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Alcohol & Drugs Service

Alcohol issues and getting help

Alcohol problem or concerns

If you've come this far, you already have concerns about your alcohol use. The check how much alcohol you drink questionnaire can help you to decide if you are drinking too much.

Take our questionnaire

Alcohol Pathway Team

The Alcohol Pathway Team provide a free confidential community treatment service. We treat people with moderate, severe and alcohol dependence problems.

We work with clients to achieve their chosen goal. This can be alcohol reduction or abstinence.

The service is an appointment based service. Email us or phone us on +44 (0) 1534 445008 as we can't guarantee someone will be able to see you if you attend without an appointment.

Our team includes: 

  • Nurse Manager
  • Consultant Psychiatrist
  • Alcohol Liaison Nurses
  • Detoxification Nurses
  • Counselling Psychologist
  • Social Worker
  • young persons worker for under 25

Referral to us

We have an open referral system. You can refer yourself by emailing us or calling on +44 (0) 1534 445008. We also accept referrals from GPs and other health professionals. Every afternoon, we allocate a team member to respond to all enquiries.

Get help

If you're worried about your drinking, there's plenty of help and support available. You can:

What to expect 

When you refer yourself

We ask you some screening questions over the telephone, which:

  • establishes your drinking risk level
  • gives you the opportunity to discuss the problems you may be experiencing
  • allows us to allocate a key worker to you who has skills in your particular needs

We give you brief advice and explain the treatment services available. This may mean signposting you to other services where appropriate. If you choose to enter treatment, we make an appointment for you to see a specialist nurse with 14 working days. 

Referral by your GP or other health professional

We make an appointment for you to see a specialist nurse within 14 working days of receipt of the referral.

Your first appointment session will last for one hour. Any follow up appointments usually last 30 minutes.

Clinic locations

We hold clinics at the following venues:

  • Alcohol and Drug Service, Stopford Road
  • Castle Quay Medical Practice, St Helier
  • Cleveland Clinic, St Helier
  • Co-operative Medical Care, St Helier
  • Health Plus, St Helier
  • Indigo House Medical Practice, St Helier
  • Jersey General Hospital Outpatient Department
  • Lister House Surgery, St Helier
  • Salvation Army café clinic rooms

If you're registered at one of the above GP practices, we will see you there. If you're registered with other GP practices, we will see you in the other community venues.

Disabled access

All locations, except the Alcohol and Drugs Service in Stopford Road, have disabled access and toilet facilities.

Types of treatment available 

If you want to cut down or stop your drinking, we provide:

  • a comprehensive assessment of your alcohol use
  • specialist one to one support and advice to help you achieve your goals safely
  • treatment options and medication where indicated
  • one to one or group sessions to prevent you relapsing into previous drinking patterns

Alcohol detoxification 

After prolonged and heavy daily use of alcohol, you may be dependant. This can mean that you get withdrawal symptoms when you stop. You can find out more about alcohol withdrawal symptoms on the drinkaware website. If you are dependent on alcohol, we advise you to get advice before reducing your intake. This is because stopping drinking suddenly can be dangerous or life threatening.

If you have withdrawal symptoms, we may offer you supervised alcohol detoxification. This can be at home or other venues, depending on your needs. Both options involve daily medication over a period of five to 10 days, with close supervision and support available.

GP health checks

If you are getting help because of your alcohol use, it's a good idea to get a health check at your GP.

Referral to residential rehab

If you want to stay alcohol free but feel you need more intensive and structured support in a residential setting, Silkworth Lodge offers a 12 step recovery programme. We can make a referral for you. For more information about their services, visit the Silkworth Charity Group website.

Helping someone with an alcohol problem

If you're worried about a friend or family member, we can offer you advice and information. The person you are worried about must contact us directly to get help.

​If you'​re a family member, friend or partner of someone who’s drinking is affecting you, you can find support at AL-Anon Jersey Family Groups. They hold local meetings to support people affected by someone else’s drinking. You can call them on +44 (0) 1534 870924.

You can also get help from Silkworth Charity Group website who have a support service for families.

