Project Description

Drugs and Alcohol

Using drugs and / or drinking alcohol can have a negative effect on your physical health, mental health and emotional well being. Using substances can also cause problems with friends and family as well as making it difficult to concentrate on school and work.

What is drug misuse?

Drugs are commonly thought of as substances that are illegal to use and that are bought and sold on the streets or online. However, it is also important to know that drugs are also any prescription substances that you or your family members may be prescribed for medical reasons,  or anything that can be bought over the counter at a chemist. Any drug or substance that has not been prescribed directly to you, can be dangerous. Using a prescribed drug not in the way it was prescribed to you, for example, taking too much, taking it incorrectly or using it in a different way than is prescribed, can also be dangerous.

What is alcohol misuse?

Although alcohol is legal for adults aged over 18, that does not mean that it cannot be dangerous. The negative effects of drinking alcohol outside of the recommended limits on our bodies include; an increased chance of alcohol poisoning, stomach ulcers, internal bleeding, cancer, high blood pressure and lung infections. As well as this, alcohol has an impact on us socially as alcohol reduces feelings of anxiety or inhibition but this can often lead to anti social or criminal behaviour.

What is substance misuse?

In this context, a substance can be defined as any pill, powder, liquid or gas that is swallowed, snorted, ingested, drunk or inhaled in order to change how we feel. This could mean taking a legal substance such as a prescribed drug but changing the way it is taken in order to have an effect on the mind or body. This could also mean taking or using any illegal drug in any way.

People often think that if they are going through a tough time such as the loss of someone close to them, or if they are feeling stressed, then alcohol or drugs are a good solution. However, this is not the case. In fact, alcohol and drugs usually make a situation worse and result in day to day life becoming even more of a challenge. People also use drugs and alcohol to “fit in” or “be cool”. If this is something you are worried about, be sure to watch the video at the bottom of this page.

If you are using drugs for any other reason than the reason that they are prescribed to you and taking anything other than at the quantity and rate they have been prescribed, this could be a problem. Lots of people are able to enjoy alcohol within the recommended limits however, if you find yourself doing any of the following, you may need to seek some help; drinking more and more, hiding or lying about your alcohol usage, finding that you cannot do certain activities or you can’t relax without a drink, drinking alone or at unsociable times (for example, in the morning), becoming out of control, sick or experiencing memory loss when you do drink.

If you are worried about your own substance misuse, we encourage you to speak to an adult about this. This could be a parent, carer, teacher, mentor or coach. At the bottom of this page are also websites that can help you.

Substance misuse service for young people aged 11-18 in Wiltshire.


Straight-talking advice for young people