Sibling peer support group for young people with a sibling using drugs: a pilot study

Gregg, M. Elizabeth and Toumbourou, John 2003, Sibling peer support group for young people with a sibling using drugs: a pilot study, Journal of psychoactive drugs, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 311-319.

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Title Sibling peer support group for young people with a sibling using drugs: a pilot study
Author(s) Gregg, M. Elizabeth
Toumbourou, JohnORCID iD for Toumbourou, John
Journal name Journal of psychoactive drugs
Volume number 35
Issue number 3
Start page 311
End page 319
Publisher Haight-Ashbury Publications
Place of publication San Francisco, Calif.
Publication date 2003-07
ISSN 0279-1072
Keyword(s) adolescent
drug use
peer support
social support
Summary Siblings of young people abusing drugs are at particular risk for drug abuse and other health compromising behaviors. A Sibling Peer Support Group was developed by the Centre for Adolescent Health (Melbourne, Australia) for young people aged 13 to 18 years with a problematic drug user in their family. Groups aimed to provide support and information, promote harm minimization, and reduce the sense of isolation. The project emanated from the recognized need for specific support for adolescent siblings of problematic drug users. Evaluation of two pilot groups indicated positive benefits for group members, who reported feeling better informed, more supported, and having a reduced sense of isolation. Parents reported that their adolescent attending the group demonstrated improved communication with, and greater understanding and tolerance of, the family member using drugs. Promising indicators at a community level were manifested in enthusiastic collaboration among schools, police and local service agencies, and the organization of a local drug forum. There appeared to be little evidence that the groups inadvertently encouraged drug use. Recruitment of young people into groups was the major challenge for the project, but among drug and alcohol and family organizations there was support for the concept of a Sibling Peer Support Group. A new model to overcome the challenge of recruitment is proposed.
Language eng
Field of Research 111707 Family Care
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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