Drugs and alcohol

Drugs and alcohol can have a devastating effect on families and is a common cause of children being raised in kinship care. Find out about sources of help.

If you are a family member or friend raising a child on behalf of their birth parents, you might be feeling the negative impact of their parents’ substance misuse and the effect it has on the children you are caring for.

Sources of support

If someone has taken drugs or alcohol and may cause harm to themselves or others, or is very unwell, please call 999 and ask for the emergency services.

The organisations below can offer support if your family is dealing with substance misuse.

Action on Addiction

Helpline: 0300 330 0659
Website: actiononaddiction.org.uk

Provides treatment services to help people suffering from a variety of addiction problems including drug and alcohol misuse. Also support groups and counselling for families and friends of substance misusers.

Adfam / Adfam@Home

Website: adfam.org.uk
Referral form: https://crm.adfam.org.uk/form/adfam_at_home

Details of local support groups for the families of drug and alcohol users. Adfam@Home is a remote support service offering one-to-one support sessions. Six support sessions are available to adults affected by a loved one’s drug or alcohol use. Sessions can be delivered via Zoom or telephone.


Helpline: 0800 0086 811 – 10am-10pm, 365 days a year
Email: helpline@al-anonuk.org.uk
Website: al-anonuk.org.uk

Al-Anon support anyone affected by someone else’s drinking. Their helpline is operated by a team of friendly and helpful volunteers who are also members of Al-Anon. They will listen and be happy to answer your questions. Al-Anon Family Groups also hold regular meetings where members share their own experience of living with alcoholism.

Alateen is for teenage relatives and friends of alcoholics. Alateen is part of Al-Anon. For more information and details of meetings contact 020 7593 2070.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Helpline: 0800 9177 650
Email: help@aamail.org
Website: alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people who share their experience, strength and hope with each other, that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.

DAN 24/7

Helpline: 0808 808 2234
Text: Text DAN to 81066
Website: dan247.org.uk

A bilingual English and Welsh helpline for anyone in Wales in need of further information or help relating to drugs or alcohol. Also known as the Wales Drug & Alcohol Helpline.


Website: drinkaware.co.uk

All the facts about alcohol, tips on how to cut down and how to talk to children about alcohol.


Helpline: 0300 123 1110 – Monday to Friday 9am-8pm, weekends 11am-4pm
National alcohol helpline for anyone worried about their own or someone else’s drinking.

Families Anonymous

Helpline: 020 7498 4680
Email: office@famanon.org.uk
Website: famanon.org.uk

Support for the families and friends of those with a drugs problem. Local groups meet regularly to provide mutual support and to offer a forum where experiences and anxieties can be shared.


Helpline: 0300 123 6600 – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
Text: 82111 – text a question and FRANK will text you back
Email: frank@talktofrank.com
Website: talktofrank.com

A good place to start for factual, unbiased information about drugs. FRANK also gives advice to people who are using drugs themselves or are worried about a friend or family member. They can provide details of local and national services for counselling and treatment.

The Mix

Helpline: 0808 808 4994
Website: themix.org.uk/drink-and-drugs

Non-judgemental facts, advice and support about alcohol and drugs for young people aged 11 to 25.

NACOA (National Association for Children of Alcoholics)

Helpline: 0800 358 3456
Email: helpline@nacoa.org.uk
Website: nacoa.org.uk

Information, advice and support for anyone affected by their parent’s drinking.

NOFAS (National Organisation on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome)

Helpline: 0208 458 5951
e-mail: info@nationalfasd.org.uk
Website: nationalfasd.org.uk

NOFAS provides advice and support to anyone concerned about Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and has some local support groups.


Helpline: 020 7324 2989
Email: ask@release.org.uk
Website: release.org.uk

National charity that offers free and confidential advice about drugs and the law.

We Are with You

Website: wearewithyou.org.uk

Supports people with drug, alcohol or mental health problems, and their friends and family.