If you have a friend or family member with a drug or alcohol problem, it’s common to feel helpless and frustrated. But there are many people who have been through the same kind of problems as you, and come out of the other side. Finding help for yourself is often the best thing that you can do for your family, and it is important to make sure that you are getting the help, support and advice that you need to cope as best you can and support your family member. There are support services dedicated to helping the families of drug or alcohol users, and you can meet other family members going through similar experiences.
You may also want to try and help your loved one get treatment or support to stop using drugs or alcohol. It’s important to remember that whilst you can try and help someone, stopping can be a very difficult process and ultimately someone will only seek treatment or help if they want it. If your loved one wants treatment, there are specialist drug and alcohol services all over the UK, most of which are funded by local authorities or the NHS, and free to access. Some services will need your loved one to be referred by their GP, for others they will be able to simply refer themselves.
The treatments provided can include various forms of counselling and talking therapies, medication-based treatments including substitute prescribing, medical treatment for associated physical health problems, help with other related social problems such as housing and employment, and residential rehabilitation.
To find contact details for treatment organisations in your area, you can ask your GP or use these databases:
- Drug services in England: Talk to FRANK
- Drug and alcohol services in Northern Ireland: Public Health Agency
- Drug services in Scotland: Scottish drug services directory
- Alcohol services in Scotland: Alcohol Focus Scotland
- Drug and alcohol services in Wales: DAN 24/7
- Residential rehabilitation services for drugs and/or alcohol in England and Wales: Rehab Online and in the UK: Drink and Drugs News