Alcohol and drug misuse

Two women in serious conversation banner


Alcohol is the third biggest risk factor for illness and death. The average age of death nationally for alcohol related mortality is 54.3 years old, 30 to 34 years younger than the average age of death for men and women. In Waltham Forest, there were 370 deaths attributable to alcohol in the borough between 2007 and 2017

Current guidance recommends that people should keep track of their intake, and not drink more than recommended amounts

  • men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis. 14 units is is equivalent to six pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine
  • spread your drinking over three or more days and try to have several drink-free days each week
  • Pregnant women should avoid drinking altogether

If you would like specialist information or support about drinking habits, or you have a family member affected by drugs or alcohol contact

Get support Click to get info

You can get further advice and support from

CGL Waltham Forest - a free confidential service for adults that live in the borough who are concerned about their drinking or need help to change their drug use. Offering a range of treatment options for those who experience or affected by substance misuse issues including groups and one to one support, and counselling support options. More types of alcohol intervention offered by CGL and funded support include 

  • Enhanced Brief Intervention (EBI) - this is initial engagement with people who are dependent on alcohol to help kick start their journey to recovery, working on people’s motivation to reduce their alcohol intake, understanding of the recovery process and initiating recovery
  • Alcohol Community Detox - supports clients dependent on alcohol to detox safely and comfortably with the help of medication and social support in their homes. Clients will receive daily support from a CGL Nurse and Recovery worker. This support can be one to one or groups sessions depending on need.
  • In- Patent Detox and Residential Rehab - This is an option for people not suitable for community detox. Please speak to someone at CGL who will assess need for appropriate services
  • Funded placements are limited and based on need. Self-funding is possible for service users who have savings /access to money. Benefits contributions are also applicable for Residential Rehab and is based on a financial assessment.


CGL’s Family and Carers Support Service- offer support and advice for families affected by drugs and alcohol, including one to one counselling and family interventions. Take a look at CGL’s Family and Carers Support Service for more information.

Drinks Free Day App - Choose your Drink Free Days and get reminders, support and practical advice to change your drinking habits for good.

Breaking Free Online - a digital aid and app to support treatment for alcohol and drug dependence and support relapse prevention including alerts against risk-taking behaviour, nudges for positive behaviour and relaxation techniques

CGL Young People’s service offers a free confidential drug and alcohol service for young people under 18 (including young offenders) and families in the borough. They also work with young people with parents or carers affected by drugs/ alcohol misuse. They can also provide support for individuals at transition age (18-25) if the individual feels this is better suited to them.

CGL YP provide outreach services, and will visit you wherever it is most convenient for you whether that is at your home, in school/college, at a local library or anywhere else that you feel comfortable. You can also attend the service at 313 Billet Road, Higham Hill, Waltham Forest, London, E17 5PX

Opening hours for the YP service are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

To make a referral or for more information contact the team

Types of support include

  • Comprehensive assessment and care planning for young people
  • One- to- one therapeutic interventions
  • Group work programs
  • Information, support and training for families, carers and professionals
  • Education and awareness workshops
  • Support with employment, training and education (ETE) opportunities
  • Peer mentoring opportunities
  • Advocacy
  • Referrals to relevant services including mental health support

Please see our factsheets below with important information on various topics relating to alcohol and drug misuse