Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Resources for supporting a loved one – Help With Drinking

Need immediate support?
Please call 8-1-1 for 24/7 general health information and advice. Indigenous people across Canada can also call the toll-free Hope for Wellness Helpline at 1-855-242-3310.

Resources for supporting a loved one

When someone has a drinking problem, it often has an impact on their family, friends and co-workers. If you are looking to support a loved one who’s struggling with alcohol, these resources can help.


Keep in mind that when people struggle with alcohol use, they need to be ready and willing to get help for their own well-being. When you support someone in their recovery, remember that your health is just as important as theirs. Don’t forget to take care of yourself too.

Handbooks and toolkits


Parent Handbook


This handbook was written by parents whose children have had substance use disorders. It includes stories, guidance on recognizing substance use, tips to support your child, and information on getting support for yourself as a loved one of someone struggling with substance use.


From Grief to Action – Coping Kit


This resource kit focuses on questions, issues and practical problems faced by parents, guardians and loved ones of people who use alcohol and other drugs. Although there is a focus on young people and information relevant to supporting them, the kit can be helpful for any family member or loved one.


Here to Help – Family Toolkit


The Family Toolkit was designed to help families caring for a family member with a mental illness and addiction by providing information and practical resources. It covers topics like understanding common mental and substance use disorders, supporting recovery from a substance use disorder, and effective communication and problem-solving skills.




Families for Addiction Recovery


Families for Addiction Recovery is a national charity founded by parents of children who have struggled with addiction from their teens. This website has information on topics like facts and myths of substance use, effective treatment for substance use disorder and more.


Drug Free Kids


This site offers information and support for parents concerned about their child’s use of substances. It also includes a free online chat or phone service called The Parent Support Hub that’s accessible 24/7.


Holding Hope


Holding Hope offers peer-facilitated support groups at no cost for Canadian families and individuals whose loved ones use or have used substances.


Talking to youth about substance use


Here are some resources to help you talk to young people about drugs and alcohol:


Talking with teenagers about drugs and alcohol | Health Canada


Drug Free Kids Canada Communication Tool


Talking About and Spotting Substance Abuse | Centre for Addiction and Mental Health


Substance Use and Young People | Here to Help


Make a Difference: Talk to Your Child About Alcohol – Parents | National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

We lost [our] son, 8 years ago, to alcohol use disorder. At the time he was an adult living on his own, so it took some time for us to understand that he was sick, and then more time to try to get help for him. It was not easy to access information. Stigma definitely played a role in figuring out who we could talk to and how to access the best course of action.

Kay, parent of an adult with alcohol use disorder