AFINet is a free-to-join Network, providing a platform which:

  • brings together researchers, policy-makers and practitioners;
  • promotes the well-being of family members, friends and colleagues who are affected by or concerned about another person’s problems with or addiction to alcohol, drugs or gambling; and
  • develops research, policy and practice in the field.

AFINet Membership (free) is by application:


The AFINet Webinars generally are monthly, and cover a range of topics related to Addiction and the Family. The programme for 2021 is below. Participation in each webinar is free, but to join, you MUST register beforehand. For each Webinar that you are interested in, please register in the few days before it starts, via Below the programme you can find a video recording of each Webinar that has been presented so far, along with the PowerPoint slides for that Webinar.

Future Webinars

Date: Tuesday 20th April 2021, 2pm, UK time
Title: The findings from the PuP4Dads feasibility study
Presenter: Professor Anne Whittaker - NMAHP Research Unit, University of Stirling, Scotland, UK
Description: This Webinar will report on the results of a feasibility study looking at the PuP4Dads project. The Parents under Pressure (PuP) programme is a parenting intervention specifically designed for children and families with one or more parents who are dependent on alcohol or drugs. PuP4Dads component focused on involving fathers who were on opioid substitution therapy.


Date: 18th May 2021, 2pm UK time
Title: Introducing and embedding the 5-Step Method across a national non-statutory health and social care organisation in England: the journey of Turning Point
Presenters: Lorna Templeton - Independent Research Consultant, Bristol, UK and
Jan Larkin - Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Head of Psychology, Turning Point, UK
Description: This Webinar will describe how Turning Point, one of the largest providers of addiction and mental health care across England, decided to utilise the 5-Step Method across their services, and how they have implemented and developed the Method over the past decade. This Webinar will be of especial interest for any organisations or countries which are considering implementing the 5-Step Method.

Date: 22nd June 2021, 2pm UK time
Title: Reaching Family Members in Large Numbers – Using the internet as a tool to enhance conversations with family members
Presenters: Ed Sipler - Health Development Specialist, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Northern Ireland, UK
Description: This Webinar will explore the findings from AFINet’s Project 1 – Reaching Family Members in Large Numbers. One of the outcomes of this project was the publication of The Pocket Guide for Family Members and the development of a You Tube clip with key messages from the booklet. This Webinar will explore the development of these tools and their use in enhancing conversations with family members.

Date: July and August – No Webinar – Northern Hemisphere Summer Break

Date: 9th and 10th September 2021
Title: AFINet Virtual Conference
Presenter: More details to follow
Description: AFINet Virtual Conference – more details and the opportunity to submit Abstracts for Virtual Presentation to follow

Date: 19th October 2021, 2pm UK time (9am Boston time)
Title: Interacting with the Treatment System: perspectives from Family Members and Treatment Providers
Presenter: Alicia S. Ventura, MPH - Director of Special Projects and Research, Grayken Center for Addiction, Boston Medical Center Boston, USA
Description: This Webinar will describe and outline the results from a recently completed qualitative study, which looked at family members impacted by addiction and investigated their experiences interacting with treatment systems for both them and their loved ones. The study also included a provider component which explored barriers to including the family in care, from the perspective of the addiction care team. Both provider and family member perspectives will be examined and conclusions drawn over how to make treatment more ‘family-inclusive’.

Date: 23rd November 2021, 2pm UK time, 3pm Dutch time
Title: AFMs and ‘study success’
Presenter: Dorine van Namen - Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (Hogeschool Rotterdam), Research Centre Innovations in Care (Kenniscentrum Zorginnovatie) PhD candidate, Maastricht University
Description: This Webinar will describe an ongoing research project examining how a relative’s addiction (to alcohol, drugs, sleeping pills, opioid painkillers and gambling) affect the quality of life and level of ‘study success’ of young adult Affected Family Members (AFMs). These AFMs are all students at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. In 2019 all students at this University received an anonymous survey about their own alcohol and drug use, and included in the survey were questions about having a relative with addiction. A total of 5,662 students completed the survey; 881 of them were AFMs (15.6%). Compared with students without family members with an addiction, these AFM students had more frequent study delay, reported poorer physical and mental health, were more frequent smokers, and used more stimulant medication and illegal drugs. 30 of these AFM-students disclosed their e-mail address because they wished to collaborate in longitudinal qualitative research. This Webinar will look at what they tell us about the effects on study success of living with (a) family member(s) addiction?

