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The Impact of sibling substance misuse on children and young people
chapterposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Nicola TaylorNicola Taylor, J Kearney
Policy makers, service providers and researchers in the drugs field historically have approached drug users as individuals rather than as embedded family members. This is slowly beginning to change with, for example, much more recognition, and investigation of, parental drug use and its impact on other family members, particularly children (e.g. Barnard & Barlow, 2003; McKeganey, McIntosh & MacDonald 2003). This largely stems from the fact that the number of women using drugs is on the increase (particularly among women of childbearing age) yet service use remains predominantly male (ISDD, 1997; Goode, 2000; Kearney & Taylor, 2001). Recognition of this paradox has led to a number of services conducting research into the impact of family, particularly, parental, drug use (e.g.Kearney & Taylor, 2001). It remains the case, that if government services are to maintain their goal of helping prevent familial dysfunction due to substance misuse by developing and using interventions aimed at substance misusers they need to address the fact that many who misuse drugs are part of family systems.