Southampton, Portsmouth and Isle of Wight

Help in Hampshire: Drug and Alcohol Addiction Resources in Southampton, Portsmouth and Isle of Wight

The Hampshire region is well-known as a popular holiday destination in the U.K; with its the two stunning seaside cities of Southampton and Portsmouth, and the iconic Isle of Wight. As with any port city and resort area, drug abuse and alcohol misuse is a growing concern here.

The latest problem appears to be Fentanyl and Carfentanyl, synthetic opioids at least 100 times stronger than morphine. The Southampton police department recently expressed concern over the dangers of the drug, which is spreading quickly in the area and often used as a cutting agent in heroin.

In an April 2018 report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Portsmouth was declared one of the top ten “hotspots” for deaths due to heroin and morphine misuse.

Due to the ongoing problem of people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, local police departments now run breathalyser operations and educational campaigns during major holiday periods.

With the local governments’ awareness of the substance abuse and addiction throughout Hampshire, there is no shortage of resources in the area for those who seek help for themselves or a loved one.

Hampshire, Southampton, Portsmouth and Isle of Wight

Why is alcohol and drug abuse such a problem around holiday destinations in the U.K.?

In the ONS report mentioned above, researchers speculate why U.K.’s resort-focused regions have a higher alcohol and drug abuse problem. The article mentions that the majority of these cities also rank high in poverty, citing this as a potential source of the problem. In addition, due to the decline in popularity of traditional family holidays in favour of vacations abroad, the economy of these deprived cities have suffered over the past decade.


What’s the difference between recreational alcohol and drug use and addiction?

An informational website ran by the Ana Liffey Drug Project categorises drug use categorises drug use into four different types: Abstinent, experimental, recreational and dependent.

People who are abstinent either have never used or have stopped using drugs (or alcohol) completely.

Experimental users try drugs to satisfy a curiosity, and will indulge in a substance rarely. Generally, their use is based on opportunity, trends and social situations.

Some experimental users may become recreational users, who use drugs on a regular but not constant basis. These types of users may have control over their use and may not be addicted. However, the potential for drug abuse and addiction still exists for recreational users.

Mainly dependent users fall under the definition of addiction; those who have developed a psychological or physical dependence on the substance. People dependent on drugs or alcohol are no longer able to control their use, and any attempt to quit leads to withdrawal symptoms.

Castle Craig Hospital, a private residential rehab in Scotland, defines addiction as a “chronic brain disease” an considers abstinence from drugs or alcohol necessary for recovery from addiction.


Where can I find help for dependency on drugs or alcohol in Hampshire? Or Southampton, Portsmouth, Isle of Wight?

The majority of cities in Hampshire have a charity, government organisation, NHS-based services, private treatment options, or a rehabilitation centre.

Southampton Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service, ran by the Change Grow Live charity, offers different types of addiction-related assistance ranging from harm-reduction to outpatient treatment programmes, and to abstinence-focused recovery from drug and alcohol dependence. This service is focused on helping adults 25 and over, while DASH (Drug Alcohol Support and Health) aims at assisting younger people of Southampton with addiction.

Safer Portsmouth Partnership is keen on reducing substance misuse and local crime by providing assistance to those in need. They have links to needle-exchange locations and resources for those seeking recovery from drug and alcohol use.

IRIS (Island Recovery Integrated Service), offering help for youth and adults on the Isle of Wight, can be found via the NHS website. They also provide support for families and friends of addicted individuals.