Webinars that have been presented so far

In Their Own Right: Family Members Affected by Alcohol and other Drug Misuse or Gambling

AFINet’s first Webinar was given by Professor Richard Velleman on 20th October 2020. The topic of this Webinar was “In Their Own Right: Family Members Affected by Alcohol and other Drug Misuse or Gambling”. [To view this Webinar, see below.] Professor Velleman examined the evidence-base showing that family members of people with alcohol or other drug or gambling problem are often badly affected by their relative’s problems. He then showed how this evidence led to the creation of the ‘Stress-Strain-Coping-Support’ [SSCS] Model - a useful model for understanding the impact that other people’s addiction problems have on Affected Family Members. Following this he outlined the ‘5-Step Method’, one evidence-based method to help these Affected Family Members which emerged from the SSCS Model, and described the effects that this intervention is having on both Affected Family Members and on practitioners who deliver the intervention, before going on to describe how it is being implemented in various countries world-wide.

View powerpoint slides

Evidence and Implementation of family-based interventions in the addiction field

Dr Gallus Bischof presented AFINet’s second Webinar on “Evidence and Implementation of family-based interventions in the addiction field”. [To view this Webinar and the PowerPoint Slides, see below.] Dr Bischof described and reported the results of a systematic review on the evidence of interventions for AFMs and reported the results of a survey of practitioners in Germany. The implications for further research and service improvement were discussed.

View powerpoint slides

‘Fragile Childhood’: Help for the children of problem drinkers in Finland

Minna Ilva, the Project Manager for the Fragile Childhood programme in Finland, presented AFINet’s third Webinar on “‘Fragile Childhood’: Help for the children of problem drinkers in Finland”. [To view this Webinar and the PowerPoint Slides, see below.] The Fragile Childhood programme has been running in Finland since 1986. It offers help to young and adults who suffer from the adverse effects of parental alcohol use. Ms Ilva described the history and the funding of this programme and then went on to outline its’ current projects. She ended by discussing the needs to improve research and evaluation in this area. The discussion raised many areas where organisations in other countries could learn, and possibly replicate in their own countries.

View powerpoint slides

Teleintervenção fundamentada na entrevista motivacional para familías que convivem com um parente com problemas por consumo de álcool e outras Drogas [Motivational intervention for family members living with a relative with a substance-related disorder]

Cassandra Borges Bortolon, a Clinical Psychologist, Postgraduate Professor in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Director of Acurarte, President of AMTEPA, Founder of the Acurartech Company, and an Independent Research Consultant, presented AFINet’s fourth Webinar on “Motivational intervention for family members living with a relative with a substance-related disorder”, which she presented in Portuguese with a simultaneous English translation. [To view this Webinar and the PowerPoint Slides, see below.] Dr Bortolon described the results of a project investigating the extent to which a motivational intervention for AFMs worked, and then discussed issues related to both research and clinical practice, as well as coordinating a helpful discussion on the term ‘co-dependency’.

View powerpoint slides (English)

View powerpoint slides (Portugese)

Seeing the Bigger Picture: Some Ways Ahead for AFINet

COn 23rd March 2021 Professor Jim Orford, Emeritus Professor of Clinical and Community Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK presented AFINet’s fifth Webinar on “Seeing the Bigger Picture: Some Ways Ahead for AFINet”. [To view this Webinar and the PowerPoint Slides, see below.] Professor Orford suggested that we needed to move away from simply researching, and offering help, to family members, and address key questions about how to reach more affected others, and earlier in their experience; and How to help family members campaign for policy change.

View powerpoint slides

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