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For Families

How to approach alcohol and drug use with your family

Alcohol and drugs are a community issue. Talking openly and honestly about them with your family, particularly your children, is one step you can take to prevent drug problems. 

The more you know, the easier it is to talk with your children about alcohol and other drugs. It may also help you recognise and prevent illegal or problematic drug and alcohol use early on and to start finding solutions.

Check out the new resources supporting families affected by alcohol and other drugs.

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Need help?

For Families

FDS provides telephone support to families in crisis due to drug and alcohol issues. FDS is staffed by volunteers who have firsthand experience of drug dependent family members.

24 hour support line

1300 368 186

More about FDS

General information

Resources for families

Managing aggression, alcohol and drug use in the home - A guide for adults

This guide is for adults who may be part of an environment that puts them and their family at risk of alcohol or drug related aggression.  There is information on where to get help, strategies on how to cope and respond to aggressive situations.

Topics include:

  • Alcohol and drug information  
  • Stages of drug use in the context of aggression, domestic violence
  • Calming down a situation - when is it safe to do so, preparation and steps involved
  • Crystalline methamphetamine (ice) use; psychosis and when to call police
  • Assisting your children
  • Healthy ways to cope
  • Help and support services

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

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

Additional support

It can be very challenging for a parent to talk to their child about many issues, including drugs. For advice about how to talk to young people about drug use, there are resources available:​
See full support list
  • 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

    along with 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
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