QAAD: Quaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs


QAAD’s work among Friends has given rise to a variety of materials. These were usually developed in conjunction with Friends in order to explore and share helpful approaches to alcohol, gambling, or illicit or prescribed drugs.

QAAD has produced the following document which summarises sources of support and approaches which close others may find helpful:

‘To Use or Not to Use’

This book, written by Helena Chambers, QAAD’s former Director is based on her extensive research among Quakers about their attitudes towards alcohol, gambling and illicit drugs. The book explores how Quakers consider the testimonies of abstinence and moderation, and includes Friends’ accounts of their personal experiences of abstinence, use and problem use and addiction.  The book is available to purchase (£5 including P&P), and can be ordered by e-mail or post from QAAD’s Director.

‘Spirituality and Quaker Approaches to Substance Use and Addiction’

A particular focus of Helena’s research was how Quakers viewed these issues in relation to their spiritual lives. This article was was published in the academic journal Religions. It can be read here.  QAAD would be glad to provide speakers to explore personal perspectives on these subjects in Local or Area Meetings. To discuss the possibility, please contact Alison Mather.

QAAD briefing on decriminalisation

In 2013 QAAD produced a briefing on decriminalisation to assist interested Friends and Meetings in their deliberations about drug problems and the law: see QAAD briefing on decriminalisation.  QAAD can be contacted for speakers if Friends and Meetings would like to explore this issue further.

Materials for Young Friends and those working with them

QAAD has worked on substance and gambling issues with groups of young Quakers over the years and has developed session material with them. We have tried to address the kind of issues that would not be covered in school education on alcohol and drugs, particularly as regards looking at them from the perspective of spirituality and Quaker testimonies and values.

We worked with the Children and Young Person’s Team to formulate these sessions, and they were published in their ‘Journeys in the Spirit’ series. Paper copies can be sent on request, or the material is still on-line.

We also supported Lianna Pim, then a pupil at Sibford Quaker School, to produce a short film on alcohol use and young people. We still have a few copies of the DVD left, which are available to interested Friends. Please contact Alison Mather if you would like to receive one.

Alison Mather, QAAD Director.
PO Box 3344
Bristol BS6 9NT

Telephone: 0117 9246891