Family Support

If you are a relative, partner or friend of someone who has a problem with alcohol, gambling or drugs and you are reading this you have probably tried every way you can think of to help, to change the situation and to understand what is happening.  You are not alone! Families, friends and loved ones matter and it is important that you find the support and information that you need yourself.

This may be the first time you have sought out help. You may have talked to others and found this helpful or you may have talked to others and found their attitude or their suggestions unhelpful.  Whatever your experience in the past we will listen and support you.

Seeking help is a positive step towards changing the situation for yourself and for the family member or friend you want to help.

Impact on you

At times someone who is using alcohol or drugs could become aggressive, abusive, intimidating or violent.  This behaviour can happen when someone is under the influence of alcohol or drugs or if they are withdrawing from alcohol or drugs or even when they are sober.  The alcohol or drugs are not an excuse for any intimidation, abuse or controlling behaviour.


The alcohol or drugs do not cause the abuse.
You are not responsible for the person’s drinking or drug use.
You are not responsible for any intimidation, abuse or controlling behaviour by your family member or friend.
Do not feel that you have to cope alone, it is ok and advisable to seek help for yourself


Someone who is drinking or using drugs makes a choice to do this.  If they know that they only become abusive when they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs then they are choosing to behave that way when they choose to drink or use drugs.

Sometimes you can can become frustrated or angry with the drinker / drug user.  This is a natural emotional response BUT it does not mean you can justify intimidation or violence towards the person.  If you are getting so angry that you don’t feel in control then you need to seek help.

Having a family member, partner or friend who has a drinking or drug problem can lead to many different forms of stress, and can lead to strain upon family or friends which can show up in your physical and emotional health resulting in things like high blood pressure, anaemia, stomach upsets, back pain, headaches, difficulty sleeping, difficulty eating, depression, anxiety, drinking more, smoking more or even using drugs yourself

You are not alone, please do not be afraid to seek support for yourself. If you are affected by someone else’s substance misuse or gambling, contact Aquarius for help


Kinship Care

A lot of family members who are affected are Grandparents, often those who are looking after grandchildren. For more information click here