New online program for family and friends


Two people comforting one another

Cracks in the Ice has launched a new online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) program for people supporting others with alcohol and other drug use issues. The Family and Friend Support Program (FFSP) is evidence-based and tailored to addresses the needs of family and friends.

FFSP contains 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.

Expanded from Cracks in the Ice's earlier project that focuses on support for family and friends impacted by crystal methamphetamine 'ice' use, FFSP now encompasses modules for people dealing with all types of drug or alcohol problems. It is also suitable for health professionals, with training modules, information and referral pathways for the affected families and friends they encounter in their practice.

FFSP is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, and the program expansion has been developed in collaboration with the University of Newcastle Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research and the University of Sydney's Matilda Centre.

Why family and friends need support

Helping a person who is struggling with alcohol or other drug problems can take a toll on a person's mental and physical wellbeing. It is important that anyone affected by alcohol or other drug use can access help so they can look after themselves and their own needs. Getting help, looking after your health and having someone to talk to can go a long way to keeping you well. Maintaining good health can in turn help those who rely on you.

"Families and friends are integral to effective support and recovery of people with substance use issues; however, they often neglect their own needs," – Professor Kay-Lambkin, researcher at the Hunter Medical Research Institute's Brain and Mental Health Program, University of Newcastle

For more on how to manage your wellbeing visit Self-care & wellbeing in For Families.

How much does FFSP cost?

The FFSP is free for families and loved ones. Visit to register and begin the program.

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).

For further 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.

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.

Your Room > What's New > New online program for family and friends