Alcohol and Other Drugs
Drugs and alcohol affect the the chemical messaging processes in your brain, so it’s difficult to predict how you will respond to them. Everyone is different. Every drug is different. And with illegal drugs you never quite know exactly what’s in them.
If you’re going through a tough time, it can be tempting to use drugs and alcohol as a coping strategy. However, these are addictive substances that can cause you to feel worse – anxious and agitated, or flat, unmotivated and moody. Your sense of reality can be affected too.
Some people with mental health concerns can also develop problems with drugs and alcohol, which may also need treatment.
Minimising the Risks:
Regardless of how regularly or how much you use drugs or alcohol, it’s important to keep safe.
- Take it easy on the alcohol. Pace yourself and drink plenty of water.
- Set a limit on your drug and alcohol use – what you take and drink, and how much – and think about who can help you keep on track.
- Don’t mix drugs as you have no way of predicting how they will react together.
- Don’t use drugs alone. Ensure friends are nearby and ask for help if things don’t feel right.
- If you or a mate are in trouble, call triple zero (000). Emergency services are there to help, not dob you in.
- Use clean and hygienic tools to minimise the risk of infections and disease.
- If you are prescribed medication, talk with your health professional about any harmful interactions.
Having a strong support network around you is really important if you have decided to take action to change your drug and alcohol habits. Support from friends and family is essential; they will provide reassurance and encouragement when you need it most.
You may need professional support to help you reduce your drug or alcohol use. A General Practitioner (GP) is a good place to start. They can give you information and refer you to other services for treatment, such as counselling or drug rehabilitation. You can also self-refer to some services.
Helplines such as the beyondblue Support Service or DrugInfo can provide information and direct you towards the right services.
Drug and alcohol services are available online, over the phone or in person, so you can link in to support in a way that you feel comfortable. Many people find it helpful to share their experiences with others going through the same thing, so you might think about joining a group in your local area.
For more information, visit beyondblue
Or contact the Australian Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1800 422 599
For local Alcohol and Other Drug Services see: here