In 1983, Rev. Leslie Virgo was asked to run a series of Workshops at the Selsdon Park Convention for the family members of alcoholic and drug addicted doctors and dentists and also to provide counselling sessions: from this grew the Families Group of BDDG!

The Families Group of BDDG is an independent self-help group which offers help, support and recovery for all family members who are suffering, or have suffered, from the effects of a doctor’s or dentist’s alcohol or drug addiction.

The Families Groups meet monthly, usually in adjacent rooms and at the same time as BDDG meetings.

When attempts at helping the drinking doctor or dentist have apparently failed, if the spouse/partner attends Families Group meetings, very often the partner doctor or dentist eventually joins BDDG.

Like their partners in BDDG who are also members of AA or NA, many family members become involved in AI-Anon (a fellowship for relatives and friends of alcoholics) or Families Anon (a fellowship for relatives and friends concerned about the use of drugs) and this also gives additional helpful support.

Unfortunately, a high percentage of doctors’ and dentists’ marriages have encountered difficulties before the doctor or dentist comes into recovery, but, in recovery, reconciliation is frequently possible.

Leslie was closely associated with the Families Group from 1983 until retiring as Facilitator to the Group in February 2011, prior to moving back to Gloucestershire – the county of his birth: Leslie died on 6 August 2013.

Information about the BDDG Families Group, and details about meetings of the Families Group, can be obtained from Catherine D., National Chairman, at 07825 107970 / bddg@btinternet.com or Andrew M., National Secretary, at 07904 570729 / aonghuis@outlook.com .