User Support

Substance user

There are many reasons people will often abuse drugs or alcohol. People find themselves in this situation of a multitude or reasons. We understand that substance misuse and addiction come in many forms. From the dependent user, the chaotic binge user to those misusing prescription drugs.

  • Some may use substances to try and deal with symptoms of their mental illness, known as self-medicating. People are often not aware that drugs and alcohol can make your mental illness worse.
  • Some may use drugs and alcohol because they enjoy it
  • Some may use it as a coping mechanism
  • Some may just be experimenting and will continue using because they enjoy it
  • Some may have a dependency or addiction

There are many risks associated with drug and alcohol use, most people who use, use for recreational purposes, and will not go on to become dependent. A small number of people will move on from experimenting or recreational use and will continue to use on a regular basis, they may become dependent on substances or addicted to substances.

The questions are, do you use alcohol and/or drugs for experimental or recreational use or do you feel you have a dependency.

What do we mean by dependency?

Dependency, or addiction, is when someone no longer has total control over their drug or alcohol use. An individual can develop a physical or psychological dependency on alcohol and some drugs, such as heroin, or prescription medications.  This means they will experience withdrawal symptoms if they do not drink / use drugs. Many other drugs are not physically addictive, but can be just a psychologically addictive, such as cocaine or amphetamines.

When someone has developed an addiction, this can have a detrimental effect on the individual’s life and their relationships. Families and friends are left feeling confused, frustrated, helpless, stressed and angry about how the person’s addiction is impacting on their lives.

What can Footsteps do?

Footsteps aim is to work with both families and the individual family members to promote positive change, resilience, gain the tools to manage the situation and breakdown the associated stigma. We know that there is no quick fix when it comes to substance misuse or addiction, we understand that often support is needed in the long term. Our service is here for anyone who wants to make a positive change to their lives and the lives of those around them.

We will provide you with balanced support through counselling and our M-PACT programme, we will support you in how to look after yourself and others around you. There is plenty of support available.

Footsteps offers openness, honesty and compassion to anyone who feel they are in need of it. All of our staff and volunteers are ready to listen to your situation in a friendly and confidential environment. You can discuss your fears and concerns about drug or alcohol use and the impact it has on your physical and mental wellbeing. We understand that not one approach fits all, especially when families are involved and will aim to tailor our support to your needs. We hope to breakdown the stigma that comes with addiction and promote a better understanding, as often there is much more going on than a want or like of taking drugs or alcohol.  

When can I get help?

Now. Footsteps is not a substance misuse treatment service, but we understand the need for additional support for individuals and families. This is why we are willing to work with anyone wanting to make a positive change. We do this by offering a confidential service through our trained staff and volunteers. We will work closely with your chosen treatment service to ensure that you have all possible support available.

The M-Pact Programme is an opportunity to work as a family and re-build the bridges that may have been damaged through drug and alcohol use. For more information please check out the link.

We also have counsellors available for anyone who is abstinent or able to withhold substance use for short periods of time whilst sessions take place. If you feel you would benefit from talking about your choices and experiences, we are here to help. We will aim to do an initial assessment within 10 days of contact being made. Counselling usually begins within 6 weeks however this can sometimes be quicker

What do I need to do?

Have a go of our online interactive questionnaire. If you feel that you need some support, contact us.


How often do you use drugs or alcohol

How often we use drugs or alcohol can often be an indicator of our relationship with substances. Do you ever feel you use to often? Do you ever feel that it is socially ok to use as often as you may do. Have a go at our questionnaire as it could help you understand your use better?


5 + 3 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

How do you feel about drugs and alcohol?

Addiction or substance misuse issues come in many forms. It’s no always just about how often we use but about why and how we use. If drink or drugs has become part of how you cope with life’s challenges or has ever impacted on the relationships you have around you this could be in indicator

that you have a negative relationship with substances. If you are curious to explore this more please give our questionnaire below ago.


15 + 2 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

Contact Form for Family, Young People and Substance User

7 + 3 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.