About us

We help people change their behaviour to become the very best that they can be. It could be their drug or alcohol use or worries about their mental health – we support people to make lasting change in their lives.

We deliver 81 services across England and Scotland.  In 2017 we supported 140,000 people.

We work with adults and young people, in community settings, in prisons, in residential rehab and through outreach.

We believe that everyone can change and we support them to do it.

Our history

Our organisation began with an article published in The Guardian on 24 February 1967 from Mollie Craven.

Mollie had first hand experience of dealing with substance misuse issues in the family: her son was addicted to heroin by the age of 18.

Feeling powerless to help Mollie wrote: “We parents of addicts are a neglected and ignored group.”

She continued: “I would like to appeal to everyone interested in this agonising problem to form an association. We can help each other, we can help with research into the problem and its origin and cure; we can cooperate with the new legislation; in many ways we can help each other's children where we cannot help our own.”

In a desperate search for support, she started APA – Association for Parents of Addicts, also known as Association for the Prevention of Addiction.

Initially APA was very small. It delivering a number of drop-in services funded by donations and grants. It offered a safe non-judgemental place to go with tea, empathy and counselling.

That small support group became Addaction, and we grew significantly. Last year we celebrated our 50th year.