If that person relies on you for help, then you are a carer. You may not be able to change your loved one’s behaviour but there is information, advice and support available for you.
On this page you can find out where to get help and how you can get involved and improve the support and services provided to you, your relative or friend, and other carers.
No matter who you care for, how long you’ve been caring or what your circumstances are, if you are looking after a loved one who misuses drugs or alcohol, we are here to helpWe can:
- Help you plan your caring role and guide you through the system.
- Make sure that you have time for a life of your own.
- Provide opportunities for you to learn new skills or hobbies and gain knowledge to help you to care.
- Bring you together with other carers to have a say on issues affecting you at our Drug and Alcohol Carers' Forums and carers' workshops. Due to the coronavirus and guidance about social gatherings and social distancing our face to face Forums have paused and we are holding them online via Zoom. The meetings are every other Thursday, 11am - 12.15pm. If you would like to join in, please contact us on 01992 58 69 69 or email
- Give you the chance to meet other people like you who understand your situation.
- Keep you updated on issues related to caring and your caring situation. One way we keep you updated is through our newsletter (the last issue was Issue one of 2021 and can be viewed here Drug & Alcohol Carers' Newsletter (Issue 1 of 2021) or from the download area below.
By joining our Drug and Alcohol Carer Forums you can:
- raise issues that concern you
- talk to treatment service providers and commissioners
- have the opportunity to be involved in the planning and delivery of events for family carers
- speak to staff at a range of front-line services about what it's like to live with someone else's addiction.
Call 01992 58 69 69 to access our free and confidential support services and have your say. We have three Involvement and Development Workers (Mental Health and Substance Misuse) that support carers of someone affected by a loved one's drug or alcohol misuse, a mental health condition or both - a dual diagnosis. They are: Sarah Williams, Rosemarie Muldoon and Peter Marriott and you can contact them by calling our office in the first instance - 01992 58 69 69.
Where to get help?
Here you will find information on and contact details for services both in Hertfordshire and nationally which provide support to carers whose lives are affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol use. You don’t have to use drugs or alcohol to be affected by them. There is support for you too.
We can help you to make positive changes to your life.
Change, Grow, Live (CGL) (Spectrum) provides a free and confidential service for adults and young people who have a problem with drugs or alcohol. They also offer advice, guidance and support to people, such as family carers, with a loved one that has a problem with drugs or alcohol. They run family, friends and carers groups in Hatfield, Hertford, Stevenage, and Watford. For more information or support call 0800 652 3169 or email or visit the website www.changegrowlive.org
Emerging Futures provide safe accommodation for those who are homeless, rough sleepers and street drinkers. They support those with severe drug and alcohol misuse issues to move towards healthier, independent living using peer-to-peer support, harm reduction techniques and housing first principles. They provide housing clinics through Change, Grow, Live hubs too. For more information, call 0333 0124714 or email or visit their website at www.emergingfutures.org.uk. Carers can refer the person they care for to Emerging Future's housing services using the downloadable referral form at this link. Although it is worded as a referral form for professionals to complete, family and friend carers can submit referrals, or the person they care for can refer themselves too.
The Living Room is commissioned to provide Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services in Hertfordshire and has centres in St Albans, Stevenage and Watford, providing the 12-Step Recovery Programme for people who misuse drugs or alcohol as well as carer support groups. There is a family and carers' group that meets in Watford every Wednesday from 6pm to 8pm. For more information call 0300 365 0304 or visit www.livingroomherts.org. There is also a helpline people can phone out of hours, run by Family Lives on
0808 800 2222.
Resolve runs a day therapy programme in Welwyn Garden City for people suffering an alcohol or substance misuse problem, and offers support services for family, friends and Carers of people with addiction issues, including an evening Carers Group, counselling and alternative therapies. Resolve also has a premises in Hatfield which offers key working for carers and a carers drop-in. For further details please call 01707 690739 or visit their website at www.resolve-online.org
Al-Anon Family Groups provides support to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else’s drinking, regardless of whether that person is still drinking or not. Click here and enter your postcode to find groups in your area, or call 020 7403 0888, between 10am – 10pm. It is open every day.
For the website visit http://www.al-anonuk.org.uk
Families Anonymous (Famanon) is a world-wide fellowship of family members and friends affected by another’s abuse of mind-altering substances, or related behavioural problems. Families Anonymous has groups, both online and spread throughout the country, which meet regularly. Please click on (Famanon) to find out more.
And, if you are concerned about your own or someone else’s drinking visit Drinkaware at www.drinkaware.co.uk.