Substance Misuse

What is substance misuse?

Substance misuse is when a substance is used repetitively in a way that is damaging – and it can also lead to dependence. Dependence happens when a person develops a tolerance for a substance over time and experiences withdrawal symptoms without it.

Our approach

If you are struggling with substance misuse, we will carry out a comprehensive assessment of your current needs. It’s important for us to understand whether you are experiencing psychological or physiological dependence.


A psychiatrist will typically oversee your treatment to determine whether you could benefit from taking medication as part of your treatment plan. We also place a significant emphasis on understanding the psychological roots of your substance misuse difficulties.


This will involve motivational interviewing to help us understand your commitment to change. From here, we will determine which type of psychological support you could benefit from, depending on whether you are looking to become abstinent or wanting to follow a reduction programme.

consultation taking notes

Examples of substances that are often misused include:

  • Alcohol
  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamines
  • Club drugs
  • Ecstasy
  • GHB
  • Ketamine
  • LSD
  • PCP
  • Nicotine

Frequently asked questions

You should seek support for substance misuse if you are finding yourself increasingly dependent on a substance (psychologically or physically). Physical dependency means that you are needing to take a substance at regular intervals throughout the day in order to not experience withdrawal symptoms. Psychological dependency would mean that you are reliant on it to manage daily life. You may be finding that your substance misuse is having an impact on your life, whether that involves your performance at work or your relationships with the people around you.
If you think you are struggling with physiological dependence, it is likely that you will need to detox from a substance and this is more safely carried out in an in-patient setting. If this is the case, we recommend speaking to your GP who will be able to discuss the options with you. Otherwise – and if you believe your dependence is more psychological – an assessment with one of our psychologists or psychiatrists will help determine the best next steps for you.

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Athena Lazaridou

Athena is a Pilates instructor with 8 years’ experience in the field. After completing a Power Pilates Mat Certification in Athens, she went on to complete the Full Comprehensive Classical Pilates Certification with Equinox in Kensington.  She has been teaching Pilates at Equinox for the past 6 years in addition to her own private clients who she trains both face to face and virtually.

Athena has a passion for helping people get stronger and fitter as well as helping those recovering from injury regain their strength and mobility.  Over the years, she has worked with athletes to incorporate Pilates into their training and improve performance. Athena has also worked with prenatal and postnatal women who may be experiencing depression or other mental health difficulties and used Pilates to facilitate a positive impact on their mental health.

Athena is very passionate about improving physical and mental well-being and has recently incorporated Sound Healing into her work, as she believes it to be one of the best ways of ‘letting go’ and releasing stale energy whilst increasing greater self-awareness.