Young People & Drugs: Where To Get Help

by PCSO Andy Smith
Published: Last Updated on

As well as enforcement activity to disrupt drug dealers, we work with many partner agencies to safeguard children and young people. This article provides useful information for young people, parents, and carers about drug use and how to get help and support.

Some young people use drugs because they like the feeling, because their mates are using them, or simply because they are curious — but there are some real dangers associated with using drugs, including a serious impact on your mental and physical health, relationships, education, safety, and your future life chances.

Being under the influence of drugs can make you act and behave differently to how you might ordinarily behave. This might include getting into situations which you wouldn’t usually put yourself in, taking risks you wouldn’t usually take — such as getting into fights, risky sexual encounters, getting into trouble with the police, or putting yourself at risk of getting into situations.

There are lots of different types of drugs; they are generally grouped into hallucinogens (such as mushrooms and LSD), depressants (such as alcohol and solvents), and stimulants (such as cocaine and amphetamines) — however, it is worth noting that MDMA (aka ecstasy) acts as a stimulant and a hallucinogen. Each has different effects on the body and brings its own set of risks and problems.

No drug is risk-free. But if you are going to use drugs then it’s important to be informed and to know the facts — people often think they know about drugs when actually all they know are urban myths and rumours that other people have told them. Being misinformed can lead to poor decisions. So why not find out more by visiting the talktoFRANK website?

Information for parents and carers

As your child enters adolescence it can be difficult to know how much control to relinquish as you both try to adapt to new boundaries; they may want to stay out later, see different friends and go to new places. Of course, part of growing up is exploring, learning, and experiencing new things but, as parents and carers, you want them to do it safely.

Where to get further support

Early Help — age 0–19

North Yorkshire County Council’s Early Help Teams work closely with families, schools, health teams, and other key partners to provide the right level of support at the right time. They will support you with concerns you may have about your child/young person. It could be around behaviour, difficulties at school, routines and boundaries, or other problems you may be facing. The Children and Families Worker will build on your family’s strengths and work with you to find solutions. Telephone: 01609 780780. Visit the website and send a message:

Healthy Child Team York — age 5–19

The NHS’s Healthy Child Team promotes and protects the health and wellbeing of all children and young people. They work with families to empower them and enable them to make informed decisions about health, and to support them in transitioning safely and happily into adult life. Telephone: 01609 780780 or 01904 554444

Compass REACH — age 9–19 years

Compass REACH is the specialist young people’s drug and alcohol treatment provider for those young people who have been screened as having moderate or high levels of need with regard to substance misuse/alcohol. or telephone: 01609 777662 or freephone: 0800 008 7452

North Yorkshire Horizons — age 18+

North Yorkshire Horizons is the adult drug and alcohol recovery service for North Yorkshire. They provide a range of free, confidential and non-judgemental services for individuals and their families. Telephone: 01723 330730

Useful websites

Frank — for honest information about drugs

The Mix — essential support for young people from relationships to drugs to money

Mentor-ADEPIS — information for schools and practitioners working in drug and alcohol prevention

Rise Above Digital Hub — Public Health campaign resources for practitioners

Fearless — non-judgemental advice about crime and drugs for young people. You can also report information anonymously

Crimestoppers — anonymous reporting

Always call 999 in an emergency.

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