Alcohol: the facts

​Recommended alcohol limits

Men and women are advised to not drink more than two or three units of alcohol a day, with a suggested maximum of 14 units a week. Try and have two or three alcohol free days each week. 

You can use the alcohol units on NHS Choices website to find out how many units of alcohol are in your favourite drink.

To work out the number of alcohol units and calories you have consumed, use the unit and calorie calculator on drinkaware website.

Woman who are pregnant or trying to conceive are advised not to drink any alcohol at all. This is because drinking can cause serious damage to the foetus.

How alcohol affects your health

Drinking small amounts of alcohol can have some health benefits if you are otherwise healthy. However, even small amounts can increase the risk of certain illnesses. 

Alcohol affects every system in your body. You don’t usually see the harm it causes until an illness has developed or until any problems become irreversible.

Most people know that alcohol can cause liver disease but it causes many more problems that you might not be aware of. You can find out more about alcohol misuse risks on NHS Choices website. 

Assess your drinking habits

To find out if you are drinking too much, you can use the check how much alcohol you drink questionnaire

Take our questionnaire

Get help

If you're worried about your drinking, there's plenty of help and support available. You can also get help for a family member. You can find more information on our alcohol issues and getting help page.

Alcohol and licensing strategy for Jersey

In Jersey, we drink high levels of alcohol compared to other countries, including France and the UK.

The alcohol and licensing strategy recognises this and ​sets out to:

  • reduce the high levels of alcohol consumed in Jersey
  • reduce young people’s drinking and their access to alcohol
  • help those who want ​to drink less
  • reduce the rates of alcohol related offences and protect those at risk of those offences
  • support business through an fair and transparent licensing system
  • ensure interventions are evidence based and don't penalise businesses or sensible drinkers

Drugs and their effects

Amphetamines (speed or whiz)

Amphetamine is a synthetic stimulant. It comes in powder form and is usually white, yellowish, grey or a pinky colour. It is snorted or ingested and it takes effect after about half an hour. It has varied effects including:

  • feelings of wakefulness
  • alertness
  • increased confidence
  • sociability
  • physical or mental activity

But as the body’s energy levels reduce the user is prone to feelings of anxiety, irritability, restlessness and dizziness.

Users can develop tolerance to amphetamines with increased use, withdrawal is primarily emotional, but users may experience a mild physical withdrawal including feelings of depression, lethargy and extreme hunger.

Amphetamine is illegal and is currently a class B drug in Jersey.


Benzodiazepines are prescription only medicines under the Medicines Act. They can be abused and bought illegally on the black market.

They are usually prescribed for short term treatment of anxiety and sleep problems. When taken at low doses tolerance does not develop to a great extent, but when people use large amounts their tolerance can develop rapidly and there is a danger of dosage increase.

Withdrawal symptoms can last from several days to several weeks, and in some extreme cases, months.

These withdrawal symptoms include:

  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • panic
  • hallucinations
  • depersonalisation
  • heightened sensory awareness
  • depression
  • a risk of seizures with abrupt withdrawal

Benzodiazepines are illegal unless they are prescribed by a GP and they are currently a class C drug in Jersey.

Cannabis (marijuana, grass, dope, pot, puff, weed)

Cannabis is usually smoked with tobacco. It is available in the form of resin, dried and chopped leaves and - less commonly - oil. The main active compound in cannabis is THC.

The effects of the drug are varied and include:

  • euphoria
  • laughter
  • vivid sensations
  • imagery and hallucinations
  • persistent ideas
  • paranoia

These effects will vary depending on the person, the environment and the potency and amount of the drug used.

Cannabis is illegal and is currently a class B drug in Jersey.

Cocaine (Charlie, coke, snow)

Cocaine is most commonly found as a white crystalline powder, and is usually snorted but is occasionally made into a solution and injected.

The effects of cocaine are similar to amphetamines and crack in that they create physical and mental arousal. When cocaine is snorted the effect is almost immediate and then peaks and fades within 15 - 30 minutes. This often results in users repeating their use almost every 20 minutes or so in order to maintain the desired effect.

The snorting of cocaine can lead to mucosal constriction and eventually perforation of the nasal septum.

Cocaine is illegal and is currently a class A drug in Jersey.

