Addiction in Essex: Finding Help in Southend-on-Sea, Chelmsford and Colchester
Residents of Essex are fortunate to have access to many resources that address the problem of addiction. In the county’s major cities, such as Southend-on-Sea, Colchester and Chelmsford, people who need help can find charities, fellowships, outpatient programmes and residential rehab centres.
Addiction is a disease that affects a lot more than people think. Many underestimate how hard it is for the families and friends of the person with an alcohol or drug dependency. Treatment centres now recognise this and most have organised programmes for loved ones as well as those affected by addiction.
How can I get help if I have an addiction?
By recognising that you may have an addiction, you’ve already taken the first step towards recovery; by asking for and accepting help, you’ve taken the second. Essex is a large county, and there are plenty of NHS-based services, nonprofits or charities providing free assistance, and private residential rehabs.
Talking with your GP is important, especially if you are worried about your physical or mental health. Your GP can refer you to a specialist and recommend some initial steps to take.
Major cities, such as Chelmsford and Colchester, have various fellowship meetings regularly. By going to the website for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), or that of another 12-step fellowship, one can see where and when the closest meeting location is. As most of these fellowships operate under the same 12-step principles, it is fine to attend an AA meeting, for example, if there are no meetings near you for your specific addiction.
Free and confidential help is offered by various charities or non-profit organisations all throughout Essex. Oftentimes, there are separate services for young people and adults. For example, in Southend-on-Sea, Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Team (YPDAT), provides services for those under 18 years of age, and limited assistance for those up to 21. Adults can receive help at Southend Treatment and Recovery Service (STARS)
What kind of support is available for families or friends of those struggling with addiction?
Most recovery services and treatment centres will provide assistance for loved ones. When in doubt, you can drop in or give them a call and someone will point you in the right direction.
Open Road Centres, located throughout major cities in Essex, including Basildon, Chelmsford, Colchester, Harlow and others, welcomes people struggling with addiction as well as their families, friends or carers. These centres also offer harm reduction services, such as needle exchanges. STARS in Southend-on-Sea has a families and carers support group as well.
Support services for loved ones vary. Some centres host educational programmes, and some also individual or group therapy sessions. Learning about addiction and the recovery process is very important, because once the person with the drug or alcohol addiction leaves treatment, they will need support from their friends and family in order to reduce the risk of relapse.
At Castle Craig Hospital, a private residential rehab in Scotland, there are many resources available for loved ones. One is the Sunday Programme, when Families are allowed to visit the patient, learn more about addiction and the recovery process, and receive counselling as well. Castle Craig believes involving families in the treatment process is not only good for the patient but will also help the family members themselves.