Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

A new documentary shows how the effects of addiction can lay whole families to waste

The Observer has a long piece looking at the Channel 4 programme aired last night, Mum Loves Drugs, Not Me… :

I was bathing Lacey one night and she said, “Nanny, could Mummy die if she carries on taking drugs and drinking?” And I said, “Yes, she could, but we’re going to work very hard to get her better.” You have to reassure them, but not lie to them. Anyway, she must have been mulling it over because a few weeks later she asked me about it again. “You know if Mummy dies,” she said, “and you’re getting older and you die, who will take us?”‘ Jan Patterson, 61, pauses for a moment and shakes her head. ‘A lot of these children are really worried and anxious you know… Traumatised, actually.’

The programme is currently available to watch online.

The Grandparents Project that Mentor UK, Adfam and Grandparent Plus carried out covered similar territory, the Mind the Gap resources from that project are available from here.

Mentor UK are now managing a three year project working across 7 European countries to support kinship carers and those they care for because of parental drug or alcohol problems, and to produce training materials to professionals.

Adfam has a project in London looking at existing services and developing new ways of supporting grandparents who are bringing up their grandchildren because their birth parents are drug users.

Grandparents Plus have a network for grandparents raising grandchildren.

Filed under: grandparents, Hidden Harm

Drugs charity sets up network for grandparent carers – Children & Young People Now

Children & Young People Now report the happy news that Adfam – one of our members – has been funded to develop a London wide network of grandparent carers:

Vivienne Evans, chief executive of Adfam, said: “There is currently a chronic lack of support and a host of complex problems facing grandparent carers. The money will go a long way towards rectifying this imbalance.”

The money will be spread over three years. By the last year it is hoped the network will be established and the support groups will be able to run independently as self-help groups.

Filed under: Drug Education Forum Members, grandparents, , ,

Politics Show East Midlands

The Politics Show in the East Midlands had a report this Sunday on grandparents looking after their grandchildren as a result of parental drug and alcohol problems.

The show includes an interview with Eric Carlin, Chief Executive of Mentor UK and Chair of the Drug Education Forum.

It will be on the BBC site until the end of the week.

Click here to see the programme the section on grandparents starts about 10:40 in.

Filed under: grandparents

Forgotten Families – The needs and experiences of grandparents who care for children whose parents misuse drugs and alcohol

Adfam and Grandparents Plus have a new report, Forgotten Families, looking at the experiences of grandparents who look after grandchildren whose parents misuse drugs and alcohol. They point out:

It is estimated that there are between 200,000 and 300,000 children in England and Wales where one or both parents have serious drug problems – 2-3% of children under 16. It is estimated that only 37% of fathers and 64% of mothers who misuse drugs still live with their children. Many will be cared for by family or friends either informally or formally.

The report acknowledges the risk that children of drug using parents are more likely to have problems with drugs themselves:

By late childhood these children are likely to have seen their parents using drugs at home. They may see their parents involved in drug taking, dishonesty and criminal behaviour.

So children who end up living with their grandparents as a result of substance misuse by their parents are likely to have substantial health and psychological problems. These can be particularly intractable.

It also deals with grandparent’s needs, including the need for advice on how to talk to their grandchildren about drugs:

Grandparents need information as soon as they take on the care of their grandchildren.

“I needed advice on whether or not to inform the children about drugs, or where theirMum was at the time, ie in jail.”

I’ve been fortunate to see some footage from a short video that Mentor UK are in the process of producing looking at the same issues and hearing grandparents talk about the pride they have in their grandchildren, and the problems that they face adjusting to a full time caring role again, is very moving indeed.

Filed under: grandparents

About this blog

This blog tries to pick up relevant media and research stories about drug education. It mainly focuses on information in England as this is the geographical remit for the Drug Education Forum. We welcome comments that are on topic.

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July 2021