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What are drugs?
The most common types of drugs are:
- Everyday substances - coffee and prescription medication
- Legal (for people over 18) – cigarettes and alcohol
- Illegal – speed, cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis (marijuana)
Most drugs are illegal for people under the age of 18, as they’re very harmful to your health and wellbeing.
Why do people use drugs?
There are lots of reasons why someone might use drugs and alcohol. Some people use drugs to:
Fit in with friends
Cope with feelings
What are the risks of using drugs?
Because drug use can have serious risks, most drugs are illegal for people under 18.
Drugs can be harmful to your mind and body, especially while you're still growing and changing.
Other problems that drugs can cause are:
- Illness or injury
- Loss of friendships
- Problems at home
- Impact on school work
- Poor decision making
- Trouble with the law
- Negative side effects eg dehydration, feeling sick
- Issues with memory, problem solving and learning
Who can help?
If you’re thinking about using a drug, or worry about your own or someone else’s drug use, here’s who can help:
How can counselling help?
Counselling can be a way to help you:
Talk about what’s worrying you
Understand why you’re drawn to using drugs and alcohol
Talk about how drugs and alcohol can affect you
Find out information, tips and who else can help
Find ways to cope without using drugs and alcohol
Help you weigh up the pros and cons of drug and alcohol use
Learn how to limit drug and alcohol use
Learn ways to reduce the risks
Tips for staying away from drugs and alcohol
It can be hard to turn down the offer of drugs or alcohol in the moment, especially when you’re hanging out with friends.
Here are some suggestions that can help:
Learn more about certain types of drugs and the impact they can have
Don’t be afraid to say no – if they’re true friends they’ll respect your choice
Talk about it with your friends – share your worries around drug use so they know not to pressure you into doing something you don’t really want to do
Walk away or make an excuse to leave if you feel pressured or uncomfortable
Plan ahead – if you think there might be drugs or alcohol at a party, plan what you might say or do if you get into an uncomfortable situation
Be true to yourself – stick by your choices and don’t give in to the need to ‘fit in’
Talk to someone – if you’re feeling pressured or have concerns around drug use, talk to someone you trust
"Everybody is different. We can help you figure out where you stand with drugs and alcohol."
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