Substance Use - Alcohol and Other Drugs

Most young people who try drugs or alcohol do not develop substance use problems. For some, it can become a problem.

During your teenage and young adult years, you will likely be faced with decisions about drinking or using other drugs. Adolescence and young adulthood is a time for trying new things, and deciding whether to use alcohol and other drugs is a personal decision. The decisions that you make can have an impact not only on yourself, but on others in your life as well. Some young people will choose not to use substances, others will try them and decide not to use again, and a small percentage will continue to use.

Substances include

  • alcohol
  • illegal or street drugs (examples include marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine, heroin, or crystal meth)
  • prescription drugs which are used in a non-medical way (in a way not prescribed by a doctor)
  • over-the-counter medicines which are used for recreational rather than medical purposes

All substances have risks associated with them, and their use can negatively impact your current life and future dreams.

In this section you will find information and resources for dealing with substance use.

Although alcohol is a drug, we have created a separate section for it because it is the drug that is most commonly used by young people, and its use carries a number of potential harms.

Our goal is to help you better understand how the use of alcohol and other drugs is impacting you, and to give you tips on how to reduce potential harms.