Support for families, friends and partners of LGBT people using alcohol, drugs or engaged in chemsex

Are you affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol use? Is your partner, friend or family member engaged in chemsex?

Adfam is working with London Frienda charity that works to promote the health and well-being of LGBT people, and their drug and alcohol support service Antidote, to pilot new support for families, friends and partners of LGBT people using alcohol, drugs or engaged in chemsex.

Chemsex is sexual activity between gay and bisexual men under the influence of specific drugs, usually methamphetamine, mephedrone and GHB/GBL to enhance and stimulate sex. Sometimes the drugs are injected, a practice known as 'slamming'. Chemsex often takes place with multiple sexual partners and sessions of long duration, sometimes over several days. Those that engage in chemsex often report condomless sex and other risky behaviours.

Supporting a friend, partner, or family member affected by problematic alcohol or drug use can be difficult. Although family support groups exist, they are not generally LGBT specific, and people attending may not feel comfortable talking about a same-sex partner, or about sensitive issues such as chemsex.

As part of a pilot Antidote and Adfam are developing a written resource for LGBT families, friends and partners, and providing LGBT families support groups.

The written resource will be available later this year, and the groups will begin in September 2018. 

We’re piloting the groups in different ways to see which approach works best. We’ll run two weekend support groups, one for parents, and one for partners and friends; these will be semi-structured, looking at different aspect of supporting a loved one, with time for participants’ questions. We’ll also run an informal monthly drop-in providing information and flexible support for anyone affected by a friend, partner or family member’s drinking, drug use or chemsex.

Support groups will run for 6 sessions throughout September and October with a follow up session in November – see below for dates. The group for parents will run 11.00 – 12.30, and for partners/friends 13.30 – 15.00. Please contact us for a referral into these groups.

The informal drop-in in will run on the first Monday of each month 18.30 – 20.00. You don’t need an appointment for the drop-in, you can just turn up at 86 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DN during the drop-in times.

To make a referral for the support groups, or for more information email

Support group dates

Parents group: 11.00 – 12.30

Partners and friends groups: 13.30 – 15.00

London Friend, 86 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DN

  • Saturday 8th September
  • Saturday 15th September
  • Saturday 22nd September
  • Saturday 29th September
  • Saturday 6th October
  • November 24th (follow-up session)

Drop-in dates

Between 18.30 – 20.00

London Friend, 86 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DN

  • Monday 3rd September
  • Monday 1st October
  • Monday 5th November
  • Monday 3rd December