Are You Using Drugs Or Alcohol Yourself

Every young person has their own story about what led them to try a particular substance. Young people can be CURIOUS and if their friends (or parents or other relatives) use drugs, then it is common to want to FIT IN..

It is important to remember that no one sets out to develop problems with alcohol or other drugs. Drinking or using drugs can become part of having fun or a good time, but can also get OUT OF CONTROL.

For some young people, the use of drugs or alcohol is a form of “SELF-MEDICATION”, which enables them to relieve stress or block emotionally distressing thoughts.

However, it is important to remember that drug and alcohol use among young people has been falling steadily since 2001; most young people are NOT USING such substances.

The risk of addiction is particularly dangerous during adolescence, as it is a period of change where your brain and body are still developing and experiencing hormonal changes. Alcohol and drugs can DAMAGE this growth.

This form of self-soothing may help in the short-term, but can lead to LONG-TERM physical health, mental health, and other problems.

The likelihood of drug or alcohol use becoming a problem later in life is also increased when someone has been regularly dealing with STRESS, like living with a parent’s alcohol, drug use or mental health problems. Additionally, excessive alcohol and drug use can get in the way of the support provided by projects like Steps to Cope.

If you think that your own use of alcohol or drugs is out of hand, there are alcohol and drug services specifically for young people up to 25 years old that can HELP.

You can contact these services yourself or ask other people like a teacher or youth worker or a parent to do so on your behalf.

Contact DAISY (The Drug and Alcohol Intervention Service for Young People) provided by ASCERT and Start360 on:

0800 25 45 123

If you live in the Southern Health Trust area, contact Dunlewey Addiction Services on:

02890 392 547

You can also visit for information about all drug and alcohol services available in Northern Ireland.