The impact of alcohol on family relationships

This week for Alcohol Awareness Week we are sharing the stories and experiences of the people we support through our family services. You can find out more about why Alcohol Awareness Week, and why we think it is particularly more important this year in our recent news item 

The theme this year is alcohol and relationships. At Aquarius we support people who are feeling stressed and overwhelmed by a loved one’s alcohol use, as well as supporting the alcohol user. We recognise that someone’s alcohol use doesn’t just impact the person drinking, but also who they surround themselves with. To put this into perspective we wanted to share the reality of families impacted by another person’s drinking to help raise awareness. 

“I didn’t think about there being options of help for me, I just wanted my daughter to get the help she needed, in the first appointment it was explained that I could get support too. Someone gave me a call and I have never felt such relief, I could finally talk about the impact on me, the stress I was feeling and the sadness I felt. I could talk about it openly without being judged or feeling like a bad parent.” A family member we support 

Below are personal stories from family members impacted by a loved one’s drinking. You’ll see that for many of the family members we support, they enter our services looking for help for their loved one but end up receiving much needed support for their own experiences too. It can be stressful and overwhelming when a loved one is using alcohol. It can have an impact on your own physical and mental health – this is why we bring along the whole family in someone’s recovery journey from alcohol use.  

If you recognise yourself in these situations, visit our services page for more information. 

A personal story from a family member supported at our SIAS Solihull service

We recently discovered that our 16 year old son had been experimenting with class A drugs and had also grown a dependency on alcohol.  He came to us for help which is extremely reassuring and was a huge first step on his part.  He didn’t want to use drugs but had got himself into a situation he was finding difficult to get out of. 

I contacted SIAS Solihull for help following advice from our GP and I had also had dealings with them before regarding my sister. I remember the first phone call I had from a practitioner.  He had an immediate likable nature, so he put me at ease straight away. What I particularly noticed was his ability to understand exactly what we were going through. He said things as though he’d been in the same room as us!  

The practitioner initially set up a session with myself and my husband as he immediately recognised there were emotional barriers between him and our children. During that session the practitioner decided he wanted to work with me on my own and he also arranged sessions with my son. I initially went to SIAS for my son, but knew the issues within our family were contributing towards the situation our son was in. I am so grateful that our practitioner recognised this too.  

To say our practitioner has breathed a fresh breath of life into our son is a complete understatement! Their sessions with my son have enabled him to really see his worth and have given him the confidence and strategies to help him if he ever feels the need to turn to drugs or alcohol. Our practitioner has also encouraged a better relationship between my husband and son which is improving day by day. 

With regard to me, I cannot thank our practitioner enough for the strength he is giving me.  He is enabling me to see things with much more clarity and help me deal with past trauma and current emotional issues that I am facing.  I am finding a confidence in me that I never knew existed and he has helped me understand the real definition of self-love.   

Mine and my son’s sessions are still ongoing, and I am so grateful for this excellent service that SIAS are able to offer. I genuinely am not sure what state our family would be in if we hadn’t had been introduced to our practitioner for support and guidance. 

A personal story from a family member we support

You gave me the opportunity to get my boys back, to see how I could work with them and to understand what they needed. At a time when things felt so dark after my son passed you welcomed me and allowed me to sit and talk. The service you provide saves lives and has helped me so much.  

When my boys were living on the street, I thought we would never reconnect. I was living with so much guilt, blaming myself for their choices, for the drugs and drink but I did the best I could. I asked myself all the time, where did I go wrong? What more could I have done? You supported me in seeing that it was not my fault that I did my best and that I was still here for them and that I still cared.  

It’s hard for me to put into words the gratitude I feel for the support that has been given to me and for the chance to see my son smile again before he died. Thank you for helping me have these moments. I know there is a long road ahead, but I feel more able to take it in my stride because of the support at Aquarius.  


To keep up with our campaign this year for Alcohol Awareness Week make sure you follow us on Twitterand like our Facebookpage.