In this section you will find information about drugs, alcohol, and Organisations you can contact for Support, Advice and Guidance.
A drug is something that changes how you feel and act. Some drugs are prescribed by a doctor for illnesses, but when people talk about drugs they usually mean drugs that are illegal or unsafe.
When you are taking drugs that weren’t prescribed by a doctor, there are many risks you can face:
- damage to your physical or mental health
- becoming addicted and needing the drug(s) to function
- losing touch with loved ones
- falling behind with school work
- it is difficult to know what is ACTUALLY in the drug
- overdosing or having a bad experience
- in extreme circumstances, there is a risk of death
- breaking the law and getting in trouble with the police
For more information, check out this video by Childline talking about drugs and addiction:
You could get in trouble with the police if they find you with any controlled drugs – ‘controlled’ means that the law states when it is okay to possess or supply a drug, and when it isn’t.
It is an offence if you:
- possess a controlled drug (unless you have a prescription, in your name)
- possess a controlled drug with the intention of supplying it to someone else (giving, selling or sharing)
- unlawfully supply (give, sell, share) a controlled drug to someone else
- allow other people to use drugs in your home
Sharing drugs amongst friends is considered to be ‘supplying’ by the law.
Alcohol is a drug that is legal to consume if you are over 18; this includes alcoholic drinks, such as beer, wine and spirits.
In excess, alcohol can have negative effects on your physical and mental health. It is important to drink in moderation. If you want to find out more about how to drink responsibly and how to keep track of your alcohol units, check out Drinkaware HERE.
Some of the effects of alcohol include:
- reduce your awareness of what is going on around you
- reduce your reaction times, increasing the risk of accidents happening
- increasing confidence, making you feel invincible, which can lead to making bad decisions
- making you vulnerable which allows others to take advantage of you
- increase in violent tendencies
- drinking too much can make you vomit and pass out. This leaves you vulnerable and prone to choking
- drinking too much over a long period of time can cause damage your heart, stomach, and brain
Another risk is drinking too much which can lead to alcoholism. This is when you are addicted to drinking alcohol and need it to function in your day-to-day life.
You may feel peer pressure to drink, but remember: it’s OKAY to say NO to things if you don’t feel comfortable. It can be hard to say no to your friends, but it’s not okay for them to pressure you. Childline has a great guide on peer pressure, which you can read HERE.
Check out this video by Childline talking about alcohol and why people drink:
It is legal in the UK to buy and consume alcohol if you are over the age of 18, although you may be asked for ID to prove you are old enough.
The police have the power to stop a person and confiscate alcohol in a public place if they reasonably suspect the person to be aged under 18. Young people under 18 who persistently drink or are found possessing alcohol in public places may be prosecuted.
It’s illegal for an adult to buy alcohol for someone aged under 18, except where that person buys beer, wine or cider for someone aged 16 or 17 to be drunk with a table meal while accompanied by a person over 18.
If you want to know more about alcohol, its effects, and the laws covering this topic, head over to FRANK which provides lots of helpful information.
Here is a list of services that can offer information, advice and support if you are concerned about yourself or someone else:
TEDS – We are a voluntary agency offering FREE and CONFIDENTIAL services to users of drugs or alcohol throughout Cwm Taf.
DAN 24/7 – Wales’ Drug and Alcohol Helpline.
FRANK – Find out everything you need to know about drugs, their effects and the law. Talk to Frank for facts, support and advice on drugs and alcohol today.
Barod – Free, confidential, non-judgement advice and support.
Childline – Get help and advice about a wide range of issues, call us on 0800 1111, talk to a counsellor online, send Childline an email or post on the message boards.
AlcoholChangeUK – Alcohol Change UK is a leading UK alcohol charity, formed from the merger of Alcohol Concern and Alcohol Research UK.
Drinkaware – Independent alcohol advice, information and tools to help people make better choices about their drinking.