Home > Programs > Parents and Families
Bonnie's Story
"I’m a single mom and my son’s all the family I’ve got. Our relationship was great when he was little but as he got to be a teenager he got in with a bad group of friends and started using. I would stay up all night, then not be able to go to work. I just kept thinking about him—“Where was he?”, “What was he doing?” and “Was he ok?”. He told me he had gotten clean, so I tried to stop worrying. Then one day I got the phone call. He was in really bad shape and my heart sunk. I knew I couldn’t keep going the way I was—desperate. Then a friend told me about Rideauwood. After being in the Parents and Family program for a bit I got stronger and was able to let go of my son a little more. Funny, he’s getting better too."
Mary's Story
“Worry. I lived with it 24/7. I woke up many nights in a cold sweat wondering where my daughter was, searching for her at 2:00 AM. I tried everything. Nothing I did would change her substance use. After participating in the Rideauwood Family and Parent program, we are both in a better place.”
Jerome's Story
"I lived with my Dad which was really good except when he was drinking. When he was drinking I got so stressed and worried. It was messing up my job and my relationship with my boyfriend. One day I passed by Rideauwood on my way to work. I stopped in to ask about what they do. I wasn’t sure it was what I needed, but I gave it a try. I learned a lot from them including how to let go of my Dad’s drinking and how to focus on myself. The kindness they showed me was what I needed. Getting my life back wasn’t easy, but when my life was in total chaos because of my Dad’s drinking, it was way harder."

Families, parents and support persons of individuals who are struggling with substance use, behavioural addictions and mental health issues can overlook the need for support themselves.

At Rideauwood we offer a unique program that helps families, parents and support persons learn about the factors of substance use, behavioural addictions and mental health issues that are at play in their lives and how they can reduce their impact. Clients are supported to feel empowered and find solutions that will work for their particular situation. In doing so they also help the ones they love. 

How are you coping with your loved one's substance use, behavioural addictions and mental health issues?

Explore your questions with our self-assessment tool.

Do I or others question if my loved one’s substance use and/or, behavioural addiction is causing me problems?
Have I had consequences in my life related to my loved one’s substance use and/or, behavioural addiction but they continue the same behaviour?
Has my loved one's substance use and/or behavioural addiction increased regardless of their efforts to moderate or stop completely?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above please contact us.

Q: How can I make my partner/parent/child/friend stop using?

A: You can’t make someone else stop doing something they are doing, but you can learn how to take care of yourself.

Rideauwood has a wide variety of programs for
Parents and Families

Family Spiral

This is a 2-evening program for family members, friends and support persons who are concerned about someone with a substance use, behavioural addiction or mental health issue.

The Family Program

This program is a 13-week program for family members and support persons of people with substance use, behavioural addictions and mental health issues. The program includes 4 evening group sessions and a 4-day intensive portion followed by an 8 week after care session.

ARCK Program (for Families, Parents and Support Persons)

The ARCK Program offers 6 weeks of 2-hour group sessions, and individual counselling. It provides information on addiction, communication skills, emotions, education, and setting healthy boundaries.

The Parent Program

Rideauwood offers a 13-week program for parents and support persons of people with substance use, behavioural addictions or mental health issues. After attending 4-evening group sessions, participants enter a 4-day intensive portion followed by an 8 week after care session.

Urgent Substance Use Treatment Program for Parents and Family

This program provides immediate prevention, education and counselling services for family members, parents and support persons of people experiencing opioid related and other urgent substance use issues.

Problem Gambling Program for Families

We offer support, counselling, and education for family members, parents and support persons of people who struggle with gambling.

Important Notice to Clients About Coronavirus

Our world has changed over the past few days with the accelerated response to the spread of COVID-19 in Canada and, more recently, in Ottawa with yesterday’s new directive from the  Medical Officer of Health. As of Sunday March 15 (yesterday), Ottawa Public Health is asking all residents to stay in their homes unless necessary. The Medical Officer of Health specified that this is not to discourage people from being outside, but to discourage people from going into other locations or being within 2 meters of other people that are not living in your home. The purpose of that is to reduce the speed at which the virus will spread, limiting the burden on the health care system.


Here at Rideauwood, we are activating the following plans to support the evolving situation:

  • All group programs are being put on hold until further notice
  • Individual counselling services, normally offered in person will be offered via telephone or OTN, (a secure videoconferencing option). As such a staff person will be in touch with you to inform you of this change.
  • If you are a youth or a young adult wanting to access the walk-in service please call us at 613-724-4881.  Your call will be redirected to the appropriate person.


If you are registered in an upcoming group or have an appointment and have any questions, please call us at 613-724-7881.



  • If you are sick, stay at home if possible
  • If you have:
  • Returned from international travel or to a Canadian province with established local transmission and are displaying symptoms associated with COVID-19, including fever and/or new worsening cough.
  • Had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days and are displaying symptoms associated with COVID-19 including fever and/or new or worsening cough.


Please go immediately to the COVID-19 Assessment Centre located at the Brewer Arena, (151 Brewer Way) open daily from 9a.m. to 8 p.m.)



  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand.  Also, make sure to wash your hands afterward.
  • Avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care centres if you are sick.
  • Get your flu shot if you haven’t already done so.


For more information about COVID-19 click on the links below:


Other links that may be helpful: