Shropshire Council

Help and support for drug use

If you're worried about your drug use or need help or advice, please contact Shropshire Recovery Partnership (part of the We Are With You organisation) on 01743 294700 or the free national confidential online chat service, available:

  • Weekdays between 10:00 - 16:00 and 18:00 - 21:00
  • Weekends from 11:00 - 16:00

Help and advice on drug use

There are several reasons why someone might start misusing drugs, and suffering trauma can be a common factor. Most of the time drugs such as cannabis, ecstasy or cocaine are first used recreationally. However, the effects of drug use are only temporary, and in the long-term, any feelings of pleasure or relief won’t last. This then means that a person’s drug use can increase, and lead to dependency leading to health complications and higher risk of harm.

Continued drug use can lead to mental health issues, for example, regular cannabis use can increase your risk of anxiety or depression. Mixing drugs with alcohol, or other prescribed medication, can be dangerous, or even fatal.  

Not all drug dependency is about illegal drugs, and many people can become dependent on over the counter and prescription drugs. If you're dependent on prescription drugs or over the counter drugs, then you should contact your GP.

If you regularly use drugs, you can reduce the risks and keep yourself safe by following some simple advice.

  • Please do not take any drugs, including prescription drugs that you have bought online, without a prescription. Even if you have used the drugs before on prescription, please seek advice from your GP if you feel you need these drugs again
  • Please carry Naloxone at all times if you use opiates eg heroin, Ambulances are extremely busy and may take longer to get to you during the current pandemic. If you or someone you're with overdoses use the Naloxone, put the person in the recovery position call 999 for an ambulance. Tell the call handler you suspect it is an overdose and have used Naloxone
  • Ensure your loved ones, family members and those you have regular contact with know how to administer Naloxone should you overdose, it will save your life. Shropshire Recovery Partnership can provide you and family members with Naloxone and full training on how to use it

If you do suddenly stop using heroin or other opiates you may find yourself going into an unplanned withdrawal and may experience the following symptoms:

  • Slow breathing
  • Trouble staying awake
  • Clammy cold skin
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea

An unmanaged withdrawal can be very unpleasant and uncomfortable; however, it is very rare anyone experiences any severe complications.  If you're concerned about your symptoms, please ring NHS 111 and tell them that you're withdrawing from drugs. Alternatively, Shropshire Recovery Partnership can help you through a programme of support right for you.

The Shropshire Recovery Partnership

Shropshire Recovery Partnership (SRP) can give you further help and advice on drug use, and offer a range of assessments and treatment services:

  • Assessment - an opportunity to talk about your drug and alcohol use and to find out how the team may be able to help you. You may also need a health assessment. Please allow an hour for this first appointment
  • Counselling - for those who want to look at the underlying reasons for their substance misuse and make positive changes
  • Detoxification - SRP can arrange a referral for in-patient detoxification at a specialist unit. Home detoxification is also available
  • Substitute prescribing - for those looking to stabilise and reduce their drug use with the aim of becoming drug free
  • Needle exchange programme - for those injecting drugs, Shropshire Recovery Partnership can offer sterile needles, syringes, injecting equipment advice and support. Needle exchange programmes can also be accessed at a number of pharmacies around Shropshire
  • Advice and information - you can speak to a member of the team on any issue that may be worrying you
  • Residential rehabilitation: if treatment in the community is not working for you, your recovery worker may suggest residential rehabilitation. Intensive programmes of specialist therapy and care can last between 6 and 12 months
  • Criminal justice and community treatment orders - the service support people to continue with their treatment on return to the community from prison. The service also works with the courts and probation providing services to support community sentences for drug rehabilitation requirement (DRRs) and alcohol treatment requirement (ATRs) orders
  • Care co-ordination, the service will work with a number of different agencies and organisations who can support you. For example, for pregnant women the team will liaise with midwifery to ensure you and your baby receive the right care. A supportive environment with people who share a common experience, led by team workers and people with lived experience, the group work programme supports you to live a life without dependency

You can call SRP on 01743 294700, e-mail or visit their website.

Drug related support

For mutual support local meeting details, please check out the Narcotics Anonymous website.

Some peoples journey to recovery takes them straight to mutual aid, whilst others are encouraged to attend groups through treatment providers or GP's. Either way, mutual aid groups offer a supportive environment that can really help people to recover, provide support long term and give opportunities to support others.

There are many different types of mutual aid with different approaches. In Shropshire there are '12-step' fellowships as well as SMART Recovery groups.

Support for families and those affected by someone else’s drug use

Drug misuse can have a huge impact on parents, carers and families. When someone in a family or relationship uses drugs those around them may experience anger, betrayal, guilt, fear and isolation. Adfam is a national charity that offers support to people affected by someone else’s drug and alcohol misuse. A range of information is available on their website.

Alcohol affects both carers and adult family members. With this in mind, The Care Act 2014 recommends that carers have an assessment of their needs. In Shropshire, this can be requested by contacting the first point of contact team on 0345 678 9044.

Shropshire Recovery Partnership also support family members and others affected by someone’s drug and alcohol use. There is more help and support available through the With You website.

Drug driving

It is illegal to drive if you're driving is impaired by drugs or if you have certain drugs above a specified level in your blood. If the police stop you and think you might have taken drugs they can use 'drugalyser' like breathalysers at the roadside to detect the presence of drugs. The police can also carry out a 'field impairment test' which looks at your ability to balance, walk in a straight line, judge short periods of time and eye pupil size.

If drugs are detected or you're thought to be impaired by drugs, you'll be arrested and taken to a police station for blood or urine tests. If the tests shown you’ve taken drugs or show a specified drug above the specified blood limits you could be charged with drug driving. For more information about drug driving visit the website.

Further information