A VOLUNTEER who runs a support group at Glasgow’s Family Addiction Support Service (FASS) has told how the organisation helped her through dark times.

The grandmother, who does not wish to be named, has been attending FASS since it was a support group on Oswald Street.

She now runs the support group to help families coming to terms with a loved one’s misuse of drugs or alcohol. She explained that speaking to someone who is going through a similar experience can be really comforting.

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She said: “I have been coming to FASS for years. If you want to lift the phone, even if it is out with hours, there is always someone there.

“It helps being able to talk to people who know exactly what you are going through. You don’t feel so alone that way.”

The woman also explained how her son, who is turning 50 this year, has been taking drugs for at least three decades and has been on methadone for 20 years.

Her experiences allow her to support people in the same situation.

She said: “My son has been on drugs for at least 30 years.

“He has been on methadone for at least 20 years – when it was first prescribed in Scotland – which is too long.

“I brought up my granddaughter as a result of my son’s substance abuse. He went to prison when she was a baby so I looked after her.

“She turns 25 this year and hasn’t touched drugs and I hope it stays that way. Watching the effects drugs have had on her father has been horrendous.

“She still sees her dad occasionally but has a love hate relationship with him because of what his addiction has done to the family. I never stopped contact with my granddaughter’s mother either, but we don’t see her very often.”

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The grandmother was also supported by FASS when her son ended up in prison.

She went on: “It has been chaotic for my family and has caused quite a lot of stress in the family. My son, who is the second eldest out of four children, even ended up in prison.

“My other three children have suffered as well. You spend so much time concentrating on the addict, who is begging you for money to feed their habit, and not enough time with the other members of your family.

“There are detox and rehabilitation centres but a two-week programme is not going to help someone with a 30-year addiction. The need help and support afterwards.

“It is up to the addict to change, which they can do if they put their minds to it, but they really need to right support in place to help them achieve this. We just need a miracle.”