Bereaved by addiction to drugs or alcohol? We are here to support you

Elizabeth’s story

When my son Nicholas died in February 2004 I was overwhelmed, confused and unprepared for the emotional pain and confusion resulting from his death caused by drug addiction. Understanding and then accepting such a permanent and painful loss seemed impossible. For weeks I felt trapped and my life seemed on hold as if I was bound tightly in bubble wrap and unable to break free into the real world. I did not understand how to ‘deal’ with death, where to turn to for help and support, particularly for this type of bereavement: a mother and a family bereaved by addiction. I will always be forever grateful for the support and kindness shown to me at the time which helped me through some very difficult and dark days ahead. And from this personal experience I wanted to ensure that bereavement support would be at the core the DrugFAM’s services.

How we support those bereaved through substance misuse

At DrugFAM we offer six avenues of support for those who have lost someone through substance misuse.

1. Telephone support (0300 888 3853)

Our helpline is open between 9am and 9pm seven days a week and is manned by trained family support workers.  The helpline is a place where you can talk anything that is going on for you or simply be used to remind you that you don’t have to go through this difficult time on your own.

2. Email support (

When things get really tough it can be very therapeutic to process your thoughts and feelings by writing them down.  Email can also be useful if the thought of picking up the phone just feels too difficult.  If you do email please be assured that we will reply as soon as possible

3. One-to-one support

We offer one-to-one support in our offices in High Wycombe

4. Quarterly support groups

Since March 2015 we have been holding  quarterly support groups in our High Wycombe offices.  This gives you an opportunity to meet up with others who are experiencing the same sense of loss and grief that you are.  It can be a huge relief to know that you are not alone, that others share the same thoughts and feelings that you do.

5. The Annual Bereaved by Addiction Conference

We have been running our bereavement conference every year since 2009.  It is another opportunity to meet people who have gone through the same dreadful experience you have, once again helping to reduce the sense of shame or guilt you may feel about losing a loved one in this way.  The conference is held on the first Saturday of October every year.

However you access support we are here to help you through what will probably be one of the toughest times of your life, so please don’t be on your own.  Contact us on 0300 888 3853 or at

6.  The Nicholas Mills Memorial Project

DrugFAM offers support for young people, aged 18 – 30 years old, who have been bereaved by addiction.  If you have lost a parent, sibling, extended relative or friend through use, abuse and/or addiction to drugs or alcohol we would like to hear from you.