n Acta Criminologica : African Journal of Criminology & Victimology - 'An emotional rollercoaster' : vignettes of family members of illicit drug users

Volume 2015 Number sed-3
  • ISSN : 1012-8093


Drug addiction is a societal problem that is steadily growing and contributes to the destruction of families and communities (Schafer, 2011). Against this argument, the purpose of this study is to explore and describe the experiences of individual family members living with illicit drug users. Using non probability sampling within a qualitative framework, individual in-depth interviews were conducted with five participants identified through a Non-governmental organisation, namely Narcotics Anonymous. The results show that family members of the illicit drug users have suffered emotionally, criminally and economically as a result of the addict's behavior. More specifically, interviewees expressed their feelings over having personal items stolen, being isolated from extended families and friends, the impact of threats of violence on caregivers, caregivers' desperation and numerous attempts in seeking help for users to rehabilitate themselves and finally regardless of the emotional impact of the drug use on the parents, they continue to care for the users. Based on the findings this study makes recommendations on the need for support for families affected by illicit drug use.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error