Drugs, alcohol and smoking
Substance misuse means to regularly consume alcohol, drugs, or to smoke to make them feel better. Some people may use them to try to cope with their worries, however even in small quantities this can do the opposite and make you feel worse in the long run.
Once you start to take any of these substances you may find you crave them more and start to depend on them by taking them in larger quantities, and more frequently. It may feel like they are helping you at the time, but they could be causing your feelings to get worse such as encouraging depression, or for your body to weaken with damage to your liver, heart, stomach or brain.
Even in small quantities alcohol can affect the way you feel, and how your body acts. For example, you may feel more confident and take more risks, which can lead to making bad decisions. You could become violent towards others or make you more vulnerable and easier to be taken advantage of.
Physically, your body slows down and you may pass out making it more likely for serious accidents to happen. In the most severe cases, alcohol poisoning can lead to coma, brain damage and death.
In the long term, drinking too much alcohol on a regular basis could put more stress on your body causing more of a risk of cancer, heart problems, stroke, live disease and other health problems.
Drugs are chemicals that you take into your body to change the way you feel and act.
There are always risks when you take drugs, even prescribed drugs, but illegal substances can cause serious harm. This is because you will never know what is actually in them and may affect you differently every time you take them.
Some of the risks include addiction, damage to your physical and mental health, falling behind with school or college work, getting involved with crimes, overdosing, or even could result in owing dangerous drug dealers or gangs money if you can afford to pay.
There can be lots of pressure from friends to smoke. People may start as they think it makes them look cool, helps them fit in with a group or even just to try and see what it’s like.
However smoking cigarettes or cannabis can be very addictive and difficult to quit. It can also put a lot of stress on your body, causing you to be more vulnerable to serious diseases such as cancer, lung or heart disease, asthma, and even stress when you become addicted.
If you are concerned about drinking, taking drugs or smoking or you are worried about someone you know, please tell someone you trust.