Information for the public

Supporting families and carers

Supporting families and carers

Living with or caring for a person with a drug problem can be difficult. Families and carers can play an important role in supporting a person being treated for a drug problem, but they may also need help and support themselves.

If you are living with or caring for someone with a drug problem, staff should ask you about the effect of the drug problem on you and other family members (including children). They should give you advice and information about this. They should also give you information about treatments, such as detoxification, and explain where these might take place. However, staff should respect the privacy of the person with the drug problem if they would prefer to cope on their own.

Staff should ask you about your needs and those of other family members, and should offer you services to help. These may include

  • a session of self-help (where you work through a book with the help of staff)

  • support groups, for example self-help groups specifically for families and carers of people with drug problems.

If these do not help, you may be offered five or more meetings to:

  • give you further information and education about drug misuse

  • help you to identify types of stress relating to the drug problem

  • help you to develop ways of coping.

Questions for family members, friends or carers to ask

  • Please give me some information about treatments for drug problems.

  • Am I entitled to be told about the treatment my family member/friend is having?

  • What can we do to support the person with a drug problem?

  • Can you give me any information about specialist support for families and carers, such as helplines and help during a crisis?