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Drugs and alcohol advice for young people, parents and families

It's important to know that there is advice and support available to young people and their parents and families in helping them understand the impact of drugs and alcohol and to support them in making the right choices.  


Some facts about alcohol:

  • 10,000 young people go to hospital every year because they have been drinking.
  • More than one in ten 15 and 16-year-olds are involved in an accident caused by drinking.
  • Early drinking can lead to risky and antisocial behavior and contributes to the 3 leading causes of death amongst young people: unintentional injuries, homicide & suicide.
Drinking too much alcohol when you're under 18 also has negative effects on your physical appearance and mental health. Too much alcohol can:
  • Make you put on weight, as well as bloating your face and stomach.
  • Alcohol is a depressant, which means it can disrupt that balance of chemicals in your brain, affecting your thoughts, feelings and actions - and sometimes your long-term mental health.
  • Can cause skin disorders and permanent scars on the face and body.
  • Alcohol can contribute to feelings of anxiety and make stress harder to deal with. Don't assume it will make a bad feeling go away, it's more likely to exaggerate it.


There may be many reasons why people try drugs or start to use them regularly, the pleasure you think they will bring, the good time you think you will have, the more confident you think you will be or to escape from your problems. Unfortunately they do none of these, once the drugs wear off the problems or feelings remain or may be worse. Different drugs have different short and long term effects on your health and wellbeing, from feeling paranoid, depressed and anxious to becoming addicted, drugs have an extremely negative effect on your physical and mental health.   

There is support available to help you understand more about the effects of alcohol and drugs follow the links below for information:

Support for young people  

To find information about getting help for drug addiction, visit the NHS website .

Support for parents and families

Research shows that if parents talk to children and young people about alcohol then they are more likely to grow up with a sensible attitude towards alcohol and drugs.  A helpful website if you are concerned about your child is Talk to Frank. There is a helpline if you want to talk to someone and lots of advice on what to do next. Other websites that you will find useful are:

Local support

Herefordshire Recovery Service, run by Turning Point and Healthwatch Herefordshire, provide a free and confidential support service for adults and young people in the county.  You can self-refer into the service by completing the online referral form, calling 0300 555 0747 or e-mailing  They also offer a range of online self-help tools.

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