Drugs and Alcohol

Drugs and Alcohol

Many people's first introduction to the lesbian and gay scene is through a bar or a club and most of us at some point have been exposed to alcohol and to drugs. Some of us use them on a regular basis, some of us find it difficult to go out without one or other or both. Recognising your own personal relationship with drugs and alcohol can be really important to getting on top of your health.

The NHS Choices website has a specific section on addiction for LGB people and there is a generic online tool to help you think about how much you drink.

Alcohol
Alcohol can be a useful form of social lubrication and there is some evidence that a glass of wine every now and then helps protect against coronary heart disease, but for some people this glass or shot or bottle of beer becomes something that they can't get through the day without. Some people use the CAGE questions to help you work out if your drinking habits might need some help. So have a look - if you answer yes to a few of these it might be worth having a chat with a professional:

C – Have you ever thought you should CUT DOWN on your drinking?
A – Have you ever felt ANNOYED by others' criticism of your drinking?
G – Have you ever felt GUILTY about your drinking?
E – Do you have a morning EYE OPENER?

Here are a few links for some resources and places you can talk about alcohol and get some further information and advice:

Alcohol Concern
Lots of information and advice on drinking and alcohol related problems on it's website at:

National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA)
A free helpline for children of alcoholics that provides listening, advice and links with other services. It also offers help to children who are concerned about their parent's use of drugs and provides advice and information to professionals.
0800 358 3456
9.30am – 7pm, Mon – Fri

Alcohol Anonymous

 

Drugs
Drugs is a huge catch all term and includes recreational drugs like cannabis, poppers, heroin, ketamine, cocaine, GHB and medication drugs like pain killers. Some people feel that they are in control of their drug use and some find it hard to socialise or go through a day without them. Talking to agencies that specialise in working with drug users can help you decide if you want to quit using and how to do it safely in a way which is supported and safe, both physically and mentally.

Terrence Higgins Trust have produced a range of leaflets about different types of drugs which you can download for free, as well as their website Drug Fucked

Talk to FRANK is the national drug information service.

In some areas there are specific services such as in London the Antidote service at the Hungerford Clinic which provides information and support exclusively for gay, bisexual and transgendered people around drugs and alcohol. 
Tel: 020 7437 3523
Email antidote@turning-point.co.uk