Why people take drugs
There are lots of reasons why people take drugs. Some people try drugs because friends are doing it or to look popular in front of people. Some people think drugs can help them forget about feeling sad or hopeless, problems at home or problems at school. And some people may like the thought of doing something dangerous or illegal.
Sometimes people are put under pressure to take drugs.
All drugs are potentially dangerous and taking drugs - especially if you are unsure what they are can be fatal.
Points to remember about taking drugs:
- You never know exactly what’s in them (sometimes drugs are mixed with other substances even things which are really harmful)
- You can’t be sure how they’ll affect you each time you take them
- Drugs can have long-term side effects
- Some drugs are highly addictive and can be hard to stop even if you know they’re bad for you
Risks of taking drugs
There are risks in taking any kind of drugs. Some common risks are:
- damage to your physical and mental health
- becoming addicted and feeling like you can’t cope without drugs
- falling behind with school work
- falling out with family and friends
- getting into trouble with the police or involved in a crime.
- being more likely to do dangerous things
- overdosing or having a bad experience from what you’ve taken, also known as a ‘bad trip’
- owing money to drug dealers or gangs who may become violent if you can’t pay
Substance misuse is not limited to certain groups of people. While some individuals are considered more ‘at risk’, it is something that could potentially affect anyone.
Having access to accurate information on drugs, alcohol and the associated dangers allows people to make informed choices. This information can come from a range of sources including parents, siblings, friends, schools, local centres such as youth clubs or family centres, and the family GP.
There are a range of services available in Enfield to help people who use drugs or misuse alcohol. These provide support such as information, advice and talking therapies. They help individuals to think about why they use drugs or drink alcohol and help them to stop. Alternatively speak to your GP or someone you trust.
The information in the links below might be helpful to you and lets you know where you can get confidential support. If you are at all worried you can talk to an adult you trust, for example a teacher or youth worker.
Alternatively, you can talk to Childline by calling free on 0800 1111 or online through 1-2-1 counsellor chat.
If you ever have immediate concerns about your own welfare or safety or the safety of another person always dial 999. Always tell someone if you have taken anything, especially if you feel unwell.
Youth Enfield health and wellbeing
Enfield Council’s Youth Development Service and Public Health in partnership, have developed a programme to support the delivery of social prescribing in Enfield. The health and wellbeing youth worker will be a link person in supporting, directing and offering tailored programmes to engage young people in positive activities.
The role of a health and wellbeing youth worker is to:
- be a friendly source of information
- help you to identify the wider issues that may be affecting your health and wellbeing
- introduce you to community groups, positive activities and the wider offer available for young people in Enfield
- support you to be happy
- provide you with one to one support that is tailored to your needs and interests
- help you to set achievable goals
A personal plan will be created in consultation with you and your family, accessing community provisions, activities and support to address social, emotional and mental health concerns. You will be informed of what positive activities are on offer such as Youth Alive, the youth offer on Youth Enfield, and any other providers and uniformed services in Enfield. All this whilst working with you through your personal plan.
For more information on social prescribing, visit NHS.UK.