Community Action on Meth: addressing effects on users’ friends and family

Community Action on Meth: addressing effects on users’ friends and family

CYRENIAN House chief executive Carol Daws is urging families of drug users to seek support from counsellors to gain facts and form an “open communication channel”.

The not-for-profit non-government organisation has been operating within the alcohol and other drug sector since 1981.

Its services include the North Metro Community Alcohol Drug Service (NMCADS), a partnership with Next Step, individual counselling, medical and psychological intervention, referrals, detoxification services, home-based withdrawal services and court assistance.

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There were 2864 people treated through NMCADS in the past 12 months; 32 per cent of consumers used alcohol, 27 per cent used cannabis, 18 per cent used methamphetamine and 11 per cent used opiates and opioid replacement.

Ms Daws said while there had been an increase in methamphetamine users seeking its services, alcohol was still the most-used drug.

“We hope to inform the public that there is help available, that treatment does work and treatment isn’t always about going to residential,” she said.

“It can be really emotional dealing with somebody who has got drug and alcohol problems so it is actually really helpful for them to get support to do that.”

Ms Daws said families and friends could inform themselves and understand what was happening to the individual.

“I think families tend to blame themselves for things and it is actually quite useful for them to get some clear facts and information,” she said.

“Some of that is just about having an open communication channel with the individual so that you can get the facts clear, preferably in a non-reactive, calm sort of way.

She said families could join programs and make appointments with a family counsellor.

“All of our staff are trained in family-inclusive practice. Understanding why people use drugs and it is not the end of the world, or necessarily as big of a problem that they think, is important,” she said.

If you or someone you know needs help, call: 24/7 Alcohol and drug support line – 9442 5000; 24/7 Meth helpline – 1800 874 878; 24/7 Parent and family support line – 9442 5050

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