Impacts of addiction are complex and pervasive on affected families. How do families cope, living with a family member with a drug, alcohol or behaviour addictions? What characterises a resilient family? How can helping and counselling services contribute to enhance family resilience? An exploratory study, was conducted to address these questions, the findings of which suggest that addictions, regardless of the underlying problem being alcohol-, drug-, or behaviour-related, lead to widespread and ongoing problems for non-addicted family members. Common barriers were societal stigma and lack of access to helping services that deterred the affected family members as well as the addicted family member. Four common coping strategies used by non-addicted family members were minimizing, making allowances, turning away and carrying on, all appear to short term solutions to adversity but did not imply or foster family resilience, were identified. The need for increasing the understanding of resilience among the families and the role of helping and counselling services as collaborators in identifying family strengths and resources are discussed.
Recorded: July 2010 Brisbane, Australia
Coping Resilience & Hope Building, Asia Pacific Regional Conference
Organiser: The Brisbane Institute of Strengths Based Practice