Drugs and alcohol

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Don't delay getting help

Substance misuse is one of the most common and yet preventable risks to a young person’s health and development.

Smoking, drinking and trying drugs is one of the most common ways in which young people may push boundaries. There are things you can do to help your child, but if you think your child may be using alcohol or drugs to help them cope with worries or mental health problems, go to your GP. 

Alcohol changes the way people act and affects their decision making. The more they drink, the less careful they are. This can have serious consequences when it comes to sex and their personal safety.

It is illegal for people under the age of 18 to buy alcohol, it is also illegal for an adult to buy or attempt to buy alcohol on behalf of someone under 18. Alcohol affects different people in different ways and also affects young people differently to adults.

How alcohol can affect children and young people:

  • They are more susceptible to alcohol poisoning. This can lead to passing out, diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Alcohol kills brain cells. Drinking too much while your brain is still developing can cause long-term problems with memory and attention span
  • Not just alcoholics get liver disease, regularly drinking too much can increase their chance of damaging their liver. There are no warning signs, they may not realise anything is wrong until the damage is very serious
  • Alcohol is high in caloried so drinking can make them put on weight. It also dehydrates the body and can make their skin look pale and grey
  • As drinking impairs judgement it can make them more likely to end up in risky situations. Alcohol affects their decision making skills and lowers their inhibitions, inceasing the chance they'll make decisions which they wouldn’t normally, such as having unprotected sex, getting in a fight or walking home alone at night.
  • Lots of young people have at some point experienced ‘cybershame’, by compromising photos being posted online. With it becoming more common for potential universities and employers to look at applicants’ social media profiles, photos of drunken behaviour are not the kind of thing you want them to stumble across.


Most young people don't take drugs

But you probably can’t stop your child from coming into some contact with drugs, but by staying as informed as possible, you can help them make the right choices when they do.

For more information visit: FRANK

Get help for drugs and alcohol abuse
Oasis at Positive Steps in Oldham provides a free and confidential service to all young people (under 19s) who would like some help or advice. They can help children and young people reduce or stop their drug and/or alcohol use. They are flexible with their approach and can work around their needs. They can see children and young people at school, college, or at home.

OASIS operates a referral system and anyone can refer children and/or young people including: the young person themselves, parents/guardians/carers, or professionals from any agency. All we ask is that the young person is aware of the referral and consents to it being made. OASIS offeres parenting support for parents/guardians/carers concerned about their child's/young person's alcohol and/or drug use. This parenting support can be accessed by getting in touch with us.

Positive Steps, Medtia Place, 80 Union Street, Oldham, OL1 1DJ.
Freephone 0800 988 2208  
Monday-Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm (closed weekends and bank holidays)

OASIS is part of the Integrated Sexual Health & Substance Misuse Health Service Offer also with Brook Oldham. Brook is a free, confidential contraception and sexual health service to anyone under the age of 21 living in the Oldham Borough. Brook Oldham has an online appointment booking system with 4 easy clicks and includes same day appointments. You can also use the Ask Brook 24/7 online service.

Brook Oldham Opening hours :
Monday - Friday 10.00am - 5.30pm Appointments and Drop In
Saturday 12.00pm - 01.00pm Drop In (Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays)

Positive Steps, Medtia Place, 80 Union Street, Oldham, Ol1 1DJ
Freephone : 0800 988 2209


Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
T: 0161 770 7777

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