Support for people affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol use
We provide support to people in Blackburn and Darwen who are affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol use. The service is free, confidential and non-judgemental.
If you have a family member or friend who is using drugs or alcohol problematically, you probably know by now that addiction doesn’t just affect the user. Many people are impacted by someone else’s drug or alcohol use, and it is normal to feel worried, frustrated and helpless. We can help you deal with your situation so you don’t have to suffer alone.
What can I expect from the service?
Michael, our Drug and Alcohol Carers Advisor, gives 1-1 support. He will chat to you about your situation and find out what help you are looking for, whether it’s information about drugs and their effects, practical advice around treatment options or simply someone to talk to about your concerns.
In addition to the 1-1 support, we also offer the following:
- Support group every other week Dates and times
- Learning workshops about addiction and relevant topics
- Opportunities to relax and de-stress
- Social activities
- Chance to focus on your own wellbeing
- Support to manage the situation.
How can I get in touch?
You can contact us on 01254 688440 or email Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org
Can you support young people?
We support over 18’s. Young people and children under the age of 18 can access the Young Carers service. To find out more, call 01254 692709.
(*Names have been changed for confidentiality reasons)
When I first found out about David* using heroin, I felt like a bit of a mug because we’d been living together for a while and I was sure I’d know straight away if something was wrong. I suppose he was just really good at hiding his addiction. I was trying to help him get better but nothing seemed to be working, David was going to services but I wasn’t seeing any changes. I didn’t want to give up on him but I was really struggling to cope. I tried to talk to my friends about how I was feeling but they just kept telling me to leave him.
When I first spoke to Clare, I felt a huge relief at being able to talk to someone who was outside my situation, who didn’t judge me for standing by David. Clare arranged for me to have some massages as a way of relaxing and making some time for myself, and I booked on to their Families Understanding Addiction course, where I learned about stages of addiction and how I can help at each stage, as well as helping me realise how I can best support David in his recovery instead of trying to do it for him. I know when I started going to the Carers Service I didn’t know what to expect, but all I can say is that I find the 1-1’s with Clare really helpful, and I really like the fact that she has never told me to leave David (I think he was worried about that too!) The support group is great because you meet others who are going through the same thing and understand what it’s like, and it’s nice to be able to offer support in return. I just wish I’d plucked the courage up sooner to go to the service instead of waiting until things got to breaking point. There are loads of services for people who are addicted but it’s really important to have something for us family members too.
My daughter Lisa* smokes cannabis really heavily and drinks far too much. She’s living with friends at the moment but we know that she’s got no money and she keeps asking to move home. I started getting support because I know that I can’t cope if she’s back at home with me and her mum and I feel really bad about this… everyone seems to think that parents are supposed to step in and help no matter what.
Speaking to Clare has helped, because before I had nobody to talk to about it. She’s also told me about the different support services in the area that could help Lisa, and help me realise that Lisa is an adult and is making choices about living how she does. I no longer feel guilty about not picking up the pieces every time she can’t pay a bill or wants something from us. Of course I love my daughter and want what’s best for her, but Clare helped me see that I was putting a lot of time and energy into someone who wasn’t helping themselves, which was making me ill. I now realise that I can’t cure her or control her behaviour. It might sound weird but even though I see less of Lisa now, we have more quality time with her. She’ll come round for a family meal a couple of times a month or we might go for a walk together. We still have our ups and downs but on the whole things are better for both of us when we see less of each other.
I’d recommend anyone who’s wondering what the service is all about to get in touch and give it a go. Even though in the beginning I wasn’t sure what could be done or whether it’d even help, all I can say now is that I’m in a better place because of it.