Understanding the issues

Knowing how to support a drug or alcohol user - and look after yourself - can be complicated and difficult. This is a good place to start.

Discovering that a loved one uses drugs or has an alcohol problem can be shocking, scary and stressful. You may have found out suddenly or the realisation may have crept up on you over time.  Either way, it can be an anxious time.  

Many family members know little about drugs or about alcohol dependency, and many hesitate to seek out this information, not wanting to associate themselves with issues that can be stigmatised, misunderstood and scary. We have all seen media representations of those who struggle with these issues which can often be prejudiced and judgmental.

However, learning a bit more about the issues can reduce your stress and give you a better understanding of what your loved one is experiencing, and what you can do to help yourself and them.