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Make sure that you have support

You are not alone. It’s common for families and other support people to experience feelings of stress, concern and emotional exhaustion when supporting someone through alcohol and other drug issues.

Identify people that can support you and talk with you about what you’re experiencing. You can call, message, or video call them if you can’t visit them yet.


  • This situation is not your fault.
  • You don’t need to control everything.
  • You don’t have to appear like you are ok. Your household won’t fall apart if they see your human side.
  • If you a supporting your child through this, remember they need you to be a parent more than a friend.

Helpful tips for supporting a friend or family member to seek help for their alcohol or drug use are available.

Supporting someone withdrawing at home

You may be in the same house as the person you are supporting and may have less time apart than usual. Try to agree on expectations and boundaries, and take the time to hear how everyone is going.

Think about these things:

  • Who else is in the household?
  • What are the expectations in your household?
  • What positive activities can you do in your household that don’t involve alcohol and other drugs?
  • What do others in the house need to know and, if they are children, how can they be protected from what is happening?
  • How can the house be arranged to reduce the impact of alcohol and other drug use?
  • Who can people in the household speak to for support out of the house?
  • How do people in your household relax, de-stress, or celebrate achievements without using alcohol and other drugs?

Create a household plan together

You can help people in your household stay healthy and live well together by having a plan for how things will work. Maintaining good communication in a household helps issues get dealt with as early as possible.

You might like to talk about these things as a household, or as the adults in the household:

  • What are our expectations of ourselves and each other?
  • What positive activities can we do that don’t involve alcohol and other drugs?
  • How do we relax, destress, or celebrate achievements without using alcohol and other drugs?
  • How do we talk with and listen to each other?
  • What is our daily routine?
  • How do we arrange our house so that we work well? If someone in the house is having uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms due to changing their alcohol and other drug use, they might need some space so it doesn’t impact on others.