What I’ve been reading this month (July 2016), from Jim Orford

I have just read two articles which come from countries which, as far as I know, have not produced research findings of these kinds before. Each of them adds to the accumulation of evidence that living with a close relative who is using substances heavily or excessively has a negative impact on the health and well-being of family members.

The first comes from a group at the School of Psychology, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal. Their study involved 120 ‘informal caregivers of drug and/or alcohol addicts… recruited from therapeutic communities for the treatment of substance addiction and self-help groups for family members of substance addicts’. Over half were parents, a quarter spouses, and three-quarters were women. A feature of the sample was that almost two-thirds of the ‘addicts’ were currently abstinent, half of them abstinent for more than five years. Both depression (the Beck depression inventory) and ‘psychological distress’ (a brief inventory of psychological symptoms) were significantly higher amongst those with currently non-abstinent relatives, a finding that is consistent with those of Rudolph Moos and his colleagues, some years ago in the USA, who found that family members’ distress reduced significantly when their drinking relatives recovered but remained high for those whose relatives did not recover (Moos et al, 1990, Alcoholism Treatment: Context, Process and Outcome, New York: Oxford University Press).

The other paper, reported by a collaborative team from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, and the Institute of Psychiatry in London (the first author is an AFINet member), appeared five years ago but has only just come to my attention. The special feature of this paper is that it focused on the effects of living with older relatives who drank heavily. It involved nearly 1400 ‘co-residents’ (44% children/children in law; 28% spouses; 23% other family members, 5% others), of residents, all aged 65 and over, living in one area of Santo Domingo. Heavy drinking (21 units or more per week for men and 14 or more for women) amongst that group of older people was significantly associated with co-residents’ psychological morbidity’ (a 20-item scale of symptoms of depression, anxiety, and somatic manifestations of distress) independently of sociodemographic factors, the nature of the relationship (spouse, adult child, etc) and the older person’s level of disability.

Many thanks to Richard Velleman for drawing my attention to both of these interesting papers.

The full references to the papers are:

Soares, A. J., Ferreira, G. and Pereira, M. G. (2016). Depression, distress, burden and social support in caregivers of active versus abstinent addicts, Addiction Research and Theory, DOI: 10. 3109/16066359. 2016. 1173681.

Nadkarni, A., Acosta, D., Rodriguez, G., Prince, M. and Ferri, C. P. (2011). The psychological impact of heavy drinking among the elderly on their co-residents: the 10/66 group population-based survey in the Dominican Republic, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 114, 82-86.

I shall try and tell you what I’ve been reading every now and again from now on. Do tell us what you’ve been reading too. It needn’t be an academic article. It could be a news item or personal story for example.

AFINet Member Login

Latest News and Research

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

AFINet-related scientific papers added to website

AFINet Trustee Richard Velleman has added a list of AFINet-related scientific papers published from ... Read more

First AFINet International Conference at The Discovery Museum, in Newcastle, UK, November 2018

    Conference Programme and Pack   AFINET CONFERENCE PROGRAMME   AFINET ABSTRACTS   A... Read more

AFINet member Urvita Bhatia presents Poster and gives Twitter interview

AFINet member Urvita Bhatia presents Poster and gives Twitter interview at the Wellcome Trust / Depa... Read more

AFINet members publish a systematic review of “Psychosocial interventions for addiction-affected families in Low and Middle Income Countries

AFINet members Anil Rane, Urvita Bhatia, Jim Orford, Richard Velleman and Abhijit Nadkarni recently ... Read more

5-Step Method training in New Zealand

Matua Raki (the national addiction workforce development centre in New Zealand) has been working clo... Read more

5-Step Method training in Australia

As part of the ‘Checkmate’ programme (reported elsewhere in this newsletter) , Gill and Richard Vell... Read more

Article supporting our 5 Step intervention in DNN Magazine

Great to see an article in support of our 5-Step intervention for family members in the Feb '17 issu... Read more

Training near London in the 5-Step Method is announced

Save the Date!  On 1st & 2nd November 2016, Richard and Gill Velleman will be running a 2-day tr... Read more

What I’ve been reading this month (July 2016), from Jim Orford

I have just read two articles which come from countries which, as far as I know, have not produced ... Read more

Further findings from the UK bereavement through substance use study published

Another paper from this recently completed 3 year study in the UK, which focuses on a subset of in... Read more

Core findings paper from UK bereavement through substance use study published

A paper outlining the main findings from a recently completed UK study in to bereavement through... Read more

