Family Drug Support Australia
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Family Drug Support Now Online for Families

FDS Support Online3 April 2017
 

Tony Trimingham, the Founder and CEO of Family Drug Support (FDS), has described how proud he is with the development of the first Australian interactive online resource designed specifically to support families struggling to deal with drug and alcohol problems.

 
The New resource is available here:  fdsonline.org.au

This project was funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health through the National Ice Action Strategy. It has been produced by Readymade Productions in collaboration with FDS staff and volunteers.

The resource centres on the documentary film of a family support group, and will be of particular benefit to families in regional and rural communities who don’t have ready access to support group meetings. The new resource, together with FDS’ 24/7 telephone support line, will help ensure every family can access support when they need it.

Walking a Tightrope

Alcohol and other drug use and violence: A guide for families
 
Alcohol and other drug use and family violence often occur together. Families already coping with a family member who uses alcohol and drugs can also be exposed to violent behaviours. Living with a family member who uses alcohol or other drugs and who is violent can be frightening. It can feel like walking a tightrope. Specialist support and medical attention may be helpful.
 

Coping Tips

Setting A Boundary

Having thought about the boundary you would like to set and prepared to talk about it, the next thing is to set it with the substance user. The skill to utilise is negotiation. It is important to build and maintain a dialogue between the user and other family members – this will work well if negotiation skills are utilised.
Effective dialogue involves:
  • Listening to each other
  • Being open and honest
  • Respecting the other person – not necessarily liking their behaviour.
  • Accepting and understanding their point of view – even when you don't agree.
  • Use 'I' statement. Start every thing you say with 'I'. I think, I believe, I feel, I would like etc.
  • Take responsibility for your actions and contribution to the situation.
  • Not taking responsibility for other people's behaviour, actions and choices.
  • Acknowledging both your own feelings and the other person's feelings.
  • Appropriately expressing your feelings e.g." I am really angry that you are using in front of your brothers" rather than exploding and becoming aggressive.
  • Recognising the need for all to exercise their rights and responsibilities.
  • Work to collaborate rather than confront.
  • Stay calm and focused on the task of setting the boundary even if the user loses control.
  • Modelling appropriate behaviour may bring them back on track.
Effective dialogue builds trust, which can lead to people taking more risks with being honest, open and taking responsibility.
 
Using the transactional analysis model we are trying to work with Adult to Adult dialogue rather than Parent to Child or Child to Child dialogues.
 
Developing effective negotiation skills.
  • Always look for win/win outcomes.
  • Asking for what you want – not demanding or avoiding asking
  • Acknowledge power differences between you and the drug user.
  • Checking their response to your request and how they feel about it.
  • Not making assumptions regarding their feelings, thoughts or desires.
  • Collaborating and being flexible. Being prepared to give some ground and compromise.
  • Holding onto what is really important while being willing to let go of what is not important.
  • Start easy and if necessary finish strong. Use your negotiation skills and then move onto imposition if necessary.
  • Agreeing the terms of the boundary – when will it start, when you will review it and the consequences of the breach of the boundary. Make sure the substance user is fully involved and understands what the consequences will be.
  • Make a clear agreement of what has been decided.

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