West Berkshire Council

Substance misuse and housing advice

Housing advice for those struggling with substance misuse

Can the council provide me with advice?

If you are suffering with substance misuse and you are homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days the council can provide you with advice and assistance to resolve your housing situation.

What can the service do to support you?
Duty to prevent homelessness: 
The council is committed to supporting applicants who are at risk of losing accommodation within 56 days. This means that we will try to prevent your homelessness by helping you to remain in your current accommodation, if that is possible. Otherwise we will explore with you alternative housing options such as securing accommodation in the private rented sector or supported accommodation.

Duty to take steps to relieve homelessness: We will assist households who are homeless to secure suitable accommodation, regardless of whether they are 'intentionally homeless' or have a priority need. This means that all eligible households will be offered help to secure accommodation.

Will the council provide me with accommodation?

We can provide advice and assistance to enable you to find alternative accommodation. However, we will not have a duty to provide emergency accommodation or temporarily house you unless you are considered to be eligible, homeless and have priority need. Your Homelessness Prevention & Relief Officer will discuss this with you as part of your application process and make necessary enquiries to determine our duties.

For more information on the homelessness criteria, please visit Shelter Homepage or contact Shelter on 080 8800 4444.

You can approach the service to receive further advice and information about your housing situation by contacting the housing operations team on 01635 519 530 and choose option 2. Alternatively, you contact us by e-mail on housing@westberks.gov.uk  

Help to change alcohol or drug use

A number of services work closely together to provide support with substance misuse. You can find out more about the support available to you on the following web page: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/substancemisuse

Any of the following can also refer you to services that can help:

  • Other departments of the council
  • Health services
  • Family/friends/carers
  • Criminal justice services

Swanswell West Berkshire

Swanswell provides a Treatment and Recovery Service (TARS). This provides a number of different support services:

  • Assessments
  • Community outreach
  • Harm reduction - needle exchange
  • Information and advice
  • Breaking Free Online
  • Peer mentor programme
  • Family and carer support
  • Access to detox
  • Counselling
  • Access to mutual aid
  • Psychosocial interventions, including MI and CBT therapies
  • Pharmacological interventions - prescribing service
  • Access to Education, Training and Employment (ETE) services, including volunteering
  • Thames Valley Police Drug Diversion Scheme
  • Social and physical activities

You can contact them on: 0300 003 7025 or by

e-mail on: wberksadmin@swanswell.org

For more information please visit: Cranstoun

Other Related Support

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

Helpline for people with drink problems, staffed by recovering alcoholics. Open 365 days a year. They can give details of local AA groups and contact with local member.

E-mail: help@aamail.org 

Helpline: 080 0917 7650

Website: Alcoholics Anonymous - Find a Meeting

Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

NA is a non-profit fellowship of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. They are all recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean, you can find details of local groups on their website Narcotics Anonymous - Meetings Search

UK Helpline: 030 0999 1212

Talk to Frank

Offers free confidential drugs information and advice 24 hours a day.

Freephone: 030 0123 6600

Website: FRANK - Friendly, Confidential Drugs Advice


Drinkline provides advice and information for people with alcohol problems or anyone concerned about alcohol misuse. They also provide advice about sensible drinking and information on services to help you to cut down on drinking.

Helpline: 030 0123 1110

9am-11pm weekdays, 6-11pm Sat & Sun

Drugs line

Drugs line is an independent drugs crisis, information and support charity. It provides free and confidential information and support for people with drug- and alcohol-related issues, their families and friends.

Freephone crisis & support line: 080 8160 6606

Website:  Drugsline

Adfam National

Adfam is a national charity working with families affected by drugs and alcohol and is a leading agency in substance related family work including database of local support groups that helps families hear about and talk to people who understand their situation. 

Website: Adfam


Alateen offers telephone support to young people aged 12 to 20 affected by someone else's drinking, usually that of a parent. Part of Al-Anon Family Group. 

Helpline: 0800 0086 811

Website: Al-Anon Family Groups

Recovery Focus

Recovery Focus is a national group of charities, who are all highly experienced in providing specialist support services to individuals and families living with the affects of mental ill health, drug and alcohol use, gambling and domestic violence across the country. 

Telephone: 020 7697 3300

Website: Recovery Focus

National Association for Children of Alcoholics: 0800 358 3456

Helpline offering information, advice and support to children of alcoholics and people concerned about their welfare.