Drugs: getting help

If you have a problem with drugs, there's a wide range of services that can help.

Drugs information and support

Call the Frank helpline on 0300 123 6600 for more information about drugs and the different options available for help and support. The confidential helpline is open every day, 24 hours a day.

Some of these services are provided by the NHS, and some are specialist drug facilities run by charities and private organisations. You can use the service search to find your nearest NHS drug addiction support services.

This guide to getting treatment for a drug problem will steer you through the options, so you can find help that works for you. If you have a problem with drugs, you have the same entitlement to care as anyone coming to the NHS for help with any other health problem.

With the right help and support it's possible for you to get drug free and stay that way.

Where to start

A good place to start is to visit your GP. Your GP can discuss your concerns with you, assess the nature of your problems and help you choose the most appropriate treatment. Your GP might offer to treat you or might refer you to your local specialist drug service.

Many drug treatment services accept self-referrals so, if you are not comfortable talking to your GP, you might be able to approach your local drug treatment service directly.

You can find information about local drug treatment services on the Frank website.

If you’re having trouble finding the right sort of help, call the Frank drugs helpline on 0800 776600. An adviser can talk to you about the different options.

Your keyworker

If you are seen at your local drug treatment service, you will first be assessed and, if you are deemed appropriate for treatment, you will then be allocated a keyworker. Your keyworker may be a doctor, a nurse or a drugs worker.

Your keyworker will help you organise the treatment that you need, develop a personalised care plan with you and be your first point of call throughout your treatment. You’ll see your keyworker for regular one-to-one sessions during your treatment.

Voluntary sector and private treatment

Outside the NHS, there are many voluntary sector and private drug and alcohol treatment organisations that can help you. As well as residential rehab centres, community services of various types are provided by voluntary organisations. These include structured day programmes, outreach and harm reduction services, counselling services, aftercare and housing support services.

These organisations will usually be linked to NHS services in your area. 

Further information

For more specific information about treatments, go to:

National organisations that provide information and support for drug users and their families include:

Page last reviewed: 08/10/2012

Next review due: 08/10/2014


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The 1 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

kimms said on 20 October 2011

I also think that treating the addicts like normal people is the best way to approach them, it would make them open up and accept the idea of receiving treatment more easily. Having them accepting the treatment is a huge step towards recovery, I think most of those who start using the drug again never really wanted to get treatment from the start and went for it in order to please their family. Anyways, overcoming an addiction is like struggling to overcome another evil self and attending something like
heroin rehab centers helps a lot, but in the end it's up to you if you stay away from drugs or not.

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