Drug and alcohol misuse can affect anyone – here’s where to get help

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The Public Health Agency (PHA) is making people aware of services available in their local areas to help with drug and alcohol misuse.

Michael Owen, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager at the Public Health Agency (PHA), said: “Drug and alcohol misuse is sadly all too common and something that can affect anyone.

“Recent reports of suspected heroin-related overdoses and deaths are worrying and the PHA would strongly advise that the only effective way to avoid risk is to not take any drugs which have not been prescribed for you by your doctor.

“The main risk factors when using drugs include taking too much of a substance, taking a substance over an extended period of time, “bingeing”, mixing drugs with other drugs and/or alcohol, and using drugs on your own.

“If you or someone you know might have a problem with drug and/or alcohol misuse, please visit www.drugsandalcoholni.info where you can find information about services and help in your local area.

“Support is also available for families affected by a family member’s substance misuse, irrespective of whether the family member is receiving treatment or not.

“The Public Health Agency, with support from the Health and Social Care Board, coordinates the Take Home Naloxone programme. This programme provides life-saving medicine (naloxone) to people at risk of opioid overdose. This medicine is available to anyone who uses opioids, through their local Trust Addiction Services, Prison Service and Low Threshold Services. It is injected intramuscularly and can be administered by anyone in an emergency overdose situation.”

Details on how to access the services that provide the Take Home Naloxone programme can be found on www.drugsandalcoholni.info