Family Outreach

Provide Meaningful Advice and Shared Community

Our Family Outreach Line of Operation provides meaningful advice and a shared community for friends and family members who are coping with a loved one’s substance use disorder, treatment, transition, or recovery. We also partner and engage with grassroots family efforts to stem the epidemic.

Learning that a loved one has a substance use disorder can be a shock, followed by guilt, shame and fear. S.A.F.E. Project helps families understand the progression of the disease, while supporting those who fear they are alone in dealing with it. Our online resources educate families on topics including treatment, recovery, and self-care.

The entire family — not just the person in addiction — feels the effects of substance use disorder. S.A.F.E. Project helps families, friends, helpers, and caregivers who play diverse roles and may require a variety of supports.  Through events and our website, we share our experiences and insights to instill hope, increase understanding, and strengthen resilience.

By the Numbers:

  • It’s estimated that about 8.7 million children aged 17 or younger lived in households with at least one parent who had a past year substance use disorder (SUD). That’s one out of every eight children in the nation. SUDs are characterized by recurrent use of alcohol or other drugs (or both) that results in significant impairment. (National Surveys on Drug Use and Health 2009-2014)
  • Children whose parents use substances and misuse alcohol are 3 times as likely to be physically, emotionally, or sexually abused and 4 times as likely to be emotionally or physically neglected. ( 2011)
  • The nation’s foster care system has been overwhelmed. One example is West Virginia, where about 80 percent of children in foster care come from homes with substance abuse.  Additionally, eight out of every ten children removed from those homes were abused, neglected or both because of drug use by the parents. (WV DHHR)
  • From 2004 to 2014, the rate of U.S. infants diagnosed with opioid withdrawal symptoms, known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), increased 433%, from 1.5 to 8.0 per 1,000 hospital births. (Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2018)


  • Website resources, including Lessons Learned, Share Your Story, and education modules.
  • S.A.F.E. Project Family Network (check back soon for more information). In the meantime, please visit the Family Support locator provided by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to locate a support group near you.

Find a Family Support Group

Supporting a loved one with a substance use disorder can be both mentally and emotionally exhausting. Find a family support group in your area and get the support and guidance you need.