DDN February 2021 DDN February 2021 - Page 9

to spread the message that people should join the proper campaign rather than try to go it alone .
Thanks to all of you who signpost people to the Try Dry app , not just for January , but all year round . We know that it works – since the app ’ s launch in December 2018 , users have collectively saved over £ 35m that they would have spent on alcohol if they ’ d continued drinking as before , and have also
3 . Inspiration role-modelled : ‘ Those people from previous Dry January campaigns were in my situation and are just like me , but have now controlled their drinking and are so much happier and healthier . Maybe that could happen to me .’
4 . Specific insights , making the subconscious conscious : ‘ I ’ ve learned the triggers and associations – times , people , places , feelings – that particularly prompt me to drink .’
' As I write this January is not yet over , and yet a total of 97,066 people have already downloaded the Try Dry app in order to take part in Dry January – an increase of 35 per cent on same period last year .'
consumed 29.4m fewer units . The app is free and it unlocks our other free resources – coaching emails , Facebook groups – all of which are designed for those risky , heavy , habitual drinkers who don ’ t yet need full-blown treatment . We all want to support people sooner rather than later , before they need a treatment intervention .
Dr Richard Piper is CEO of Alcohol Change UK
5 . Self-efficacy : ‘ I ’ ve learned techniques for beating these triggers , overcoming cravings , and dealing with specific situations .’
6 . Seeing an alternative : ‘ Watching TV , cooking a meal , relaxing , having fun and so on can all be done without alcohol .’
7 . Wanting that alternative , long-term : ‘ Life in control of alcohol feels desirable and I want it long-term .’

THE INVISIBLE

Family members are the hidden victims of lockdown substance use , warns Adfam

The latest lockdown will

be extremely difficult for the 5m people struggling to cope with a loved one ’ s drug or alcohol use , Adfam has warned . More than four fifths of adults dealing with a loved one ’ s alcohol or drug problem said the first lockdown had ‘ made a bad situation worse ’, according to the charity ’ s Families in Lockdown survey ( DDN , July / August 2020 , page 5 ). Almost half of those surveyed said that their loved one ’ s substance use increased during the first lockdown , with 50 per cent of respondents feeling more anxious or stressed , almost 30 per cent reporting suffering more verbal abuse than usual , and 13 per cent feeling more concerned for their own safety .
The time has come for a ‘ national conversation ’ to alert the world to the impacts of drug and alcohol use during the pandemic , the charity states , with children suffering disproportionately . Many are missing the support they would normally get from other family members and from school , while the stigma attached to a loved one ’ s substance use means many are reluctant to speak out or seek help .
Among the quotes from family members in touch with Adfam are ‘ Lockdown has been horrible . A nightmare . The system needs to change – it ’ s been horrendous getting support ’; ‘ The lockdown has been horrific – the only way I can describe it is that it is like being held hostage in your own home . I wake up nervous of what his mood is going to be like ,’ and ‘ It ’ s affecting me and my children more than usual – we have nowhere to go to get away .’
‘ Lockdown is like a tinderbox for families dealing with a loved one ’ s alcohol or drug problem ,’ said Adfam chief executive Vivienne Evans . ‘ When you are already isolated , stressed or fearful , our research shows that lockdown takes an even bigger toll on you . A staggering one in ten of us are coping with a loved one ’ s drug or alcohol problem . Yet their needs are often forgotten when we talk about the impact of the pandemic , because the problem is so hidden . With more support available from charities online during this lockdown , it is vital that people seek help when they need it . We want to say to people – you deserve help and support as much as the person with the substance issue . Please don ’ t feel you have to suffer in silence .’
' One in ten of us are coping with a loved one ’ s drug or alcohol problem . Yet their needs are often forgotten when we talk about the impact of the pandemic ...’
VIVIENNE EVANS
A 2019 YOUGOV POLL revealed that at least 5m people in the UK are affected by the alcohol or drug problem of a family member or friend . Adfam has launched a fundraising appeal # Forgotton5million to increase the support that it can offer online , with details at adfam . org . uk
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