NHS Borders raise awareness of local substance use support available to people in need


As part of the #StopTheDeaths initiative, NHS Borders are reminding people to access the right services, at the right time and in the right place.

This may seem straightforward when you feel unwell with a common illness, injury or ailment and access your local Community Pharmacy, Minor Injures Unit or GP surgery. But do you know where to turn to if you are concerned about your, or a loved one’s, substance use?

Sometimes people can be apprehensive to access substance use services or simply do not know where to get support from. That’s why NHS Borders are ‘busting’ common myths surrounding these services and letting you know what to expect should you wish to seek support.

Common myths are:

‘You have to wait months to see anyone’

There is quick access to both of the adult drug and alcohol services in Borders (Addaction 01896 757843 and NHS Borders Addictions Service 01896 664430) who will see you in your local community. Of the people who started treatment in August 95% were seen within three weeks of referral.

‘I need to have a habit to get help’ or ‘Services will tell me to stop taking drugs if I want support’

High quality treatment, care and support are provided by these services to anyone concerned about their drug or alcohol use no matter what the level of use is. You will receive advice, information and support to help you cut down or stop your drug or alcohol use.

‘I need help to support someone else’

Support for family members, or those concerned about others, is also available through both services. For instance, the medication Naloxone is available for individuals or family members. In the event of an overdose this treatment can be given by injection and temporarily blocks the effect of opiate drugs; thus giving valuable time for emergency services to arrive. For more information on how to access Naloxone visit the ADP website. Another example of the support available is Bereavement Support, for anyone who has lost someone as a result of drugs or alcohol, via Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol & Drugs, www.sfad.org.uk  helpline@sfad.org.uk 0808 10 10 11

‘I don’t know what to expect’

Addaction and NHS Borders Addictions Service are both person-centred and treat everyone with dignity and respect. This means you identify what your individual needs and aspirations are, and identify your own recovery goals. Services will also address your broader health, care and social needs and maintain a focus on your safety throughout your recovery journey.

You can refer yourself to the services by calling (Addaction 01896 757843 and NHS Borders Addictions Service 01896 664430). Additionally for Addaction you can just drop in to make an appointment. For both services you will receive information about what to expect prior to your first appointment.

NHS Borders believe that people can, and do, recover and there are thriving recovery communities across the Scottish Borders. So everyone should play #yourpart by seeking support if you are concerned about your, or a loved one’s, substance use.

Further contact details are available via the Alcohol & Drugs Partnership website: www.nhsborders.scot.nhs.uk/badp

The above image shows Dr Tim Patterson, Joint Director of Public Health at NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council with colleagues and key stakeholders from Scottish Drugs Forum, Addaction, NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council. Scottish Drugs Forum, who are part of our Alcohol Drugs Partnership Service, have launched #StopTheDeaths initiative which NHS Borders are supporting locally.