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Issued:25/10/16

A ground-breaking research project looking at what recovery from addiction means for the families of those with drug and alcohol problems has been launched.

The Family Life in Recovery project - the first of its kind in the UK - is a joint report from Sheffield Hallam University's Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice and Adfam, the national organisation working to improve support for families affected by drug and alcohol use, and is funded by Alcohol Research UK.

The project will be conducted through a series of workshops in Sheffield and London, followed by a detailed survey, to map the recovery journey of family members of addicted individuals, with the aim of the survey to seek information on two questions:

  1. What is the recovery journey for the family member (and the remainder of the family)?
  2. What is the family member's experience of an addict's recovery journey and its impact on them?

The team from Sheffield Hallam University published the first national UK survey of addiction recovery experiences in 2015, with the findings of the survey showing clear improvements in wellbeing across five domains from active addiction to recovery - health, employment, offending, risk and substance use, and families and social relationships.

The results of the Family Life in Recovery survey are expected to be published in the summer of 2017.

Vivienne Evans OBE, Chief Executive of Adfam, said: "We have been working with families affected by substance misuse for over 30 years and we know that the journey of recovery has a large impact on the lives of family members.

"As the national charity for children and families affected by substance misuse, we are looking forward to the findings from this research to see how we can better support and advocate on behalf of families dealing with issues surrounding addiction and recovery.”

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The lead for the project is Professor David Best, head of criminology at Sheffield Hallam University and a prominent figure in the international research and policy movement around recovery from alcohol and drug problems

Professor Best said: "The Family Life in Recovery survey provides us with a rare chance to build an understanding of what the experience of living with and through addiction recovery is like and what impact it has on a range of family members.

"The survey gives a voice to a group who are poorly understood and rarely listened to - those who bear much of the burden of addiction and who themselves are affected by the experience.

"This research will help understand the needs that this population has and what can be done to support them in living with addiction and in supporting people to overcome the many challenges of an addicted lifestyle. We have previously shed light on personal addiction stories and now it is the turn of the families."

For press information: Please contact Martin Webb in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2621 or email m.webb@shu.ac.uk.

Editors Notes
For more information on Adfam visit www.adfam.org.uk.