Decades of research show that when families are supported and armed with information, strategies, and supports, they can significantly influence a loved one’s substance use along every point of the continuum. While effective strategies for family intervention and support exist, very few families receive them. Helping loved ones who have addiction can be stressful and confusing, and families face barriers in accessing needed services for themselves and their loved ones. Stigma and a treatment model that overlooks the family members of those with addiction have left a major gap in resources that can improve outcomes for those with addiction and their loved ones.

Organizations have stepped in to provide family support services, such as mental health supports for family members and concerned significant others, harm reduction education and interventions, and parenting and prevention supports and resources. However, they often operate with limited funding and resources, inhibiting their ability to reach families in need. The vast majority offer services for free. Most receive little or no federal funding.

Additional support is needed to make family support services more widely available. With additional resources, these organizations could expand their service offerings and reach more people, hire and train additional staff, and enhance program evaluations to better track and monitor outcomes.

The Supporting Families Through Addiction Act would create a $25 million grant program over five years to help national and local nonprofit organizations provide support services to families impacted by addiction. It would help establish a family- and community-based approach to addiction treatment that addresses the critical but often ignored effects of the addiction crisis on families. The bill, formerly called the Family Support Services for Addiction Act, passed in the House in the past two sessions of Congress.

Ask your members of Congress to support the Supporting Families Through Addiction Act to expand the availability and accessibility of vital services for those with addiction and their loved ones.