The impact of drink and drug use

It is difficult to make generalised statements about the extent to which drinking or drug taking cause problems. How drugs affect someone depends very much on the individual characteristics of that person, for example.

Tobacco smoking is an exception. No one (except tobacco manufacturers) disputes the fact that cigarette smoking damages health, for example, or that five out of ten smokers who die do so because of smoking related illness.

All drugs have the potential to cause harm. But with most drugs, the effects depend on who, how and where as much as on what substance is being used.

Whether it's time to cut down, or whether it's time to stop completely, are decisions that individuals need to make for themselves.

The families and friends of drug users will have an extremely important role in this process. They may be the only people in a position to know - and communicate to them - the impact of that person's drug use on the people around them.

For further information call 0800 081 0700