Alcohol and Substance Misuse

Support Available for Young People & Families

Drug and alcohol misuse is a complex issue. While the number of people with a serious problem is relatively small, someone’s substance misuse and dependency affects everybody around them. Substance abuse covers misuse of a range of mind-altering substances. It can have a severe impact on your functioning as well as your physical health. Substance abuse or misuse is formally defined as the continued misuse of any mind-altering substance that severely affects a person’s physical and mental health, social situation and responsibilities. Alcohol dependence is the most common form of substance misuse, but any drug, including heroin, cocaine, crack and cannabis, comes into this category, as does the misuse of glue and aerosols.

There are many reasons why you may start to use any of these substances. You may begin because of curiosity, rebellion, or influence from peers. You may find the experience enjoyable and want to repeat it. It may start when you are unhappy or stressed or trying to cope with problems in your life. Drugs, alcohol, nicotine, solvents and even food can start as ‘props’ to help you get through difficult times. But the feelings of relief are only temporary and, as the problems don’t disappear, you may use more and more of these substances and risk becoming dependent on them – which creates new problems and lead to significant health concerns or death. Substance abuse can also contribute to social problems such as unemployment, relationship breakdowns, domestic abuse and homelessness.

The school is here to support you now and in the weeks, months and years ahead. The below support is available for anyone who may need it-

  • Speak to your PSL; this can be a pre-arranged time or pop in to the guidance base.
  • Talk to any trusted adult in school
  • If you feel you need more support we can refer to support services such as Rebecca Shannon, our school counsellor.

The below links may also be helpful:

Parent/ Carer Support-

We are here to offer support so please don’t hesitate to call the school or email your child’s PSL if you would like to discuss anything.

The below links may also be helpful for you when having difficult conversations or supporting yourself or your family through substance misuse:

Addiction can be very difficult, and it is important that non-judgemental support is available. We are not a health service, but we are happy to signpost you to services which may provide the support your family needs.