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Drugs and Alcohol


Most young people will come into contact with some form or drugs at some point during their life.  The majority of teenagers make the decision not to take them but if they do it can be for a number of reasons:-

  • Rebellion;

  • Peer pressure; or

  • Curiosity

As a parent/carer it is a good idea to fully understand the facts around drugs.  Talk openly with your child about drugs and the risks and different effects that they have, this could help them feel more comfortable and confident about making the right choices both now and in the future.

Legal Highs

What are these you may ask.  Legal Highs are psychoactive drugs that contain various chemical ingredients, some of which are illegal while others are not.  They produce similar effects to illegal drugs like cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy.

These are sold in a variety of forms:-

  • powder;
  • pills;
  • liquids;
  • capsules; to name just a few examples.

The main difference is that they are not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act.  Although the mimic the effects of illegal drugs, they are chemically and structurally different enough to avoid being officially classed as illegal substances.

One of the biggest problems is that little research has gone into their effects, especially over the longer term.  However, if they produce similar psychological effects as cocaine, ecstasy or cannabis, they are also likely to carry similar risks and may some will have new risks that are not known about yet.


Children can be drawn into alcohol even if their first experience of it is unpleasant.  They may not like the taste or the feeling of being drunk but often they continue to drink.

It is important for them to understand the risks of underage drinking and evidence shows that meaningful conversations between parents and their children help the child develop a sensible relationship with alcohol.

For advice, tips and facts please look at the Parent Guide to talking to Children by clicking:-


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