Teenagers and young adults are more likely to experiment, test boundaries and take risks. Smoking, vaping, drinking and trying drugs are some of the most common ways in which many young people do this. Across the UK, the use of both legal and illegal drugs among adolescents is becoming increasingly widespread.

Substance misuse is also one of the most common risk factors to a young person’s health and development. All drugs have the potential to cause harm due to their addictive nature and inhibition reducing effects, and using drugs in combination can increase the risks.


What can help?

If you feel you are using alcohol or drugs to help cope with difficult feelings or mental health issues, talking about it can be really helpful and is often the first step to feeling better. Speak to a trusted friend or family member, or contact our Therapy Service on to talk to one of our therapeutic counsellors. Although they are not able to work directly with your substance misuse, they can signpost you to a local service who can.


Supporting your child who misuses substances

If your child is struggling with substance misuse, click on the links to find out how you can support them and places you can get help.


You can also download this handy guide: