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Why Do Young People Use Drugs and Alcohol?


Why do young people take drugs or alcohol?

There are many reasons why people take drugs, or drink, and it is different for every single person. Some of the most common ones are listed below:

  • You may worry that you will not fit in unless you do
  • You may just want to experiment
  • You may find that taking a particular drug, or drinking, makes you feel more confident, better able to deal with things and may help you face difficult situations
  • You may be stressed, unhappy, or lonely and find that you are turning to drugs or alcohol to help you forget your problems.

When does drug and alcohol use become a problem?

  • Drugs and alcohol can make you feel good for a short period of time; just trying it can make you want to do it again and again
  • If you are taking a drug, or drinking, to help you cope with something like a feeling, or a situation, then you might find, after a while, that you need it every time
  • If you find that you are using drugs or alcohol more often, or using more of it to get the same feelings, there is a risk you could be starting to become dependent on it
  • If your friends frequently use drugs or alcohol, then you are more likely to as well.

What are the dangers of taking drugs and alcohol?

  • Mixing drugs and alcohol can be dangerous; alcohol can increase the effects of some drugs.
  • Can you be sure that you know what you are taking? Drugs can contain other substances added by dealers to make more money, or the drug can be stronger than you expect and this could harm you
  • Sharing equipment, such as needles, can spread blood-borne viruses, such as HIV and Hepatitis.
  • Drug and alcohol use can increase the chance of arguments, fights and accidents
  • Other effects could include: getting into trouble at school, being late, missing lessons or not being able to concentrate
  • Using lots of drugs and alcohol can lead to anxiety, depression and, in some cases, psychosis.