For Families

​Information to support families in NSW to reduce the harms caused by alcohol and other drugs, find support services and understand treatment options.


If you are concerned about a family member, you are not alone. Here are some resources you can download for more information. For translated resources check Publications and choose your preferred language.

Managing aggression, alcohol and drug use in the home: A guide for those concerned about children 5-12 years

This guide is for family members or professionals who are concerned about the safety of children 5-12 years of age.  At a personal or professional level, there is information to discuss the issue with the child, help them feel safe and find appropriate support for them.

Topics include:

  • Rights of the child
  • Signs that a child is experiencing violence
  • Talking to children about safety and responding to violence
  • Activities to help children feel safe
  • Mandatory reporting requirements and limits of confidentiality
  • Help and support services

There are three activities in this guide that can be downloaded separately and have been designed to help family members or professionals engage with children. They are: 

Worry dial (PDF) - This activity helps children tell you how worried they are without having to talk about what is worrying them.  It can give a sense of how unsafe or worried the child feels. Please refer to page 7 in the guide. 

Trust tree (PDF)  - Children can use this activity to identify adults that they trust for their safety network. They can tell these adults how they feel and will be believed. Please refer to page 10 in the guide. 

Safe places (PDF) - This activity encourages children to remember when they felt safe and name pets, people, places, feelings etc. This helps to understand what each child needs to feel safe. Please refer to page 11 in the guide.

Find out more

Aggression, alcohol and drug use in the home - Support guide for adults

​This guide provides information for adults on how alcohol and other drugs can influence a person's behaviour, including behaviours that are aggressive, abusive and violent.

There are useful strategies, supports and resources for someone to consider when they are concerned about a family member's behaviours.

If you are experiencing or exposed to violence and aggression from a family member who is using alcohol and other drugs:

  • Information, services and resources can support you and your children if you feel unsafe

  • Treatment services can assist if your family member needs help

Find out more

Coping with aggression, alcohol and drug use in the home - A guide for teenagers

This guide is for teenagers who may be part of an environment that puts them at risk of alcohol or drug related aggression.  There is information to help them understand their right to feel safe, how to cope and find appropriate support.

Topics covered include:

  • Alcohol or drug use issues
  • What increases aggression or violence
  • Their feelings faced with this situation
  • Who they can talk to
  • How to cope
  • Help and support services

Find out more

Getting help

​Help is there for you, along with effective support and treatment for your loved one. 

See full support list
  • Families, friends and loved ones can play a critical role in the recovery of people who experience alcohol and other drug problems, however they are often focused on the needs of others while they neglect their own their own health and wellbeing.

    The Family and Friend Support Program (FFSP) is an online cognitive behavioural therapy program to support people who are caring for or supporting someone with alcohol and other drug use issues.

    FFSP is based on a series of modules and includes information and activities on how families and friends can help their loved ones, with a specific emphasis on the person providing the support and their often unmet needs. The program is also suitable for health professionals.

    For information on how to start a conversation with your loved one about their alcohol and or other drug use, tips on how to look after yourself and other resources visit our For Families mini-site.


    The program is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

    Please note that for Health Professionals there are costs involved in the 5-step training. Details about the training can be found on the Health Professionals portal in FFSP (under the icon 5-step).

    The FFSP is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.

    More about Family and Friend Support Program
  • Family Drug Support (FDS) provides support and assistance to families throughout Australia who are experiencing difficulty with a family member using alcohol or other drugs.

    FDS is a non-religious, non-judgemental and caring organisation of volunteers who have first-hand experience living with family members experiencing alcohol or drug dependency.

    FDS supports families by providing information about alcohol and other drugs, dependence and treatment options, while also helping families to overcome stigma and reduce self-blame, provide mutual support and help families build skills to strengthen their relationships.

    FDS provide a 24 hour, 7 days a week support line for families, support groups and meetings, the 'Stepping Stones' and 'Stepping Forward' courses, events and resources.

    Find out how FDS can help you.

    24 hour support line

    1300 368 186

    More about Family Drug Support (FDS)
  • ​FASD or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a term to describe a group of conditions caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

    A baby born with FASD can have life-long problems with learning, growth, behaviour, memory, language, communication and everyday living. A baby born with FASD may also have birth defects and facial abnormalities.

    It is important to have information if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Avoiding alcohol and drugs throughout your pregnancy can help your baby grow strong and healthy. You can find fact sheets, videos, podcasts and other resources about FASD on the pages below.



    More about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
  • Your Service Hub is an online directory of alcohol and other drugs support, health and welfare services. If you need support for your own or someone else's substance use, you should use terms in Find Services like:

    • drug and alcohol family support

    • drug and alcohol Aboriginal services 

    • drug counselling

    • drug and alcohol rehabilitation

    • drug and alcohol residential treatment

    Use your suburb name to narrow the search to services near you.

    Not sure what service you need? Call the Alcohol and Drug Information Service on 1800 250 015.

    More about Your Service Hub
  • The Alcohol & Drug Information Service (ADIS) is a free and confidential counselling helpline for NSW residents with concerns around alcohol and/or drug misuse and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. ADIS is staffed by professional counsellors who provide education, information, counselling, support and referrals to other appropriate services in NSW.

    Are you worried you could be drinking too much or consuming drugs in a way that has become a problem? Are you worried about your friends or family finding out and want to get help quickly and quietly? Are you worried about the drug use of someone close to you – maybe a family member or friend? Maybe you just want to know where someone can get help? 

    ADIS clinicians understand the difficulties of speaking out, seeking help and finding appropriate drug and alcohol treatment, and use their knowledge and experience to assist you and answer questions, such as:

    • How can I cut-down or stop my alcohol or drug use?
    • What help can I get?
    • Do I have to wait long to get help?
    • Can anyone ring ADIS?
    • Who do I talk to when I ring ADIS?
    • Will drug and alcohol treatments be difficult?
    • What is this drug doing to me?
    • What are the short and long term problems that could develop if I continue using?
    • Will ADIS tell anyone that I rang?
    • What can I expect when I ring?
    • Does ADIS record calls?

    You can call ADIS 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 1800 250 015 or for Sydney Metropolitan 02 8382 1000 or alternatively you can start a Web Chat.

    ADIS Web Chat is available from Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5pm (including public holidays).

    ADIS also has a range of telephone lines offering specialised drug and alcohol information and support to particular groups.

    24 hour support line

    1800 250 015

    More about Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) NSW
Your Room > For Families