Drug and alcohol support

Substance use disorders are associated with a wide range of short-and long-term health effects. They can vary depending on the type of drug, how much and how often it is taken and the person’s general health. Overall, the effects of drug abuse and dependence can be far-reaching. They can impact almost every organ in the human body.

Alcohol can help us relax, but over time, regularly drinking more than the recommended limit can lead to serious health problems including liver disease and various types of cancer. 

Lower the risk to your health by following these simple weekly guidelines:

  • Try to avoid regularly drinking more than 14 units per week
  • If you do drink as much as 14 units a week, spread your drinking over 3 days or more
  • Have several drink-free days each week

Fourteen units is the equivalent to 6 pints of average strength beer or 10 small glasses of low strength wine.

Tips on cutting back

You can cut back on drinking without cutting it out. Just aim for less and stick within the low-risk guidelines.

You can download the app to enable you to:

  • Keep track of drink-free days
  • Get simple and practical tips to help you control your drinking
  • Receive reminders when you need it most
  • Celebrate milestones when you reach your targets

How to get help in Salford

Drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services in Salford are provided by a range of different organisations with a wealth of background and experience. Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) is the lead provider. They deliver a wide variety of services, opportunities, treatments, and therapies for people seeking help in tackling their own drug or alcohol use, or that of a loved one. The partnership works with adults, children, young people, families, and carers. The partnership operates under the name of ‘Achieve’ Salford.

For specialist drug and alcohol treatment or advice contact Achieve Salford on 0161 358 1530.

If you are under 21 or are concerned about a child’s drug or alcohol use, please contact Achieve Young People’s service 0161 723 3880.

Achieve Salford consists of the following organisations

Below you can find out more about the organisations that form the partnership. To access any of these service you must first contact Achieve Salford or the Achieve Young People’s service.

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH)

GMMH is the lead provider for the Achieve Partnership.

The services are accessed through self-referral or referral from a third party, download the Achieve BBST referral form. For most adult referrals, this is through a single point of contact for example a GP or other health professional. It is important from the first contact that the service user agrees to the referral.

After a referral is received, the team will contact the service user to discuss the partnership offer, including an assessment when appropriate.

They will attempt to make appointments at a time and venue that is convenient to the service user. They can also now provide assessments virtually when appropriate to do so.

They undertake needs led assessments of people who feel they have a substance misuse problem, assessing the physical and psychological needs of the service user.

During the assessment process, they will establish what the needs and goals are, and start drawing up a recovery plan with the service user.

Once an assessment has been carried out the services that are offered by GMMH are:

  • Clinical help to support the physical aspects of addiction such as opiate substitute medication
  • Access to inpatient and community detoxification
  • Health promotion and health screening, eg smoking cessation, dental care, physical health assessment
  • Drop in and structured sessions
  • Brief interventions
  • Family interventions
  • Psychosocial interventions
  • Therapeutic activities
  • Harm reduction, needle exchange provision and safe injecting advice
  • Group work and service user groups
  • Access to vaccinations
  • Testing for blood-borne viruses
  • Overdose training and naloxone prescribing
  • Access to a Consultant Psychiatrist for mental health and medical reviews
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
  • Development and mentoring support for service users and carers
  • Holistic recovery service, involving families and carers
  • Advice and support with education, training and employment opportunities
  • Support with development of physical and virtual recovery networks and links to mutual aid organisations

Early Break – children, young people and family services

Early Break is a respected registered charity, established in 1994, and operating in five boroughs across Greater Manchester. They provide advice, information, psychosocial interventions and case management where appropriate to young people under 21 years old.

The Young People’s team provide targeted interventions, prevention, and educational work into other teams within the partnership working with children and young people, including schools and youth services.

Early Break offers Holding Families, a whole family approach to address parental substance use and imprisonment. Holding Families is inclusive of a range of individual support sessions, group work and family sessions by providing structured interventions to children, parents and families with problems associated with parental substance misuse.

Early Break along with the Assertive Outreach team offers joint outreach and is inclusive of joint transition pathways in place for older, young people.

Great Places Housing

Great Places Housing provide housing advice and support to anyone working with the partnership with a housing need. Support can cover benefit advice, housing registration, floating support for complex cases, alongside outreach with rough sleepers, and working to prevent and relieve homelessness.

T.H.O.M.A.S. (Those on the Margins of Society) Residential Rehabilitation provider

THOMAS work with an integrated strategy of residential group recovery, in conveniently located recovery housing. There is a strong therapeutic social learning environment, which develops contingencies of behavioural change, promoting 12 step recovery.

