The Impact of Illicit Drug Use on Non-Using Siblings in the Vietnamese Community

By Webber, Ruth | Australian Journal of Social Issues, May 2003 | Go to article overview

The Impact of Illicit Drug Use on Non-Using Siblings in the Vietnamese Community


Webber, Ruth, Australian Journal of Social Issues


This paper examines the ways in which Vietnamese young people are affected by a sibling's illicit drug use (2). The aim is to explore the changing reactions of Vietnamese young people and parents and the changing strategies they employ as they seek to cope with the situation. The focus is on the siblings' reactions and experiences as the family system changes and adapts.

Families of Drug Users

Drug overdoses are a major cause of death among young people and crimes associated with drug usage are high (Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee, 1996; 1997). With the increase in illicit drug use has come a corresponding increase in the demand for health and drug treatment services as well as legal and counselling services, a demand that is also being complicated by changes in the profile of the typical drug user (Lambert and Marsh, 1999; Gerstein and Harwood, 1990). In the context of a dramatic increase in heroin and other illicit drug use, the profiles of those using and requesting a range of services have also shifted (Horn, 1998; Hunter, 1996; Lennings and Kerr, 1996).

There is a myriad of drug intervention, prevention, education and rehabilitation programs, most of which provide programs informed by research that draws on the best practices and knowledge of practitioners and researchers (Report on the Premier's Drug Advisory Council, 1996; Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee, 1996; 1997). Family involvement in treatment of substance misuse has been a major focus of international research (Mitchell et al., 2001).

Research clearly indicates a relationship between illicit drug use in adolescents and a number of factors including: family functioning, low academic and social skills, peer and sibling influence (Hawkins, Catalano and Miller, 1992). Research also indicates that there is a relationship between parental control and support and adolescent substance abuse (Foxcroft and Lowe, 1995; Denton and Kampfe, 1994). However, although families are involved or included in many harm reduction strategies, the focus is often on the ways in which the individual drug user can be helped, with the specific concerns about the impact of drug use on parents and siblings taking second place (Dear, 1996).

Research is focussing increasingly on the effects of illicit drug use on the user's own family (Newcombe, 1992). Three essential areas of parental concerns have been identified: lack of emotional support, the impact on their mental health and lack of information (Victorian Government 2000). Authors who have addressed the issue of helping families of drug addicted members include: Levin, (1998) who deals with couple and family therapy of addiction; Rubin (1996) who presents a survival guide for parents of drug and alcohol addicted children and Lockley (1996) who writes about working with drug family support groups.

Many parents and family members face harrowing experiences when confronted with illicit drug use by family members (McConnell and Schwartz, 1996). The family system and associated sub-systems are stressed when one member is not coping and this can have a flow on effect to other members, which may result in family breakdown and dysfunctionality (Hawkins et al., 1995). There are numerous 'symptoms' that may be present in a sibling of an illicit drug user including: grief, loss, jealousy, resentment, deprivation of parental attention, fear of domestic violence, property theft, stigma and fear of discovery (Mitchell et al. 2001).

Dear (1996) claims that a paradigm shift is required that focuses on the needs of the family itself, which will have a flow on affect for the user, as parents and siblings change aspects of their own behaviour 'such as developing more effective, self protective and pre-emptive coping responses' (1996:354). While some issues cut across race, other factors are specific to particular ethnic communities (Williams et al., 1999).

Drug Use in Vietnamese Families

It is difficult to gauge actual drag usage in most ethnic communities but it is estimated that there is considerable under reporting (Turning the Tide, 1998). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Impact of Illicit Drug Use on Non-Using Siblings in the Vietnamese Community
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.