I need help with drugs

Some information about drug misuse, treatments and services we provide.

Every single day 3 people who have been dependent on drugs leave the service drug free. Daily we are inspired to see people making remarkable, positive changes in their lives. If you or someone you know needs support with drug use, we have a range of options to help. 

How does it work?

Everyone is different so treatment options are different too. EDP services work together with individuals to create a unique recovery plan based on goals that you set. The recovery plan is assessed regularly and adjusted if needed depending on your circumstances and how risky your drug taking is. The recovery plan forms a guide and roadmap to your recovery.

What treatments are available?

If you use drugs in a low risk way, there are lots of ways that we can help you to cut down or cut out drugs yourself. With willpower, a positive attitude and a range of tools to try, you’ll generally find one that works for you. Some of the tools we have available to help you reach your goals are:

  • 1:1 support
  • Group work
  • Peer support network
  • Pocket tools and apps
  • Medication
  • Detox

Should I cut out all drugs?

If you take drugs regularly for a long period of time, stopping abruptly can effect your physical and mental health negatively. It is strongly advised that you consult a medical professional before doing so, or trying to reduce your intake gradually.

Recovery Plan

When you meet your recovery worker, together you’ll build a recovery plan. This lays out your goals, whether that’s to stop taking drugs altogether or just to reduce to safe levels, the tools that you feel would suit you best and you’ll be given a provisional end date for your treatment. This is a goal to work towards, but not set in stone. 

Groups and Meetings

Our experience shows that people are more likely to recover successfully if they take part in groups. Lots of people say ‘it’s not for me’ but we also know that when those people try it, they often find them extremely beneficial. Making positive changes is a lot easier with the help, support and friendship of others. We offer a range of recovery groups and meetings which are a chance for you to meet and talk to others who know what you are going through. You’ll be interacting with people who have already turned their lives around and form role models and mentors who can help you achieve your goals.

Our recovery stories

EDP offer a range of groups, some based around recovery and others based on your hobbies and interests. These are available to see on our groups pages:

There are also lots of other local face to face and online groups that can really benefit your recovery like AA, Al Anon  etc where you will get the support of other with lived experience (peer support) and others, like SMART Recovery which concentrate on changing thoughts and behaviour. 

Maintenance therapy or Detox

People often feel that they want a detox straight away. A detox will be considered if it is part of your recovery plan and your recovery worker agrees that it is a good option for you. If you take drugs every day and find that you have unpleasant side effects if you try to stop, then you might be recommended to have a detox. There are 2 different approaches to stopping drugs – maintenance therapy or detox:

  • Maintenance therapy – is where you switch from heroin or another opioid to a heroin substitute, to ease your cravings. A substitute might be a medication such as methadone or buprenorphine. Once you have found the right medication at the right dose, you’ll stay on a stable dose of the substitute medication. Once you are on a stable dose, you can work together with your worker and prescriber to decide on how long you should be on the medication for. If your goal is to be drug free, you’ll work together to create a safe reduction plan with the aim of a complete detox.
  • Detox – is where you switch from heroin to a heroin substitute and then gradually withdraw from the substitute so that you’re completely free from both. A detox typically takes around 12 weeks. It’s really important to know that a detox lowers your tolerance to drugs like heroin. If you take heroin or a similar drug after detoxing you are at a much higher risk of overdosing. 

How you detox will depend on your individual circumstances, but there are essential two types of detox available. Both detoxes will be overseen by a medical professional to ensure that you are safe at all times.

Community Detox

Community detoxes are the most common type of detox offered in our services. This is a detox that takes place at your own home or the home of someone you trust and feel safe with. You will be given all the support and information you need to detox at home and you might be given medication to help you withdraw safely. Your detox will be overseen by a medical practitioner.

Inpatient Detox

An in-patient detox treatment is less common. You, your recovery worker and your prescriber will decide together whether this is the best option for you. If it is the right option, an application will be made to a detox panel and the panel (which includes people with lived experience as well as medical and recovery specialists) will decide if you are likely to get the best from an inpatient detox. 

To understand more about what happens in a detox read this article from one of our lived experience volunteers, Lee Folland – understanding detox.

After your detox you will still need support. You’ll need to manage your thoughts and behaviours and may benefit from groups like relapse prevention and further 1 to 1 support.


For drugs like heroin or other opioids there are medications that can help to reduce the effects of withdrawal. Withdrawal is experienced when the amount of drugs in someone’s system are reduced. The medication does not prevent all withdrawal symptoms, but it can help to ease anxiety and depression, manage cravings and promote sufficient sleep. 

Are you ready for support?

If, having read this page you feel that you are ready for our support, please phone us using our freephone numbers, email info@edp.org.uk or use the chat function on this website.

DIY Support

There are many tools that are free or low cost that can really help you manage your drug  intake. Some of these are designed to help you keep a track on how much you drink and some are designed to help you manage situations where you are most likely to drink. A few tools that are used by people in service include:

Breaking Free online – https://www.breakingfreeonline.com (use Devon11 or Dorset11 for free access)

Sure Recovery app – https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/sure-recovery/id1481053152   

Help beyond treatment

Once you reach your goal we continue to support you. We run groups designed to help people stay on track with their recovery and we have a successful recovery coach programme, where people leaving service have a dedicated lived experience mentor who will help them link back in with their community, their hobbies and interests and give people the confidence to know that they can do this.

We also offer health based outdoor activities which are a great way to get some fresh air, meet people who are making their own positive changes and build up your fitness and energy. Lots of people also decide that they want to ‘give back’. Anyone can join our volunteer training programme, where they will undergo training and be paired with an area of the service that takes their interest. To find out more about volunteering visit our volunteering page 

Do you still have a question for us? 

Please get in touch with our Volunteering Team


Find answers to all your questions about volunteering with Together or Reach by taking a look at our FAQs