Family and Friends

senior man talking to teenaged girl

Family and friends of people who use alcohol and other drugs (AOD) often feel isolated, powerless, and confused. Talking about it can feel overwhelming, and you may not know where to start. In this resource you’ll find some helpful tips on how to approach a conversation with your friend or family member about the impact of their alcohol and other drug use.1

Discussing alcohol and other drugs is also a good opportunity to learn more about:

  • what’s going on for them
  • your beliefs on alcohol and drug use
  • different types of drugs and their effects
  • what kind of support is available.
  1. BreakThrough. Families Understanding Addiction [cited 2024 29 Mar].
  2. Ritter A, King T, Lee N. Drug Use in Australian Society 2e EBook. Melbourne, AUSTRALIA: Oxford University Press Australia & New Zealand; 2017 [cited 2024 29 Mar].
  3. Sanci L, Webb M, Hocking J. Risk-taking behaviour in adolescents. Australian Journal for General Practitioners [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2024 29 Mar]; 47:[829-34 pp.].
  4. Positive Choices. Starting the conversation when you are concerned about drug and alcohol use: Positive Choices; 2023 [cited 2024 29 Mar].
  5. Stone J, Marsh A, Dale A, Willis L, O’Toole S, Helfgot S, et al. Counselling guidelines: Alcohol and other drug issues: Western Australian Mental Health Commission; 2021 (reprint) [cited 2024 29 Mar].
  6. Positive Choices. Why do young people use drugs and alcohol? [cited 2024 29 Mar].
  7. Breakthrough for Families Queensland. Concerned about a family member’s substance use? [cited 2024 29 Mar].
  8. Family Drug Support. Setting Boundaries [cited 2024 29 Mar].