Resources for Familes and Caregivers
Dealing with Substance Use and Addiction in Your Family
Most people who use drugs are able to do so without any issues. They continue to manage careers, families, and life in general, all the while maintaining moderate or even heavy patterns of use. For others, however, alcohol or other drug use leads to the loss of jobs, relationships, and health.
For many families, the nightmare scenario is losing a loved one because of their substance use. B.C. declared a public health emergency in 2016 in response to a dramatic increase in overdoses. People are dying every day from drug poisoning because of the unregulated and highly toxic drug supply.
More than ever, it’s important that families, caregivers, and any who uses regulated (like alcohol and cannabis) or unregulated drugs (like some opioids and stimulants) have accurate information.
The resources below were developed to provide people with that information - to help them understand substance use, how to have conversations with their loved ones, take steps to care for themselves, and help navigate a complex and often overwhelming system.
This family and caregiver resource is possible by the generosity of From Grief to Action, a volunteer-based not-for-profit association that for many years has been a voice for families.
Many people use substances such as drugs or alcohol to relax, have fun, experiment, or cope with stressors, however, for some people the use of substances or engaging in certain behaviours can become problematic and may lead to dependence.
Read more here.
Your likely first response to your child or loved one’s substance use will be to seek out treatment options. Before doing so, it is important to understand what constitutes treatment, and which treatments are available and best-suited for which substance use disorders.
Find out more about substance use treatment here.
There are many resources available to help families and caregivers support a loved one who uses substances, including managing grief and finding a community who can share experiences.
Find resources here.
“I am a single parent of a child who is almost 30. My son is in recovery. He gets better and better at being who he is and at being drug free. He started with pot, beer, and cocaine. From there it was a steady decline. It became a habit. We could talk about anything, but he hid his problem.
We got him to detox. Things were getting better. For a while it was good. It seemed antidepressants helped. The rest of the family prayed a lot, and cried a lot, while my son went into treatment again and again.
We were proud of all the baby steps along the way.
At one point I wondered if I’d ever be proud of him again, and I am. I’m really proud. He’s come a long way.
The message? Never give up hope and faith and love.”