Mr and Mrs C attended Family RAMP in the hope they could get some peace following an extremely turbulent few years, involving their son John.

They have been married for over 30 years with a daughter, who felt almost dismissed due to J’s behaviour. Mr C felt it was now time to address the problem as a family, as other efforts had not been successful.

Mr C explained that John had deprived them of their lives due to alcohol and cocaine use. In the last 12 months, J had stolen over £30,000 from family bank accounts, and helped himself to money out of the family safe. However, it was not the money that was the issue, but the John’s dishonesty, that was causing problems.

John recently engaged with the conventional RAMP and appeared to be doing well. Although Mr C was not fully convinced, Mrs C was in a different mind-set, blaming herself for John’s current state.

It soon transpired that Mr and Mrs C were enabling John to continue his addictive behaviour by providing him with accommodation, food, and money. Mrs C remained defensive, but Mr C openly engaged, giving examples of his own enabling behaviour.

Mr C explained that he had made John a partner in the family business, and funded cars and holidays for most of his adult life. He realised John had never taken full responsibility for his own life and, at the age of 27, he should have become an adult years ago. Mrs C was soon forced to reflect on her behaviour as well. Mr and Mrs C began to see John’s behavioural patterns and identified with the other group member’s experience.

John went on a ‘weekend bender’, borrowing money from a dealer, but was still attending RAMP. Mr and Mrs C stated that if he didn’t sort out his problem, they would ask him to leave home. By the third session, Mr and Mrs C had asked John to leave their home and to not ask them for money. Mr C felt lighter and Mrs C took comfort in the fact that John had been referred to emergency housing, and was still attending RAMP.

Discussions soon changed from being about John to the needs of both parents and their daughter. For the first time, there was a lighter feel to the group. John had been provided with housing and was engaging with RAMP, with a view to accessing support from mutual aid groups.

Mr and Mrs C soon came to terms with their decision, and agreed it was the best outcome for all parties. Mrs C was in regular contact with John, who had been assessed for the DEAP.

Mr and Mrs C have booked a once in a lifetime trip to Australia, to celebrate Mr C’s recent retirement. They see John on a regular basis, always for Sunday lunch at the family home. John is 60 days clean and sober, has been engaged on the DEAP, and has an application pending to view a stable property.