohol or drugs?
  4. Are we able to care for them if they wake in the night?
  5. Is there a responsible adult around to respond to their needs if the other adults are under the influence?
  6. Are there other adults around who are drinking and using drugs? How much do we know about them?
  7. Is the conversation appropriate for children?
  8. Do we know what the children are doing?
  9. What will our children see of us when sober?
  10. What about when under the influence?
  11. Do we know everyone in the house or where we are?
  12. What about tomorrow when on a hangover or come down?
  13. Are we emotionally available for our children when under the influence?
  14. Will the children still be okay when the babysitter goes home and we are intoxicated?

 

How I handle it

  The approach we have to drinking is:  

  1. We tend to avoid drinking in the day (nothing good ever comes of it!) and if we want a drink, we do so when the children have gone to bed (a time boundary that works well for us)
  2. My children do not witness us drinking as a coping mechanism
  3. We don’t take them late to parties where adults are drinking
  4. We aim for them to understand alcohol can be enjoyed as an occasional recreational thing and not be ‘hidden’ from it
  5. We have told my daughter that some people have problems when they drink too much wine or take drugs and that mummy helps them

 

Final thoughts

  Parental substance use can be a safeguarding issue if children are deemed at risk and we all have a safeguarding responsibility for children, whose needs are deemed as paramount to ours. This doesn’t mean that parents can’t enjoy themselves with a bit of parental substance use and be great parents, but I’ve seen in my practice that there is a fine line between what is acceptable and what is not. I ask for you to put yourself in your children’s shoes before inviting everyone round to party. My advice is- get the kids out of the way and then let your hair down! If you want help with your drinking or drug use or you are affected by someone else’s, please Get in touch for a friendly chat about your situation and to find out more about my services.

Take care,

Victoria.