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Health & Wellbeing

Drugs & Alcohol

Drugs 

Using drugs can affect your health, relationships and personal safety.

But, for some people, drug use takes over, disrupts their life and becomes a problem. 

What do we mean by drugs?

  • illegal substances such as heroin, cocaine, cannabis and mephedrone
  • misused household products - like gases, glues and aerosols or other volatile substances
  • some medicines (which can be misused)
  • alcohol and tobacco
  • New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), often referred to as 'legal highs' 

 

FRANK (the national drugs website) has the latest information about different drugs, their effects and the law, to help you know what's what. 

You can talk to FRANK in confidence if you are worried about your own or someone else's use of drugs. 

  • Phone FRANK on 0300 123 6600, all day, every day
  • Text FRANK on 82111, or email frank@talktofrank.com
  • FRANK can signpost you to local services that can support you or someone you care about.

If you'd like to talk to someone about accessing help in Somerset for yourself, a friend or family member, Somerset Drug and Alcohol Service (SDAS) is there to help you. 

Whatever your age, if you need help or support with a drug or alcohol problem, contact SDAS

Narcotics Anonymous offers information and advice about addiction, including meetings in Somerset and online support.

UK SMART Recovery offers support and advice about recovery from addiction, including SMART recovery groups in Somerset. These are mutual aid meetings where, through open and confidential discussion, participants help each other and themselves with recovery.

 

Find information on services and mutual aid support in Somerset on the Somerset Drug and Alcohol Partnership website. 

Find more information to help you on the Somerset County Council website and NHS Choices.

 

 

Alcohol

Many people enjoy drinking alcohol. But, it can affect us in ways we often don't realise, and it can be easy for our drinking to get out of hand. 

 

Did you know?

  • Alcohol is the biggest lifestyle health risk factor in the UK after tobacco.
  • Over third of all UK Accident and Emergency attendances and ambulance costs are alcohol related.
  • Alcohol is a factor in over half of all violent crimes in the UK.
  • In Somerset, 1 in 5 people who drink alcohol do so at a level which increases the risk of harm.
  • Approximately 400 under 24s are admitted to hospital in Somerset each year with an alcohol related condition.

 

Lower risk drinking

  • Men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week
  • Spread your drinking over three days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week
  • Pregnant women or women trying to conceive should avoid alcohol altogether

Try having some days off when you don't drink at all. As well as reducing your health risk, you are likely to sleep better, feel better in the morning, save some calories, and save money.

Find more information about units of alcohol and tips and advice to help you cut down on the OneYou website

You can also keep a track of your drinking - how many units, how many calories, how much you're spending - using the OneYou Drinks Tracker app.   

 

Top tips for drinking a bit less

  1. Identify good reasons to change. Pick your 3 best reasons to change how much you drink.
  2. Set your own goals. Plan how much you will have when you go out or when you are drinking at home.
  3. Plan for any difficult times. Recognise when it might be difficult for you and identify how you will deal with those situations.
  4. Find support. It can really help to talk with someone you trust and ask for advice when you need it. There are lots of people in different services in Somerset who want to talk, if you do.
  5. Stick to your goals, taking one day at a time. Small changes can make a big difference. Cutting back on alcohol can help your general wellbeing. You'll probably notice some benefits quite quickly.

Useful contacts - Somerset

Somerset Drug and Alcohol Service (SDAS) provides support if you or someone close to you has a more severe problem with alcohol or drugs. You can contact them on 0300 303 87 88 or email somerset.das@cgl.org.uk You can also find lots of useful information about SDAS and other alcohol services on the Somerset Drugs and Alcohol Partnership website.