AN ADDICTIONS charity working in Helensburgh is offering locals struggling with drug and alcohol a holiday season lifeline.

Addiction support charity WithYou - which delivers services across Argyll and Bute and has a base at 17a East King Street, Helensburgh – is encouraging those with issues surrounding addiction to get in touch this winter.

The webchat - which is funded by the Scottish Government - is available 364 days a year, closing only on Christmas Day, and is open until 9pm during the week.

Argyll and Bute service manager, Yvonne McLeod, said: “Whether it’s worrying about money, being tempted to use substances at a party, or turning to alcohol to cope with everything that’s going on, we know that many people can find themselves in harmful situations over the festive season.

“The pressure to join in and have ‘the perfect Christmas’ can create new challenges, or exacerbate existing challenges, around drugs, alcohol and mental health.”

Alain Saum, operations manager at WithYou, said: “This year, I want to remind people in Argyll and Bute to look after themselves at Christmas.

“If you do need someone to speak to, please get in touch through our free webchat service.

“You can chat with us while preparing your Christmas pudding, wrapping presents, or visiting family. We’ve even chatted to people who were at Christmas parties.

"Our webchat is really discreet and it puts expert advice at your fingertips.

“We can help you make it through Christmas and help you find the tools you need to have a happier and healthier new year.”

The WithYou webchat is staffed by a specialised team of 36 advisors, staff from across the charity who are trained to offer brief interventions, advice, signposting and emotional support.

The team can also help individuals to develop specific plans for how they will cope at parties and other social events, where temptation might be an issue.

The charity offers free in person appointments to those struggling with addiction throughout Argyll and Bute from bases in Helensburgh, Dunoon, Oban and Bowmore.

The Argyll and Bute base also has a needle and syringe service where people can pick up free needles and barrels, return used equipment, get confidential advice, and use a click and collect service.

WithYou was established in 1967 and has 80 local services across Scotland and England and across Scotland, the charity supports more than 14,000 people.

To access the webchat or find out more about the support offered by WithYou in Argyll and Bute, visit

Support is also available from a free helpline - call 0800 587 5879.