Support for family members affected by drugs and alcohol in their own right

Support for family members affected by drugs and alcohol in their own right

I’ve attended training in January to learn the 5-Step Method of supporting families coping with a loved one’s drug or alcohol use.

It is the first time I have come across a model of support that helps family members in their own right. Usually, the person having problems with substance use accesses a service then families are offered help as a result of this.


Family support groups


The type and quality of the help varies from country to city to town. There is no consistency in this. For example, a family in Ireland will be able to access family support groups which are led by family members who have been supported, trained and developed by the National Family Support Network. They have set up quality assurance so that families can access a quality service whether It’s led by volunteers or led by professionals.

In Manchester, there are a few family-led support groups that I’ve heard of, but I feel ignorant that I haven’t linked up with them more, so the families I help can get further support from people that are in the same, but unique, situation as themselves. This is called peer-led support and allows people at the very least to realise they are not alone in coping with  a loved one’s drug or alcohol use.

Local carers centres also provide advice and support for families caring for people with drug and alcohol problems.


Local drug and alcohol services offer


Drug and alcohol services are getting better at offering family support services. In Bury, they offer the CRAFT programme (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) and in Salford, they offer 5-Step Method, but again, this usually depends on the person using substances accessing the service then families being supported following this.

There are whole family support services commissioned in some areas like Early Break’s award winning Holding Families which provides a 6-month programme for children and families affected by parental substance use.


Why families should stop focussing on the person using drugs/acohol


Family members always focus on the needs of their drug or alcohol using relative before themselves. I saw an advert recently on Facebook for a rehab and family members were asking, ‘how much is this?’ and ‘how long do they stay for?’. There was nothing about, ‘what support do you provide for families?’. When a family member made a comment, the rehab posted a link to Famanon which made it pretty clear that they didn’t support families and they were solely focused on the person using substances spending money to go to rehab.

People tend to think that rehab will solve everyone’s problems, but they cost anything from 5-50k. It is possible to get to rehab through the drug and alcohol service but it doesn’t happen overnight because of the cost to services. The person using substances has to show a commitment and often a reduction in their drug or alcohol use before they will be given funding to go to detox or rehab. Drug and Alcohol services often run a pre-detox group and who can blame them with so many funding cuts to services.


Why rehabs are not always the answer

Rehabs are great, but, Most people relapse in the first 90 days following a period in rehab. Why? Because they don’t have the skills to face the reality of being back at home in the same situation, with the same triggers and the same life that they were tucked away from in rehab. It is then that people need support and guidance when they are back in reality. I know a family who paid 30k to send a relative to a luxury rehab, she was drinking again within three weeks. No aftercare was provided unless they travelled 200 miles back to the residential rehab their relative had left. Family support was non-existent – a lesson here is that it doesn’t matter what you pay, it’s the aftercare that counts. Lots of services recommend 12-steps for families but this involves going to groups which works for some but not for others. I recommend to give everything a go twice and find something that works for each individual.

The point I’m trying to make is there are lots of services for problematic drug and alcohol users, but there are also many for families too. The more support families get, the more they can focus on themselves, regardless of whether their relative continues to drink or take drugs or not.


Focus on the family


There are some brilliant programmes out there for family members which I have mentioned above. CRAFT focuses on reducing stress and getting a loved one into treatment. The model I use with families is similar to this, so family members are supported at the same time as figuring out the detail of their loved one’s substance use in order to understand it and influence their loved one’s behaviour (note that I’ve said influence as you cannot change anyone else’s behaviour, it is their choice). Mainly, it builds resilience and coping strategies with family members so they can live a better life.


5-Step Method


I’ve now been trained in 5 step method (this has nothing to do with 12 steps!) which is a fantastic way of supporting family members in their own right. It doesn’t matter whether they have regular contact with the person using drugs or alcohol, whether they are in treatment themselves and it doesn’t even focus on their loved one at all. This is all about families. What they need, what they want to know and discussing whatever is important to them.

This is a unique and evidence-based model which has been tested out to work all over the world.

I deliver this over 6 sessions with an introductory session included:

1. Introduction, assessment and goal setting

2. Getting to know you and the problem

3. Providing you with relevant information

4. Exploring how you respond and cope

5. Exploring and enhancing social support

6. Identifying further needs and referring on for further help

It is a wonderful programme of support! Find out more on my website here as I’m offering this at my training rate and can deliver online so you can get the help in the comfort of your own home. You just need a set of headphones and a phone/laptop. I also offer my services in the Manchester area (UK).

Get in touch for a friendly chat about your situation and to find out more about my services.

Take care,


How can I stop my loved one’s drug or alcohol use?

How can I stop my loved one’s drug or alcohol use?

I know you are feeling tired frustrated and at the end of your tether and that is why you are here, looking for answers. While this might not be the answer you want, I have to tell you that you can’t stop your loved one drinking or taking drugs. Why not? Because it is their decision to make. What can you do? You can influence their behaviour and I can show you how.


Why wont they stop?


When somebody starts using drugs or alcohol, they have a choice when they start using and probably believe that they are fully in control of whatever they are taking. There are many factors involved as to why someone becomes an “addict” or, as I prefer to say, has problems with alcohol or drugs. This can include having a genetic disposition if there is a history of addiction in the family. Environmental factors, such as where somebody was brought up, friendships and attitudes to alcohol within the family. This means that your partner may be more likely to develop problems with drinking than others. The other factor is that they continue to take drugs or drink because they are getting something out if doing so.

The other thing that happens when we drink or use drugs is that it affects the dopamine in our brain which regulates how we feel and think and respond to pleasure. Taking substances can increase to a point where an individual’s tolerance is increased, so they need more of the substance to produce the same effect. They then begin to experience withdrawals and may pick up a substance to ease the discomfort of this and this pattern of behaviour over a period of time, actually changes the way our brain works.


It’s all they want to do!


Dopamine affects decision making and impulsivity and eventually, it is difficult for a drinker to enjoy anything except their substance. Their brain adapts to the dopamine experienced from their substance so much that they struggle to get pleasure from anything else. Life becomes an obsession with drinking or drug taking, planning activities around it, withdrawing from it and then using again.

This means that the person you love is still that person, but they have lost an element of control over their substance of choice. This substance is contributing to the decision making for them. The promises your loved one makes and doesn’t keep have been overtaken by the need to have their drug or drink.

An important note is that a problematic drinker or opiate user should never stop using their substsnace without medical support. This is because if they are dependent, it is very dangerous to stop without supervision if they are physically dependent. Please always ask your loved one to seek advice from their GP or drug and alcohol service.


What can I do?


So, you can’t stop them using, as I have said it is their choice, but, what you can do, is focus on your quality of life and that of the rest of your family while learning strategies to influence your loved one’s substance use. You can live a better life without substances deciding how your day is going to go. You can also encourage your loved one to access treatment at the right time. You can make your loved one realise that they are missing out on brilliant things with you, your family and friends.


Take action…


Here is something you can put in place right now. Think about 3 ways that you tried to stop your loved one drinking. Write them down. Then, think about how effective each strategy was is stopping or reducing their drinking.


Did your strategies work?


Now, think about how much effort you put into each strategy. Was it easy/hard? Write this down.

So, what has worked? What hasn’t?

If there is anything that has worked well, keep doing it. If they haven’t, stop doing them. Right now! Give yourself a break because in order to change things, we need the energy to be able to make those changes.

Doing the same thing over and over again with no effect is not working and is draining your precious energy.

Don’t worry if none of your strategies work as this is often the case.

Want to know how to get your loved one into treatment and live a better life?


I can help


My service, The Vesta Approach, supports families affected by a loved one’s substance use. You can access confidential support from me wherever you are in the world. I will help you to get your loved one into treatment and lead a better life. I offer face to face sessions in the Manchester (UK) area.

You can also get help via Skype  and my online group therapeutic programme which I’ve launched this week! Take a look here

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Sign up to my mailing list here to keep up to date with Vesta news and get my free Ten Steps to Family Recovery download.


Take care,




Why you need help when you live with a person using alcohol or drugs

Why you need help when you live with a person using alcohol or drugs

Living with someone who has problems with drugs or alcohol is usually an all-consuming, emotional and relentless journey. You love them so you keep going and before you know it, every waking moment is spent thinking about them, their problems and how you can make it better. You haven’t even time to think about help for yourself. Sound familiar?


Your feelings are determined by what your loved one’s behaviour is like that particular day. Have they had a drink? Have they used? How much have they used? How will I find out? I’ll ring so and so. They’ve let me down again. The children are upset. Oh no, will there be another row? Might they get violent? How can I stop it?


I get it.


Are they really addicted?


You may be in a bit of denial or not so sure yourself that your loved one has a problem. Some people spend most of their time together with their loved one and friends using substances themselves so maybe you’re thinking have I really got room to talk? Everybody else does it. Maybe because they are not using every day then they can’t be an “addict?”.


Forget that word, “addict”, for now. I prefer the term, “someone who has problems with alcohol or other drugs”. It’s a bit easier to understand that if somebody is having problems in other areas of their life because of drugs or alcohol then they are having problems. These problems aren’t a one-off, and a number of aspects of life such as relationships, work, finances, health and so on may be affected. Something needs to change. Sometimes, this might be a friend or family member having a chat and helping them realise. Sometimes, they may be in denial or need some specialist help. This all depends on the individual, the amount of their substance being used, frequency and how long it has been going on. Unfortunately, nobody can make your loved one access support. You can only influence it. It is their decision to get help.


If your instinct is telling you that you loved has a problem and you also have evidence for this, then they probably have. It might also be completely obvious.


What is so hard about asking for help?


If you know your loved one has a problem, you can influence them to access treatment, but when it comes down to it, it is their choice. There are lots of treatment options for substance misuse which I can talk about another time. It is useful for you to know this, in case an opportunity arises for you to discuss this with them at a time when they are sober.


What we are never good at is asking for help or admitting we need this ourselves! Why?


There are loads of reasons. You might be so intently focussed on your loved one getting help that you don’t even consider yourself at all! Unsure about what support is out there for you? Perhaps you are worried about people finding out for all different reasons, like wanting others to just think you are living a “normal” life. Lots of powerful emotions like fear, anger, worry, shame, embarrassment, frustration and guilt, as well as not wanting to let our loved one down are barriers to accessing help.


These are all common feelings and thoughts of family members affected by a loved one’s substance use. You’re not on your own, have a look at the stats from ADFAM’s evidence pack which was published in 2012! ADFAM are amazing. Have a look here. 


Remember that your loved one choosing to drink is not your fault. NACOA have lovely words for children with parents who have problems with alcohol which I think are important for you to remember too:


  • didn’t cause it
  • can’t cure it
  • can’t control it
  • can take care of myself
  • can communicate my feelings
  • can make healthy choices


I hope you can take some comfort in the fact that you are definitely not alone in your situation.


What next?

If you’re still here, you know that your loved one has a problem, we’ve considered some of the feelings and daily thoughts you might be experiencing and you know you’re not on your own.  So, what have you got to lose? I’m wondering if there is anything else stopping you from getting your own help.


I know from working with families affected by substance misuse for many years that there can also be a number of practical reasons why it is difficult to get help (as well as the above):


  1. Work may mean you can’t go for sessions during the day.
  2. Childcare- you might not want to leave your children with your loved one.
  3. Evenings may be taken up with other responsibilities, if not work.
  4. You might just be knackered all the time and not have the energy.
  5. What’s out there might not be your thing.
  6. Fear of leaving your loved one alone.


There is some help out there to suit everyone. You might think that once your loved one gets into treatment, you will get help too. Unfortunately, this is not always the case as your loved one needs to give consent for you to be involved in their treatment journey. If they don’t, you may not get support yourself. Some services do offer family services as part of their recovery process which is fantastic. Have a look yourself online and see what’s available for you in your area.


How the Vesta Approach is different


I set up The Vesta Approach because I know how difficult it is for some of you to even get out of the house. I offer my service face to face in Manchester, UK. Don’t worry though, as you don’t even need to go out to access my programme as I offer Skype sessions and soon, an online therapeutic programme. Read more here.


This service is for you. I will teach you how to respond differently to your loved one’s substance use in an evidence based programme that supports you to recover from your loved one’s drug or alcohol use, get them into treatment and improve your quality of life.


If you want to know more, sign up to my mailing list and receive my “Ten Steps to Family Recovery Guide” to give you a taster of the programme and my top tips to starting your recovery journey.


Remember that you are not alone so take that first step and have a look at what help is out there for you.


I can help

My service, The Vesta Approach, supports families affected by a loved one’s substance use. You can access confidential support from me wherever you are in the world. I will help you to get your loved one into treatment and lead a better life. I offer face to face sessions in the Manchester (UK) area. You can also get help via Skype  and my online group therapeutic programme which is launching in the next few weeks!

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Sign up to my mailing list here to keep up to date with Vesta news and get my free Ten Steps to Family Recovery download.


