For The – Family


There Is Hope, There is Help, There is Healing

The use of alcohol and drugs by a friend or family member can leave us with many unanswered questions, unable to understand what is happening and feeling like you are living on an emotional rollercoaster. You may find yourself struggling with a number of painful and conflicting emotions, including guilt, shame, fear and self-blame. And, because of their continued use of alcohol and drugs, it is easy to become frightened, frustrated, scared and angry. Do Not Give Up! There is Help!

Like any other chronic disease, addiction to alcohol and other drugs affects people of all ages regardless of income, educational background, country of origin, ethnicity, sexuality, and/or the community where they live. Anyone can become addicted to alcohol and drugs and anyone can be affected by another person’s addiction – especially friends and family members. In fact, more than 23 million people over the age of 12 are addicted to alcohol or drugs. As a friend or family member, You Are Not Alone!

FACT: A recent Gallup Poll found that 1 in 5 families had been touched by problems related to drinking – 24%!

As family and friends, you have seen and felt the negative effects and damage done by alcohol and drugs. In some ways, your awareness and understanding of the damage being done is far greater than the person who is actively drinking or using. By virtue of your relationship, you can see the changes and consequences as they are taking place – physically, emotionally, socially, financially and legally. Addiction, without treatment and recovery, can tear families apart and destroy strongly bonded friendships. But, You Can Be Part of the Solution!

As a start, there is no question that gaining a greater understanding of alcohol, drugs and addiction will help you to better handle the situation. For family and friends it is important to recognize your own feelings and reactions when dealing with a loved one who is abusing alcohol or using drugs. Do Not Deny or Minimize the Problem!

FACT: According to a recent Gallup Poll, those who confronted their addicted family member were much more successful in getting him or her to admit the addiction (65%) than those who did not confront their relative (29%). Speak Up!

Within this section of the NCADD website, we offer valuable information about:

Frequently Asked Questions/Facts – basic facts as well as frequently asked questions and myths

Signs and Symptoms – some signs to look for about use of alcohol or drugs

Helping Someone – You Are Concerned About – important information on getting help for yourself and the person you are concerned about

Family Education – information about what friends and families need to learn

Intervention – information about Intervention as a way to engage family and friends in a program of education aimed at helping someone accept treatment

Family Disease and Recovery – information about the Family Disease of alcoholism and addiction as well as information about getting help and recovery

Recovery Stories – from Family Members – real-life stories from family members of hope, help and healing.

Local Resources

Al-Anon (a free 12-Step program for people affected by someone else’s drinking)

Al-Anon Family Groups: