Family CareGiverS

Caring for your relative or friend

Many families include at least one person experiencing substance problems. This affects not only the person who is drinking or using other drugs: it can cause huge stress for the rest of the family. Many families try to cope with this on their own – perhaps because they don’t know where to get help, feel ashamed, or have tried to get help before but had poor experiences.

If you’re in a family that is caring for someone who uses substances and whose health is poor, this website is for you.


We want you to know that:

  1. You are not alone and there is no shame in caring for someone who uses substances.

2. Everyone deserves good healthcare.

3. If you are concerned about your relative’s substance use, then get advice from a drug/alcohol service – even if your relative says there is nothing to worry about. Getting help for yourself is important and is also likely to help your loved-one’s wellbeing.

4. Many people who use substances change their use for the better, or stop altogether. But some do not and may develop serious health conditions.

5. If you don’t get the right help in your first attempt, please keep trying other options.


What families need to know (with Alcohol Change UK & Adfam)

Insights into what life is like for families caring for a member with a substance problem whose health is deteriorating.

If you wish to read it in Welsh, click here.

Family Caregiver pocket guide

A guide to help you think about how best to support your relative/friend and also help you access support for yourself.

Case studies

Real-life examples of families and friends supporting someone who uses (or previously used) substances and is becoming increasingly unwell.

Videos & Podcasts

These podcasts acknowledge the challenges of caring and also provide some insights into what others in that situation have learnt.

Get in touch