There are many reasons why people use substances. Some experiment while others use them as a way of coping with difficulties. However, the substances themselves often become the difficulty whereas the original problem could have been solved or become easier over time.
Legal substances such as alcohol or tobacco, or illegal ones such as cannabis, ecstasy or cocaine can seriously affect your life, causing long-term damage or even death. When it gets out of control, the substance usually begins to control the user. The more of a substance a person uses, the more tolerance they build up so they need more to get the same effect. Aside from the cost, every area of a person's life can be affected, from health through to relationships, school or work.
Some illegal substances can have a serious impact on your mental health. Some can be physically addictive, while others cause a psychological addiction with the user thinking that they need to use the substance to feel okay. Sometimes this is why people might not want to stop using substances or find that it is much harder to stop than they thought.
Frank gives information, support and advice on drugs. Tel: 0800 77 66 00
Drugaid - Choices. They are based at Allied House, Ground Floor, Perrots Road, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, SA61 2HD. Telephone number 01554 755779.
Drugaid's Choices Service offers support, preventative and harm reduction information, and therapeutic and practical interventions to children, young people and families in relation to the use of drugs and alcohol. Choices deliver outreach campaigns and offer training and ongoing consultancy and support to universal, targeted and specialist services.
Dan 24/7 (opens new window) provides a free and bilingual telephone helpine providing a single point of contact for anyone in Wales wanting further information and / or help relating to drugs and / or alcohol.
This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Tel: 0808 808 2234 (Free from landlines but some mobiles may charge for this service)
The Dan 24/7 Drugs A to Z (opens new window) website has an A to Z of drugs to show you what drugs look like, the risks of taking them, the slang names drugs go by and information about the legal penalties for possessing and supplying drugs.
Young Minds (opens new window) has user-friendly advice for young people and their parents on the effects of using cannabis (surveys suggest that one in three young people have tried cannabis by the age of 16 years).
Family Lives (opens new window)offers a confidential parentline on 0808 800 2222 for advice, information and support on any aspect of parenting and family life
If you have a teenager and are worried about drugs and alcohol link directly to Family Lives advice here: Family Lives - Drugs and Alcohol (opens new window)