Adfam provides a range of services which can support commissioners in their decision making, including training courses, resources and a consultancy service.

We can:

  • support areas to develop and carry out needs assessments
  • provide examples of promotional material that has been successfully used with families, carers and others to encourage affected others to seek support
  • deliver Adfam@Home, an on line service of 6 one-to-one support sessions, which enables  family members and carers to learn about substance use, learn coping skills and  maintain their own boundaries separate from the substance misuser.
  • supply suitable examples of policies, procedures and client documentation (e.g. assessment, care plan) of substance misuse treatment services which reflect the importance of work with affected others
  • advise on peer led services and approaches, and point to examples of areas which have successfully adopted these models
  • deliver a range of training courses for treatment recovery workers, and health and social care workers
    supply guidance on families affected by someone with co-occurring disorders – available here
  • deliver specific consultancy and training on supporting families a child diagnosed with FASD,
    deliver specific training, and supply information and guidance on managing opiate substitute therapy medications around children.
  • Provide guidance and support for affected others bereaved by the death of their loved one. This again will need specific support and you can read about Adfam’s work on this.

For more information about any of Adfam’s services, please contact Viv Evans on 07889 281076.


Here are a list of resources relevant to commissioners:

Combating Drugs Partnerships: Guidance to Senior Responsible Owner’s (SROs) and organisers on involving families

Guidance on involving families in Combating Drugs Partnerships (CDPs). CDPs were established following the Government’s Harm to Hope Drugs Strategy, to provide a setting in each local area for understanding and addressing shared challenges related to substance use, improving practice, and ensuring coordination across different local delivery partners. Adfam’s guidance outlines why the voice of families affected by substance use should be included within these multi-agency forums, and how this can be implemented in practice.

Guidelines for applying Quality Standards to the commissioning and provision of services for families and carers affected by someone else’s substance use

Written in response to the ‘Commissioning quality standard for drug and alcohol treatment and recovery’ which was introduced as part of the Government’s Drug Strategy collaboration. These guidelines outline the principles of family support, why adopting Quality Standards for families matter and how they can be applied.

Substance misuse: through the lens of the family

This report looks at how the government’s Drug Strategy, From Harm to Hope, could adopt a more family-focused approach, and examines some of the different elements a drug strategy might include if considered through the lens of the family.

Fulfilling the ambitions of the Drug Strategy by supporting families

This article is a joint response, written by Adfam and others, to the UK Government’s Drug Strategy: From harm to hope: A 10-year drugs plan to cut crime and save lives – December 2021

Making it Happen: Good Practice Guide Refresher

This quick read ‘refresher’ is based on the guide below, but contains relevant updates.

Making it Happen

Making it Happen brings together Adfam’s 30+ years of experience in family support in a best practice guide aimed at commissioners and service managers.

Why Invest

This pack includes a PDF information pack which explains the major benefits of supporting families affected by drug and alcohol use. It also contains a set of guidance notes to support the presentation in the pack.

State of the Family Support Sector 2023

This report examines current circumstances and practice in supporting families affected by substance use. This includes current trends, developments, strengths and challenges facing those working to support family members. The report takes account of the unique circumstances and developments that have taken place since the 2019 report, including the covid pandemic, cost of living crisis and new Drugs Strategy.

State of the Sector 2019: Drug and Alcohol Family Support

This report shares the findings from Adfam’s State of the Sector Family Support Survey which in 2019 asked 117 practitioners and managers working in family support services in England about current trends, developments, strengths and challenges in the sector. It explores a range of themes including commissioning, funding, family needs, partnership working, and service delivery.

State of the Sector 2016: Drug and Alcohol Family Support 

This report shares the findings from two online surveys with family members and in-depth interviews with family support service managers across England in 2016, examining the state of the family drug and alcohol support sector.