Written by Janet on .I volunteer with Family Drug Support—have worked on the phone line, and currently facilitate a weekly support group. In this work I have discovered a hidden reality of middle class Australian life: the massive scale of the impact and heartbreak experienced by the families of dependent users of drugs and alcohol. So many parents and other family members who find their way to FDS have felt compelled by shame and stigma to hide their situation from workmates, friends and extended family. The result is a secret layer of pain and disfunction. Once people are able to access the support of the FDS phone line, groups, website and courses, they report that their lives improve dramatically— with a ripple effect that extends far and wide, often also positively affecting the person with the drug dependency. As the slogan for the day says, drug use can happen in any family. Talking about it will make a difference. It is also a necessary first step to finding effective approaches to the devastating realities of drug and alcohol problems in our society.