See you next week,



The hooks to drug and alcohol users getting help

The hooks to drug and alcohol users getting help

The hooks to drug and alcohol users getting help


Last week, I wrote about the barriers to drug and alcohol users getting help  so, it is also relevant to talk about the hooks to treatment too.


As a family member who wants to influence change in their loved one’s substance use, it is really useful to figure out when a loved one is going to be open to that change. It would be fabulous if I could advise when this is, but, as we are dealing with human beings who are all unique, every person will be motivated at different times and by different things.


Motivation is personal


I have worked with families where parents have problems with substance use and who have been referred by services for support. Most of these families have been involved with Children’s Services which means they have been on child protection plans or similar. This does not mean that a) they are not good parents or b) that their children will be taken off them. There is, however, a risk that children could be removed if parents do not get support to reduce or abstain from substance use, accept help and improve their parenting capacity.


That risk, for me personally, would be the ultimate sacrifice and I would do anything to change so that I could keep my children. For some families I have worked with, children have been removed because they could not change. It is crucial to note here, however, that I have not had problems with alcohol or drug use, I have not had mental health issues and I have not been involved with Children’s Services. This means that my motivation now could be different if I the same problems. This also means that my motivation could change.


When I think about what has triggered my motivation for healthy eating for example, in my 20’s and early 30’s, it was because I wanted to look good. As a 40’s newbie, the priority is so that I can feel my absolute best for my family, my work and my life and because I want to teach my children good habits.

Think about this for a moment, what has motivated you in the past? What motivates you now?


Finding the hooks


With substance users then, we need to think about what is motivating them now. You will see signs of this when they have a break from drug or alcohol use or when they talk about changing or stopping using. Even if they are dissatisfied with their use, something has happened that has made them feel that way. We need to know what this something is.


A brilliant exercise is to review the times in the past when a loved one has shown these signs of dissatisfaction as we can then think about what their hooks are. I have spoken about shifting the balance so that the negative consequences of drug use outweigh the positives. When this occurs, this will be the time we have to look out for to discuss getting help. Planning for these times is a really good way of getting ready to step in and offer support.


Some typical hooks


Hooks then, are events that we can predict are when drug and alcohol use is disturbed. Some typical categories of hooks into treatment are:

  • Health- any health scares or risks to health
  • Relationships- conflict, reactions or violence or having good times
  • Activities- losing friends, work or missing enjoyable activities
  • Self-image- what other people think of us and what we think of ourselves
  • Formal coercion- requirements from courts, police, safeguarding


An example


A friend of mine was very concerned about his brother’s drinking. I gave him some advice. When I followed the situation up with him, he said that an ambulance had been called because his sister wouldn’t wake up. He had overdosed on alcohol. Since then, despite problematic drinking for many years, He has not touched alcohol for five months. Why? Because he is a professional man and he did not want anyone at work to know he had a problem. He also lived in the area in which he works. This is his hook. His hook was his self-image and possibly also his health.


We can then explore what the signs and symptoms of a loved one’s reaction to particular hooks are. Some situations may not create any reaction, because all our hooks are different, some will create a great deal of reaction. If we can get really clear on previous reactions, then this will help families to quickly spot the signs in the future and be ready for discussing what help is out there. The next step is to take action and get support in place.


To summarise:


  1. Think about the times your loved one has stopped using drugs or alcohol or has spoken about stopping.
  2. Note down what happened before this change occurred.
  3. How long did it last?
  4. What type of hook was this?
  5. You can then summarise your loved one’s hooks.
  6. This will then give you an idea of what area you can focus on to tip the balance of your loved one’s use.

I can help


My service, The Vesta Approach, supports families affected by a loved one’s substance use. You can access confidential support from me wherever you are in the world. I will help you to get your loved one into treatment and lead a better life. I offer face to face sessions in the Manchester (UK) area. You can also get help via Skype  and an online group therapeutic programme.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Sign up to my mailing list here to keep up to date with Vesta news and get my free 10 Steps to Family Recovery download.



Take Care.

See you next week,



The barriers to drug and alcohol users getting help

The barriers to drug and alcohol users getting help

There are many factors contributing to the reasons why problematic substance users do not get help for their drug or alcohol use. I thought this blog might be useful for anyone living with a loved one’s substance use to gain a bit of understanding around this look out for signs to take any action.


Are they ready?


Firstly, somebody needs to be at a certain stage of the cycle of change to even consider help. We would be looking for signs that a loved one is thinking about change, has said they will give up off their own back or seems uncomfortable about their use. These are the times to initiate conversations about getting help. On this note, please don’t waste your energy having these discussions when your loved one is heavily under the influence. It is a waste of your energy.


Have they hit rock bottom?

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, people do not need to hit ‘rock bottom’ in order to change. As a family member or friend, the Vesta Programme covers many strategies that you can use to adjust the environment that your loved one lives in and to change your responses to them when they use or drink. This will ultimately influence their decisions around their drug or alcohol use.


The types of barriers


Now we have covered those key points, let’s move onto the barriers:


  1. Psychological– these barriers are linked to how your loved one perceives their own substance use. For example, they may simply not see their substance use as being a problem. They may say they don’t need any help and they are in control. They might simply like using or they might just choose to ignore the issue entirely.
  2. Social– Shame, embarrassment, fear of people finding out or what others think about them are a huge barrier to family members AND substance users getting help. There is so much secrecy and stigma attached to getting help for substance use, but this should not be the case. Everyone has problems. Asking for help is a strength and allows people to move on with their lives.
  3. Practical– They might not have even wanted to look for ways they can get help. Maybe there are childcare issues. Working hours are a massive factor for professionals (as well as work finding out). Clinging onto negative stories about treatment in the media or from other people who have attempted recovery influences this also. Having no time or money can also be a preventative factor, despite the fact that substance users spend a fortune on obtaining their substance in the first place.
  4. Assumptions– or jumping to conclusions! These types of barriers can include anything from assuming they aren’t as bad as anyone else, thinking they will be told what to do or that there is only one type of help such as rehab or an equivalent. A big issue here is fear. Fear of what happens in treatment or what the consequences could be for them.
  5. Experiences– if a loved one has had experience of a particular service or professional in the past, this can cloud judgement around what help would be like in the future ANYWHERE. They may be petrified of what they will feel like if they stop using their substance and they may simply be a private person who doesn’t want to associate with other substance users.

All of these types of barriers are relevant in supporting someone into treatment. They are also relevant concerns for anyone who needs to access treatment so we have to work with the, and not dismiss them. One of the aims of the Vesta Programme is for a loved one to enter treatment as a result of working with a concerned family member. I can show you how to do this.


How do we address these barriers?


  1. Look out for times when a loved one appears to be thinking about change or speaking about it to start having conversations about getting help. I’ll write about ‘hooks’ next week so that you can identify the times when your loved one has become dissatisfied with their use and have relevant discussions about it.
  2. Gather as much information as possible about the help and support you can access locally and online. Ring up or message services, ask how they work so you can gently challenge any negative thoughts when the barriers come up in conversation and offer a range of options.
  3. Familiarise yourself with the barriers that you anticipate or know your loved one has to treatment. If they don’t talk about it at all, you can probably guess what their barriers would be so that you have something to work with from the five barrier types above. You can then get as much information about these potential barriers and address any practical issue as well when sourcing the right help for your loved one. This means you can prepare responses to their objections in advance.


There you go, a brief introduction to barriers and some points to deal with them. I just need to say that these conversations may not always be successful straight away, but it is important to act fast when you can see your loved one thinking about change. Preparing yourself now would be a wonderful way of getting one step ahead and preparing for family recovery.


I can help


My service, The Vesta Approach, supports families affected by a loved one’s substance use. You can access confidential support from me wherever you are in the world. I will help you to get your loved one into treatment and lead a better life. I offer face to face sessions in the Manchester (UK) area. You can also get help via Skype  and an online group therapeutic programme.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Sign up to my mailing list here to keep up to date with Vesta news and get my free 10 Steps to Family Recovery download.



Take Care.

See you next week,



Living with drug or alcohol user? I can help.

Living with drug or alcohol user? I can help.

Hi Everyone,


I hope you’ve all had a happy Christmas/holiday. If yours has been affected by living with a drug or alcohol user, let me ask you:

  1. Is someone you love having a problem with alcohol or drugs?
  2. Are they refusing to get help or admit they have a problem?
  3. Have you tried to help but you’re not getting anywhere?

Want some help? Read on… (click on the links for more info)


The Vesta Programme

The Vesta Programme

The Vesta Approach supports families affected by a loved one’s substance use. I have created The Vesta Programme, a twelve-week therapeutic programme. It’s a programme that teaches ‘concerned others’ (that’s you!) how to change the environment to shape a loved one’s behaviour towards their substance use.  In other words, you cannot change their substance use but you can influence it by making being sober or drug free more rewarding than alcohol and other drug use. You can motivate and unmotivated substance user to get treatment for their alcohol and other drug use.