Crack (base, rocks, crystal)

Crack is similar to cocaine although the effects are even more extreme. They take effect immediately and last for about 10 minutes.

Crack is usually smoked and this can produce particularly aggressive and paranoid behaviours. Crack is highly addictive, although reports that crack is instantly addictive are false.

People experience feelings of:

  • wellbeing
  • exhilaration
  • increased confidence
  • loss of appetite
  • indifference to pain and fatigue
  • hallucinations
  • paranoia

In rare cases users have died from overdose. Heavy and regular use can cause feelings of nausea, restlessness, insomnia, over-excitability and weight loss.

Crack is illegal and is currently a class A drug in Jersey.

Ecstasy (xtc, Adam & Eve, doves, pills)

Ecstasy mainly comes in tablet form but can come in capsules or powder. The tablets can come in a number of different colours and often display a logo. It is usually swallowed but is sometimes snorted; its effects are experienced after 20 - 60 minutes and can last for 3 - 6 hours. The chemical name for pure ecstasy is MDMA.

Ecstasy acts on the central nervous system and increases brain activity. The pupils become dilated, the jaw tightens and there is often brief nausea, sweating, dry mouth and throat. The blood pressure and heart rate increases and sweating is common.

Users report a mild euphoric and hallucinogenic effect, loss of anger, empathy with other people and an enhanced sense of communication.

Ecstasy affects the body's temperature regulation, with excessive dancing this can lead to overheating and dehydration - and in some cases death. It is recommended that users take small, regular sips of water but no more than a pint of water an hour as deaths have also been related to users taking in too much water, which is very dangerous to the body.

Ecstasy is illegal and is currently a class A drug in Jersey.

Heroin (scag, smack, gear)

Heroin is one of a group of drugs called opiates that are derived from the opium poppy. It usually comes as an off white or brown powder. A number of synthetic opiates are also manufactured for medical use and are open to abuse due to their similar effects to heroin, these include:

  • dihydrocodeine (Df118)
  • codeine
  • tramadol
  • pethedine
  • diconal

Methadone and Subutex are prescribed as substitute drugs in the treatment of heroin addiction.

Heroin is usually smoked ('chasing the dragon'), snorted or prepared for injection. Heroin is a powerful pain killer and has euphoric qualities. The combined effects make heroin a very effective escapist drug.

Effects include:

  • sense of wellbeing
  • feeling warm and content
  • drowsy and untroubled
  • sense of calm
  • feeling of pleasure
  • absence of worry, anxiety or pain

At higher doses, the user may become heavily sedated, be sleepy, unable to talk, and appear to fall asleep for a few minutes at a time. This is referred to as 'gauching' or 'nodding.'

There is an unpleasant period of withdrawal (often called “cold turkey”). These symptoms may begin within 6 to 24 hours of discontinuation and last for weeks, or even months after.

Symptoms include:

  • sweating
  • malaise
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • general feeling of heaviness
  • excessive yawning or sneezing
  • insomnia
  • cold sweats
  • chills
  • severe muscle and bone aches
  • nausea and vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • cramps
  • fever

Heroin remains one of the most problematic illicit substances in the UK.

All opiates unless prescribed are illegal and are currently Class A drugs in Jersey.


Solvents are rapidly absorbed through the lungs into the bloodstream and quickly distributed to the brain and other organs. Within minutes users experience intoxication, with symptoms similar to those produced by drinking alcohol. Intoxication lasts only a few minutes, so some users prolong the “high” by continuing to inhale repeatedly.

The users initially feel slightly stimulated and after successive inhalations feel less inhibited and less in control. Hallucinations may occur and loss of consciousness. Sudden death syndrome is a risk, although rare it more commonly occurs amongst young people when using air conditioning coolants, butane, propane and some aerosols. These cause the heart to beat rapidly and erratically resulting in cardiac arrest.

Long term users can suffer from:

  • weight loss
  • muscle weakness
  • disorientation
  • in-attentiveness
  • lack of coordination
  • irritability
  • depression

Regular abuse of them can result in serious harm to vital organs. Serious, but potentially reversible effects include liver and kidney damage. Harmful irreversible effects include: hearing loss, limb spasms, bone marrow and central nervous system (including brain) damage.

