A Qualitative Exploration of Drug and Alcohol Using Parents’ Experiences in Drug/Alcohol Treatment when Social Services are Involved.
This thesis is concerned with the lives of drug and alcohol using parents, who access treatment for their addiction. Parents who are drug and alcohol users may experience stigma, fear, shame, and denial around their misuse, which means that many fail or feel fearful to access any treatment for fear of official intervention. This thesis aims to explore the narratives of Class A drug users and alcohol users who access drug and alcohol treatment and who have been referred to Children’s Social Services when a Child Protection issue has been raised. Qualitative data was generated during the three studies. Semi-structured interviews took place during each study (1, 2 and 3). Study 2 allowed the use of photographs taken by participants to be examined. Study 3 allowed the use of a journal to capture the experience of the participants. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was applied to the verbatim transcripts.
Key findings are presented as four superordinate themes in chapters 5, 6, 7 and 8. Each chapter focused on one of the four superordinate themes that were identified in the data analysis, which combined data from all three studies. ‘Risk and vulnerabilities’ in Chapter Five suggested that when these parents were teenagers’ drugs and alcohol were easily accessible, and there was trauma in their lives, which meant exposure to drug and alcohol use was a way of escape. Parents described addiction as a cycle they were continually on, and regardless of what they did the power of this cycle made it difficult to break free. This, for some, developed into committing a crime to fund their addiction. The theme of drug and alcohol use and parenting is discussed in Chapter Six. This chapter suggested that parents’ mental health was severely impacted as a result of their drug and alcohol use. This left the parents feeling stigmatised and experiencing a tainted identity. Parents expressed grief and trauma about their experience and how this impacted on family attachments and affected partner relationships. Parent’s emotional reaction to Social Services and Child Protection in Chapter Seven suggested a loss of control and negative emotions such as anxiety, anger feeling embarrassed, scared, guilt, and frustration when professionals became involved. Parents wanted professionals to understand addiction, and they hoped the professionals supporting them would be supportive to help them change. Recovery and change in Chapter Eight suggested coming to the point of realisation that they had no choice but to change their behaviour. There was also an understanding that their behaviour had impacted their children. Parents expressed the difficulty of treatment without proper effective interventions and, at times, relapse and how this was frowned upon. The subordinate themes linked to one another and some similar themes appeared in several chapters. Chapter Nine, the final chapter summaries the thesis as it provides a glimpse into the complex nature of being a drug/alcohol addicted parent. Key findings suggest a change in professional practice to meet the needs of the user and the wider family.
|Keywords||Parents And Drug and Alcohol use, Impact and Substance Misuse and Parents, Interventions or strategies or best practices AND parental addiction.|
|Publisher||University of Derby|
|College of Health, Psychology and Social Care|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.48773/92503|
|Web address (URL)||hdl:10545/625615|
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|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||12 Feb 2021, 12:08|
|Publication dates||05 Feb 2021|
|Contributors||Montague, Jane (Advisor) and Elander, James (Advisor)|