Home HealthDrugs and Alcohol Support How you can support people who need drug and alcohol support

How you can support people who need drug and alcohol support

by Jonathan Kearney

Like other health conditions and illnesses, a drug or alcohol problem impacts on a person’s health and is a treatable health condition.

It’s something that should be shared and talked about, like we do with other issues such as mental health, so that a person can get the help and support they need. They shouldn’t be judged but encouraged to seek help and support.

Everyone has a role to play in ending the stigma surrounding drug and alcohol use. There is a whole range of reasons why someone turns to alcohol or drugs, but it’s important that people have a kinder approach to those affected and focus on being understanding and supportive rather than being judgemental.

Such stigma can prevent people who really need support from accessing it, meaning that their reliance on drugs or alcohol could escalate rather than reduce. Stigma can impact not only on the person, but also their wider family, friends, and their community.

There is help and support available to Knowsley residents through Change Grow Live (CGL), so if you need help, or if you know someone who does, and you want to discuss ways you can support them to get help, contact CGL:-

By phone:          0151 482 6291

By email:            knowsley.info@cgl.org.uk

Or visit:               www.changegrowlive.org

What can I do?

You can help challenge stigma by speaking up when you hear people around you make negative or wrong comments about people with a drug or alcohol problem.

Remember that a drug or alcohol problem should be treated as a health condition. This means that those affected should get the same support as those dealing with any other health issue.

Think about the language used when talking about someone with a drug or alcohol problem. Are you using language that is judgmental?

It is known that using language to describe someone who is struggling with substance misuse as ‘addicts’, ‘abuser’, ‘junkie’, ‘crack heads’, ‘alcoholic’, ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ can impact on our friends and family’s likelihood to come forward and get the help they need.

Don’t define or group the person based on their drug or alcohol problem.

Encourage people you know who have a drug or alcohol problem to seek help and support.