Dealing with a drug/alcohol problem

Some of the signs you may have a problem with alcohol or drugs are:

  • You feel the need for a drink or the drug(s) regularly
  • You have a constant supply of it
  • You have some uncomfortable physical feelings when you don’t use and/or crave it
  • Feeling you can’t cope with day to day life without them
  • You have been unable to stop using alcohol and/or drug(s)
  • Their use has started affecting your friendships or life at home
  • You are doing things you wouldn’t normally do (some examples might include stealing, hanging out with different friends, missing classes or days at school/college/work, withdrawing and you are no longer interested in the things you used to be doing)

If you are worried and want to speak to someone, asking for help is an important first step.

There are lots of free, friendly and confidential services in your local area.

Find where to get FREE drug and alcohol advice services near you

Worried about a friend or family member's drug or alcohol use?

Sometimes people who have a problem with drugs or alcohol don’t recognise it or refuse to believe it. If you think someone you know may have a problem and you want to help them, think about how you’re going to approach it and what you’re going to say as it could be a sensitive subject for them.

They may not listen to you at first but don’t let this put you off – the best thing you can do is be there for them, to support them and encourage them to access the help they need.

With the proper help and support, many people are able to overcome their drug/alcohol use before any serious harm has been done to them, or their family and friends.

You may want to know more about the drug by exploring Frank’s A-Z of drugs, or you or your friend can call FRANK anytime on 0300 123 6600 for confidential advice.

Drinkline – call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am–8pm, weekends 11am–4pm) or get further information from

Al-Anon Family Groups provide support to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else’s drinking, regardless of whether that person is still drinking or not.

Alateen is for teenage relatives and friends of alcoholics. Alateen is part of Al-Anon.

Families Anonymous – for families and friends concerned about a loved one’s drug problems. Tel: 0845 1200 660