NEARLY 200 stressed parents are turning to a charity for help each year - because they just can’t cope any more with drug and alcohol abuse within their family.
Mums, dads and even grandparents are relying on the Hartlepool-based Parents In Need of Support (PINS) as a break from the daily cycle of addiction in one of their children.
The support service caters for anyone aged 18 upwards who needs to get away from the nightmares at home.
One grateful mum was so pleased with the help she received, she nominated PINS for a Pride of Hartlepool Award.
The mum who nominated the charity said: “They give so much of their time to help and support mothers like myself, whose son is a heroin addict.”
PINS, based in the Stranton area of town, was formed 17 years ago.
At the helm is project co-ordinator Stephen Mudd and manager Kay Barron.
The mum added: “Without people like Kay and Steve to listen to our emotional problems, life would be very difficult to cope with. Nothing is too much trouble for them.
“They organise so many different activities for the mothers group. They are so deserving of this award,and recognition for all the work they do.”
PINS has a workforce of four staff and eight volunteers. Between that small and dedicated team, they handle a casebook of up to 200 people and 80 families - each affected by a loved one’s drugs or alcohol misuse.
And as Stephen pointed out: “It affects the whole family. It could be mum or dad, it could be grandparents.
“Society tends to forget that parents are more often than not the biggest victim of crimes. When someone is involved in drugs, finance becomes involved and mum and dad are usually the first port of call for it.
“It could be a single mum whose child is bigger than them and wakes up wanting their next fix. It is easy to steal from them.”
Grandparents often get involved because, if a family has younger children living in the house, parents will turn to the grandparents for help and additional support, said Stephen.
PINS offers services including practical and emotional support, advice, information and training.
Stephen said: “The hardest thing that we ask parents to do is to stop funding the addiction. When you break the pattern, they have to knuckle down.”
Project manager Kay Barron said: “It is great to be nominated for a Pride of Hartlepool award but it is a surprise.
“We don’t do this to win awards but it is nice to get some recognition.”