Information about where to get help and advice, what the health risks are, if you are concerned about someone else, looking for help for young people, pregnancy and what to do if you find needles or syringes.

I think I have a problem with drugs, where can I get help or advice?

If you want to talk to someone because you have a drink or drugs problem you can contact the open access service.

Tel: (01482) 344690

Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm

If you think you have a problem with drink or drugs it is possible to get help locally. You can ring up for help and information and if you want to see someone they will talk to you about your problem and discuss what sort of treatment is suitable for you. The open access service offers an outreach service so you can be seen in confidence near where you live.

You can talk to your GP or any other professional that you are in contact with but you can also contact the treatment services directly and be seen in confidence.

The sort of treatment you get will depend on what you need. Some people just need a chat and some information; some people need to be seen a few times. Some people have more serious or complicated problems and may need to get medical treatment. In these cases the open access service will refer you on.

There are specialist services for young people in the East Riding of Yorkshire.  The East Riding young peoples substance misuse service contact details are available on drugs and alcohol advice for young people page.

The following pdf provides advice if you are worried about drug and alcohol misuse.

Worried about Drugs? (pdf 721kb opens in new window) 

The Talk to Frank website provides useful information about drug abuse and an A to Z of drugs. 

Talk to Frank (external website) 

Alternatively, you can contact the National Drug Helpline on 0800 77 66 00 for a confidential conversation. 

What are the health risks of taking drugs?

The risks of taking drugs depend on who you are, what sort of drugs you are taking, and how often you are taking them.

The risks can include side effects of the drugs themselves.

  • In the worst cases this can be a fatal overdose, but mental health problems and unpleasant side effects that affect your health are more likely
  • The financial costs of buying drugs
  • The damage to relationships with friends and family
  • Losing your job and getting into trouble with the law.

Drugs work by changing the chemicals in your body and this is going to have side effects. Some drugs are addictive, in that they change your body so that it becomes used to them and you become unwell if you don’t get them (alcohol, tobacco and heroin are like this). Other drugs can become habit forming and can be difficult to stop using.

To find out more information on the health risks of taking drugs please see the NHS choices website.

NHS choices (external website)

Needle exchanges

Injecting drugs is just about the most dangerous way of taking drugs. If you are a drug user and are injecting drugs it is important to use clean needles and never to share them. Sharing or using dirty equipment put you at risk of infections where you inject and also diseases transmitted through coming into contact with infected blood from another drug user, such as hepatitis.

Needle exchange services are now widely available across the East Riding. The following pdf provides details of your nearest pharmacy providing this service.

Nearest pharmacies providing the needle exchange services (pdf 67kb opens in new window)

All needle exchanges will offer harm minimisation provision and access to sharp bins and citric acid. Advice regarding safer injecting, blood borne viruses and sexual health awareness is also available. No appointment necessary.

You can get further advice by contacting the open access service.

Tel: (01482) 344690

Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm

Safer injecting

Injecting is the most dangerous way of getting the drug into your body. If you are going to inject drugs into your body the following information may be helpful. "Getting into treatment is one of the best things you can do to help cut down the amount you inject." from the National Treatment Agency.

The exchange supplies website provides the following information:

  • health advice
  • things that can go wrong
  • types of injecting
  • sites for injecting

Exchange supplies (external website)

How can I support a family member or friend with a drug problem?

Concerned parent

Although there are many stories in the media about drugs leading to addiction, crime and death, it is important to remember that:

  • for most young people illegal drug taking is not a part of normal life
  • most people who do try drugs do not continue to use them
  • more young people experience problems caused by drinking too much alcohol than from drug use.
  • if your child takes drugs it's your fault - right? Wrong! Young people take drugs for all sorts of reasons. And if you have discovered that your son or daughter has taken drugs don't panic it is not the end of the world it's their choice to take drugs. You can't make those choices for them. But you can keep the channels of communication open.

Talking with children about drugs is difficult but worth it. The government advice agency, FRANK provides some good advice to help you manage those tricky conversations: 

  • Talk to them when you're calm
  • Knowledge is power
  • Get someone to help you
  • Avoid asking 'Why?'
  • Don't get hung up on blaming someone
  • Assumptions can be dangerous
  • Set clear limits
  • Take your time and be ready to listen
  • The three Rs (reassure, reassure, reassure)

Further information if you are concerned about a family member can be found on the Talk to Frank website.

Friend or family member worries 

If you're worried about a friend or partner and don't feel you can talk to them, write them a letter. The government advice agency, Frank, provides 5 useful hints for speaking to friends about drug use. 

  • Decide what you want to say
  • Talk to them when you are calm
  • Avoid asking "Why?"
  • Focus on them, not the drugs
  • Stick by them


Further information about a concern you may have about a friend can be found on the Talk to Frank website.

Alternatively for a confidential conversation you can phone PADA (Parents Against Drug Abuse) on 08457 023867 or Families Anonymous on 0845 1200 660. 

Someone in my family has a drug or alcohol problem. Is there any help for me? 

Humbercare provide a support service for families and friends of people who use drugs. Further support is available on their website. 

Humbercare (external website) 

There are a number of national organisations that support the families of people with drug or alcohol problems. The best known of these is Adfam. The website provides further information. 

Adfam- family support (external website) 

What do I do if someone becomes ill or overdoses?

Drugs affect everyone differently. The effects can depend on the amount taken, the user's mood and their surroundings. Sometimes people suffer a bad reaction. It's important to know what to do in these situations. 

What to do if someone is ill after taking a drug 

Amphetamines (speed), cannabis, ecstasy and LSD can sometimes make the user feel tense and panicky. If this happens: 

  • calm them and be reassuring. Try not to panic.
  • speak in a normal voice and if you feel scared or worried, try not to let them see it
  • explain that the feelings will pass
  • encourage them to settle in a quiet, dimly lit room
  • if they start breathing very quickly, calm them down and tell them to take long, slow breaths.

Heroin, tranquilisers and misuse of gases, glues and aerosols can make the user feel very drowsy. If this happens: 

  • calm them and be reassuring
  • speak in a low, quiet voice and try not to panic
  • don’t frighten or startle them, or let them exert themselves
  • never give coffee to rouse them
  • if symptoms persist, place them in the recovery position
  • don’t hesitate to call an ambulance if they don’t start to become more alert. 

What to do if someone becomes unconscious 

Drinking too much alcohol or taking an overdose of most drugs can cause someone to become unconscious. If this happens:   

  • dial 999 straight away and ask for an ambulance. Never feel too ashamed to involve the emergency services. If the person took the drugs of their own free will and knew what they were doing it is unlikely that you will be in trouble with the law even if you were with them when they did this. You are more likely to be in trouble if they die and you could have helped them
  • place them in the recovery position so they won’t choke if they vomit. You can check how to put somebody in the recovery position below on the going over website.
  • check breathing. Be prepared to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation 
  • keep them warm, but not too hot. However, if someone has had ecstasy, and you think they may have overheated, make sure they have plenty of cool, fresh air and remove any excess clothing such as hat, gloves, etc
  • stay with them at all times. If you need to leave to call an ambulance, go straight back
  • if you know what drug has been taken, tell the ambulance crew. Ambulances and paramedics carry a drug called Naloxone which reverses the effects of an opiate overdose. If you find drugs but you’re not sure what they are, give them to the ambulance crew.

You can see how to put someone in the recovery position on the going over website: 

Watch the recovery position (external website) 

Frank - emergency help (external website)