Mephedrone (meow, M-CAT, magic, plant food)

Mephedrone is a stimulant drug similar to ecstasy or speed. It comes in capsules, tablets or more commonly in powder form. The capsules or tablets are swallowed whilst the powder is usually snorted.

Users report a feeling of 'coming up' or of rushes as the drug takes effect. The main effects include:

  • feeling alert
  • a sense of calm wellbeing
  • excitement
  • stimulation
  • elevated mood
  • chattiness
  • dry mouth
  • loss of appetite
  • poor concentration
  • increased heart rate
  • raised body temperature
  • racing heart
  • panic
  • sweating
  • distinct fishy smell coming from sweat

The effects occurs within 10 to 20 minutes and on average last for 40 to 60 minutes. According to users there is a highly addictive quality to the substance.

Mephedrone is illegal and is currently a class B drug in Jersey.


Naphyrone (NRG-1; Energy1) is a stimulant drug that is closely related to mephedrone with similar effects to amphetamines, cocaine and ecstasy. It is considered 5-10 times more potent than mephedrone or ecstasy.

Naphyrone usually comes in the form of a white crystalline powder and is normally snorted or swallowed in wraps of paper. It is sold on the internet as plant food or pond cleaner for £12 - £15 per gram.

Users report feelings of euphoria, empathy, talkativeness and alertness.

As with other stimulant drugs, harmful effects include:

  • adverse effects on the heart and blood vessels
  • hyperthermia (overheating of body temperature)
  • increased body temperature
  • likelihood to become dependent
  • psychiatric effects including psychosis and anxiety

In extreme cases, amphetamine-like drugs like NRG1 can cause death due to cardiovascular collapse or heart shock.

Naphyrone is illegal and is currently a class B drug in Jersey.

Thinking of getting help?

Each year numerous people seek help to stop using drugs and although many people may find it easy to stop some people will have greater difficulty. This will be especially true if they are physically and even psychologically addicted.

Withdrawal from a substance will generally have the opposite effect of the substance that was used so if the drugs made you feel relaxed and laid back or more sociable and euphoric then with the withdrawal effects you may experience anxiety, moodiness, perspiration, nausea, irritability, sleep disturbance, tremors and a sense of loss of varying degrees.

If you are having problems with the use of any drugs including over the counter or prescribed medications and wish to stop or get some advice then contact our service and speak to someone. Any information will be treated in confidence and you will be offered an appointment to come in and see someone if you wish.​​​

Help with opiate addiction

​​When you are opiate dependent an increasing need to get drugs (that are very expensive) on a daily basis will have a dramatic effect upon your income, your ability to maintain your job, your home life, your relationships and your health.

If you have decided to do something about your drug use, we offer treatment options which aim to help you work towards regaining some structure in your life and eventually to stop using opiates.

How do I get treatment?

Once you have decided to do something about your problem, you may have a sense of urgency to be seen by someone immediately. However, treatment cannot begin until a full assessment is carried out.

Someone will always see you for an assessment as soon as possible. Generally, from when your referral is taken, assessment and treatment will start within 2 to 4 weeks. This will depend on how busy we are and also on your individual needs. 

Your information will be dealt with confidentially; this will be explained to you in more detail when you are seen. 

ow do you assess my problems and needs? 

The first assessment is confidential and will last about one hour. A detailed assessment of your history and your past and current drug use will be taken, as well as an assessment of your motivation to address your drug taking behaviour. We will discuss with you the various treatment options that are available and which treatment may be best suited to you.

It is also important at this stage to talk to you about the various health risks associated with opiate use, particularly if you have been using drugs intravenously. You will be offered overdose prevention and management and safer injecting information. You will also be offered blood-borne virus screening and support. We strongly encourage you to accept these interventions, but it is your choice whether to or not. 

Withdrawal symptoms

A person who is opiate dependant can experience physical withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop; these can include symptoms such as:

  • agitation
  • anxiety
  • muscle aches
  • runny nose
  • sweating
  • yawning
  • insomnia

These symptoms will reach their peak 12 to 24 hours after your last dose (and include flu like symptoms such as abdominal cramping, diarrhoea, goose bumps, nausea, vomiting and dilated pupils between 36 and 72 hours after the last dose). They will have subsided substantially after 5 days.

