Supporting under 18s impacted by someone else’s drug or alcohol use

If you’re worried that your or someone else’s drinking or drug use is affecting your child, we’re here to help.  

This page will give you information about how children and young people can feel when they have a family member that uses alcohol or drugs, and suggest some ways to help and support them.  

Supporting children and young people

Alcohol and drug use within the family is often not spoken about, but it is important to remember that you are not alone and support is always available.

Over 5 million people in the UK are affected by someone else’s drinking or drug use, including lots of children and young people.

Children and young people impacted by family substance use can sometimes feel scared, worried and confused. They might feel that they can’t talk to anyone because they will get themselves or someone else into trouble.

‘‘Today I found out there are other people who have similar problems and I’m not on my own”

You can read stories from more people who have been in situations like yours and were helped by our services by clicking the link below:

People impacted by family substance use share their stories

It is important for children and young people to know that it is not their fault, and that there are ways they can manage difficult family situations.

We have a page on advice for under 18s impacted by family substance use.

Getting support from Change Grow Live 

We have 20 services across the country that support children and young people who may have been affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol use. You might sometimes hear these services called our ‘hidden harm’ services.  

We empower children and young people to cope with difficult family situations and feel stronger in themselves.   

We don’t judge anyone involved, and our services are confidential. We are not a part of social services. 

Our services are a safe space for people to explore their feelings about a situation they might not feel they have much control over.   

Find your local service 

We’ve put together some answers to a few questions you might have about how our services can help:

Get help, support and advice

If you’re struggling with drugs or alcohol, we’re here to help.

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