START - Hartlepool's Integrated Substance Misuse Service

What We Offer

START offers support with both drug and alcohol misuse to adults, children and young people.

A Care Co-ordinator is allocated to co-ordinate care, deliver psychosocial interventions and work with other agencies - making it easier for a client to focus on their recovery. START also offers access to Clinical Support Workers and Specialist Nurses.

START offers opiate substitute treatment (OST), relapse prevention medication and community alcohol detox. Where medically required, in-patient detox and residential rehab will be explored.

We offer support groups, both online and in person.

Harm Reduction Service
START offers a harm reduction service from Whitby Street and also via a mobile service which operates in several locations in Hartlepool.

Services include:

  • Harm reduction advice and support for all psycho-active and recreational substances.
  • Needle syringe programme.
  • Provision of Naloxone to reverse opiate overdose.
  • Blood-borne virus testing (same day results for those with no history of hepatitis).
  • Direct access to treatment for hepatitis C.

The mobile provision operates on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 12.30-4.30pm, and can be reached by calling 07784 358947

The static service is available from Whitby Street on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9am-4.45pm, and on Wednesdays from 12-4.45pm.

There is also a volunteer pathway which trains service users in essential harm reduction skills, advice giving, and provision of injecting equipment and Naloxone to those in need.

Anyone wanting further information should email

Breaking Free Online

Breaking Free Online is an evidence-based digital treatment and recovery programme that allows you to recognise and and address the psychological and lifestyle issues driving your use of alcohol and/or drugs. The programme provides a comprehensive tool kit of psycho-education, practical resources and evidence-based coping skills to support long-term recovery. Designed to be interactive, engaging and personalised to each service user, Breaking Free Online has voiceover on every screen to cater for different learning styles. It combines CBT with mindfulness, relapse prevention, motivational enhancement, harm reduction and other proven approaches. You can access the programme 24/7 on any internet-enabled device, such as a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

computer image


Create a Breaking Free Online account

To create an account, all you need to do is:

The access code for START is hartlepool11

Once you have created your Breaking Free Online account, you can also download and benefit from the Companion app. This allows Breaking Free Online users with Android phones or Apple iPhones to receive geolocation alerts to help them manage high-risk situations, and calendar alerts to nudge them to do positive activities. It also gives instant access to mindfulness videos with no internet connection required. To download the app, search for ‘Breaking Free Companion’ or click on the icons on the home page of Breaking Free Online.

Near Fatal Overdose Team

Evidence shows that previous near fatal drug overdoses can be predictive of subsequent fatal drug overdoses.

As part of the START partnership, Foundations operates a Near Fatal Overdose Team, the ultimate aim of which is to reduce fatal overdoses. It aims to do this by assertively engaging with people who experience an unintentional near fatal overdose and offering intensive short-term support to reduce individuals' overdose risk. This is an adult-only service (aged 18+).  The service does not provide long-term support and does not replace existing services. Intentional overdoses need to be referred to mental health services.

Headstart service for young people

START runs a service specifically aimed at young people aged 18-25. Click here for more information about Headstart.