Alcohol and Recreational Drugs


Alcohol dependency
It’s particularly important to look after mental and physical wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak. But it’s also a stressful time for many of us and, often due to the current restrictions and concerns around the virus, some people might be drinking more than they would normally. But alcohol is not a good way to deal with anxiety and stress, as it interferes with chemicals in the brain and can increase both. So, while we might feel more relaxed immediately after having a drink, in the long run alcohol can make stress harder to deal with. Increasing alcohol consumption can also lead to tension and conflict in households and affect the mental health and wellbeing of the wider family, especially, children.

Recreational drugs
Those who use recreational drugs may be at increased risk of COVID for a number of reasons, e.g. their immune systems may be suppressed, they may be sharing equipment or still congregate in close proximity to others. To make things worse, the stigmatisation and marginalisation associated with many forms of drug use, can create barriers to receiving effective support.

Available support*
If you or someone you know has a problem with drug or alcohol dependency, the first thing to remember, is that there is a great deal of local and national support available, even during this period of limited physical activity. Anyone affected is entitled to NHS care, just like everybody else, and there are lots of support services to help you. For more information about these, you should firstly contact your GP but you can also go online to:

Bracknell Forest residents, who are concerned about alcohol or other drugs, can also get personal support via New Hope at this time. New Hope provides a friendly, free and confidential service to anybody who is seeking help with a drug or alcohol addiction. You do not need a referral. The service is now operating online and via the phone during coronavirus restrictions. Please call New Hope on 01344 312360 and have a chat if you are worried about how much you or a member of your family are drinking or any other drug use that is causing problems. The service is confidential and you do not have to enter treatment to access support.

Currently, New Hope is taking calls and providing support during these times: Monday to Thursday – 9am to 5pm and Friday – 9am to 4:30pm Through New Hope, you can also request a free log in to which helps people address problems with drugs or alcohol, at their own pace. Just email your details to to get an access code for the service.

For under 18’s
Smart Wokingham Recovery Service provides a range of services for young people (ages 10 up to 18) and adults with drug and alcohol issues within the Wokingham Borough. They recognise that substance misuse does not occur in isolation and they are skilled in helping people to address other issues that may also affect them.

Contact Telephone Number: 0118 977 2022 Address: 38 Station Road, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 2AE Website:;

Other online and phone support
Alcoholics Anonymous – Tel 0800 9177 650
Narcotics Anonymous – Tel 0300 999 1212
Cocaine Anonymous – Tel 0800 612 0225

The Samaritans – offer a 24 hour a day telephone helpline, offering emotional support for people in crisis – Tel 0330 094 5717 (local call charges); Tel 116 123 (free from any phone)

Club Soda: offers a free app that you can download onto a phone to log alcohol consumption and drink more mindfully.

Drinkchat is a confidential online web chat service, available weekdays 9am to 2pm on the Drinkaware website. Or via Alternatively, Drink Line can be called confidentially on 0300 123 1100 weekdays 9am to 8pm and weekends 11am to 4pm.

Alcohol Change UK and Drinkaware have Coronavirus information and advice on their websites. This includes a simple quiz to find out whether you or anyone else should be worried about your drinking levels.

The rough sleeper team in Bracknell includes outreach workers, accommodation and sup-port officers and a mental health professional and works in conjunction with health services, drug and alcohol addiction services, faith and voluntary groups.

Finally, please don’t forget that you can contact the Pastoral Care Team at St Joseph and St Margaret Clitherow Parish – Tel 07394 440 938

*The information here accurately reflects how the organisations noted here describe their services online, as of May 25th, 2020”