Living with drug misuse in the family : an investigation into how siblings are affected by substance dependence in the family and how they can be supported
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BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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This research focuses on the investigation of the experiences of the sibling whose brother/sister has in the past or is currently misusing illicit drug substances. This study offers a small insight into the impact of substance dependence on the family and in particular the siblings themselves. The research identified that a sister or brothers drug problem appears to have a comprehensive affect on the quality of family life experienced by siblings and also has varied impacts on their relationships with parents and also highlighted the deep impact it has in terms of how they view themselves and how they address their own needs, the impact on relationships with other family members, friends, neighbours and members of the community in general. The research also highlights the lack of availability of support services available to family members in relation to drug misuse. For those working in the field of counselling, psychotherapy, family support or family therapy, it would be use full and beneficial to the therapy process to be aware of the potential effects of drug misuse on family members such as siblings. For those working with these individuals it is vital that greater consideration and attention is drawn to issues such as anxiety, anger, concern, worry, embarrassment, neglect and abandonment.