If you feel you're having problems with drinking, 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.
On these pages you can learn how to recognise when you or someone else has a problem, and find organisations and clinics offering advice and help with addiction.
Essex County Council have commissioned a range of flexible, confidential treatment and support services for people with substance misuse issues. The services work together to provide a variety of treatment options to help and support with recovery from the harmful effects of substance misuse. These services include open access advice and information, 1-1 structured support, structured group work, support for carers and families, peer support, and detoxification and rehabilitation options in both community and residential settings.
For further advice or to find out more about these services, visit the Open Road website.
Mental health and substance misuse
People with a mental health problem may often turn to alcohol or drugs as a way to make their symptoms easier to cope with. Although a person using alcohol or drugs in this way may feel slightly calmer or better in the short term, their underlying mental problems will still be there. They will also be increasing the risk of developing longer-term physical health problems.
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.
You should talk to your GP if you are worried about your mental health, or about your use of alcohol or drugs. Your GP will advise you on the best support available.
Other information and advice
Mind offer information and advice on the Effects of Drugs on Mental Health.
The Rethink website contains more information on dual diagnosis and a range of other mental health issues.
Healthwatch Essex has some advice available on drugs, substances and alcohol that you might also find useful in their guide to health and well-being for young people. Also on their website, they've made available a comprehensive A-Z guide on The Truth about Drugs.