Getting help with substance misuse

Any kind of addiction (whether it’s alcohol, prescription medication or illegal drugs) is a health problem and should be treated like any other. Whichever support you choose and whoever you decide to speak to, you will be treated with dignity and respect.

If you’re struggling with drugs or alcohol, reaching out for support is a big step. You might choose to:

  • Confide in a friend or family member
  • Speak to your local GP
  • Search for a local support service
  • Look for fellowship meetings

People of all ages and backgrounds struggle with drug or alcohol problems, and there’s no one type of person who is more likely to be affected. You also don’t have to be dependent on drugs or alcohol to be at risk of harm.

Only around 1 in 5 people with alcohol dependency are in treatment in England. Even if you’re not ready to speak to anyone yet, small steps to take back control of your life can make a big difference.

What to expect

Addiction can have far reaching consequences, affecting your family, friendships and finances as well as your physical and mental health. If you choose to work with us at one of our substance misuse hubs, we try to help you look at the big picture.

When you first contact one of our services, our team will talk to you to assess your situation and healthcare needs. You will be allocated a dedicated key worker, who will support you throughout your treatment.

Your key worker will also help you to develop a tailored recovery plan that is right for you and gives you the best chance of a successful recovery.

The treatment options you are offered will depend on your specific needs, how long your addiction has lasted and your circumstances.

Your treatment and recovery plan might include:

  • Structured support to help you overcome your addiction. This might include one to one support, group therapy or managed detoxification at home (if you are struggling with alcohol).
  • Psychological support, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
  • Clinical support with licit and illicit drugs for example Opioid substitution therapy or alcohol detoxification.
  • Health screening and vaccinations, including screening for blood borne viruses
  • Referrals to other partner services and support groups.
  • Harm prevention, to help you make safer choices even if you are still using drugs or alcohol.
  • Relapse prevention advice and planning.
  • Support and advice for family members, who may be affected by addiction and, if you wish, can help you with your recovery.

We have substance misuse services in County Durham, South Tyneside, North Yorkshire and York. Our services vary slightly at each location, so please contact your local team or look at the individual service website for more information.

Find out more about our substance misuse services.

Other help and support

Lots of organisations can help you and your family if you are struggling with drugs or alcohol. Take a look at:

  • Al-Anon support for family and friends affected by alcohol dependency
  • Adfam national charity working with families affected by addiction
  • FRANK impartial information and safety advice about drugs
  • Nacoa an organisation supporting people affected by parental drinking
  • Narcotics Anonymous fellowship meetings and support
  • Supportline a helpline for anyone affected by drug addiction

Further help and advice on drug addiction is available from the NHS here.