“You Are Not Alone”Carlow is where family members affected by problematic drug & alcohol use of a relative come together to share experiences, learn practical skills and to provide mutual aid & support.

Here you will:

  • Be treated with dignity & respect
  • Befriended that helps reduce isolation & stigma
  • Meet other family members in similar situations
  • Find mutual support & unity
  • Receive non judgemental information on self care, drugs, harm reduction, treatment services etc.
  • Make effective responses to the problem that improves your situation
  • Support for whole family recovery

What do peer led family support groups do?

  • Meet regularly, usually once a week
  • Provide a safe, confidential & non judgemental space
  • Provides knowledge & information
  • Focus on self-care & needs of the family
  • Focus on how problem behaviour is affecting your family & helps identify ways of responding that best suits your situation
  • Mutual support & learning. Family members share practical solutions as a group
  • Learning through workshops
  • Learning through personal development & effective family communications

Self-care & respite

We support & encourage self care as part of peer family support weekly programme. The first part involves encouraging family members to focus on areas of their life – the physical, emotional, financial and social – that may have been affected by problem substance use. Through using the “How Are You” assessment, family members are encouraged to take time to consider how they have been affected and areas they may need to focus on as part of their self care plan.

The second part of the programme is of Mindfulness/Relaxation and Meditation workshops and auricular acupuncture. This involves all or a combination of relaxed and enjoyable approach to working with the body and mind, simple techniques which help us to come into the present moment.

Self-care & respite

As part of the SER Family Support Network we believe that respite is an important part of the recovery process for family members affected by problem substance use of a relative. We actively promote & provide respite as part of the self-care programme. Respite can take many forms involving having a group weekend away, a spiritual retreat, going to a conference, doing workshops in self-care or engaging in holistic therapies. Respite involves constructive activities and/or an opportunity for some time away from the home environment and the family member who is using drugs.


We are committed to advocating on issues affecting family, we work with and have built relationships with local and regional services providers to meet the need of families. By contributing our expertise of the need of families we aim to increase levels of awareness, higher level of knowledge and responsiveness to the needs of families for whole family recovery at local, regional and national levels. Effective leadership and capacity building has ensured family members advocate their needs to ensure real and sustainable change takes place. Through our community development approach we have increasingly created space to facilitate real consultation on needs and solutions.