Drug and alcohol support | Central Bedfordshire Council

Drug and alcohol support

Adult drug and alcohol services

‘The effects of drug and alcohol use in the family go well beyond the direct effects on the person using them’ - Adfam

Seeking help for your drug or alcohol use can be difficult, and many people struggle. But remember that you are not alone and there are people here to help

Find support services

If you want to learn more about the harms of addiction or are looking for support without referring to a service, FRANKDrinkaware and BeGambleAware are a great place to start. Young Minds and NACOA also offer support for young people affected by your own substance misuse or the use of friends and family.

Alcohol

For many of us, alcohol is part of our social lives, but drinking damages our health and contributes to over 60 medical conditions including:

  • cancer
  • high blood pressure
  • liver disease
  • depression and other mental ill health conditions
  • foetal alcohol syndrome

To keep your drinking ‘low risk’ it’s important to follow the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines, which recommend drinking less than 14 units a week for men and women over 3 or more days in the week.

This short quiz is an easy way to see if you’re drinking a bit too much, and it’ll signpost you to local services if you could use some help whether it be a few online exercises or some more structured support.

Drugs

Long term drug use changes the way your brain works and affects:

  • judgement
  • decision making
  • memory
  • behaviour

More information on understanding drug use is on the National Institute of Drug Abuse website.

Drug use can also put you at risk of:

  • heart or lung disease
  • cancer
  • mental ill health
  • blood borne viruses like Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS

More information on the heath consequences of drugs missuse is on the National Institute of Drug Abuse website.

Pregnant women using drugs are also at risk of going into labour early, while their babies may be born with drug-dependency or complications.

Anyone can develop a drug addiction and there’s no way to predict it, but addiction is treatable. With a personalised treatment plan that addresses your mental and social issues, continued recovery is achievable.

Gambling harms

People can become addicted to gambling in the same way as drugs or alcohol. If you have a gambling problem, you may find yourself:

  • chasing bets and losses
  • depleting savings
  • accumulating debt
  • being more secretive with your betting habits
  • resorting to theft or fraud to support your gambling

Gambling addictions can be treated like any other addiction, and support is readily available from the NHS.