Support for parents, carers and families

We are here to support you

If you are a parent, carer or family member, worried about a young person's drug or alcohol use, it can be difficult to know where to turn or what to do. 

We’re not just here to support young people, we’re also here to support you too. By supporting you, we can together ensure that young people stay safe, get the right information and make better choices. 

You might be concerned that a young person you care for is using drugs or alcohol. You might be looking for advice on how to start the conversation or you might simply be looking to update your own knowledge so that you can answer any questions your child or young person may have.

Whatever the situation, we are here ready to help you. 

How we support parents, carers and families

Here are some of the ways we support parents, carers and families.

Many people who contact us are simply looking for further information and advice and we are happy to provide you with as much information as you need. You don’t need to worry about the young person finding out that you have been in touch with us. We can give you information discreetly. 

Our website contains lots of useful information and self help guides. We’ve included a list of resources you may find useful below. You can also learn more about our work through our social media accounts.

If you want to speak to one of our Young People's Workers you can get contact details for your local service using our service finder

Alternatively, you can chat to one of our trained advisors through our webchat. We’re online between 9am and 9pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday. You can still message us outside of these hours and we will get back to you as soon as we open again.

In some areas, we run workshops which teach parents, carers and family members more about drugs and alcohol and the effects on a young person’s development. They also cover the different treatment options for young people and how, as a family member, you can also look after yourself. 

Check your local service details to find out if these are offered in your areas. 

In some of our services, we are commissioned to provide specialist support to the family members and friends of those who use substances. You can use our service finder to find out if we offer this service in your local area. 

Specialist Carer Support recognises the important role you play in supporting a young person, and the support needs you have in your own right. You’ll have access to a support worker who will help you identify your own needs and put together a package of support. This may include specialist programmes such as CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) which is specifically tailored to the needs of family and friends of people using substances. 

If we don’t provide specialist carer support in your local area, you will be able to find out about your local carer support services through your local council website. Alternatively, you can contact our webchat team, who will help you locate your local provider. 

In some of our services, there are support groups for parents and carers who are affected by a young person’s substance use. These are often delivered by people who have experience of being a parent or carer of a young person using substances and are attended by people experiencing similar issues. The groups help you to understand the impact substance use can have on family and relationships and how to take care of your own wellbeing. Sometimes these groups are delivered in our services. In other cases they are delivered through another agency, which we can direct you to.

Use our service finder to find out more about what's available in your local area.

Hands 3

Sarah's story

Sarah* and her husband started having concerns about their son when he was 17. It began in lockdown, when their son moved back into the family home. They started noticing signs that raised suspicions of drug use.

She tells us how picking up the phone to WithYou saved both her son, and her family. 

If a young person uses drugs regularly or you think they may be dependent...

It’s important that they don't stop suddenly as they may experience significant withdrawal symptoms and this can be dangerous.

Contact one of our free and confidential services to learn how to detox safely or you can seek help from a medical professional like your GP.


Looking for help and support

If you want help, we’re here to support you.

Where to get further help

Here are some further sources of information to support you through this difficult time.

Turning point

Alcohol Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous

Smart Recovery



Scottish Families Affected By Alcohol & Drugs