Adfam Survey: How has Covid-19 impacted families affected by substance use internationally?


The Policy and Communications team at Adfam have asked us to relay this call-out to ISSUP members and the international DDR community...

Adfam is a UK-based charity that improves life for families affected by someone else’s substance use.

We’ve heard through our frontline projects, findings from an online survey, activity on our online family forum and statements from partner organisations that Covid-19 is resulting in a number of additional challenges for families in the UK that are affected in this way. These challenges are complex and multifaceted and include:

  • An increase in domestic abuse, evidenced by a 50% rise in calls to the UK’s national domestic abuse helpline.
  • Negative impacts on the mental health of family members, as well as strong feelings of anxiety.
  • Families suffering disruption to their daily routines and coping mechanisms that they previously used to cope with their loved one’s substance use or problem gambling.
  • Families experiencing increased pressure from their loved one whom they are living with under lockdown and difficulty in maintaining boundaries. 
  • Increased risk of catching the virus for families that are living with their loved one who is not following the lockdown and exposing themselves to possible infection.

These are some of the issues we’ve seen in the UK but what about across the rest of the world?

We are interested to hear how Covid-19 has impacted upon families affected by substance use internationally, as well as the challenges facing services that exist to support these families.

If you are, or work with anyone affected in this way, we would like to hear from you. Please get in touch and let us know what the current situation is in your country.

Email admin [at] adfam [dot] org [dot] uk or Tweet @AdfamUK.

Thank you.

For more information about Adfam see the interview ISSUP held in April 2020 with Adfam Chief Executive Vivienne Evans OBE.