Ballymun Family Support Service


The Ballymun Family Support Service is available to people over 18 years of age who are affected by the drug and/or alcohol use of a family member or loved one.

“The family can be helped to help, helped to deal with their own problems, helped to understand the nature of the problem they are dealing with and helped to develop a strategy of coping and caring that can at a minimum protect the family from negative impacts …..and potentially support the user into recovery….. the family can be an agent for change.” Carmel Duggan (The Experience of Families Seeking Support in Coping with Heroin Use)

Many problems can occur as a result of addiction in the family:

  • Financial problems.
  • Drug debts / intimidation.
  • Relationship difficulties or family breakdown.
  • Domestic violence.
  • Bereavement and loss.
  • Poor mental health and well being.

Family members can explore how they respond to addiction within the family. Family members have a crucial role to play in the recovery process. With the right type of support family members can:

  • Reduce the negative impact on the family as a whole.
  • Interrupt the negative dynamic of addiction.
  • Identify and look after their own needs.
  • Help the drug or alcohol user to make constructive choices.

One to One Assessment

When contacted for the first time, we will offer you a one to one appointment to discuss your concerns and to explore and assess how best to respond.

5-Step Programme

This is an evidence based programme usually delivered in a group setting over five consecutive weeks. The 5-steps are:

1: How the problem affects you and your family.

2: Increasing your knowledge and understanding.

3: Ways of responding.

4: Getting help from others.

5: Further help.

Weekly Support Group

This is a support group which meets once a week offering family members a safe, non-judgmental place to talk about their current situation. Family members who attend this group have reported feeling less isolated and less alone in coping with the impact of drug or alcohol use within their family. Participants have said that when they attend a family support group they feel more confident and better able to make decisions about how to cope with substance use in their family. This can greatly reduce stress and anxiety which can in turn lead to better physical and psychological health.

Contact and Referral

If you would like support or have any questions regarding a loved one’s drug or alcohol use and its affect on you and your family, please contact us at the number below.

Linda McDermott: Horizons Centre, Balcurris Rd, Ballymun, Dublin 11

Telephone: 01 846 7930. e-mail: