Family support addictions

The VOCAL Family Support Addictions service provides support and information to parents, friends, partners and other family members living in Edinburgh and Midlothian who are affected by someone else’s drinking and drug use.

Feelings of isolation often happen when faced with a loved one’s drink or drug problem. We can often keep the ‘problem’ to ourselves, and find ourselves cut off from friends and family. At Family Support Addictions we want to support you to reduce or alleviate such feelings. We offer one-to-one support, where you can speak in confidence, perhaps for the first time outside the family.

Family Support Addictions offer regular support groups, SMART Recovery Family & Friends meetings, weekly Recovery Hub surgeries and addiction courses to parents, friends, partners and other family members living in Edinburgh who are affected by someone else’s drinking and drug use.

Contact the Family Support Addictions (Edinburgh) team:

Peer support groups

Our support groups give you the chance to meet others in a similar situation to you and who understand what you are going through in a supportive and confidential setting. The groups run monthly, apart from January:

  • First Tuesday (Alcohol & Drugs) Group: 6pm – 8pm
  • First Thursday (Alcohol & Drugs ) Group: 10.30am – 1pm (includes lunch)

All groups take place at VOCAL Carers Centre, 8 – 13 Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2PW

SMART recovery family & friends

The SMART recovery goal for family and friends is for you to achieve a healthy, positive and balanced lifestyle while supporting loved your one in a meaningful and truly helpful way. Regular structured group meetings provide an opportunity for carers to explore topics such as change and motivation, self-care, positive communication, trust and forgiveness and healthy boundaries.

SMART Recovery meetings are held every Tuesday at the VOCAL carer centre, 8-13 Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh from 2-4pm and 6-9pm on alternate weeks. Meetings are facilitated by Stuart Byrne (Family Support Officer and experienced SMART facilitator).

Download the 2018 meeting dates and times here

To find out more about the SMART approach, please contact the Family Support Addictions (Edinburgh) team:

SMART Recovery is ultimately most successful as a “peer led” network of meetings. At VOCAL we encourage SMART Family & Friends participants to think about becoming facilitators themselves and set up their own meetings in the community. At VOCAL we will help anyone who is interested to develop the skills and confidence to become facilitators.

Recovery hub carer support

The weekly surgeries aim to provide increased access for carers of someone with an addiction to support and advice in their local area. Family members and carers can book an initial appointment at the Recovery Hub with a support worker who will then arrange ongoing support where required.

Morning surgeries
SW Recovery Hub (Lifeline)
Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre, 30 Harvesters Way
Tel: 0131 453 9302

NE Recovery Hub
Turning Point Scotland, 5 Links Place, Leith
Tel: 0131 554 7516

Appointment times 9.30-10.10am, 10.20-11am and 11.10-11.50am

Afternoon surgeries
Craigmillar Recovery Hub (Turning Point Scotland/Lifeline)
Craigmillar Castle Road
Tel: 0131 661 5294
NW Recovery Hub (Muirhouse) (Lifeline)
Tel: 0131 332 2314

Appointment times: 1.30-2.10pm, 2.20pm-3pm and 3.10pm-3.50pm

Initial appointments can be booked:

  • Directly with the Recovery Hubs (see above) or
  • By contacting the Family Support Addictions team by email ( or phone (0131 622 6262).

Addictions courses

In partnership with the Alcohol Problems service and other relevant organisations we run a number of free courses each year for family and friends. Sessions run over two to three weeks and explore topics such as addiction, the impact on the family and coping strategies.

To discuss the courses further or book a place on the next course please contact the Family Support Addictions team on 0131 622 6262 or email

National helpline numbers:

  • The National Drugs Helpline – 0800 587 5879
  • Drinkline – 0800 917 8282

Families and friends can play a crucial role in the lives of people with alcohol or drug problems and be instrumental in their recovery. VOCAL Midlothian has a dedicated Family Support Addictions worker in place to support family members and friends affected by someone else’s alcohol or drug misuse.

The service provides free, confidential, one-to-one and group support as well as workshops and training. We are able to provide emotional support and information which can reduce your isolation, help you to get a better balance in your life and to help you think through the role you want to play.

For more information and support please contact Ashleigh at Midlothian Carer Centre on 0131 663 6869.