Addiction Support

On this page you will find information about our Addiction Support, and details about how we can support you, and those you care about, through dependency issues.

About our free and confidential Addiction Support 

We provide confidential support to individuals experiencing problems with alcohol, drugs, gambling or other types of dependency. This confidential service provides safe and easy access to a variety of support for people seeking help for themselves and for people affected by another person’s addiction. Through this service, you can also access support for eating disorders.

We understand that the first step is often the hardest one to take. It can be daunting to ask for help but things only tend to get worse if you delay. If you’re experiencing addiction problems, or know someone who is, it’s important not to delay reaching out. Once you make the decision to contact us for support, we’ll ensure you have access to all the help you’re eligible for.

We are a completely independent charity exclusively serving the needs of pharmacists, students and trainees. We do not report your contact with our addiction support service to the GPhC or any other organisations. Therefore, please be reassured that your contact with the charity is completely confidential.

We don’t need to know who you are when you first make contact. If you decide to access our addiction services we may then need some relevant information about you.

This page details the confidential support available through the charity.

Jump to …

Addiction Support Helpline

Addiction Peer Support

Addiction Recovery Group

Supporting someone through addiction

More organisations who can help


Addiction Support Helpline

The charity has a dedicated confidential addiction support helpline.

Call the free and confidential helpline on 0808 168 5132 or email

This service provides access to a fully qualified counsellor who is very experienced with supporting pharmacists with addiction. The counsellor can provide specialist support and advice on treatment options. If you are a pharmacist, trainee or student needing help for an addiction, we can arrange for you to speak in complete confidence to the counsellor. If you feel that you are not ready to take this step, please have a look at our Addiction Peer Support below.

For family members or concerned friends or colleagues of a pharmacist, you can speak with the addiction counsellor for advice and support on how best to help the person and yourself.

Where appropriate, the counsellor may suggest treatment for pharmacists such as a residential detox and treatment programme, or signposting to local services. Where residential treatment is recommended and the pharmacist is unable to self-fund, we can assess the need for financial help with the costs through our financial assistance service. Please note trainees and students are not eligible to access this level of treatment and financial support.


Talk to a pharmacist who has been there

On this page you will find information about our Addiction Support, and details about how we can support you, and those you care about, through dependency issues.

Addiction Peer Support

If you’re struggling with an addiction and are uncertain about contacting the Addiction Support helpline, you may find it easier to first speak with one of our trained pharmacist volunteers through our Addiction Peer Support service.

This service offers you the opportunity to speak anonymously and in confidence to one of our trained volunteer pharmacists. These volunteers have also been through addiction themselves, experienced the journey and are in advanced long-term recovery.

By choosing to speak with an addiction peer support volunteer you can receive up to 3 calls. During these calls, you’ll receive non-judgemental support and encouragement as you make your decision about what to do next.

If you would like to speak with one of our volunteers, please complete the confidential application form below. Please note that this is not a professional advice service for addiction. Our volunteers recognise the stigma and pressures that come with addiction in pharmacy and will offer you the time and space to freely talk through those issues to try and find some clarity and a way forward.

Addiction Recovery Group

For pharmacists who are on their recovery journey, we can provide ongoing support through a facilitated peer support group. To access the group, you must have been referred for assessment and support from the addiction counsellor via the Addiction Support Helpline.

Supporting someone through addiction

Supporting a family member or colleague through their addiction struggles can be challenging. It’s important to help them stay focused on positive goals and acknowledge that recovery can take time. It’s also important to ensure prioritise self-care through what can be a stressful time. There are many organisations which offer support to those helping someone with addiction, including Adfam, Families Anonymous, Al-Anon, the NHS and National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA).


Adfam provides information and support for the families of drug and alcohol users.

Go to the Adfam website

Families Anonymous

Families Anonymous groups help the family and friends of people with a current, suspected or former drug problem by providing mutual support.

Go to the Famanon website


Al-Anon Family Groups provide support to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else’s drinking.

Go to the Al-Anon website 


This NHS webpage offers advice and support for the families of drug users.

Go the NHS website


The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA) offers information, advice and support to children of alcohol-dependent parents.

Go to the NACOA website

More organisations who can help

We understand that it can be difficult to reach out for support with dependency. If you’re not yet ready to speak to us about our range of free and confidential Addiction Support services, you may find help and guidance from the following organisations:

This page was reviewed and updated in July 2023 
I found myself in need of help after self-medicating. I know this may sound like a cliché but Pharmacist Support saved my life. Before their help I was on self-destruct. Now I am back on the register, able to work in pharmacy and my family life is back to normal. Pharmacist Support helped me when no one else could.
Addiction Support beneficiary

Take a look at how we've supported others through addiction issues

Take a look at how we've supported others through addiction issues

“Knowing that there might be others from a similar background with a similar problem was an eye opener; I thought I was the only one.”

Anne Cawdron is a retired pharmacist who we helped with her addiction struggles when we were The Benevolent Fund. She has kindly shared her story to encourage those in our pharmacy family to reach out for help.

Take a look at how we've supported others through addiction issues

“A chance phone call from Pharmacist Support asking about my health made me admit that I was not well and needed help. At last, I had turned a corner – I had asked for help.”

Bob Dunkley is a retired pharmacist who we have supported through his addiction struggles. Here, Bob graciously shares his story with us in the hope to help others who may be struggling in our pharmacy family.

Take a look at how we've supported others through addiction issues

“Knowing that I was not the only pharmacist to be suffering in the way that I was came as a relief as well as a surprise.”

My experience with Pharmacist Support has been lifesaving and life changing. I have a young family who are as grateful as I am for the help that I have been afforded by the charity throughout the course of my difficulties.