Addiction, Health, Behaviour Change | CGL
Your health matters and your life matters.
If you use opioids, there are several steps you can take to help look after your health and protect yourself from harm.

If you’re worried about a family member or friend who’s using opioids, this page outlines several ways you can help keep them safe.

We hope this campaign will encourage you and others to start talking about drug use and drug-related deaths, to make seeking help acceptable – make it normal. There is no shame or stigma in getting help.
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Get a free naloxone kit and training
Naloxone is a drug that can reverse the effects of opioids. Naloxone can save someone’s life if it’s used quickly following an opioid overdose.

If you use opioids or a friend or family member does, get a naloxone kit from your local Change Grow Live service, along with training on how to use the kit and how to recognise the signs of overdose.

If you need a new naloxone kit, please visit the service that gave you the first one, or any other Change Grow Live service. If Change Grow Live does not provide the drug and alcohol service in your area, please contact your local service for advice.

Carrying naloxone should not encourage people to take greater risks. Always call an ambulance if someone you are with goes into overdose.
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You could save a life with naloxone.
"He was making a funny noise, like he had something in his throat. I went to check on him and I couldn’t get him to answer me. I called his name and shook him but he didn’t wake up so I decided to use my kit."
Read about Owen's experience of using naloxone on a friend >
Help from your local drug and alcohol service
Treatment works and it saves lives.

There are a wide range of treatment options available to people who use drugs, from information and advice about harm reduction and safer injecting, to medication-assisted treatment and therapeutic sessions. Many services also provide groups for family and friends.

If you come to one of our services you will meet with qualified professionals including doctors and nurses, and receive additional support from peer mentors who have lived experience of drug and alcohol problems.

Find your local Change Grow Live service >

Visit your council’s website to find your service >
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"From where I was a few years ago to where I am today is nothing short of a miracle. I wake up in a bed, I have got food to eat, I have money in my pocket, I have my children around me, I have a partner, I have a job and my family have peace of mind."
Carl - former service user
Get tested and treated for blood borne viruses (BBVs)
The most common BBVs in the UK are hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. Almost 90% of hepatitis C cases in the UK involve people who inject drugs or have injected them in the past.

All Change Grow Live drug and alcohol services provide free BBV testing to anyone at risk. We use the Dry Blood Spot Test method, which is quick and simple. If you’ve ever injected drugs, get tested for BBVs.

You can be vaccinated against hepatitis B. If you find out that you have hepatitis B early, you can usually have treatment to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the infection. If you have had hepatitis B for longer than 6 months, treatment can control the virus and reduce the risk of liver damage.

Using the current medicines, more than 90% of people with hepatitis C can be cured and there are little to no side effects. Watch the video below to find out more.

If you test positive for HIV, we will refer you to a GUM or HIV clinic for specialist treatment.
Do you know someone whose health is at risk as a result of using opioids?

Here are some steps you can take to help keep them safe and well:

  • Encourage them to get help from a drug and alcohol service or visit their GP for advice
  • Get a free naloxone kit and training
  • Encourage them to get a free BBV test

Find your local Change Grow Live service >

If you would benefit from support, we recommend exploring the friends and family services in your area. Take a look at Adfam, UK SMART Recovery and Nar-Anon.

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Do you use inject drugs?
Your life matters. Take these steps to look after your health:
  • Carry a naloxone kit
  • Get tested for BBVs
  • Get into treatment if you’re not already
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Share our campaign to help save a life.