Supporting those affected by the drug or alcohol use of a loved one

Supporting those affected by the drug or alcohol use of a loved one

Developing Health and Independence (DHI) recently hosted its 15th annual Reach Out conference – an event for for those affected by the drug or alcohol use of a loved one.

Helen Roe, a carer who spoke at the event, said: “The Reach Out conference has been invaluable. I can’t begin to describe just how amazing the support I’ve had from DHI has been during a really tough time.”

Watch a short film about Reach Out 2022

DHI Families and Carers service

It’s estimated that for every person struggling with a drug or alcohol problem there are at least five other people directly affected. DHI’s dedicated Families and Carers service offers practical advice and support for families with dedicated group sessions that provide a safe space to discuss the impact of substance abuse with others going through similar experiences.

Stress, anxiety, depression and poor health are often significant issues for the families and carers of someone struggling with drug or alcohol problems.

As well as supporting the those who are dealing with a loved ones use, evidence shows that support for carers has a positive impact on the outcomes of those in treatment.

Bath and North East Somerset Council has supported DHI’s Family and Carer service for many years. In 2017 Bath and North East Somerset Council, Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council came together to pool their budget in order to continue to be able to fund DHI’s Family and Carers service. For a small investment, the service has a huge impact.

Councillor Dine Romero, Bath & North East Somerset Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Communities, said: “Supporting families and people like Helen is so important. The council has and continues to help fund this invaluable family service which helps people break through the stigma and loneliness felt by far too many coping with the drug or alcohol use of a loved one.”

Rosie Phillips, DHI Chief Executive, said: “It is vitally important to support both the person using drugs or alcohol alongside family members and friends, whose lives can be seriously affected. It is impossible to underestimate the effect of addiction on families and carers of those misusing. Too often they suffer in silence.”

If you are a family member and need help or advice please visit

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