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Alcohol and Drug Support

Help to change alcohol or drug use.

We understand that people affected by drugs and alcohol need different types of support to make changes. Because of this, the help on offer comes from different organisations and services. This page contains details of these services (some of which are funded by West Berkshire Council) and other sources of information elsewhere online, to help you find a way to change that suits you best.

Young people

Young people (aged 18 and under) can contact a specialist service called The Edge (provided by Via - West Berkshire). They offer free confidential advice and support for young people who want help or have worries about their drug or alcohol use, as well as concerned family members.

You can find out more and how to contact The Edge on the Via - West Berkshire website.



Via – West Berkshire are a specialist organisation that provides support and services to adults (over 18) who wish to change their drug and/or alcohol use. They deliver services from their main hub in Newbury and a number of community locations (including GP surgeries) across the West Berkshire area.

Via – West Berkshire offer a range of services to help address drug and alcohol problems, tailored to the needs of each person. Their services include: 

  • advice and information around your health and wellbeing
  • open access/drop-in appointments for your convenience
  • one-to-one sessions with your own recovery practitioner
  • a range of different support groups for various stages of your recovery
  • BBV screening and Hep B vaccines
  • needle and syringe exchange facilities onsite at Station Road and across various local pharmacies 
  • access to prescribed medication and regular reviews
  • access to community alcohol detoxes
  • access to naloxone to support with reducing overdoses
  • looking ahead to what's next: motivational programmes, education, training and employment support, peer mentoring and volunteering

Referring someone to Via

If you work with people who might need Via's services, or would like to refer someone, please contact Via - West Berkshire.


Homelessness support

If you are struggling with your housing situation, worried about or at risk of homelessness, you can get help from our housing options team.

If you are at risk of homelessness or worried about your housing situation, email and we will contact you to arrange an appointment.

If you are homeless today, or your enquiry is urgent, call 01635 519 530 and choose option 2 to speak to a housing officer. We are available Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm, Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm. 

If you have been made homeless outside of these hours, call the emergency duty team on 01344 351 999.

If you have contacted us about homelessness, we will assign you a Homelessness Prevention and Relief Officer. They will arrange a full housing options assessment and make necessary enquiries to decide what our duty towards you is. They will create a Personalised Housing Plan with you. This sets out the actions that you and the council need to take to address your housing situation, and any other support requirements.

It is likely that the housing options available to you will include private renting, supported accommodation or applying to the housing register.

As part of your housing options assessment, your Homelessness Prevention and Relief Officer may refer you to relevant services to address substance misuse.

See our homelessness support page for more information.


General advice

Below we've listed some links to further information elsewhere online as well as other services that might be useful, such as 'mutual aid' groups.



Your GP and local pharmacy

Your local doctor's surgery or pharmacy may be able to help. After they've assessed your needs, they may be able to refer you onto specialist services if they feel it's appropriate. 

If you're not already registered with a GP, you can find a GP using the online search on the NHS website, here.

Needle exchange programmes

The following pharmacies offer needle exchange programmes in our district:

Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous and 'mutual aid' groups

Mutual aid groups are about providing support to members at every stage of their recovery from active alcohol and/or drug use and addiction. They're different from a 'peer support network' as they rely on a structured programme that has a clear end goal - recovery. Groups have a real mix of members, often including people who have beaten addictions and want help to remain drug or alcohol free, people who are thinking about stopping and people actively trying to stop their drug and alcohol use. Groups also exist to support families, children and friends affected by substance misuse.

The most common mutual aid groups in England include '12-step fellowships' and SMART Recovery.

UK 12-step fellowships

The fellowships - for example Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA) and Al-Anon - are based on a 12-step self-help philosophy.

Please note that not all groups operate locally, but will offer phone advice and support.

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