BEAD project: Bereaved through Alcohol and Drugs

Bereavement through a loved one's drug or alcohol use is a devastating, challenging and often isolating experience. That’s why Cruse in partnership with Adfam has set up the BEAD project (Bereaved through Alcohol and Drugs) with a grant from the Big Lottery Fund to offer peer support and targeted information for people bereaved in this way.  You can find further information on the BEAD website

I’ve been bereaved through a loved one’s drug or alcohol use

The BEAD project has been funded by the Big Lottery Fund from 2013-2017. As of August 2017 the funding is coming to a close – though we are making every effort to secure funding to sustain this important project which remains a priority for both Cruse and Adfam.

We are therefore not able to accept any further referrals for one-to-one befriending or telephone bereavement support. We are able to take referrals for our London support group which will run again in June-July.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you. For more information please contact

Group support

A third peer support group started in London in February. It is facilitated by two volunteers who have themselves been bereaved through drugs or alcohol and have been trained to offer support to others going through similar experiences.

We hope to run a fourth peer support group in London later this year; if you are interested please do register your interest by emailing us at and we will get back to you when the date is confirmed.

All support groups are free to attend and open to any adult who’s lost someone in this way. The groups are closed – attendees are expected to attend all sessions, and once the group starts it won’t accept new members. There are eight group sessions. All groups are fairly small to promote an intimate and effective setting.

What if I need support for my own bereavement immediately?

If you need immediate support now for your bereavement, please call the Cruse National Helpline on 0808 808 1677. The helpline is available Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5pm with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until 8pm.

Outside these hours you can call the Samaritans helpline 24 hours a day for free on 116 123.

DrugFam also has some useful information and links on its website about drug and alcohol related bereavement. Read the leaflet Bereaved by Addiction.

For those based in Bristol and the South West, Bereavement through Addiction has useful information on its website

What research have you carried out?

Read our literature review.

Read our consultation findings.

A fantastic new resource from the Universities of Bath and Stirling for professionals working with people bereaved through drug or alcohol use - Bereaved through Substance Use - is now available.

How can I contact the project team?

You can email Jane Shackman at Cruse: or Rob Stebbings at Adfam: