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CADAS video to promote Family & Friends service in GP surgeries

CADAS has created a short video specially to be shown on screens in waiting rooms around the county. Now we’re urging GPs, dental surgeries and pharmacists to get in touch to share the information with their clients.

“As surgeries open up for more face-to-face appointments, we want them to work with us to get our messages out because it could make a real and positive impact to the lives of some of their patients,” said CADAS chief executive Leigh Williams.

People viewing the screens will be able to find out more about CADAS’ Family & Friends support service.

Ms Williams explained that the pandemic and lockdown had caused a big increase in drinking and drug use. “We have had a 25 per cent increase in adults contacting us about their own issues,” she said.

woman worried man drinking beer at home
Lightfield Studios/

In October 2020, the British Liver Trust reported a 500 per cent rise in calls to its helpline since lockdown had begun in March that year, while Adfam, a national organisation supporting people who have friends and family using substances, recently stated: “A staggering 88 per cent of the families that we surveyed in our ‘Families in Lockdown’ survey told us that the first lockdown negatively impacted on their family member’s alcohol, drug or gambling problem.”

But Ms Williams said the number of its referrals for family and friends of users from professionals such as GPs had taken ‘a massive dip’.

She said this was down to fewer face-to-face conversations between patients and GPs, when underlying causes of poor mental health, such as the substance use of a family member, could come to light. In addition, surgeries had removed leaflets, including CADAS’s, from waiting rooms to reduce potential sources of infection through touch.

“Our new on-screen messages let people know that our Family & Friends support service is available,” said Ms Williams.

“People can ring a free helpline – 0800 2 54 56 58 – if they need help to get support, advice and guidance and also access peer support groups comprising people in similar situations, which help clients not feel they are alone and isolated. In certain circumstances they can also get one-to-one talking therapy.”

If people want to refer themselves to the Family & Friends support service, they can ring 0300 111 4002 or email

Ms Williams said people were more likely to recover from a drink problem if they had a strong network around them. “But we also recognise the huge toll that caring for or supporting someone with an addiction or dependency takes on a partner, parent or children. For example, it can severely affect their mental health. The more we can support these people the more they are able to support their loved ones who have a dependency issue.”

A client who sought help from CADAS when their youngest son started drinking excessively said: “I don’t know what I would do without them. To be able to discuss things with someone who is not family helps such a lot.”

GP and dental surgeries and pharmacists with waiting room screens who would like to show the CADAS messages can access the video on YouTube here: or email

CADAS works with children and adults, with people in the midst of addiction and dependency and those in recovery and with those individuals’ parents, carers and other family members. It also does a huge amount of preventative work by running education and awareness sessions to increase the knowledge of professionals, such as teachers, social workers and the police, about substances that can become addictive and harmful to health.

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Contact us

If you would like a member of staff at CADAS to call you back for information or to refer yourself into our service, then please get in touch.



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