What to expect from our services

Answers to your questions and concerns to help reassure you before you get in touch or visit us.

A woman in a blue hoodie smiling at a reception desk with a laptop, motivational signs, and a plant in a modern office setting.

What to expect from WithYou

If you’ve never visited, or contacted, a drug and alcohol service before, it can feel a little daunting. We don’t want you to worry, so here’s some information on our approach. 

It's your journey

We understand that recovery means different things to different people.

Everyone has their own goals and while some people want to stop completely, others want to use substances in a less risky and more controlled way. 

Whether you're looking to make changes now, or simply want some information and advice and to know what is on offer when you are ready to make a change, we are here to support you.

We respect any decisions you make and won’t push you towards making any changes you don’t want, or aren’t feel ready for. 

You won't have to pay

Any support you receive from us is completely free. Local councils pay us to deliver our services to their residents. There will be no cost to you for accessing our support.

We'll never judge

We’re here to listen and support, never judge. Many of our staff, volunteers and peer mentors have previous experience of substance use and are in recovery. We know the value of shared experience and understand the challenges you may be facing.

You have been fantastic with me, supporting me at the lowest point in my life when no one else seemed interested. WithYou client
Withyou Glasgow April24 043

How we think about recovery

For us, recovery means finding a new path towards a healthier life – one that is not ruled by dependence or poor mental health, with hope for the future and the self-belief to thrive.

It’s a journey, and no two journeys are the same.

We’re here to help you define your version of a successful recovery, supporting you in setting your own milestones and measuring progress together.

Whether it’s recapturing something lost or discovering something that never seemed possible, like fulfilling relationships, meaningful work or being part of a community, we'll help build you those connections. 

How we can work with you

Here's what happens when you visit us, and how we can work together with you.

You can drop into our services for information and advice, or you can contact us first to make an appointment.

Some of our services have designated opening times for drop-in so it's best to check the times of your local service first using our service finder. 

Our services are safe and comfortable with toilet facilities and things to read. When you arrive, there may be other people waiting in the reception area but you will be seen in a private room with one of our staff. 

It’s useful to bring a diary, notebook or phone with you on your first visit so that you can use these to make a note of any information or future appointments but don’t worry if you forget, we can write everything down for you.

Your first appointment is an opportunity for us to understand a little more about you, your situation and for you to hear a little more about how we can support you.

Appointments usually last about an hour.

You'll be seen by a trained substance use worker who will ask you some questions about your drug or alcohol use. We’ll also talk about other aspects of your life and how you’re feeling in general. This helps us to understand how best we can support you. 

We’ll also ask you about your immediate and long term goals and what plans you want to make for the future. Don't’ worry if you're not sure, we can explore with you.

There may be some things that you don’t want to talk about or you may be worried about some topics coming up which are particularly difficult for you. We won’t push you on these. We just need to have enough information in order to give you the right level of support.

It's helpful if you can tell us about any worries or concerns you have, so that we can make the experience as comfortable as possible.

We'll match you to a recovery worker - a member of our team who will work with you to devise a plan and who will be your main point of contact throughout your journey. If you have any specific preferences regarding your worker, such as working with a male or female member of staff, we will accommodate these. 

Your recovery worker will help you plan your next steps for treatment. This involves developing a plan which considers your needs, goals and the different options available to you.

We won’t push you towards treatment which you are not comfortable with or you don’t feel ready for. 

Your plan outlines the different types of support you will receive along with timescales and expected outcomes. Some of this support will be delivered by your recovery worker, some might be delivered by specialist members of the team who are trained to deliver the specific intervention. We'll discuss this with you. 

You’ll meet regularly with your recovery worker to review how the plan is working out, and make any changes necessary.

There are no specific time limits on treatment. We'll continue working with you for as long as you feel necessary.

Support to change the way you think and feel

We’ll work with you to put together a plan to help you change how you think and feel about your alcohol or drug use.

When you register with us, you'll be matched with a member of the team. They’ll be your main point of contact while you work towards your goals.

They'll make sure you have the emotional and practical support you need to change your drug or alcohol use, and to stay on track.

We offer a range of group support at all our services.

This includes unstructured groups where people with similar experiences can talk and support each other.

Others are structured sessions where people work together to find practical ways to deal with life's challenges. Some of these groups meet online.

Find out more about our support groups.

Friends and family groups – lots of our services have groups where friends and family affected by substance misuse can support each other.

Find out how we can support friends and family

Structured courses – this is where you follow a structured course doing a different module every week. These usually focus on giving you the practical skills you need to stay on track.

You will only join a group if you feel comfortable with the idea.

Detox is when you are medically supported to reduce or stop your alcohol or opiod use.

If you need detox, we can support you to do it in the place that’s best for you. That may be at home supported by medical staff, or in hospital.

If you're dependent on alcohol (or think you may be) it’s important to get medical advice before stopping or changing your drinking habits.

See Alcohol detox: what to expect

We can support you to access rehab in your area.

Rehab is usually residential. That means you get support for drug or alcohol misuse while living with other people in the same situation.

