Louise and Dave's story
Louise and Dave have lived in Tower Hamlets with Dave's sister for about ten years. They have an eight-year old son called Jack. Louise and Dave's use of heroin and neglect of their child led to the family being made known to Social Services. Jack was put on the Child Protection Register after being rushed to hospital because he accidently drank methadone. His parents openly used drugs in the family home and recently the police raided it following allegations of dealing taking place there. The police found needles and syringes left lying around in many of the rooms. The family were referred to Addaction's Breaking the Cycle service.
Despite a history of conflict between Louise and Dave, they, together with Dave's sister, wanted to address any issues that had placed Jack in a high risk environment.
Following weekly sessions the family's drug use went down. Addaction worked with Louise and Dave and sometimes Dave's sister who was not a drug user. Through one-to-one and couple counselling sessions, they developed an increasing awareness and understanding of drug use as well as learning how to deal with anxiety, blame and conflict. They also worked on parenting skills, prioritising Jack's development needs and boundary setting.
Since engaging with Breaking the Cycle six months ago, Louise and Dave's family situation has improved significantly and they have experienced the following benefits:
- Reduction of drug use.
- Cutting out dealing and using in Jack's presence or the home.
- Better atmosphere in the home with fewer rows.
- More family time spent together, more playtime and regular school attendance for Jack.
- Improvement of parenting skills with better boundary setting.
- Healthy family functioning and better cohesion.