Bereavement through alcohol or drugs

Our Bereavement Support Service is for anyone who has lost someone through drugs or alcohol. This doesn’t mean that drugs or alcohol have to be the main cause for the person’s death – if the person used drugs or alcohol in their lives but passed away of other causes, our bereavement service can offer support.

This service is free across Scotland and we can find a counsellor who is local to where you live to make travel easier.

If you are a professional working with a family member who you think would benefit from our service, fill out our referral form here and we’ll be in touch.

How can I contact the service?

Call 08080 10 10 11
Use the webchat on our website

To contact our bereavement service, you first have to contact our helpline. After a chat with one of our advisers, the adviser will take your name, location (postcode for finding local counsellors) and phone number which will then be passed onto our team.

A member of our team will contact you within five working days for an assessment on your feelings, thoughts and more information about your loved one – they will explain how the service works and will answer any questions you might have.

We will then find a counsellor who is local to you and will call them to find out their availability. We will then give you a call-back about when your first session will happen and if you are happy with the location and counsellor – if not we will be able to find you something more suitable.

What happens at the sessions?

The counselling sessions will last around 50 minutes and the counsellor will give you time to talk and to offer support. We usually offer six sessions but everyone is different, so if you and the counsellor agree that you would benefit from more sessions, we can arrange this. If your sessions have ended and you feel you still need support, this could be a few days, months or years later, you can contact us to use the service again.

Further information and reading

Full information on our bereavement service can be read here

We have also created a short booklet on coping with the loss of a loved one and how to support someone else who is grieving. This can be read here.

‘I had tried for so long to come to terms with the loss of my husband. I was apprehensive of getting counselling as I didn’t like to talk about it but I knew something had to change. From the first call to Scottish Families everything seemed so easy and within a week I had my first counselling appointment booked.’
Family Member

Funeral/Funding Advice

If you are on a low income, Down to Earth can help with organising a funeral. Down to Earth can help you arrange a funeral you can afford. They will listen to what is important to you and will help with choices and support with practical problems. They do not provide grants but can help you find money that you may be entitled to from other sources. You can download a guide on planning an affordable funeral here.

Down to Earth Helpline: 020 8983 5055


The helpline is available from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.

In Scotland Caledonia Cremation can support you with an affordable funeral.  They are Scotland’s first non profit funeral directors and have a flat fee for all funerals.  It is part of the Funeral Poverty Alliance and the Scottish Working Group on Funeral Poverty. You can request a callback via their website or you can phone them direct on 03000 113 311 to discuss your options.

Your privacy

We collect personal information from you when you call our helpline and if you are referred onto our bereavement service. Full details can be read in our Support Service Policy Notice.

We use cookies. By browsing our site you agree to our use of cookies.