Physical and psychological dependence on opiates can develop quickly within a relatively short period of continuous use (2-10 days) (ref NICE 2007).

Dependence makes it very difficult to stop drug use - and this together with the fact that it is illegal can result in your life becoming chaotic and unmanageable quite quickly.

Methods of treatment available

To help you to move away from illicit drug use, opiate substitution using methadone or subutex / suboxone may be offered, preferably for a short period of time (detox) but sometimes for longer periods. This is offered along with problem solving and coping skills, relapse prevention and motivational work towards achieving a drug-free lifestyle choice.

Substitute prescribing

This is offered as a means of reducing harm and stabilising your lifestyle. It aims to benefit you by:

  • reducing the use of illicit opiates
  • reducing the risk of death and disease
  • reducing involvement in crime
  • improving your well being and future possibilities

Substitute prescribing is suitable for people who want to stop using opiates altogether, wish to reduce their consumption of opiates, or who currently have adverse circumstances (eg are homeless, pregnant or offending as a result of their drug use).

It is likely to be a better option than detox if you have been addicted for longer periods of time, if you often inject or if you have high levels of drug use.  

Subutex detoxification treatment

This treatment is suitable for individuals who are motivated to come off opiates and whose circumstances are stable and conducive to staying off opiates. Younger users, people with a low level of drug use who have used drugs for a shorter period of time, and those who rarely inject opiates would also be suitable for this method of treatment. It is better if you do something about your drug use and get help sooner rather than later.

Detoxification using Subutext may range from 12 days to 36 days depending on what is right for you.


Naltrexone is an opiate blocker. This means that if you use any form of opiate whilst you are taking Naltrexone you will experience no effect - Naltrexone blocks the receptors in the brain that would normally respond to opiates.

Naltrexone is a recommended treatment for anyone who has finished a substitute prescribing programme or has stopped taking opiates and is wishing to stay clean. It is highly recommended, particularly in the early stages of being opiate free.

Helping someone with a drug problem

​​​​​​How we can help you

We offer you advice and information to:

  • help you to understand what your family member is experiencing
  • help you look after your own needs
  • suggest ways in which you might encourage the person to come and speak to someone

We can give you some advice over the phone and you can decide if you would like to see someone. If you p​refer, you can also speak to your GP about your family member and they will be able to contact us on your behalf.

Contact us

If you would like to speak to a professional confidentially about someone you know, email us or call us on +44 (0) 1534 445000

Difficulties and what you may be experiencing

It is often difficult to see someone you care about destroying themselves because of their drinking or drug use. It is sometimes difficult to help them to get help, especially if they don’t see that they have a problem. They may not believe they have a problem, or they may be in denial. They know they have a problem but they are too frightened or unwilling to do something about it.

You may also experience your family member acknowledging their problem and even saying they would like to get some help. They then retreat again and say they have things under control.

This can be very difficult to manage and something that is not always easy to speak to other people about. You may feel you need to protect your loved one or feel some sense of shame.

You can find more information on the Adfam website, which offers advice about where to go for help and support if you have a family member or other loved one with an alcohol or drug problem.

Needle exchange service

​​What is the needle exchange service?

We offer an anonymous and confidential needle exchange programme. 

Injecting equipment is available free of charge from the Alcohol and Drug Service and the General Hospital switchboard, located to the right of the ambulance bay at the Parade entrance. 

Pharmacies who are part of the programme charge a small fee (see table below).

Who can use the service?

The service is open to anyone over the age of 18. If you are under 18 years old, you should visit the Alcohol and Drug Service to get injecting equipment.

What equipment is available?

All of the needle exchange outlets can provide you with:

  • black Fitpacks (sharp safe boxes), which contain:
  • 10 x 1ml syringes
  • citric acid
  • pre-injection swabs

The Alcohol and Drug Service and the switchboard at the General Hospital provide:

  • yellow Fitpacks, which contain:
  • 5 x 2ml syringes
  • citric acid
  • pre-injection swabs

The Alcohol and Drug Service also provides a variety of different sized needles and syringes, single-use disposable spoons, filters and sterile water amps.

