Involving families and carers in drug services: are families 'part of the problem'?

Linda C. Orr (Lead / Corresponding author), Rosaline S. Barbour, Lawrie Elliott

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Despite encouragement from policy and research for drug services to involve family members in drug users’ treatment and support families and carers in their own right, family members’ involvement with services remains limited. Research to date offers limited insights into why barriers and tensions are perceived the way they are and reveals little about values and perspectives that underpin relationships between family members and drug services.This qualitative study aimed to generate a fuller understanding of the relationships that carers have with adult drug services and how this might affect involvement.The findings suggest that by reinforcing stereotypes, perpetuating stigma and fuelling self-fulfilling prophecies, the dominant narrative of ‘family as part of the problem’ frames and constrains family members’ involvement with drug services. Recommendations for policy and practice need to focus on strengthening the narrative that family members’ involvement with drug services is achievable, necessary and worthwhile.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalFamilies, Relationships and Societies
    Early online date26 Jun 2013
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Involvement
    • Drug services
    • Carers
    • Family members
    • Family-focused interventions


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