DrugFAM Support Group Closures Over Christmas

Over the Christmas period our support groups will be closed.  The final groups of the year will be run on the following dates:

Witney: 10th December
Peterborough: 17th December
Swallowfield: 17th December
Borehamwood: 18th December
Chesham: 18th December
High Wycombe: 20th December

All groups will re-open in the week commencing 7th January 2019.

If you do require support over the Christmas our helpline will be running on 0300 888 3853 between 9am and 9pm every day (including Christmas Day).


Points of Light Winners

DrugFAM is delighted to announce that volunteers Gill Owen-Conway and Karen Golden were presented with Points of Light awards by the Prime Minister, Theresa May, at the recent Downing Street Reception.

We would like to add our congratulations to Gill and Karen who who thoroughly deserve this recognition for all of the time they commit to supporting those affected by someone else’s addiction.

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Theresa May hosted a reception for DrugFAM at 10 Downing Street

Theresa May DrugFAM


On Monday 27th of November Theresa May hosted a reception for DrugFAM at 10 Downing Street. The event was held to recognise the charity’s achievements, which this year have included:

– Receiving the Queens Award for Voluntary Service
– Holding a Service of Celebration and Hope at Westminster Abbey
– Our founder Elizabeth Burton-Phillips being awarded an MBE for ‘services to people who experience addiction and their families’

The reception was also a unique and special opportunity for DrugFAM to thank all of their staff, volunteers, trustees and supporters many of whom have been in contact with the charity since inception and without whom the charity would not be able to offer support to those who need it.

Special guest, Sharon Osbourne, gave the introductory speech to the 180 guests who included Theresa May, Victoria Atkins MP, Steve Baker MP, Jonty Hearnden, Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, Commander Simon Bray, The Reverend Christopher Stoltz, Minor Canon at Westminster Abbey, Sir Anthony Seldon, Professor John Kelly as well as many key supporters of DrugFAM.

Theresa May gave the main speech of the evening which included the following quotes:

“I was proud to serve as a patron of DrugFAM before I was appointed Home Secretary. The work you do makes a huge difference. You ensure that families, friends and partners affected by a loved one’s addiction get the support they need.”

“… And what has really enabled DrugFAM to do that has been the dedication and commitment of all its volunteers, and I am delighted that so many of you are here tonight. Without your generosity and the gift of time which you give to DrugFAM nothing it has achieved would have been possible.”

This wonderful occasion also saw the launch of the updated edition of ‘Mum, can you lend me twenty quid? What drugs did to my family’ the book written by DrugFAM’s founder Elizabeth Burton-Phillips, which is due for release on the 7th December. The new content brings Elizabeth’s story up-to-date by sharing the story of DrugFAM’s creation and the inspiring work supporting families impacted by addiction

Safeguarding statement

The safety and welfare of children and vulnerable adults is of paramount importance to DrugFAM. If you disclose information which we believe gives us grounds for concern about a child or adults welfare, we will discuss this with you and identify a way to take this forward. This may include sharing information with relevant agencies.

Research Into Family Recovery – Take the Survey Today


We are excited to conduct the first nationwide survey designed to document the lives of family members of people in addiction and recovery from alcohol and other drugs. While much is known about the many costs of addiction and problematic drug use, we know very little about what happens to family members of those using or in recovery. The purpose of this study is to gather information about the experiences of family members.


DrugFAM is pleased to announce that our founder Elizabeth Burton-Phillips has been awarded an MBE.

DrugFAM is pleased to announce that our founder Elizabeth Burton-Phillips has been awarded an MBE in The 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for ‘services to people who experience drug addiction and their families’

The award is given by the Queen to an individual for outstanding service to the community. Elizabeth Burton-Phillips has been given the MBE in recognition of her unwavering and tireless contributions to raise awareness of the impact of drug and alcohol addiction on families; influencing policy and practice so the needs of families are better recognised and met.

Elizabeth founded the charity DrugFAM in 2006 which provides a lifeline to families, friends and partners affected by someone else’s addiction including those bereaved by addiction.

Elizabeth is the author of ‘Mum, can you lend me twenty quid? What drugs did to my family’ which was first published in 2007. Her personal memoir has now been read by many thousands of people across the world as it has been translated into 5 languages. The book describes how an ordinary family was devastated by drug addiction which led one of Elizabeth’s twin sons, Nick, to end his life in 2004, aged just 27. In 2012, “Mum, can you lend me £20?” was adapted into a Theatre in Education stage play for schools, prisons, rehabs, drug services and the community; celebrating the 100th performance at the Palace of Westminster in October 2015.

There will be an updated publication released by Piatkus/Little Brown Book Group on 7 December 2017 which will embrace the achievements of the charity over the last ten years.
Elizabeth was co-opted on to the government’s Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs New Recovery Committee in 2012. She has contributed to research by the Universities of Bath and Sterling which has produced new guidelines for professionals working with those bereaved by substance use. She has continues to deliver lectures and key note speeches to clinicians, practitioners and other stakeholders at schools, prisons, and conference events across the globe.

Elizabeth was recognised as a Woman of Achievement at the annual Women of the Year Lunch Awards from 2009-2012 and her courage and determination to support families continues to be acknowledged around the world.

Speaking about the award Elizabeth said:

‘I am truly humbled to accept this award from Her Majesty The Queen. The MBE will, without question, strengthen my resolve and determination to continue to do all I can to support families impacted by



DrugFAM is delighted to announce that the charity has been awarded The Queen’s Voluntary Award. This is the most prestigious award available to voluntary organisations and is the equivalent of an MBE. The award recognises excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community.
The award has been given to recognise DrugFAM’s outstanding work and commitment to providing a lifeline of support to families, friends and partners affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol misuse.
CEO, Sarah Bromfield remarked ‘This is an amazing achievement for DrugFAM. Being honoured with this prestigious accolade is particularly special because it recognises the value, dedication, commitment and contribution of our wonderful team of staff, volunteers and trustees. I am so proud, well done to all’.
To celebrate this achievement DrugFAM’s Founder, Elizabeth Burton-Phillips, and Sarah Bromfield represented the charity at the Queens Garden Party, Tuesday 23rd May, 2017. Elizabeth reported ‘I was so excited to attend the Queens Garden Party with Sarah. Long may DrugFAM thrive with its fantastic staff team and volunteers.’
DrugFAM would like to especially thank Helena, Fiona, Ali, Neil and Charlotte for the nomination and recommendations for the Award.
If you would like to join our volunteer team, please contact DrugFAM 01494 442777, or email sarah@drugfam.co.uk

A Service of Celebration and Hope

On Tuesday 9th May Westminster Abbey hosted a Service of Celebration and Hope ‘Lives Worth Talking About’.  Organised by DrugFAM the service was a unifying event which inspired national conversations to challenge the prejudice and stigma of addiction.

It also provided an opportunity for families to proudly and publicity remember the lives of those lost to addiction and to acknowledge the strength and courage of those affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol misuse.