Needle exchange locationDaysOpening hoursCost per FitpackAlcohol and Drug ServiceStopford RoadLloyds PharmacyDavid PlaceLloyds PharmacyBurrard StreetLloyds PharmacyThe ParadeReids PharmacyNew StreetReids PharmacyLonguevilleBootsKing StreetBootsQueen StreetGuardian MedicalSaville StreetSwitchboard at theGeneral Hospital(​Parade entrance)

Monday - Friday

Saturday - Sunday
9am - 5pm
(closed 1 - 2pm)

Monday - Friday

8.30am - 6pm

9am - 5pm
Monday - Friday

8.30am - 5.30pm

9am - 5.30pm
Monday - Friday


8.30am - 6pm

9am - 5.30pm

10am - 2pm
Monday - Friday


8.30am - 7.30pm

9am - 6pm

9am - 1pm
Monday - Friday

9am - 6pm

9am - 5.30pm
(closed 1 - 2pm)
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday,
Friday and Saturday

8.30am - 5.45pm

9am - 5.45pm
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday,
Friday and Saturday

8.30am - 5.45pm

9am - 5.45pm
Monday - Friday

9am - 5pm

9am - 1pm
Monday - Friday

Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays
8.30pm - 7am

All day

Young people's drug use - advice for parents

highs. exposed website​

Visit the website for facts and information on the effects that so called 'legal highs' can have. website

How to protect your child from the risk of drugs

There are many things that you can do to help protect your child from the risks of using drugs and alcohol. ​​

You can:

  • ​make sure they know that you care about their happiness
  • make time to spend with them and talk about their problems / worries
  • show an interest in their plans to know where they are
  • be open about what you know on the risks of alcohol and drugs
  • agree on rules and the consequences for breaking them
  • support them in their interests, eg drawing, music, cooking, outdoor activities etc
  • support them with their school life; make time for their homework, encourage them to take part in school activities and talk to their teachers about any problems
  • help your child get involved in community life, eg local and sports events

Find out more about how to help your child make good decisions and avoiding problems with drugs by reading the document below.  

You can also find out more about parenting support services from The Bridge below. 

The Bridge: parenting support services

Help for young people

If you have a child or young person who's experiencing problems with drugs or alcohol, they can contact a young person's substance misuse worker for free confidential support by phon​e on +44 (0) 1534 445008, or by email

New psychoactive substances, so called 'legal highs' and the law

New psychoactive substances or so called 'legal highs', often contain illegal substances. They are designed to mimic the effects of mainstream drugs.

Laws put in place quickly in Jersey have ensured that some of these drugs that ​are legal in the UK are illegal in Jersey and buying them from UK websites and importing them into Jersey is a criminal offence.

They can't be legally sold, supplied or advertised for human consumption under the law. To get around this, sellers often refer to them as research chemicals, plant food, or bath crystals.

You can be prosecuted if you're found in possession of so called 'legal highs', even if you're not sure what they contain.

Police are actively seeking intelligence on these substances and the dealing of them.​

Risks of so called 'legal highs'

There are lots of risks to consider because:

  • they are completely new and untested; the short or long-term effects of their use aren't known
  • users can never be sure of what they're taking, as new compounds and variations are constantly being made
  • you can't be sure that they don't contain an illegal ingredient
  • being legal doesn't make a drug safe
  • they can have serious effects on mental and emotional health
  • mixing with other drugs, including alcohol, can increase a risk of an overdose

Side effects

Serious side effects can include:

  • extreme depression
  • panic attacks
  • paranoia
  • self-harm
  • suicide
  • seizures
  • comas
  • death

What to do if someone overdoses on ​so called 'legal highs'

If someone has overdosed or​ had an adverse reaction, call an ambulance immediately and put them in the ​recovery​ position.

Tell the paramedics and health care team what has been taken so they have a better chance of providing effective treatment.​

Who to contact

Contact Name
Alcohol Pathway Team
01534 445000
Fax: 01534 445010

Where to go

Alcohol and Drugs Service
Maison Le Pape
The Parade
St Helier

Time / Date Details

When is it on
Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm.
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