Frequently Asked Questions

Here you can find frequently asked questions about addiction, drugs and alcohol, treatment options and help to family, friends and those who look after someone with an addiction. We try to answer as many questions most commonly asked about addiction and we do review these regularly however if you can’t find an answer to your question then please contact us and we will do our best to help you.

I’ve come to the realisation that I or someone I know has an addiction and I don’t know what to do?

Firstly admitting and accepting that you or they have an addiction is a great start. You can’t make changes to something that you don’t see as being a problem. A few variable factors change which treatment option would be most effective depending on things such as the type of substance, amount being used and how often, how it is being administered, how long you or they have been on it and others. Below you will find a table showing typical treatment options and information depending on the substance you or they are addicted to. This information will give you a brief overview. However, we would recommend as a rough guide that you visit your GP if it is a prescription medication or over-the-counter substance and a drug and alcohol service for illicit substances and alcohol as stopping certain substances harshly can be dangerous.

The table is currently being amended to ensure we provide you with the most up to date information with best practice in mind. In the meantime, please use our rule of thumb above to decide whether contacting your GP or drug and alcohol service would be most appropriate.

My drinking is getting too much for me, can I just stop?

It depends on the amount you have been drinking, what you drink and for how long. If you only drink socially and feel fine when you don’t have it then stopping or reducing would be ok. However, if you drink every day, drink strong alcohol and have been for a long time or extended period then stopping suddenly may be dangerous and can cause seizures or be fatal so stopping suddenly would not be recommended and we suggest you contact your local drug and alcohol service to develop a plan to reduce slowly to not only reduce the possible withdrawal symptoms that could be experienced but also to ensure complications such as seizures, comas and fatalities do not occur. You can find a link to your nearest drug and alcohol service on the help and support page.

I want to get onto a drug substitution program such as methadone or subutex, how do I go about this?

Most substitution programs are run and managed by drug and alcohol services rather than GP surgeries as most drug and alcohol services have specialist addiction doctors who can tailor a plan to suit your needs, prescribe the most appropriate medication as a few different medications exist, each with their own benefits and drawbacks, help you stop the use of illegal drugs, become stable on your program only and ultimately reduce your dose and stop completely however this can vary depending on where you are in the country but this is the general rule of thumb. You can find a link to your nearest drug and alcohol service on the help and support page.

A member of my family or a friends have an addiction and I’m struggling to cope and unsure whether I’m best helping them, what can I do?

Ensuring that you help the person or people will benefit them in the long term rather than hinder their recovery. A lot of addicts will ask for money to buy their substance, get to the shop or dealer, get new clean injecting equipment ect. We would recommend that you do not give them money as more often than not will end up being used to purchase their substance of choice. Instead, offer to buy them food, gas, electric or whatever they may need rather than just giving them cash. They may fight, argue, cry, shout or act out however this is most often the best course of action in the long term. If they inject, new clean injecting equipment can be given freely from your nearest drug and alcohol service, selected organisations and certain pharmacies. These are called needle exchange programs and are designed to reduce and avoid sharing injecting equipment or reusing old equipment to reduce the risk or stop the transference of blood borne viruses (BBV’s), reduce the risk of developing an infection and reduce the risk of others finding used injecting equipment and receiving a needle stick injury. For information can be found in the needle exchange program question on this page.

I or someone I know inject drugs, what can be done about this?

Those who inject drugs including steroids for bodybuilding can be sourced freely from your nearest needle exchange program. They are located within your nearest drug and alcohol service or at selected pharmacies and organisations within your local area. They provide new, clean injecting equipment, sharps bins to safely dispose of used needles and can be returned to the program to safely dispose of used equipment to stop the transmission of blood borne viruses (BBV’s) or others such as children or the elderly dangerously coming into contact with used equipment. A link to a list of your nearest needle exchange program can be found on our help and support page. Organisations who provide a needle exchange program often display the following sign so look out for organisations who display the following logo.

We try to provide answers to the most commonly asked questions however this list is not exhaustive so please either contact us and we will try our best to help or point you in the right direction to find an answer for you. We do regularly review our questions and answers so check back regularly to ensure you get the latest up to date information.

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