Addressing alcohol and drug-related issues: Reducing harm and supporting positive change.


Addressing alcohol and drug-related issues: Reducing harm and supporting positive change.

Service Overview

Steps to Change is a community based early intervention service for adults and adult family members affected by alcohol or drug misuse. It is available to anyone over 18 years old living in the Western Health Trust area of Northern Ireland. This is a confidential service which provides a programme of support to adults to help them reduce the harm caused by alcohol or drug use. Steps to Change offers structured, programmes of support based on each persons needs to help them set realistic and achievable goals to help reduce their use of alcohol or drugs.

Support can include up to 12 sessions of one to one therapeutic counselling which can help individuals explore what has driven their need to use alcohol or drugs. Relapse prevention and support of up to 5 sessions are available for those worried about drinking or taking drugs again.

Steps to Change can also help family members affected by another person’s alcohol or drug use, even if the person using alcohol or drugs does not want help. They can receive a number of support sessions to help them better cope and best support a loved one who is misusing alcohol or drugs.

How to refer to this service

We accept referrals from the person seeking help themselves, family members or friends, or from a range of professionals. Referrals can be made by using the online form below.

Information if you need help for your alcohol or drug use

If you are concerned about your drinking or drug use and need help to make changes, then Steps to Change is a confidential service that can provide you with the right support to do that.

You may be struggling with you alcohol or drug use and need help to reduce your use or deal with problems it is causing in your life. Maybe you have already made changes and are having difficulty sustaining this.

Whatever your circumstances, we will discuss whats going on for you and together we will agree a programme of support that can help you get to where you want to be. We work across all the main towns in the Western Health Trust area and so we can meet you close to where you live. We may also be able to provide support over the phone.

ASCERT’s counselling helped me look at my life and I was able to reduce a lot of my drug use and my life is a lot better than it used to be.

Service User

I didn’t know how to help my partner when he was drinking. Talking to ASCERT helped me and I was able to get more support for myself and I feel a lot better. I can also help my partner as he goes through his own counselling.

Family member

Information for family members

If you are concerned about someone else’s drinking or drug use then Steps to Change can provide advice and support to help you, even of the person with the alcohol or drug problem does not want help. 

We understand that it can be really tough to have a person you love or care about experiencing these problems. You may not know why this is happening or what you can do to support them.

You may also be feeling the stress and strain that can come from having to deal with whatever is going on. Often the concern is solely focused on the person with the alcohol or drug problem, and we can ignore the impact it may be having on others in the family. You may want to help the person with the problem but it is also important to look after yourself too.

We can provide support over a number of sessions to help you understand what may be going on and also look at how you cope and the supports you have that can help you stay strong.

Information for referral agents

This service is available for people living in the WHSCT area.
We offer a variety of approaches which include, brief intervention, therapeutic one to one counselling, and family support.  

We will work collaboratively with you as the referrer and other professionals to ensure a co-ordinated and integrated support for the young person and their family.

The person being referred should have consented for the referral to be made. You can make a referral using the online form or download a referral form and send to us. You can give us a call to discuss the case in the first instance before you make a referral. Once we it we will contact you for any further information we need and discuss how we will deal with it.


Make an online referral to Steps to Change