Druglink article 2011 – Relatively speaking by Elliot Elam

One of the Britain’s largest drug agencies has trained its workforce to look into the delicate matter of drug users’ families.

Only by looking past the label and focusing squarely on the individual can drug treatment workers understand a person’s concerns, their predicament and the issues underlying their use. But focus on the individual can be too tightly drawn. Drug services have not always considered service user’s families, and that they may also need support. But asking people about their family is a tricky business.

For the last two years, Scott Haines, and another Family Development Manager, have been training Addaction’s 1,000-strong workforce to ensure they take into account the needs of families when helping people with drug and alcohol problems. “Some staff had concerns,” says Haines.

Relatively speaking (PDF)