If there is an emergency call 999 or if you are experiencing a crisis call 0845 608 0525

Worried about your partner, family or friend?

If you are worried about your partner, family member or friend it can be hard to know what to do, or if you are doing the right thing, but our specialist service is here to support you. We help family members, partners and friends to regain control over their own life, whether or not the drug or alcohol user is receiving help.

We can help you to better understand the effects of drug or alcohol use, give you information about the support available to the user, and help you to regain control of your own life. There are answers to some frequently asked questions which may help below.

Emergency Factsheet

Download this Emergency Factsheet to find out what to do if someone has overdosed, appears to be unconscious or has had a bad reaction to any drug.

If someone is in immediate danger dial 999.

How do I know if they are misusing drugs or alcohol?
It is possible for a parent to stop misusing drugs or alcohol and there are services that can help them to do that. People who misuse drugs or alcohol need to work really hard at making big changes in their alcohol or drug use as it can be a difficult thing to do.
Why do people use alcohol or drugs?
Not everyone who tries alcohol or drugs becomes addicted, but when someone does it can have a serious impact on those around them. Alcohol and drugs can affect people’s mood, behaviour, feelings or thoughts, and people take them for different reasons, such as:

  • Some drugs make people feel like they are having more fun, or make people feel that they need to take drugs in order to have fun. Drugs or alcohol can make people feel more con dent, and they might lose their inhibitions.
  • Some people take alcohol or drugs to escape from things in their life, such as a stressful situation. They might feel more able to handle, or forget about, the situation with the drugs or alcohol.
  • Some people just try drugs or alcohol out of curiosity, to experiment. For some people this can develop into a regular habit.
  • Some people feel pressurised into taking drugs or drinking alcohol by their friends or peers.
  • Some people ‘binge’ on drink or drugs every so often, where they take lots of things in one go to have fun or relax.
  • Just because someone uses drugs or alcohol, it does not mean they are dependent on them.
Is it my fault?
It is easy for families and friends to feel that they are in some way responsible for someone’s drug or alcohol use. This can be especially true for parents who can feel that past events might have caused someone the problem. It is important to remember that this is not the case, the person who is misusing drugs or alcohol is responsible for their own actions.
Are my feelings about this normal?
Family members or friends of people who misuse drugs or alcohol may experience a wide range of emotions. These can include anger, frustration and helplessness. The person taking drugs or drinking alcohol can become detached, withdrawn or aggressive which can be very upsetting for everyone around them.

People cope with these emotions in their own way. Remember we can support you and provide more information on how to cope.