Our residential rehab Chy is based in Cornwall, but takes referrals from around the country.

Learn more about Chy

Help to stay safe

We will help you stay safe and healthy while you work towards your goals.

In England, we can provide anyone who injects drugs with free, new needles, syringes, foil and other equipment.

In Scotland, we support people to access safe equipment via the NHS. 

You don't have to be in treatment with us to use one of our needle and syringe services.

We can support anyone who injects (or has ever injected) drugs to get tested for hepatitis C infection or HIV.

In some cases this can be done as early as your first visit to the service.

If you need it, we can sort out treatment for you as well.

We also offer vaccinations against hepatitis B and other infections in some services.

Read more about blood borne virus (BBV) tests.

Our services in England offer safe and effective medical prescribing for you.

In Scotland we can support you to get a script via the NHS.

We’ll also offer you group support alongside your prescriptions to help change the way to think and feel about your drug or alcohol use, plus activities to help you stay on track.

You won’t usually be able to get a script on your first visit to one of our services. You’ll usually need to wait a few days at least.

See more about getting a script for a heroin substitute.

We offer information, training and support to keep you (or someone you know) safe from overdose.

Spot the signs of a drug overdose

We can also give you free naloxone, a medicine that reverses an overdose of drugs like heroin, methadone and morphine.

We offer sexual health advice to anyone that needs it, including advice on safer sex and contraception.

Stay on track

We'll carry on supporting you to make positive changes for as long as you need us.

Our services offer a wide range of activities to help you stay on track and get to know people who have similar goals to you.

Tai chi, gardening, mindfulness, and arts and crafts are just some of the activities you can get involved with.

In some areas you can also drop in for breakfast or enjoy a meal at one of our cafes.

Lots of people who use our services become volunteers and mentors with us. Our volunteers are the voice of the people who use our services and play a key role in supporting people to change.

Lots of our volunteers and mentors do training qualifications while they are with us.

Learn more about volunteering with us

Frequently asked questions and worries

Yes, we offer a fully confidential service. When you come to your first appointment, we will discuss confidentiality with you. We do ask for your consent to share anonymised information for statistical purposes, but nobody can identify you from this information. 

In exceptional circumstances, we may need to share information without consent, for example in an emergency situation where we are concerned about the immediate safety of you or another person. In such cases, we will, wherever possible, make you aware of this first.

We fully understand that some people may be concerned about coming to our buildings. 

  • You may have some additional privacy needs and don’t want to be seen accessing our support.
  • You may know somebody who uses our services and be worried about bumping into them. 
  • You may have young children that you don’t want to bring to appointments. 

These concerns are all valid and, whatever your personal situation is, we will work with you to find the best solution. We are used to adapting the way we work to meet a range of different needs. 

We're experienced in working with people with a range of different needs. Our approach is to adapt and flex our services to make them inclusive to everyone. 

What this looks like for each person will be different but it might include remote appointments through video conferencing, providing materials in alternative formats or visiting you in your home. 

Get in touch with your local service and let us know about any specific needs you have and we will work with you to find the best approach for you. 

We use accredited interpreters to help us provide support in your first language.

In some of our services, we have staff who are multilingual. If we have a recovery worker who can speak your language, you will be given the option of working with them. 

Please let us know what your specific language needs are and we will put something in place. 

If you speak very little English:

  • Ask someone to phone us on your behalf or you can email us in your language which we will translate and respond to.
  • Contact us through online chat which has a built-in translation facility so you can chat to us in your language. 

We try to make access to our services as easy as possible.

The majority of our services offer at least one late opening during the week and weekend appointments, so that we can accommodate a range of different needs and circumstances.

Our local service pages provide details of individual service opening times, which you can access through our service finder. 

We can give you the option of attending appointments remotely through video conferencing, which is useful for people who work shifts or who work away from home. 

We understand that accessing support can be an incredibly anxious time and we'll do whatever we can to make the experience as comfortable as possible. 

When you get in touch with us, please let us know about any worries or fears you may have and we will work with you to find the best approach. 

There are a few different ways to make contact:

  1. Use our service finder to get the contact details of your local service.
  2. If you don’t yet feel ready to make contact with your local service directly, you can chat to one of our trained workers anonymously online seven days a week. 

If you just want information and advice from us then you don’t need to provide us with your personal details. We may ask you a few questions to get a good understanding of your situation, so that we can give you the right advice. 

Find a drug and alcohol support service near you

Looking for support?

Contact one of our 80 local services across England and Scotland for free, confidential support and advice.

Not ready for an in-person service? Chat to one of our trained recovery workers online to get free, confidential advice and information.

Talk to a trained recovery worker

1-2 miles - Considered within walking distance threshold, however, cycling, public transport, or a personal vehicle is advised if no safe walking routes.
10-15 miles - Generally between a minimum of 30 mins to 1 hour travel time expected via public transport or personal vehicle. This may depend on form of transport, time of day and/or road layouts.
20-25 miles - Generally between a minimum of 50 minutes to 1.5 hours travel time expected via public transport or personal vehicle. This may depend on form of transport, time of travel and/or road layouts