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.
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 …
The charity has a dedicated confidential addiction support helpline.
Call the free and confidential helpline on 0808 168 5132 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Families Anonymous groups help the family and friends of people with a current, suspected or former drug problem by providing mutual support.
Al-Anon Family Groups provide support to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else’s drinking.
This NHS webpage offers advice and support for the families of drug users.
The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA) offers information, advice and support to children of alcohol-dependent parents.
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:
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Gamblers Anonymous
- Help 4 Addiction
- Narcotics Anonymous
- National Health Service