Substance misuse and addiction
The misuse of alcohol and other drugs can have a damaging impact on individuals, families and communities. It is important to get support if you or someone you know needs help to manage a substance use issue.
Substance misuse is the harmful use of substances (like drugs and alcohol) for non-medical purposes. Often associated with the use of illicit drugs, legal substances can also be misused, such as alcohol, prescription or over-the-counter medication, caffeine, nicotine and volatile substances (e.g. petrol, glue, paint).
Addiction is a physical and/or psychological need for a substance, due to regular, continued use. Some substances are highly addictive, others are less addictive. However, the symptoms of addiction are similar no matter which substance is used.
Are you or someone you know experiencing substance misuse?
People use substances for multiple and complex reasons including to relax, have fun, dull emotional or physical pain, or to escape from problems or difficulties experienced in life. Below are some common signs of substance misuse or addiction but be mindful that these are just some examples and each individual may experience and respond in different ways.
There are many avenues of support for those impacted by substance misuse and addiction. These include: