Lots of people drink alcohol or mis-use illegal drugs or medicines to change the way they feel. Some people have a problem with drink or drugs which means
- They can’t stop using drink or drugs.
- They act in a strange or scary way when they have used alcohol or drugs.
- They need looking after when they use alcohol or drugs.
If you live in a home where drinking or drug-use is a secret from people outside the home, it can feel like:
- You are not sure what’s going on.
- You don’t know who to trust.
- You have lots of different feelings about what’s happening.
Your family can feel that way because:
- Adults and children can be scared about what will happen if they look for help.
- People in the family don’t always keep their promises or do what they say they will do.
- There are so many difficult feelings about the drinking or drug-use that it seems easier to pretend everything is okay.
"My parents divorced when I was 7yrs old and then my mumís brother died suddenly. This was when my mum was diagnosed with Lupus. She started drinking heavily and made friendís with a woman who had 5 children, and also was an alcoholic. I had to clean and tidy the house, do all the shopping and pay the bills. I helped my mum when she was very drunk and could not look after herself."