Resources for Families of People with Substance Use Disorders

Family Mutual Support Groups

  • Adult Children of Alcoholics: This program is for men and women who grew up in alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional homes. The only requirement for membership is a desire to recover.
  • Al-Anon: This is a mutual support program for friends and families of individuals with alcohol problems. Al-Anon offers group meetings (in-person, by phone, online, international) where friends and family members share their experiences and learn ways to cope with an addiction problem. Al-Anon Online Chat is also available.
  • Alateen: This is for teens whose lives have been affected by someone else's drinking. Like Al-Anon, Alateen provides group meetings where members share experiences and learn the principles of the Al-Anon program.
  • Families Anonymous: This is for the families and friends who have known a feeling of desperation concerning the destructive behavior of someone very near to them, whether caused by drugs, alcohol, or related behavioral problems. Meetings without Walls are online meetings.
  • Families of Addicts (FOA): FOA works to reduce the stigma of addiction and ensure availability of adequate treatment/recovery support services while providing support and resources focused on the entire family.
  • Nar-Anon: Nar-Anon is a Twelve-Step mutual support program adopted from Narcotics Anonymous. This program offers mutual support group meetings for families affected by any type of drug problem. Nar-Anon Online Chat is also available.

Family Support Resources

  • Faces and Voices of Recovery: This is an advocacy organization that provides information and support for families and those with a substance use disorder.
  • Family Resource Center: This website has various resources for families to understand and address a child's substance use. The resources can be filtered by the intended user, for example, parents of young adolescents, older teens, adult children, or teachers/community support personnel.
  • Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: PA DHS KinConnector Helpline 1-866-KIN-2111 The KinConnector helpline is staffed by Kinship Navigators – compassionate, knowledgeable social service professionals prepared to help families locate, understand, and access resources that may be able to help them. Kinship Navigators will connect grandparents and other relatives who are raising children with resources such as health, financial, and legal services, support groups, training, and parenting advice. They will help families locate physical or behavioral health services, enroll the child in school, find support groups, and other services designed to help caregivers.
  • Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: This is a nonprofit organization that aims to help families struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. They provide information, support, and guidance to families, in addition to advocating for greater understanding and more effective programs to treat addiction. They offer a helpline that helps families connect with experts.
  • SAMHSA--20 Minute Guide: A free online resource for parents and partners about how they can help change their children’s substance use.

Pennsylvania Resources for Family Members

  • Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programming (DDAP): Provides information about SUDs, overdoses, naloxone, and treatment resources throughout PA (see “Find Treatment Services”).
  • Pennsylvania Get Help Now: 1-800-662-4357. This website and helpline provide information about local resources for substance use disorders. Go to “Care Provider Search” and enter the County name or zip code of the area you are looking for treatment programs. This help line can also direct you to funding alternatives for the uninsured who may not be eligible for Medicaid.
  • Pennsylvania Naloxone Resource Page: Pennsylvania’s resource page about naloxone, including the Standing Order, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about naloxone (also known as Narcan and Evzio).
  • Pennsylvania Stop: This provides education about the risks of prescription painkiller and heroin use, the relationship between painkiller and heroin use, and what to do when you need help. Information is also available regarding prevention and treatment programs in Pennsylvania.

National Resources for Family Members of People with a SUD

  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): Offers information on alcohol problems, treatment and research. Includes information for professionals, individuals with alcohol problems, and families. NIAAA supports and conducts research on alcohol use on human health and well-being, and treatment interventions.
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): Information on substances, SUDs, opioid overdoses, treatment and research. There is specific link with tools for brief screening of a drug problem in pdf for opioid risk or opioid withdrawal symptoms (e.g., NIDA Quick Screen; DAST-10; Clinical Opioid Withdrawal Scale; and Opioid Risk Tool).
  • Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: An organization for families addressing every aspect of substance use and addiction, from prevention to recovery.
  • Rethinking Drinking Calculator: This helps the reader determine if too much alcohol is being consumed or if he or she has an alcohol problem.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): SAMHSA is leading public health efforts to reduce the impact of substance problems and mental illness. The website provides information about substance use problems, treatment and recovery. Also provided is a treatment location finder: 1-800-662-HELP