Alcohol or drugs support


If you are concerned that you or someone you care about has a problem with alcohol there is lots of help available.  While alcohol can have a very temporary positive impact on our mood, in the long term it can cause big problems for our mental health. It’s linked to a range of issues from depression and memory loss to suicide. Read more about the links between alcohol and mental health.

A good place to start is talking to your GP who can refer you to local alcohol services. Alternatively you can contact one of the following organisations:

For self-assessment
  • Drink Coach  is a self-assessment tool which allows you to work out what level of risk you are at as a result of your drinking. You can also access personalised advice online and find out where you can get face-to-face support locally. Take the free alcohol test now.

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.

For local support in Essex

  • Open Road Open Road provides drug and alcohol services across Essex, with centres in Colchester, Clacton, Chelmsford, Basildon and Harlow.
  • Provide’s Essex Lifestyle Support is a free service and provides healthy lifestyle support for anyone aged 16 plus. If you want to make lifestyle changes to improve your health and wellbeing, then they can help.
  • Hypnotherapy Directory enables yo to find a hypnotherapist in your local area who can help you overcome an alcohol and substances misuse. The site also shares the latest hypnotherapy news, support articles and local events.


If you feel you’re having problems with drug use, or addiction, or you’re worried about someone else’s drug or alcohol use, there are many ways to get help and support.

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

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
  • 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
For general support
  • Addaction Addaction is a UK wide treatment agency, helping individuals, families and communities to manage the effects of drug and alcohol misuse
  • Adfam is an organisation providing support to families affected by drug or alcohol use
  • Alcoholics Anonymous Alcoholics Anonymous is an organisation which allows people who have problems with alcohol use to support each other stop drinking, and to stay sober. If you call their helpline (0845 769 7555) they’ll put you in touch with your local support group. Calls to 0845 numbers are chargeable, rates vary
  • Al-Anon Al-Anon is worldwide and offers support and understanding to the families and friends of problem drinkers.Confidential Helpline: 0207 4030888 (open 10am-10pm)
  • Alcohol Concern Alcohol Concern is the national agency on alcohol misuse for England and Wales. AC provides general information about alcohol, and can help put you in touch with your nearest alcohol advice centre. Call: 020 7928 7377
  • CGL (Change Grow Live) CGL is a charity working with individuals, families, and communities across England and Wales who are affected by drugs, alcohol, crime, homelessness, domestic abuse, and antisocial behaviour
  • Drinkline  is the national alcohol helpline. If you’re worried about your own or someone else’s drinking, you can call this free helpline in complete confidence, 24 hours a day: 0300 123 1110.
  • Drinkaware is a national independent charity whose website has a wealth of useful information and tips on reducing alcohol consumption and drinking sensibly
  • 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
  •  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
  • NHS Choices This website provides advice and information on alcohol and offers a database of support and treatment services
  • Samaritans The Samaritans provide confidential non-judgemental support 24 hours a day for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair. Tel: 0845 790 9090. Calls to 0845 numbers are chargeable, rates vary
  • Find a list of organisations that provide support for drug addiction near you on the NHS website



Livewell Partners