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Coronavirus (COVID-19): a message to everyone we support

We wanted to let you know that we're working hard to provide help and support to anyone who is experiencing issues with drugs, alcohol or mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

If you’re already being supported by us

Staff in our local services in England and Scotland are working closely with other organisations in your area to make sure there’s no interruption to the support you receive.

We’re making more use of phones and online appointments to support you, but there may be times when you need to come into your local service.

We've also changed the way we do some prescriptions. See how prescriptions have changed during coronavirus.

And because it's harder to meet face-to-face, we have put together a list of places where you can find support, community and advice online.

If you have any questions, please contact us by phone, text or email. We’ll do our best to make sure you're still getting the help you need.

If you have coronavirus symptoms

If you're registered with one of our services and develop symptoms of coronavirus, please don’t come into the service but do contact us to let us know.

Symptoms include:

  • a high temperature (you feel hot to touch on your chest or back)
  • a new, continuous cough (you’ve started coughing repeatedly)
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

If you have these symptoms, government advice is to get tested as soon as possible. If you need us, we’ll continue to support you online or by phone during this time.

See more NHS advice about coronavirus.

If you come into one of our services

If you come into a service we ask you to:

  • wear a mask or face covering – if you don’t have any, speak to staff and they'll provide one
  • wash your hands with soap and water when you arrive, or use hand gel

To help keep you safe, our staff will:

  • stay 2 metres (6ft) apart from you
  • wash their hands regularly with soap and water
  • clean surfaces thoroughly before you arrive

If staff do need to come within 2 metres of you for any reason, they will wear personal protective equipment (PPE).

If you’re not registered with one of our services

If you’re not registered with one of our services, we can still support you if you are experiencing issues with drugs, alcohol or mental health.

You’ll find the contact details for our local services through our service finder.

Or you can chat to someone and get advice online (please note that our online team can’t make or change appointments or organise prescriptions for you).

You can also read advice on our website.

If you’re on a prescription and develop symptoms

If you develop coronavirus symptoms, please contact your local service and give them the name of another person who can pick up your prescriptions. We’ll make sure your pharmacy knows.

We’re doing everything we can to make sure that you carry on getting your prescriptions as normal, and will update you if anything changes.

We’ll also make sure you have a supply of naloxone if you need it.

If you’re using drugs

Using drugs can increase your risk of developing coronavirus.

Please be extra careful not to share any drugs or equipment during the outbreak. This includes pipes, bongs, nasal straws and joints, as well as works for injecting.

Prepare your own drugs, washing your hands with hot water and soap for 20 seconds first.

Your local team can advise you on other ways to stay safe.

Read more about staying safe from coronavirus if you’re using.

If you need new equipment (works)

Our needle exchanges are still open for new equipment and naloxone. The opening hours and location may have changed. Please contact your local service to check before you go in.

If you need more stuff than usual, just let staff know.

For more information and support, you can also chat to us online.

If you’re feeling worried or anxious

It’s important that we all look after our mental wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak.

Try to keep up a daily routine and stay in touch with friends and family.

See some more tips from the Mental Health Foundation.

If you're a commissioner

Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of people who use our services and our staff, who are in many cases more vulnerable to coronavirus.

Read more about our approach to dealing with the coronavirus.