Health and wellbeing services

Support for alcohol and drug problems

If you are worried about your alcohol or drug use, you should discuss your concerns with your GP. Your GP can assess the nature of your problem and help you choose the most appropriate treatment.

Open Road

Open Road provides a free and confidential service to support anyone affected by drugs and alcohol, whatever their age or circumstances.

You can contact them on 0844 499 1323 or visit the Open Road website.

Alcohol: Information and support

To find out how risky your drinking is, you can take a free, confidential test at Drink Coach.

For more information about the health risks of drinking too much alcohol, visit the NHS website.

Find a list of organisations that provide support for alcohol addiction near you on the NHS website.

Alcoholics Anonymous is an organisation which allows people who have problems with alcohol use to support each other, stop drinking, and to stay sober.

Al-Anon offers support and understanding to the families and friends of problem drinkers.

Drugs: Information and support

Drug misuse can be harmful to your health in both the short term and long term, and could possibly lead to addiction.

For more information about the health risks of using drugs, visit the NHS website.

The Frank website offers a wealth of information and confidential advice on all types of drugs. You can also use their postcode lookup to find out where to go for support in your area.

Find a list of organisations that provide support for drug addiction near you on the NHS website.

Needle exchanges

Sharing or reusing needles can cause serious problems for people who inject drugs. Needle and syringe exchanges provide advice, information and clean equipment to people who need them.

Find your nearest needle exchange service on the Open Road website.

Supporting someone with a substance misuse problem

Are you worried that someone you know is using drugs or drinking more alcohol than they should? As well as trying to support them, you may need some help and support yourself. The following organisations provide free confidential advice and meetings locally:

Adfam is an organisation providing support to families affected by drug or alcohol use
Al-Anon Family Groups offer support to anyone whose life is affected by someone's drinking
Families Anonymous is a world-wide fellowship of family members and friends affected by another's abuse of mind-altering substances, or related behavioural problems.

Mental health and substance misuse

When someone with a mental health problem also misuses drugs or alcohol they are said to have a 'dual diagnosis'. People with a dual diagnosis often need additional support.

The first step would be to talk to your GP.

If you do not feel comfortable talking to your GP, you could also contact the Adult Mental Health and Wellbeing team at Essex County Council.

Alternatively contact Futures in Mind, who provide support with recovery and peer support from mental health problems and/or substance and alcohol misuse in Essex.

Learning disabilities and substance misuse

Here are some easy read guides for people with a learning disability:

Understand more about the effects of alcohol - A series of leaflets by Easy Health

Support for young people in Essex

The first point of call for young people in Essex is also Open Road. You can also find information on the Essex Young People's Drug and Alcohol Service (EYPDAS) website.

Healthwatch Essex provides information in their guide to health and wellbeing for young people. Further information can be found in their A-Z guide on The Truth about Drugs (PDF).

Alateen is part of Al-Anon, but is for young people aged 12-17, who have experienced living with someone with an alcohol problem. By attending meetings, young people gain an understanding of the illness and feel the benefits of realising they are not alone.

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