The BC Centre on Substance Use works with those directly impacted by substance use to provide their knowledge, experiences, and expertise to set priorities for treating substance use and addiction.

Family members and caregivers face unique challenges when supporting a loved one struggling with substance use disorder. Although families and caregivers of all descriptions can be an extremely valuable resource in a person’s addiction care and recovery, they are too often overlooked in substance use service planning.

The BCCSU Network of Family Members and Caregivers aims to address this. It is comprised of families across British Columbia who are affected by and want to change the existing substance use system, including representatives from various support and advocacy groups.

In addition to advocating for systemic changes, the network has created a resource hub for other family members and caregivers whose loved ones are living with an addiction or have died from one. In the absence of a comprehensive system of care for treating substance use, those who have experience navigating the system are critical to helping families find the support they need.

Please note: List of resources is not exhaustive and does not include private services (i.e. treatment facilities).

UNDERSTANDING ADDICTION

CARING FOR YOUR LOVED ONE    CARING FOR YOURSELF

   NAVIGATING THE SYSTEM    ADVOCACY

VOICES OF FAMILIES

UNDERSTANDING ADDICTION

  • What is addiction?
  • Understanding substance use and addiction, resource from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
  • The addiction toolkit
  • Information and resources designed to help families understand mental and substance use disorders.
  • Substance use and mental health resources
  • A clearinghouse of resources for understanding and coming to terms with substance use disorder and the recovery/management options available from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
  • Life in recovery
  • The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) report on recovery provides information about the impact of addiction and substance on families.
  • iMinds
  • Tools for building young people's drug literacy.

CARING FOR YOUR LOVED ONE

  • Self-Management for Addiction (SMART) Recovery
  • A self-empowering addiction recovery support group with local face-to-face meetings, daily online meetings, an online board, and 24/7 chat room. Oline resources include a handbook for family & friends of people with substance use disorder (cost $10).
  • The Friends and Family Treatment Portal - The Recovery Village
  • Online tips to help family members of people with addiction.
  • Substance Abuse Treatment for Children and Adolescents: Questions to Ask
  • Questions for parents to ask of professionals when deciding on a substance use treatment for their child.
  • Family Addiction Service - Access Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • This telephone-based service provides information and resources on mental illness, addiction, and concurrent disorders, including support, education, and consultation for those concerned about the substance use of a family member or friend. Call 416-535-8501 (press 2) or 1-800-463-6273.
  • The Survival Manual
  • A compilation of services for anybody facing change, addiction, a crisis situation, homelessness and/or hunger. Areas of service include counselling, education and professional training, social action research and community development.
  • 10 Ways Family Members Can Help
  • This brochure contains 10 ways family members can help a loved one struggling with addiction.

CARING FOR YOURSELF

  • Gone Too Soon: Navigating Grief and Loss as a Result of Substance Use
  • For families who have lost loved ones to substance use. This handbook covers emotions and responses you may experience, tips to take care of yourself, practical considerations in the wake of this tragedy, and stories from people who are bereaved.
  • From Grief to Action Coping Kit: Dealing with Addiction in Your Family
  • For families with loved ones actively using drugs or in active addiction. This booklet focuses on questions, issues, and practical problems faced by parents, guardians, and loved ones of people who use drugs. It provides valuable information about substances and how to minimize risks, how to communicate with loved ones, dealing with the criminal justice system, and accessing treatment and recovery services.
  • When Words Matter
  • A guide, video and poster campaign that offers pointers to friends and family concerned about someone else’s substance use, including how to prepare for and begin a conversation, how to remain calm and focused, how to recover when it doesn’t go well and how to care for themselves in a relationship with a substance use.
  • The Addict's Mom
  • A group for mothers of children with addiction.
  • Recognizing Resilience
  • A workbook filled with tips, ideas, and resources for people taking care of adolescents who are using substances.
  • Recovery For a Loved One
  • Information on how to help a loved one with substance use addiction.
  • Substance Use Services - Sources BC
  • Free, confidential individual, family and group counselling for anyone concerned about their own or someone else’s substance use (currently based in the Lower Mainland).
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics
  • A 12-step program for adults who grew up in alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional homes, includes meetings and support groups where people can share their journey to recovery.
  • Sibling Support
  • Online resources (e.g., stories, fact sheets, tool kits) for sibilings of people with substance use disorder.
  • Parent-to-Parent Peer Support
  • Peer support for parents who children are struggling with addiction where supporters with lived experience will lend an understanding ear and speak about strategies to help the family and their child.
  • Families for Addiction Recovery
  • Information about addiction (drugs, stigma), treatment options, and tips for families to support themselves or a loved one with substance use addiction.
  • Sober Families
  • An organization specializing in an approach called Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) to help families develop skills to help a person with addiction. Their website contains blog posts, podcasts and a free email course to provide support for family members.
  • The National Association for Christian Recovery (NACR)
  • Free study guide, videos, articles, and resources for families of people with substance use addiction.
  • Grief and Addiction Support Resource List
  • Resources for people who have lost a loved one to a drug overdose.
  • Family Caregivers of British Columbia
  • Non-profit dedicated to supporting family caregivers.

