Our families have a vital role in the development and resolution of how substance use impacts their home—for far too long our families have not been afforded the opportunity to engage as active participants and problem-solvers.
Last weekend, January 11 to 13, 2019, presented an exciting opportunity for Families for Sensible Drug Policy and the Center for Optimal Living to embrace a new paradigm of support for families impacted by substance use when we welcomed the founder of Australia’s Family Drug Support Tony Trimingham, who led a sold-out weekend workshop training for attendees from across the US in the Family Drug Support model. Family Drug Support USA brings innovative non-judgmental, peer-led support groups with solutions and strategies that encourage self-empowerment by recognizing each family as unique.
The workshop was in two parts: On Friday night was “Support The Family Improve The Outcome”, an introduction to the Family Drug Support model providing an in-depth overview including harm reduction tools and coping strategies.Saturday and Sunday was a two-day intensive training, which afforded participants an opportunity to work directly with Tony in an experiential workshop learning specific skills using harm reduction principles and the psychological approach of motivational interviewing to deliver support to those in need.
This long awaited milestone for FSDP will provide our families with an opportunity to access much needed community support and connection based on what families need, expect and experience. This model of support helps families better understand and strengthen the connection between ourselves and loved ones who use substances. The peer-led support groups present viable alternatives for families to explore potential solutions and coping strategies.
Our commitment to making the family voice heard will continue on February 24 as we bring communities together to commemorate International FamilyDrug Support Day, a global event which aims to highlight the need for families impacted by substance use to not only be recognized and heard, but to be supported and encouraged to speak about their concerns and needs in drug policy.