The 5-step Method


Are you concerned about the impact of someone’s use of alcohol, other drugs or gambling behaviour on yourself and other family members?

The 5-Step Method is a proven way to support anyone who is impacted by another person’s addiction to substances or gambling. You learn to respond and cope more effectively with information addressing your particular circumstances.

It was developed in the UK and extensively researched in other countries and cultures by members of the Addiction and Family International Network https://www.afinetwork.info/ and evidence suggests it is effective for whānau members in Aotearoa New Zealand.

A brief summary of the NZ research has been produced in an infographic.

Infographic - click here

Provided by trained addiction workers it involves;

  1. Getting to know whānau member’s and hearing their story

  2. Providing relevant and accurate information specific to their situation

  3. Exploring ways of coping and responding to reduce stress and improve communication

  4. Exploring and enhancing social support

  5. Reviewing and arranging further help if needed


People can get help whether their relative with addiction to alcohol, other drugs or gambling is in treatment or not. It equips people with knowledge and skills to focus on their wellbeing and the needs of family members including children.

Ask your local addictions service if they have workers who are trained to work in this way.