5-Step Family/Whanau Programme

Nationwide Online Support Available

Living with or actively supporting someone we care about who has alcohol or other drug misuse, is often painful, frustrating and overwhelming. The most challenging part of this experience for many families/whanau is that it is so unpredictable.

The good news is that there are steps which can be taken, and as a family/whanau member, you don’t have to deal with this situation on your own. The 5-Step programme has been designed to support you on what can often be an emotional roller coaster. There can be chaotic situations and moments of desperation and despair when supporting family/whanau members who have alcohol and other drug misuse. The programme provides opportunities to reflect on the impact this is having on you and the rest of your family/whanau, and guides you to develop practical strategies, so you cope better.

Topics covered include building coping and resilience in oneself, balancing life for family/whanau members, staying involved through chaos, building boundaries with love and care and much more. Experienced presenters, including a psychologist, provide a confidential, caring and empathetic opportunity for you to develop strategies to support yourself and the person you care about who has alcohol or other drug misuse. Having a road map for the often-challenging journey has been shown by research to help families/whanau. We regularly hear stories from alcohol and other drug users who tell us that if it wasn’t for the continued support and belief of their family/whanau: partners, parents, siblings, they might not have made it. The programme has been running in many countries and is culturally inclusive. Now New Zealand families/whanau can gain the support they need.

Comments from Family Members* attending

“I particularly liked the information on coping strategies. The presentations were amazing. So helpful. I experienced encouragement, understanding and empowerment. If I had a friend in a similar situation I would definitely recommend this programme. It has helped enormously”. Bruce

“I am totally, totally grateful for this programme. I am feeling empowered through the knowledge gained. The programme was clear and easy to understand. I can better understand my place on this journey”. Kate

“I felt privileged people were willing to share their stories in such a supportive place. The material presented was so helpful. I definitely found the information about how to cope so helpful. I would definitely recommend this programme”. Moana

*Names have been changed to protect privacy


For further information contact

Family/Whānau Support

Thursdays - 12.00pm - 1.00pm.

This group is open to family/whānau members who are impacted by the alcohol and other drug use of people they care about. It focuses on building resilience and coping strategies through information sharing, learning about services available and understanding the journey that family/whānau experience. Facilitated by Family Drug Support Aotearoa New Zealand.

Family/Whānau Support Meetings

Online Support Available Now

There are support meetings in some areas of New Zealand. Call our support line to see if there are support meetings in your area.

Non-religious, open meetings for family/whānau members affected by drugs and alcohol. Open to anyone and providing opportunities to talk and listen to others in a non-judgemental, safe environment.

Support Line Volunteer Training

Please contact the office
Christchurch Community House

Interested in volunteering?

For more information and to register your expression of interest check out the volunteering for Family Drug Support Aotearoa New Zealand section of our website. We can also come to your area and provide volunteer training when 5 or more participants wish to volunteer.