Substance misuse can relate to the illegal or legal substances. It may lead to addiction and dependency. Substance misuse may involve legal drugs such as alcohol, the misuse of legal substances such as glue or aerosol sprays, or the use of illegal drugs.
It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to buy alcohol and it is illegal for an adult to buy or attempt to buy alcohol on behalf of someone under 18. Alcohol is a depressant, it slows down the body's responses; you lose control and you may not be aware of what is happening around you. You may become reliant on others to look after you. Getting drunk can quickly put you in a vulnerable position where you are at risk. Alcohol can also reduce feelings of anxiety and inhibitions in the short term, making you feel more sociable. It can also exaggerate your mood.
It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to buy alcohol.
Binge drinking and regularly drinking most days of the week over the recommended levels can cause problems such as cancer, heart problems, high blood pressure, stroke, accidents and falls, and liver disease. Liver disease amongst young people in the UK is increasing rapidly due to binge drinking.
You may have seen drug use in films, TV or other media and it is surprisingly common to come into contact with, or know someone who has used drugs. Trying drugs can be a dangerous experiment and can have both short-term and long-term effects. These can include:
- Reduced ability to think clearly and keep safe.
- Exposure to unsafe places and people.
- Involvement with crime and the criminal justice system.
- The risk of overdose.
- Use of drugs can increase your risk of mental health issues.
- Physical harm, illnesses and infections.
- Impact on future relationships, education and employment.
Some young people become addicted, some react badly to the drug or impurities in the drug and die as a result. Drugs can trigger mental health problems such as psychosis, anxiety or depression. There is no way of knowing who or when someone will be affected. Given the trouble drugs can cause for relationship, your health, with the law, study and money. It pays to know the facts.
In 2020, there were over 4,359 deaths in England and Wales due to drug misuse.
If you are concerned about yourself or a friend relating to alcohol or drugs, you can speak to the safeguarding team, located near G17 / ICT Technicians Workroom, or talk to your PYL or AYL who will inform Safeguarding staff.
If you would like further information on support available regarding Substance Misuse, the websites below can help;
Know the Score
Talk to Frank
Change Grow Live