When addictions enters a family through one of it’s members, the effects on everyone can be, and often are, absolutely devastating.

Alcohol or drug of any kind alter personalities, lead to extreme behaviour and can rip families apart as they try to struggle with the addict and his or her needs for the substance they crave. It can happen to any family at any time and came become an isolating and frightening experience, both for the addict and those who care for the,.

While doctors, specialist clinics and organisations such as Alcoholic Anonymous are there for the addicts, relatives and friends can struggle with their feelings alone. This ripple effect on those close to addicts has been understood for some time and groups around the country are available to help families to cope with what is happening to them.

If you have reason to believe that someone in your family has a problem, then contact one of the organisations listed. They understand your difficulties only too well, as many of the advisers have been there themselves. They will be pleased to offer any support they can.


Trisha's Tips

  • To addicts – if you went to one dealer and didn’t find what you wanted, you’d go on trying others until you did. Nothing short of that level of determination to succeed in getting free from drugs will help you or will work.
  • To families – you can want the addict to get all the help in the world, but unless they genuinely want to help themselves, I’m afraid you’re wasting your time.
  • Heard of tough love? - Well, sometimes the best help you can give is to walk away. Many addicts have to be in the gutter and taste the dirt in their mouths before they will really look for assistance.

Where to go for help

Alcoholics Anonymous
Probably one of the best known help services available for any man or woman who has a problem with alcohol
0845 769 7555
Monday-Sunday 24 hours

Al Anon Family Groups
Al Anon exists to help the families and friends of alcoholics.
0207 403 0888 (standard rate)
Monday-Friday 10am to 10pm

Families Anonymous
Families Anonymous is a fellowship of relatives and friends of people abusing drugs.
0845 1200 660
Monday-Friday 1pm to 4pm and 6pm to 10pm
Weekends 2pm to 10pm

Helpline for anyone concerned abou drug or solvent abuse
0800 77 66 00 (free phone)
Monday-Sunday 24 hours


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