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Drink and drugs

Drinking alcohol or taking drugs can lead to bad decisions and damage your health.

Even if you're not the one using, help and support is available.



You should wait until you are old enough to drink, but in a recent survey 18% of you aged 10, 12 and 14 reported you had been drunk in a four week period. That is 3% higher than the England average.

Don't feel pressured into drinking. If you're under 18 it's illegal for someone to sell or serve you alcohol. It can change the way you act and feel, encourage you to make bad choices and damage your health.



It can change the way you act and feel, encourage you to make bad choices and damage your health.  


One unit of alcohol is half a pint of beer or cider or a small glass of wine. Women over 18 shouldn't exceed 2-3 units daily and no more than 14 units a week, and men over 18 should drink no more than 3-4 or 21 units a week.

These limits are harmful to those under 18 - try the unit calculator to see what you drink.



You may worry about what drugs can do to you, or friends getting involved or someone tempting you to have a go.

Heroin, cocaine, speed and cannabis are all dangerous, but prescription drugs such as painkillers can be harmful - especially if mixed with alcohol. Solvent based glues and aerosols can be extremely dangerous if you sniff them - even on the first go.

Mephedrone ('meow meow' or 'M-Cat'), a 'legal high' (an intoxicating drug available without a prescription and not restricted by law) has not been tested, so users don't know what they're taking, the risks or long-term effects.

After two teenage deaths, the drug became an illegal Class B substance. Legal does not mean safe.