Researchers from the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) at Flinders University, working with the staff and volunteers of Family Drug Support, have developed a new resource, Walking the Tightrope, to help clients with family members who use drugs, alcohol and violence in the family home.
Launched earlier this month, the resource contains practical information for families to prevent or limit violent episodes, reduce the prospect of escalating impact and give families the opportunity to get quicker and more effective intervention when violence occurs.
Families experiencing alcohol and other drug use problems have major issues to deal with. When aggravated by violence it increases the negative impacts not only for family members but also for health and welfare agencies, police and the wider community.
There is increasing concern in the health and welfare sectors about the interaction between alcohol and drug use problems and family violence and a growing recognition that both issues need to be addressed to improve outcomes for alcohol and/or drug users and their families.
Flinders Professor Ann Roche, Director of NCETA, said that while alcohol and other drug problems do not necessarily cause family and domestic violence, there are complex and intertwining links between the two issues.
“Australian and international research suggests that approximately one third of family violence incidents occur in the context of alcohol use. The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has found that 41 per cent of all incidents of domestic assault reported to the police between 2001 and 2010 were alcohol related,” Professor Roche said.
“This is why it is so important for alcohol and family violence services to respond effectively, particularly when there are children in the picture,” she said.
Family Drug Support Chief Executive Officer Tony Trimingham said: “Many of our clients are family members trying to deal with a partner or child’s drug and alcohol issues as well as their violence. Alcohol and other drug treatment services and family and domestic violence agencies can work more effectively together to better meet the needs of these clients and their children.”
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