Some caring responsibilities aren’t always apparent to those looking in and can sometimes remain hidden because of stigma and lack of understanding.

If you look after someone with an addiction it can hard, but you are not alone. Over 1.5 million adults in the UK are affected by a relative’s drug use.

It’s important to talk to someone about your caring responsibilities and open up to a trusted friend, family member, manager at work, or teacher.

If you haven’t already, contact us so that you can access the support and information that’s right for you. 

There are also lots of organisations that may be able to help you:

Action for Addiction run residential courses called the Moving Parents and Children Together Programme (M-PACT). M-PACT is a whole family, structured brief intervention which aims to improve the wellbeing of children and families affected by substance misuse. The original programme model can support up to 8 families at a time and consists of 10 sessions, including 8 core sessions, a review session and a reunion. Flexible programme options are available. The programme takes a strengths based approach and supports families to address areas such as communication and coping strategies as well as educating family members on what addiction is and the impact is has.

Adfam – information, local support groups and helplines for anyone affected by someone else’s substance use. They have a carers guide and information around coping skills and setting boundaries.

Al-Anon Family Groups – provide support to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else’s drinking, regardless of whether that person is still drinking or not.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

Essential Drugs and Alcohol Services (EDAS) – help people in Dorset with substance misuse problems. You can refer an adult here.

Families Anon – helpline for relatives and friends concerned about drug use.

Frank – free national drugs helpline.

Live Well Dorset has a team of advisers on-hand to help you curb your alcohol intake.

Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

National Association for Children of Alcoholics – information, advice and support for everyone affected by a parent’s drinking.

The Royal College of Psychiatry also have a factsheet for carers about alcohol, drugs and addition. It includes advice on what sort of questions to ask and what this process may involve.