People may use alcohol and other drugs for many reasons, to have fun or relax, feel part of a group or to avoid physical or psychological pain, stress or boredom. But when a family member becomes dependent on alcohol or other drug, family life can become difficult.
While many families may not experience issues related to alcohol or other drugs use, some may and they should know that they are not alone. There are non-judgemental and caring support services available to help them.
"There were people who were in the same boat as we were and there is an enormous amount of comfort in that. You're not alone." – Anne, family member
Family Drug Support
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.
"We're trying to get [families] to learn some strategies for survival; to communicate better, to have more honesty, to look after themselves – self-care is really important." – Tony Trimingham, Family Drug Support CEO and Founder
FDS provide a 24 hour, 7 days a week support line for families available on
1300 368 186, support groups and meetings, the 'Stepping Stones' and 'Stepping Forward' courses, events and resources. For further information on the support available through FDS visit
Watch the video below to find out more about Family Support Groups.
Get involved in International Family Support Day
Events are being held around the country to mark the International Family Drug Support Day on 24 February 2020. Registrations are now open for families to attend the International FDS Day event at Parliament House Sydney in NSW at 6pm on 25 February.
For more information and to register visit
For free and confidential advice 24/7 call Family Drug Support on
1300 368 186 or Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1800 250 015. Counsellors are available to provide information, referrals, crisis counselling and support. Or start a
Web Chat with an ADIS counsellor online Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 5pm. ADIS can also provide up-to-date information about service availability in your area during the COVID-19 pandemic.