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Displaying items by tag: Family



Gasped operates a 24-hour helpline and a drop in facility to support families and carers affected by drug use. There is a database of services for family members to refer to for information.

Gasped also offers a variety of tailor-made drug and alcohol awareness training programmes in Wakefield and the surrounding areas.

Published in Drugs Practice



Equinox is located in a number of locations in South East England, including Brighton, Greenwich and Lewisham. They provide support and care to people who are excluded and marginalised in society offering special assistance to those with mental health problems, family breakdown, unemployment and drug addiction. Their own service users have coined the term 'forgotten people' to describe the section of the population who are supported, in their thousands, each year.

Often, despite desperately needing assistance, people are turned away time and time again from the specification of local services. This can leave them feeling as if they are excluded from all hope and left out on the margins of the community.

Published in User-Voices Practice



Footprints mentors men and women who are either leaving prison or serving a sentence in the community and who are now returning to, or live in, Dorset, Bournemouth, Poole, and south Somerset. Volunteers mentor those seeking support, helping them to re-integrate back into the local community and to re-build family relationships. Initially, most will be living in supported accommodation.

Many men and women have previously been abused, been in care, suffered from drug/alcohol addiction and have already served custodial sentences.   

Published in User-Voices Practice



Based in Yorkshire, Foundation works with socially excluded people to provide services to help with finding employment, tackle drug addiction and enhance and improve family relationships, with a mission to acheive full independence in the local community.

The Springboard Project, run by Foundation, is a new project specifically developed for young people leaving care in York, Selby and Ryedale District. The project will offer mentoring, supported work placements, arts and media workshops, sports and leisure activities.

Published in User-Voices Practice

Keeping in touch with family and friends while in prison, makes a huge difference to chances of resettlement on release. While I am in prison, it is hard for my partner. The high cost of phone calls means I can afford only limited talk time, unless my partner sends me money. Then there are the visits. It can be very draining for partners and during my time I have seen countless relationships break up.

While I am inside, life goes on for my family.  My daughter has moved up from nursery and started to learn how to read and work with numbers. My partner has passed her driving test and had birthdays and I was not there. A part of my partner’s life moves on, but at the same time she is unable to move forward as she is waiting for me.

In 2009, a 30-minute call from prison to a landline was over seven times more expensive than the equivalent call from a public payphone and although the contract with BT has since been renegotiated, it remains roughly three times the cost. Prisoners are lucky if they receive more than £14 a week, a figure likely to decrease further with the implementation of the Prisoners’ Earnings Act, where some prisoners will see up to 40 per cent of their net weekly wages over £20 go to services which support victims of crime.


Drug use and dependency has an undeniable impact on relationships, before, during and after prison. There is no hiding the fact that many prisoners use drugs. Most prisoners have been addicted to one substance or another over long periods of time. Between a third and a half of new receptions to prison are estimated to be problem drug users.


In my experience, many prisoners justify their continued use by claiming, 'I need something to keep me sane!'. The 'something' they really need is love and care from meaningful people. Unfortunately as a consequence of surviving prison there is a protective wall built around the prisoner's feelings. Whilst this wall helps keep the prisoner from hurt, it also blocks people from getting close. No matter how good or bad the prison, locking people away and depriving hope, will have everlasting effects on them.

Different prisons have different regimes. Officers have a job to do, mainly keeping control of the prison population during moves to work, exercise, association (time out of cell) and locking prisoners in their cells. When an officer has to lock prisoners away so they can go for their meal, or go home, a prisoner can feel disappointment or anger because they have something they would like to do, things like phone calls to talk with family and partners, but the operation of the prison takes precedence over all.

I have asked myself many times, when going through difficult times, who can I talk to? The answer, for me, has always been no one.


There are not enough support staff to help prisoners when relationships are suffering. Prisoners trained by the Samaritans can help, but they do not have much impact regarding relationships.


One way the Prison Service could revolutionise rehabilitation would be to provide support of this kind to prepare men, during punishment, for a life full of alternatives to crime and custody. Emotional well-being, resilience and the ability to form solid relationships are skills we all need to develop and practice.








Published in Have your say

The research explores the views and perspectives of family members of substance users on the relationship between alcohol, drugs and domestic abuse. It highlights the need for support and resources of family members and makes recommendations for policy and practice.

Published in Relationships Policy