Addiction Affects the Family Too

If you are reading this page and you are a relative, a friend or just someone who cares about a person who suffers from addiction, are some of the following statements true for you?

  • I find that I lie awake at night wondering what to do or what not to do to help this person?
  • Most of my thoughts revolve around the addicted person or the difficulties that arise because of him/her?
  • I frequently make threats or decisions and not follow through on them?
  • My attitude towards the problem drinker/drug user keeps alternating between love & hate?
  • I feel alone, fearful, anxious angry and frustrated most of the time?

 The stress experienced by families can result in serious consequences such as anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, relationship difficulties, legal problems, financial problems etc. You may be surprised to know that most people who love and care about an addicted person suffer just like you do. In fact, family members often experience serious and even longer lasting harm than those directly afflicted by addictions. You deserve something better than this in your life, whether or not your loved one recovers. Here are some organisations you can contact.

BDDG Family Groups

The British Doctors & Dentists (BDDG) family groups meet regularly in a number of cities around the country. They exist independently but in co-operation with the BDDG. Their aim is to support all family members of who are suffering or who have suffered from the effects of a doctor’s or a dentist's addiction. Visit


Al-Anon is amutual help fellowship for all families of alcoholics. It is not confined to people from any particular profession. It is often referred to as the sister fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous and is run on similar lines. There are active groups throughout the country and we strongly recommend that family members make contact with their local groups where help will be warmly offer ed. The purpose of Al-Anon is not to 'cure' the alcoholic, but to help the family to be happy and to deal with the alcoholism in their midst, whether or not their loved one succeeds instaying in recovery. You can find your nearest Al-Anon group through their website, or by telephoning 020 7403 0888.

Families Anonymous

Families Anonymous is a similar mutual help fellowship offering help to families who are affected by a member's addiction to other drugs. Countrywide, the groups are fewer in number than Al-Anon.
Contact famanon or 0845 1200 660.

The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA)

The National Association for Children of Alcoholics is a charity founded in 1990 to address the problems of children brought up in homes where one or both parents suffers from addiction to alcohol and/or other drugs. This includes children of all ages, many of whose problems may not become apparent until adulthood. For help contact or telephone 0800 358 3456