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 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


Support was delivered to people who have been bereaved though drugs or alcohol by trained peer support volunteers who have themselves been bereaved in this way. Over those years our brilliant volunteers provided 1-2-1 support to dozens of clients and also ran four rounds of a structured peer support group in London.

As of September 2017 the funding for BEAD has ended - therefore we are unfortunately no longer able to accept any further referrals for support. We are making every effort to get further funding to sustain this important project which remains a priority for both Adfam and Cruse. 

If you have any questions please contact

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. There is information specific to drug and alcohol related bereavement at

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 was 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.