24hr Support Line 0800 6300 443
2 August 2021

Get help for drug addiction

Drug addiction is one of the most common types of addiction and one with overwhelming effects. Drugs contain chemicals which have an intense effect on the brain and can result in addiction spiralling rapidly due to powerful withdrawals. Do you feel you are struggling with a drug-related problem?


You are never alone in the racing industry, we are here 24-hours a day and our non-judgemental advisors will give you compassionate advice and support.

There are many reasons people decide to take recreational drugs and those include:

  • Experimentation
  • To escape reality if they are having a bad time
  • To fit in with friends
  • For the pleasurable side effects

Common types of drugs include alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, heroin and ecstasy. Drug addiction also includes prescription drugs.

Recognising drug addiction

Listen below to jockey Kieran Shoemark talk about his experience with addiction following a positive test for cocaine:

Physical and behavioural symptoms of drug use differs depending on the types of substances used and how much is taken. Some of the most obvious signs include:

  • Tiredness
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Breathlessness

Drug addiction can result in financial difficulties due to the cost of substances, often leading to job losses and in severe cases, homelessness. The nature of your addiction can see you socialising with a different type of crowd and isolating yourself from friends and family or spending a lot of time alone. A loss of interest in your hobbies and activities is also a warning sign. Physical symptoms include weight loss, slurred speech and glassy eyes.

Identifying addiction is sometimes harder than people think. What may have been habitual drug use can soon turn into addiction without you realising. If you feel drug abuse is becoming a problem and you are unable to stop or curb your habit then you are only a call or click away from our advisors who will help you on your first step to recovery. We understand reaching out for help can be tough but we are not here to judge, we are here to help you.

Are you worried about a loved one?

You may have noticed changes in your loved-one’s behaviour or physical appearance. If you are worried about a family-member or friend it can be difficult to reach out to them for fear of rejection or backlash. We are here to help all those affected by drug addiction and you can call us for advice on 0800 6300 443 or chat to us online at any time.

Get Support Now

No matter what area of the horse racing industry you work in, support is here.  All your information will be kept fully confidential.

Get Support Now

Racing Welfare’s 24 hour support line enables people to access support and
guidance through digital and telephone options.

Additional Treatment

We will support you in receiving additional treatment and recovery options in your wider community. This includes self-help groups and professional support. These specialist treatment services and groups form a national structure of recovery support in the UK:

NHS – how to get help

Talk to Frank – support and advice on drugs

Narcotics Anonymous – find your local support group

SMART recovery – self-management and recovery

Release – legal advice on drugs

The Middleham Smart Recovery Group, delivered by Humankind in association with North Yorkshire Horizons and Racing Welfare, aims to support those wishing to overcome their addictive behaviours. The group gives an opportunity for anyone living with addictive behaviours to speak with professionals in a safe environment.  You can contact Welfare Officer, Gail at GBurtonpye@racingwelfare.co.uk for more information.


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