Working with family members in specialist drug and alcohol services: Findings from a feasibility study

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Background: Family members can be affected by a relative's substance misuse, but service provision is limited. A brief intervention in primary care has been shown to be effective. The application of such an intervention in other settings requires investigation. Aims: To assess the feasibility of the development and implementation of a brief intervention. for family members of substance misusers, within Specialist Drug and Alcohol Services. Method: A before and after mixed methodology design. Findings: Thirteen staff, from seven teams across one Mental Health NHS Trust area, worked with twenty family members. It was shown that it was feasible to: adapt the intervention for use within a specialist setting; recruit and train specialist service staff to deliver the intervention; have these staff recruit and work with family members; and for this intervention to be seen by both staff and family members as a positive and useful addition to service delivery. However, although feasible, there are still difficulties in integrating this work into routine clinical practice. Conclusions: It is feasible, and beneficial, for specialist drug and alcohol services to deliver a brief intervention to family members. However, organizational and commissioning issues mean that routine delivery of such an intervention may not yet be possible, until full recognition is given to the view that addiction problems are best dealt with in a more holistic way that takes into account the family context within which most people live.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-150
Number of pages14
JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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ID number: ISI:000246012800004


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