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Crew News: Dec 01 2017

See our opening times over winter and some tips to having a safer time over the New Year...



Our counselling service will be closedafter Fri 22nd December, reopening 3rd Jan 2018. If you are currently seeing a Crew counsellor and would like to speak to someone in the team, telephone support will be available 27-29th Dec at normal hours: please call 0131 220 3404 and leave a message, someone will contact youback as soon as we can.


The Drop in on 32 Cockburn St will be open as below, resuming normal opening times from Wed 3rd Jan 2018:

Fri 22nd Dec1-5pm
Sat 23rd Dec1-5pm
Sun 24th DecCLOSED
Mon 25th DecCLOSED
Tues 26th DecCLOSED
Wed 27th Dec1-5pm
Thurs 28th Dec3-7pm
Fri 29th Dec1-5pm
Sat 30th Dec1-5pm
Sun 31st Dec4-9pm Hogmanay Warm Up
Mon 1st JanCLOSED
Tues 2nd JanCLOSED


1: Look after yourself

A no-brainer, right? It's something we can easily forget to do, especially at this time. Actively remembering to take care of yourself can help over the sometimes-bumpy winter season. Eating regularly and using relaxation techniques can help you remain calm and gain perspective (often our perceptions are skewed into thinking everyone else is having a great time when in fact other people are often stressed to the max too).

If you live in Scotland, dress for the weather! Hypothermia is a nasty thing that can be easily avoided: if you are concerned that someone might be suffering from hypothermia please call 999 and follow these steps to help them https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hypothermia/

If you or anyone you know choose to use drugs including alcohol, please check out our drugs information page http://www.mycrew.org.uk/drugs-information

Relaxation techniques before bed can help you to relax and aid sleep: try this example -

Place one hand on your stomach

Breath in through your nose to the silent count of four, allowing your stomach to swell

Breath out gently through the mouth to the count of six, allowing the stomach to return to normal

Count to two and inhale again

Try to get a rhythm going, counting to four on the in-breaths and to six as you exhale. You are aiming to take about 8 - 12 breaths per minute.

At first this will feel uncomfortable but with practice, this slower rate of breathing will feel easier.

If you take prescribed medication, make sure you have enough to tide you over the festive period.

Look after your friends: don't leave someone alone if they are in trouble or push someone to use when they don't wish to, or are in recovery.

If you have any non-emergency medical concerns call NHS 24 on 111 for support.


Number 2: Understand your past behaviour/triggers

Be aware of the situations that are triggers that make you use and avoid them or seek support from friends, family or professionals.

A really useful tool to help manage this has the rather unfortunate acronym of D.E.A.D.S. - Delay, Escape Avoid, Distract Substitute

D...DELAY - Delay acting on the feeling/craving - even just for a few minutes and see if your feelings change.

E....ESCAPE - If you find yourself in a situation where you feel vulnerable or feel the urge to use - how can you escape?

A....AVOID - Avoid being in situations where you may feel vulnerable and try to avoid being around people or in places that could trigger cravings/urges for you.

D....DISTRACT - What could you do to distract yourself? Maybe make a cup of tea or coffee or go out of the room/ place where you are having cravings?

S.....SUBSTITUTE - What activity could you do instead? Go for a walk? Go to the gym?

Coping with cravings:

It's important to realise that urges and cravings are to be expected when you are going through the process of changing your drug use. Feeling these cravings can also be a response to people, situations and moods connected to your old drug habits and environments. It can also be a sign that you are in a high-risk situation and should be careful.

You may have a fear of being completely overwhelmed by the craving and think that the only way to relieve the craving is by using drugs. This is not the case.

Try thinking about cravings like this: Imagine an ocean wave and how it moves. It starts as a small wave and slowly but steadily grows and grows until it reaches its peak, then slowly reverses the process until it disappears. This too is the process of urges and cravings so you should try to ride the craving as a surfer rides the wave.


Number 3: Replace the habit

"Self love my Liege is not as vile a sin as self loathing" W. Shakespeare

Try new exercise or social activities. This can distract you from cravings and may also lead to something you enjoy and want to make a permanent part of your life. Think of the money you might save and what positive thing you could put it to such as treating yourself or someone you love.


Number 4: Set achievable, small goals to lead you toward a bigger goal

Remember what you want to achieve and think about how much you have worked towards it already.

Make sure that achieving the goal is something you can do and doesn't depend on others to make it happen.

This can be about getting through the next hour and most people can get by without doing something for an hour. Then do it again and in no time 24 hours will have passed! Taking things one day at a time is not merely a cliché it really works. Think about who you can call...who'd like to hear from you? Sometimes thinking of someone else takes your thoughts away from your own worrying.


Number 5: Use the support available

Accept support from family, friends and organisations as research shows that you're more likely to succeed with the support of others.

If you need urgent help or support over Christmas and New Year here is a list of some local services you may find helpful:

Police, Fire, Ambulance - for emergencies Tel: 999

Edinburgh Samaritans - Tel: 0131 2219999 (local call charges apply)

Samaritans National telephone: 116 123 (this number is free to call)

Breathing Space - (Mon-Thurs 6pm-2am, Fri 6pm-Mon 6am) Tel: 0800 83 85 87

Mental Health Assessment Service (MHAS) - Tel: 0131-537-6000

Edinburgh Crisis Centre - Tel: 0808 801 0414

Emergency Social Work Service - Tel: 0800 731 6969

Castlecliff Hostel (provides emergency accommodation) Tel: 0131-225-1643

Housing Options Team - (out of hours service) - Tel: 0800 032 5968

National Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline - Tel: 0800 027 1234.

UK Domestic Abuse Helpline - Tel: 0808 2000 247 NHS 24 - Tel: 111