The Vesta Programme aims to:

  1. Help you to recover from a loved one’s alcohol or other drug use.
  2. Improve your quality of life.
  3. Get your loved one into treatment.

The Vesta Online Programme will be launched soon and is an amazing, unique and confidential service that people can access anywhere in the world. It’s based on an evidence based programme by Phil Harris.


Why work with the family member and not the person using alcohol or drugs?


When we look at the number one reason why people enter into a substance misuse service the biggest single factor is family pressure.  Studies show that 80% of people sought help for drug and alcohol problems because of family pressure to do so.  Families are a central force that drive change. Through working with people close to a drug or alcohol user, you are in a far better position to help them to change than many professionals! You just need to know how to do it. That’s where I come in.

As well as influencing your loved one to make changes to their substance use, the programme also works for the family members in other ways.   After what might be years of battling with the loved one and the incredible toll this can take, it is a huge relief to share this with someone who is prepared to understand and not judge.  It can help remind you of your own needs and sense of self after a long period of self-neglect.

I know, having worked with young people and families affected by substance use for a decade, how difficult it is to get out of the house and get support for yourself. It’s hard enough to admit you need help in the first place when you’re constantly looking after somebody else’s needs. That’s why I’ve taken this programme and developed it so that anyone living someone else’s drinking and other drug use can get the help they need to change their life.

I also offer my confidential programmes one to one via Skype, wherever my support is needed, and face to face in the Manchester (UK) area.


Five Days Towards Family Recovery


The Five Days Towards Family Recovery Programme is an introductory week-long programme. I’ve created this as my vision is to provide services and forge a community, helping as many families as possible live their lives fully and free from addiction. I realise that the Vesta Programme being twelve weeks long is quite a commitment, so I wanted to give you the opportunity to gain some wonderful learning and strategies to take away with you from the week so that you can start putting yourself first. It will also give you the opportunity to see how I work and a taste of what the complete programme looks like.

If you complete Five Days Towards Family Recovery, you will:

  1. Have an understanding of what addiction and recovery are.
  2. Have reviewed the strategies you have tried, to stop your loved one using drugs or drinking, and planned which to continue and which to stop.
  3. Explored the costs and benefits of your loved one’s substance use and why you need to know.
  4. To map the possible reactions of your loved when you make changes in your behaviour towards their substance us.
  5. To make a plan to lead a better life, regardless of whether your loved one chooses to use substances or not.


Who is it for?


  • The programme is for anyone who is worried about a loved one’s drinking or drug use.
  • The programme works best if you see them regularly.
  • You might be a friend, partner, child, parent, grandparent or any other extended family member. If you are worried about your loved one’s substance use, this is for you.
  • At the moment, this programme is for adult family members and your loved one must be 18 or over. If you or your loved one are under 18, please call me, email me or message me on my Facebook page. I will direct you to some alternative support.


How do I get more information


Call or text me on 07984 837302, email me or join my Facebook page and message me


To sign up


Contact me if you are interested. You can also request individual support from me.

When you complete the course, you will have access to a Facebook group where you will get ongoing support from others in the same situation as yourself and information and advice from me.


Make time for you


help for loved ones drug or alcohol use

When living with a problem user, it is really difficult to get time for yourself.  This is especially true if you have sought sanctuary from home life in work or other commitments.  Vesta offers the flexibility, ease and convenience to give you the help you need at a time and place that is best for you. The added benefit is that you will be accessing an evidence based programme of support. That means it has been tried and has

The important thing I want you to remember is that you are not alone. For every problematic substance user in the country, five people are negatively affected. Living with a problematic drug or alcohol users is the country’s best kept secret.  It is a not your fault that the loved one uses, but you can influence their use.


I can help


My service, The Vesta Approach, supports families affected by a loved one’s substance use. You can access confidential support from me wherever you are in the world. I will help you to get your loved one into treatment and lead a better life. I offer face to face sessions in the Manchester (UK) area. You can also get help via Skype  and an online group therapeutic programme.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Sign up to my mailing list here to keep up to date with Vesta news and get my free 10 Steps to Family Recovery download.



Take Care.

See you next week,


Victoria x