Family Members and Friends of People Experiencing Addiction
If you need advice and support on where to turn, there are many options.
In Crisis / General Information
- Call 911 if you are involved in an urgent, immediate emergency situation
- Go online or call the Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline at 800-327-5050 or TTY 888-448-8321.
The Helpline provides free and confidential information and referrals for alcohol and other drug abuse problems and related concerns. Services are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Language interpreters are always available.
- Help with Gambling is available from the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling
Phone: 800-GAM-1234 (Toll free)
- See short animated video clips from Plan Your Recovery about how cravings can cause loss of control for persons with addiction and about Medication-Assisted Treatment.
- For individuals who have served in the US Military and their families:
These services are free, confidential, and available 24/7/365 to any Veteran and their loved ones, even if they are not registered with Veterans Administration (VA) or enrolled in VA health care.
Veterans’ Crisis Line (Federal)
- Phone: 800-273-8255
- Web: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net (Confidential online Chat available)
- Text: 838255
- TTY: 800-799-4889
The Statewide Advocacy for Veterans' Empowerment (SAVE) Team (Massachusetts)
- Phone: 617-210-5743
- Web: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/statewide-advocacy-for-veterans-empowerment-save (Confidential online Chat available)
- Text: 838255 TTY: 800-799-4889
- Al-Anon and Al-Ateen and other mutual support groups can give ongoing support
- Allies in Recovery (AiR) Allies in Recovery (AiR) provides instruction and social networking for family members and loved ones who want to learn tools and techniques to help someone in their life who struggles with substance abuse. In addition to the e-learning platform, the site includes several blogs, written especially for people who have been touched by addiction. This is an opportunity to pose questions, interact with other members, and receive expert guidance. Massachusetts residents can join for free by entering a Massachusetts zip code in the Promotional Code field.
- Families Understanding Substance Use with Education (FUSE) is a no-cost educational group designed to coach, support, guide, and empower families whose loved one is challenged by substance abuse. Call (413) 310-3318 to enroll.
- Overdose reversal Massachusetts is at the forefront of training the public (people with addictions and those who care about or work with them) in using intra-nasal naloxone (Narcan) for reversal of opioid overdoses. As of Fall 2015, nearly 5800 overdoses had been reversed. See the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services Opioid Overdose Prevention information page to find out more.
- Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling
1-800-GAM-1234 (Toll free)
Career and Volunteer Opportunities
Many Family members and friends of people who have experienced addiction find it has been a live-changing experience. Some become Counselors or Advocates, or provide peer support to others going through the same experience. Explore the Advance Your Career pages to see even more options. Many programs have client advisory boards on which family members and friends can serve.