Their stage one project has 24-hour support, with a 26-week program. Their stage two project takes and supports people to move through to a more independent living stage before moving on and away from the project.

Referrals are jointly assessed. Towards the end of the first stage program, further links are made to support individuals with recovery in the community.

Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust (SRFT)

SRFT has specialist alcohol and drug nurses offering advice within an A&E setting and on the wards. They provide person-centered, evidence-based, holistic care which is appropriate to the individual. This includes initiating medicated alcohol detoxification when required and liaising with other services to potentially refer onto appropriate services or RADAR and effectively signpost to other agencies.

They also provide hospital-based high impact service user care. This includes surveillance work to identify those who frequently attend the hospital linked to substance misuse. This also includes active case management to this cohort, to reduce harm and stabilise lifestyle.

The Big Life Group – Assertive Outreach team

The Big Life Group Assertive Outreach Team contribute to the delivery of a creative and flexible service for people who are experiencing problems with substance misuse. They support those who are experiencing barriers to accessing treatment along with those who may be at risk or who have disengaged from structured treatment.

The Assertive Outreach team links into all parts of the partnership: receiving referrals for re-engagement purposes, referring into Great Places for those with a housing need and receiving referrals from Salford Royal. They promote the Holding Families program and co-work service users where needed, whilst also promoting and referring service users to Intuitive Recovery and Breaking Free online. They also support access to the CVS recovery fund where needed.

Salford CVS

Salford CVS are responsible for managing and coordinating the Asset Fund. The fund provides an asset program across the partnership. This offers awards of up to £5,000 for voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations undertaking therapeutic activities to support recovery from alcohol or drugs.

The personal support recovery fund awards applications of up to £500 (non-cash awards) to individuals open to Achieve for specific items that will aid them in reaching their recovery goals. Awards have included refurbished laptops and employment support. All applications must be supported by a Recovery Co-Ordinator.

They work closely with the Community Development team to support new projects through the asset fund.

Intuitive Thinking Skills

Intuitive Thinking Skills is an accredited educational program that promotes abstinence. It is delivered by course coordinators who have been through addiction services themselves, and so have lived experience. The course provides skills and tools to recognise and control addictive desires and take responsibility for choices and behaviour to achieve better health for individuals, families and communities.

The course is delivered over a minimum of 6 x 2½ hour teaching sessions. The final part of the course is the development of a personalised and meaningful plan of abstinence. The course is delivered to all who are open to the partnership.

Breaking Free Online

Breaking Free Online is a digital behaviour change program which is evidence based. The course is available for every service user. It compliments and enhances existing approaches, by supporting service users achieve their personal goals. Service users can use Breaking Free as a self-directed tool or they can be supported by staff where computer-assisted therapy is delivered.

Chapman Barker Unit (CBU)

The Chapman Barker Unit is a 36-bed regional detoxification inpatient unit that offers a truly unique, medically managed and recovery-focused treatment for men and women with substance misuse problems.

The staff at the CBU believe that each person with a drug and/or alcohol problem is unique and as such should be offered treatment programmes that are individually designed to meet their needs.

Alongside these individual recovery plans the strong clinical expertise means they can treat and support service users with poly-dependency (where an individual uses at least three different classes of substances) and finally, service users that also have a physical health condition alongside their substance misuse.

They employ a multi-disciplinary team consisting of Registered Mental Nurses, support workers, Registered General Nurses, a medical team, a therapy team based on the unit and an out of hours support from the Hospital at Night Team.  This means that any medical issue can be dealt with 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The CBU has two admission pathways:

  • Planned admissions for service users with complex substance misuse problems and co-existing physical and mental health concerns
  • RADAR (Rapid Access Detoxification Alcohol Hospital). This pathway is a bespoke 5-7 day rapid alcohol detoxification program. The aim is to provide rapid access for patients from acute hospitals across all general hospitals in Greater Manchester presenting with alcohol dependence or acute alcohol withdrawals who would otherwise require admission to an acute hospital bed.

This service reduces the impact on A&E services for patients/service users who frequent hospital on a regular basis presenting under the influence of alcohol. 

RADAR can only be accessed by direct referral from A&E.

Other places to get help

There are also a range of free, confidential, and local support services that can help you with your own drug or alcohol use, or if you are concerned about somebody else’s drug or alcohol use.

Pregnancy and alcohol

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the safest approach is to not drink alcohol at all, keeping the risk to your baby at a minimum. Drinking during pregnancy can cause long-term harm to the baby.

For further advice and information visit:

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