Alcohol & drugs

These days, drugs can be found almost everywhere, and it may seem like everyone's doing them.
Lots of people are tempted by the excitement or escape that drugs seem to offer. But learning the facts about drugs can help you see the risks of chasing this excitement or escape. Here's what you need to know.


 Marijuana | Ice | Speed | Ecstacy | Cocaine | Heroin | GHB | Alcohol & Tobacco


As a teenager it’s probably highly likely that you’ll come into contact with alcohol and drugs. As well as being illegal, drugs and underage drinking can impair your judgement, make you more vunerable and more likely to engage in unsafe sex.

Aside from putting yourself at risk of STIs and pregnancy, you can also put yourself in an exposed, defenceless situation, which can be a real issue if you don’t want to have sex with someone.

There are also a heap of other risks associated with taking drugs and alcohol. These include:

  • Drink driving and road accidents
  • Fights
  • Criminal activity.

And then there are the hangovers, vomiting, head spins and passing out which all come with drinking too much and taking drugs.

So, given all the risks and downsides it is better to avoid drugs and alcohol altogether.

 

Safe drug and alcohol using

Of course the safest thing is not to use alcohol and drugs! But, if you choose to do it, here are some general tips to keep safe:

  • It is your choice, not someone else's! Don't feel pressured into drinking or using anything.
  • Find out about it first. Do some research and know what the effects are likely to be.
  • Never share injecting equipment with anyone.
  • Never try to drive or operate machinery after taking a drug or drinking.
  • Don't be pressured into drinking more or taking more of a drug because others are doing it. If you feel you've had enough, just stop.
  • If someone collapses, get help urgently - call an ambulance. Give the ambulance staff or doctors honest information about any drugs or alcohol taken.

Saying no

Peer pressure means it can sometimes be hard to say no to trying Cigarettes, drugs and drinking alcohol. Here are four tips to help you:

  1. Stay away from places where you know drugs and alcohol will be.
  2. Be assertive and just say no. You have every right to.
  3. If ‘no’ is too hard to say, try the following:
    • "Cheers, but not for me thanks"
    • "I'm cutting back"
    • "I can't tonight, I’ve got a big day ahead tomorrow"
  4. Work out the things that give you a natural good feeling and do them instead.

Think you may have a drinking or drug problem?

My friend thinks I have a drinking and drug problem. What should I do?
Taylor*

Using alcohol or drugs regularly is usually just a step away from addiction — where you depend on these substances to feel good or get through your day.

Here are a few warning signs that someone may have a substance abuse problem:

  • relying on drugs or alcohol to have fun, forget problems, or relax
  • having blackouts
  • drinking or using drugs while alone
  • withdrawing or keeping secrets from friends or family
  • losing interest in activities that used to be important
  • performing differently in school (such as grades dropping and frequent absences)
  • building an increased tolerance to alcohol or drugs — gradually needing more and more of the substance to get the same feeling
  • lying, stealing, or selling stuff to get money for drugs or alcohol

It's usually hard for people to recognize they have a problem, which is why friends or family often step in. People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol may promise over and over that they'll stop. But quitting is hard to do, and many people find they can't do it without help. The best thing you can do is to talk to someone you trust — preferably an adult who can support you — so you don't have to deal with your problem alone.

Lots of resources are available for people with substance abuse problems. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous offer information and recovery programs for teens.
The Alcohol and Drug Information hotline is (800) 729-6686.

More info

If you want to talk to someone about drugs and alcohol, or you or someone you know has a drug or alcohol problem, check out our Help & Advice page for a list of contacts you can talk to.

To find out more info on drugs and alcohol, check out the following websites:

Where’s Your Head At
Find out the fact about drugs and alcohol and meet a stack of young people who are clear-headed and clear of illegal drugs. Also included is a list of information and support servicesif you want to find out about drugs and alcohol or if you or a friend are looking for help and support.
http://www.drugs.health.gov.au/internet/drugs/publishing.nsf/Content/youth-home

For information or help about drugs call the National Drugs Campaign Info Line on 1800 250 015 (freecall).

OxyGen
A website dedicated to informing you about tobacco and its use in Australia. The information on OxyGen allows you to explore all the facts about smoking and the tobacco industry.
www.oxygen.org.au

Teens Health
Smoking, drinking, and doing drugs can really affect people's lives. Is your life affected? Discover the truth in this section.
http://kidshealth.org/teen/drug_alcohol/
http://kidshealth.org/teen/drug_alcohol/drugs/know_about_drugs.html