AFINet 1st AGM, Birmingham, UK on Wednesday July 15th 2015

AFINet 1st AGM Birmingham Wednesday July 15th 2015 Winterbourne Gardens, Edgbaston Park Road, B... Read more

Final event of a major 3 year study in to 'bereavement through substance use'

In June 2015 AFINet members, Lorna Templeton and Richard Velleman, attended the final event of a m... Read more

5-Step Method training in Hong Kong & new book with contributions from AFINet members published

Following the delivery by Richard Velleman and Gracemary Leung of a 2-day 5-Step Method training i... Read more

The Parenting Support and Drug Use Study:

The following papers may be of interest to AFINet members. They report findings from a two year lo... Read more

Family members affected by a relative's substance misuse looking for social support: Who are they?

Brazilian AFINet colleagues, Helen Sakiyama et al. have had a paper describing their research in Sao... Read more

Iran’s first research about family members affected by addiction

Iran’s first research about family members affected by addiction has been published! In fact we thin... Read more

Conflict and dilemma in experiences of adult family members caring for a problem-drinking parent.

“How do I tell my children about what my mum's like?” Conflict and dilemma in experiences of adult... Read more

Involving family members in drug treatment: A pilot study of a social network intervention for heroin users in opiate substitution treatment

This multi-site randomised controlled trial aims to test the feasibility of implementing and evalua... Read more

Testing the short questionnaire for family members affected by addiction: help required

The short questionnaire for family members (affected by addiction) – the SQFM(AA) – is starting to ... Read more

First AFINet Newsletter published

This is the first AFINet Newsletter so a big welcome to all AFINet members and to others of you wh... Read more

Results from the first English Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC)

A team at the Centre for Child and Youth Research at Brunel University, London, led by Professor Jud... Read more

A recent article raises interesting questions for AFINet about cultural differences

Although this interesting qualitative study by Maria Fotopoulou, of the School of Social and Politic... Read more

Is a child, harmed by the mother’s drinking during pregnancy, entitled to compensation

Is a child, harmed by the mother’s drinking during pregnancy, entitled to compensation, and what are... Read more

Bereavement through substance misuse

The first phase of this UK 3 year study (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council) has bee... Read more

Supporting young people affected by parental alcohol misuse in Northern Ireland

A major 4 year project is underway in Northern Ireland. Building on previous work (further informati... Read more

2-day Workshop on The 5-Step Method: Supporting Family Members of People with Drug, Alcohol and Gambling Problems

Richard Velleman, a founder AFINet member, is travelling to Hong Kong in April to co-run (with Grace... Read more

When Older Adult Substance Abuse Affects Others: What Helps and What Doesn’t?

Jan Ligon, PhD, LCSW Georgia State University The abuse of alcohol and other drugs in the older adu... Read more

Addiction in context: The influence of families and wider social networks, theory and practice

During November 2013 Alex Copello was invited to give one of the keynote addresses at the Australa... Read more

The Forgotten Carers: Support for adult family members affected by a relative’s drug problems reports

This work builds on the first phase of UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC) family research, with a... Read more

Jim Orford speaks about gambling and family members at the Third International Multidisciplinary Symposium

Jim Orford recently made two presentations about gambling and family members at the Third Internat... Read more

Alcohol Focus Scotland | Unrecognised and under-reported

"1 in 3 people report having heavy drinkers in their lives" and "1 in 2 people report being harmed... Read more

Steps to Cope

Two projects have been completed in Northern Ireland with our AFINet partners to develop and evaluat... Read more

The effects that substance misusing parents have on children and other family members

Richard Velleman recently gave a talk about the effects that substance misusing parents have on chi... Read more

Half-day programme on Addiction and the Family

Members of the UK Alcohol, Drugs and the Family research and practice group convened a half-day prog... Read more

The Impact of Substance Misusing Parents on children - References

References on Risk and Resilience: The impact of substance misusing parents on their child... Read more

International workshop | 5-Step Method for family members affected by relatives’ addiction problems

An International workshop for collaborators and potential collaborators involved in research and ac... Read more

Major report, Silent Voices, into parental alcohol misuse

One member of the UK ADF Group (Lorna) has co-authored a major report, Silent Voices, into parental ... Read more

Major new project underway

Major project underway to investigate the experiences and needs of family members and significant ot... Read more

The Impact of Substance Misusing Parents on children - The Report

Risk and Resilience: The Impact of Substance Misusing Parents on children Presentation at the LSCB/... Read more


If you would like to receive the AFINet newsletter, please complete the required information below: