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Support available for drug and/ or alcohol addiction during COVID-19 pandemic

09/05/2020

Bracknell Forest Council News Release.

Bracknell Forest residents who are concerned about the amount of alcohol they are drinking or an addiction to drugs can access remote support via New Hope during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Hope provides a friendly, free and confidential service to anybody who is seeking help with a drug and/or alcohol addiction. You do not need a referral.

The service is operating online and via the phone during COVID-19 restrictions and over the past six weeks the service has helped 13 clients to complete treatment.

Due to the current restrictions and concerns around COVID-19 some people might be drinking more that they normally would. Please feel free to call New Hope and have a chat if you are worried about how much you or a member of your family are drinking. The service is confidential and you do not have to enter treatment to access support.

Currently, New Hope is still taking calls and providing support during these times:

  • Monday to Thursday - 9am to 5pm
  • Friday - 9am to 4:30pm

Through New Hope, you can also request a free log in to www.breakingfreeonline.com, which helps people address problems with drugs or alcohol at their own pace. Just email your details to the council’s Drug and Alcohol Action Team via New Hope to receive an access code for the service.

In addition to the services offered by New Hope, we are expanding the information available around responsible drinking to share tips and explain the risks of drinking too much.

You can take a simple quiz at Drinkaware (www.drinkaware.co.uk/selfassessment) to find out whether you should be worried about your drinking levels.

Both the NHS (www.nhs.uk/oneyou/apps/#days-off) and Drinkaware (www.drinkaware.co.uk/tools/app) have apps you can download onto your phone to help you track your drinking.

Cllr Dale Birch, Executive Member for Adult Services, Health and Housing, said: “It’s understandable that people may be drinking more alcohol during the current restrictions, either through boredom, stress, anxiety or other triggers. Drinking too much can not only cause physical problems including weight gain, poor sleep and longer-term health risks, it can cause mental health issues like depression, so we’re here to help if you need us.

“That’s not to say that alcohol shouldn’t be enjoyed in moderation, we know that people have been enjoying their favourite drink at home rather than going out, but if you notice you’re drinking more, having fewer alcohol-free days, or drinking earlier in the day, then it might be an idea to keep a drink diary to understand how much you’re drinking, when and why.

“If you are concerned about your own alcohol intake or that of family or friends then New Hope can help during this difficult time – that goes for any worries you might have about drug, including prescription drug, use. Please reach out and speak to the team if you need help.”

Information about New Hope can be found at www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/newhope, call 01344 312360 or email new.hope@bracknell-forest.gov.uk

Talk to Frank (www.talktofrank.com) also has a helpline you can call on 0300 123 6600 and the NHS has a host of information and tools at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/alcohol-misuse

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Healthwatch Bracknell Forest
Trax
Mill Ride (Off Fernbank Road)
North Ascot
Berkshire
SL5 8JW

01344 266 911