  • Gone Too Soon: Navigating Grief and Loss as a Result of Substance Use
  • For families who have lost loved ones to substance use. This handbook covers emotions and responses you may experience, tips to take care of yourself, practical considerations in the wake of this tragedy, and stories from people who are bereaved.
  • From Grief to Action Coping Kit: Dealing with Addiction in Your Family
  • For families with loved ones actively using drugs or in active addiction. This booklet focuses on questions, issues, and practical problems faced by parents, guardians, and loved ones of people who use drugs. It provides valuable information about substances and how to minimize risks, how to communicate with loved ones, dealing with the criminal justice system, and accessing treatment and recovery services.
  • When Words Matter
  • A guide, video and poster campaign that offers pointers to friends and family concerned about someone else’s substance use, including how to prepare for and begin a conversation, how to remain calm and focused, how to recover when it doesn’t go well and how to care for themselves in a relationship with a substance use.
  • The Addict's Mom
  • A group for mothers of children with addiction.
  • Recognizing Resilience
  • A workbook filled with tips, ideas, and resources for people taking care of adolescents who are using substances.
  • Recovery For a Loved One
  • Information on how to help a loved one with substance use addiction.
  • Substance Use Services - Sources BC
  • Free, confidential individual, family and group counselling for anyone concerned about their own or someone else’s substance use (currently based in the Lower Mainland).
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics
  • A 12-step program for adults who grew up in alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional homes, includes meetings and support groups where people can share their journey to recovery.
  • Sibling Support
  • Online resources (e.g., stories, fact sheets, tool kits) for sibilings of people with substance use disorder.
  • Parent-to-Parent Peer Support
  • Peer support for parents who children are struggling with addiction where supporters with lived experience will lend an understanding ear and speak about strategies to help the family and their child.
  • Families for Addiction Recovery
  • Information about addiction (drugs, stigma), treatment options, and tips for families to support themselves or a loved one with substance use addiction.
  • Sober Families
  • An organization specializing in an approach called Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) to help families develop skills to help a person with addiction. Their website contains blog posts, podcasts and a free email course to provide support for family members.
  • The National Association for Christian Recovery (NACR)
  • Free study guide, videos, articles, and resources for families of people with substance use addiction.
  • Grief and Addiction Support Resource List
  • Resources for people who have lost a loved one to a drug overdose.
  • Family Caregivers of British Columbia
  • Non-profit dedicated to supporting family caregivers.

NAVIGATING THE SYSTEM

Families at the Centre


Families at the Centre is a document created by the Province of BC to help guide transformation in BC systems in order to achieve better results for families affected by a mental health and/or substance use problem – defining a new way of engaging and working with them.

ADVOCACY

The BC Centre on Substance Use works with those directly impacted by substance use to provide their knowledge, experiences, and expertise to set priorities for treating substance use and addiction.

The Latest: BC families release blueprint to support addiction treatment, end stigma.

BCCSU's network of families and caregivers releases report setting provincial priorities to develop a substance use system of care, further engage family members and caregivers in treatment and care of loved ones, and address the stigma that contributes to the harms associated with substance use.

Read the full report here:

Close to Home: Families & Caregivers set priorities for addressing substance use addiction in BC

To find out how you can get involved or support the BCCSU Network of Family Members and Caregivers, please contact:
Katie Mai
Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator
[email protected]

VOICES OF FAMILIES

Copyright © 2019, British Columbia Centre on Substance Use

400-1045 Howe St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2A9

E: [email protected] | T: (778) 945-7616 | F: (604) 428-5183

Online Addiction Medicine Diploma: [email protected].