People take drugs because they want to change
something about their lives. Here are some of the reasons
young people have given for taking drugs:
To fit in.
To escape or relax.
To relieve boredom.
To seem grown up.
They think drugs are a solution. But eventually, the drugs
become the problem.
Difficult as it may be to face one’s problems, the
consequences of drug use are always worse than the
problem one is trying to solve with them. The real answer is
to get the facts and not to take drugs in the first place.
Drugs can also seriously affect your child’s health or the way
they see the world around them. This can lead to
depression, loss of judgement and even death. There are
many risks with any drink or drug use, so they need to ask
themself, is it really worth it?
Maybe they’re thinking about taking drugs because they’re
stressed at school or worried about home life. Try to understand why they want to take drugs or drink, and try
to find a better way for them to deal with pressures. Get
them to talk in confidence to their school nurse.
Prescription medicines should only be taken by the person
whose name is on the medicine. Even prescription
medicines can have serious side effects if not taken
correctly. If you are worried seek advice from the person
who has prescribed them or your GP.
People use all sorts of substances, both illegal and legal, to
get ‘high’. Illegal drugs are things like Cannabis,
Amphetamines, Ecstasy, Cocaine and Heroin.
Psychoactive Substances, previously known as ‘legal
highs’ are NOT legal or safe.
Many legal substances are also harmful and addictive like
cigarettes, alcohol, glue, petrol and aerosols. It’s illegal for
shopkeepers to sell tobacco products or alcohol to anyone
Remember if someone overdoses or has a bad reaction to
a substance they have taken, you need to call 999 and ask
for an ambulance. The ambulance will not call the police.
Are they drinking too much?
Are they or their friends drinking too much?
Are they drinking because they’ve got problems at school
or at home? Try to solve these.
Are their friends drinking a lot too?
Tell them it’s ok to say no, not to feel under pressure to
Tell them to help friends to face the fact that they’ve got a
problem and get some help.
Remember that people have to want to change their
habits - you can’t do it for them.
How much is too much?
The government's unit guidelines state that there’s no safe
level of alcohol consumption. Unit guidelines are the same
for men and women and both are advised not to regularly
drink more than 14 units per week. That’s the same as 6
glasses of wine or 6 pints of beer.
Teen Challenge UK
01664 822 221
Freephone 0300 123 6600 - 24 hours a day
Drinkline (Confidential) call free on
0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am-8pm,
National Association for Children of
0800 358 3456
Children of Addicted Parents (COAP)
COAP is an online community for young
people living with a family member's
addiction to drugs, alcohol or behaviour such