UKDPC Publications
Supporting the supporters: families of drug misusers (policy briefing)

UKDPC research  has estimated that in the UK, at the very least:

  • nearly 1.5 million adults will be significantly affected by a family member’s drug use;
  • the cost of the harms they experience as a result amounts to about £1.8 billion per year; and
  • the support they provide would cost the NHS or Local Authorities about £750 million to provide if it was not available.

These figures are minimum estimates, but nevertheless demonstrate the enormous impact of drug use on adult family members and the value derived from the support they provide and highlights the importance of identifying and supporting this often unrecognised group. To build on the welcome increase in focus on families of drug users in national drug policies across the UK and the guidance that has been produced, action is required in the following areas to deliver the desired benefits to families:

  1. Improving the level and quality of direct support to help families in their own right
  2. Challenging the stigma associated with drug dependency
  3. Making the drug treatment system more supportive and inclusive of families
  4. Leadership – responsibility for driving forward an agenda to enhance support for families needs to be placed with an identified champion at national and local levels.
  5. Information/knowledge development is essential for ensuring the adequacy and appropriateness of service provision – currently even the most basic data is lacking.

This was one of two publications that was written as part of this project. The other publication is:

A subsequent project on the same group led to several publications:


Related Publications:

Policy Report
Supporting the supporters: families of drug misusers (policy briefing)
Publication date 25th November 2009
Categories Impacts of Drugs
Size 116 kiB
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