For Parents – Information on Drugs and Alcohol
While some experimentation with drugs or alcohol may be expected for many young people, using drugs and alcohol to excess can make mental health difficulties worse. A lot of young people recognise that drinking or taking drugs can help them feel better in the short term but can make them feel worse the next day or in the long run.
As a parent, you may not be familiar with some of the drugs in common use. Ketamine, for example, has become quite a big problem in many cities in the UK. Some drugs may be quite safe in small amounts, others less so – make sure you are up-to-date and can give sensible advice. It isn’t always realistic to preach complete avoidance, although many young people don’t drink or use recreational drugs at all. For those who do try, having access to reliable information and non-judgemental parents will go a long way to keeping them safe.
The links below offer unbiased advice on drugs and alcohol including information on many of the newer drugs and their effects. There are also helplines both for young people and for parents and family.
- Teenage parties, drugs; what are the signs, underage drinking, where to get help for your teen about drugs and an A-Z guide
- True Stories and a video about dealing with addiction to drugs or alcohol Three parents share their stories of coping with their child’s addiction including sections on ‘What signs should I look out for?’ and ‘What should I do if my teen has become dependent on drugs or alcohol?’
- Worried your child is taking drugs? FRANK Live chat, email. Accessible, non-judgemental and up-to-date information on drugs for young people and parents
- Drink Aware information on underage drinking
- Alcohol and drugs – what parents need to know from the Royal College of Psychiatry
- Drug dealing – how young people are recruited, how to spot the signs and how to find help
Drugs and Alcohol
Honest advice and safety tips for young people
- How to tell if you have a drug problem, the risks of taking drugs, what to do if you’re being pressured and how to get help if you’re worried
- Young Minds information on drugs and alcohol- looking after yourself
- How to tell if you have a drinking problem
- Am I drinking too much? Alcohol calculator
- Frank- honest information about drugs and their effects
- Club drugs. This webpage explains what club drugs are, their positive and negative effects and has a useful mini questionnaire.
- What are legal highs?
- What are the risks of ketamine?
- Think you might need some help with drugs or alcohol? Addaction is one of the UK’s leading mental health, drug and alcohol charities working with adults and young people
- Drink and drugs – expert articles like ‘How legit are DIY drug testing kits?’ to blogs like “I was a teenage drug Dealer”
- Information on drugs and alcohol and their effect on mental health– this includes Joe’s story, age 14 and his experience with drugs.
- The Mix explains what happens if you are caught with drugs
My mum or dad has a drug or alcohol problem
- Worried about a parent’s drinking? Support for young people who are worried their parents are drinking too much
- Living with an alcohol-dependant adult Support, advice and some real-life stories
- National Association for Children of Alcoholics Support for children and other family members with a free Helpline
- Parents Under Pressure NSPCC 20-week support for parents who have a child under 5 and are on a drug or alcohol treatment programme.
- Developing Health & Independence Adult treatment services that also provide support to family members