Help and support - Children of Alcoholics Week 11-17 February 2018

Alcoholism is like an illness where people have lost control over their drinking and usually need help to stop.

Coping with someone else’s drinking can be difficult. It is important to take care of yourself. Try talking about how you feel with someone you trust. Sharing your feelings is not being disloyal to your family but it can help you to feel less alone. There are many people and places that can help, a few of which are listed below.

You are not alone.

The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (Nacoa)

Nacoa provide support, information and advice to children of alcohol-dependent parents and others concerned with their welfare.

Helpline: 0800 358 3456



jerry moeMessage from Jerry Moe Vice President, Betty Ford Center and author of Understanding Addiction and Recovery Through a Child’s Eyes

“Happy COA Week to all my dear friends and colleagues in the U.K. I especially salute the work of Nacoa during this special time of year. They are making such a huge difference by reminding children of all ages that they are not alone, addiction is not their fault, and there are safe people and places to turn to for help. For so many, Nacoa is a safe haven for help and hope.”

Al-Anon Family Groups

The Al-Anon Family Groups are a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who provide support to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else’s drinking. In some areas there are also Alateen groups who support young people aged twelve to seventeen who are affected by a problem drinker.

Helpline: 020 7403 0888



Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA)

Fellowship of women and men who grew up in alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional homes.

Phone: 07071 781899




DrugFAM provides support to families, carers and friends affected by substance abuse.

Helpline: 0845 388 3853


“I wish everyone involved in COA Week success in their vital endeavours to support children. As a teacher, I know how important it is for children to grow up in a family where their loved one’s alcohol abuse does not destroy the heart and soul of a child. I have had so many letters from children whose lives have been derailed that I cannot commend highly enough the work Nacoa is doing. Having lost my own son to drugs and alcohol, I cannot begin to imagine the pain some of these children go through. You offer a lifeline of hope and are a true inspiration to society.”

Elizabeth Burton-Phillips, Founder of DrugFAM

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC)

Napac provide support and information for people abused in childhood.

Helpline: 0800 085 3330


“Children are greatly affected when their parents or carers are alcoholics. NAPAC has long been aware of this huge social problem and we are in awe of the amazing work that Nacoa does in supporting children of alcoholics. Children do not choose this life for themselves. It is imposed on them and alcohol abuse is a massive problem in our society. If we are really to care about our children then we must care for all of them and therefore we are delighted to support Nacoa and all it stands for.”

Peter Saunders, Founder and chief executive of NAPAC

John and Linda Friel

“We have been working from an ecological-systemic perspective with addicts and their families for over 25 years, and have found the work of Nacoa to be invaluable in the ongoing healing process for everyone involved. Those of us who grew up in alcoholic or other kinds of addictive systems often struggle with addiction, depression, anxiety, and serious work and relationship problems. As “pack animals,” we humans are not biologically designed to manage these kinds of struggles alone. We need each other, and Nacoa helps to put that fact in the foreground where it belongs. Keep up the incredibly important work!”

John C. Friel and Linda D. Friel, Licensed Psychologists in private practice and New York Times Best-selling authors of 8 recovery/self-help books

The Renewal Centre

“The Renewal Centre is a vision borne of a family with children profoundly traumatised by alcoholism. It provides specialised therapy for those affected by addiction, in particular family therapy – a much neglected and unrecognised need in the UK – and is delighted to be part of COA Week. Nacoa’s helpline will continue to be a valued lifeline for any child of any age in need of help.”

Sally Miller, Founder of The Renewal Centre

Don Lavender

“Society recognizes the need to send an ambulance to the overturned vehicle in the middle of the road. We strap the alcoholic to the gurney and rush, sirens blasting, to the hospital…leaving the wrecked vehicle full of bruised family members, some of them children, staring through the windows at the help that seems to arrive but then goes away.
Nacoa has the right idea. Their focus is working with the children and the families who are most often left behind. To call their work important is an understatement. Their work is a necessity.”

Don Lavender B.A., MDiv, Psychotherapist and programme director of the Camino Recovery Centre