Alcohol and drugs
Drugs and alcohol can have a major impact on the health and lives of people who use them, as well as on their family, friends, work colleagues and the community as a whole.
Alcohol causes a range of health issues including seven types of cancer. Any level of regular drinking raises your risk.
Using drugs, such as cannabis, crack, heroin and cocaine is illegal and can also cause serious health and social issues. What's more, anyone selling drugs can receive a criminal record and in some cases a prison sentence.
Taking prescription-only medication that has not been prescribed for you is also dangerous. Mixing substances (including alcohol) increases the risk of harmful effects even further.
Drug and alcohol abuse can cause:
- mental health problems
- long and short term issues with physical health
- financial difficulties
- friction in all types of relationships
Where to start
- Better Health - tips and information to help you cut down on alcohol
- Alcohol advice - detailed information on the harmful effects of alcohol
- NHS - Alcohol in pregnancy - the dangers of drinking alcohol while pregnant
- Frank - essential facts and advice on drug and substance misuse
- What's the harm - information on the use and effects of alcohol on young people, including a guide for parents on talking to their children
- Alcoholics Anonymous - national information, advice, support and help for those with drinking problems
- Narcotics Anonymous - help, support and meetings for substance users
Support in Gateshead
- Gateshead Recovery Partnership - drug and alcohol service for adults
Free tools to help you cut down on alcohol
- NHS Drink Free Days app
Reduce my risk: Balance NE - test your knowledge about the harmful effects of alcohol
More help from your GP
If you have concerns about alcohol or drug misuse, you can discuss these in detail with your local GP.
They will assess the severity and nature of your problem and either offer you an appropriate treatment directly, or refer you to a specialist service.