It is important to make well-informed and safe choices about alcohol, nicotine and drug use.
Recreational drugs and alcohol can affect your physical and mental health in lots of different ways. People may drink alcohol or take substances with no long-lasting effects. They may enjoy the feelings of confidence, energy or relaxation that drugs, nicotine and alcohol can bring at the time, or it may be part of trying a new experience and fitting in socially.
However, drugs or alcohol can also be used by some as a form of self-medication or as a coping mechanism to deal with difficult or painful feelings. Even if it seems to help at the time, in the long term, drugs, nicotine and alcohol can make difficult feelings more painful, and can make existing mental health conditions worse.
Drug and alcohol use can affect our judgment, leading to risky behaviour. Becoming addicted to substances is also a risk. If someone becomes addicted to alcohol, nicotine or drugs, they can become so focussed on feeding their habits that engaging with learning or socialising becomes difficult.
Vaping is used as a way for adults to stop smoking as it is substantially less harmful than smoking, but that does not mean it is harmless.
Drugs and alcohol could also interfere with existing prescribed medication.
Use the resources below to find out more or get support if you or someone you know needs it:
One80 – Young Persons Drug and Alcohol Service