Substance Misuse

“Substance misuse refers to the use of psychoactive substances in a way that is harmful or hazardous to health. This includes alcohol and illicit drugs. The use of such substances can lead to dependency where cognitive, behavioural and physiological problems develop which results in a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling use, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance, and sometimes a physical withdrawal state.” (WHO, 2017)

Support for alcohol

Alcohol dependence is the most common form of substance misuse, but any drug, including heroin, cocaine, crack and cannabis, comes into this category, as does the misuse of glue and aerosols.


  • Drinkaware help reduce alcohol-related harm by helping people make better choices about their drinking. Click here to find out more.
  • Telephone: 0300 123 1110 – (weekdays 9am–2pm, weekends 11am–4pm)
  • Speak to a trained adviser online here.

Support for drugs

NHS – getting help for a drug addiction: click here.

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