It is estimated that 2 million children and young people in the UK are affected by parents' drug or alcohol misuse. This study created a detailed exploration of young people's experiences of family life over time, as changing contexts can have dramatic effects on young people's coping capacities. The study involved interviews with 50 young people aged 10-18 who, at the time of recruitment, all had experiences of parental substance misuse wihtin the last year. Interviews were also held with eleven of the young people's significant others such as grandparents, parents, friends, teachers and key workers, as well as interviews with 29 substance misusing parents unrelated to the young people in the study. The research concluded that the complex interplay of actions and relationships within the family in the context of parental substance use, meant that the strategies adopted by one individual were likely to affect and disrupt the coping strategies of others.