Drugs and alcohol

Drugs and alcohol refers to substances which we use to change the way our brain works. This includes how we think, feel and behave. Substance usage involves the interaction of the drug, individual personality and the social environment. Common positive effects of the drug include feeling happy, relaxed and of course 'getting high'. This allows individuals to feel less inhibited, depending on the substance it may heighten or dull their senses. Substance usage is also influenced by social and cultural expectations such as partying, peer pressure, and other rituals and customs which become part of our lifestyle.

However any substance we use has an impact on our health. A harm-minimisation approach considers the actual harm associated with the use of a particular drug (rather than just the drug use itself), and how this harm can be reduced.

Prolonged or heavy use of a drug will lead to drug tolerance. Tolerance means that you must take more of the drug to feel the same effects you used to have with smaller amounts. It can also lead to problems related to drug dependence and addiction.

Additional external links and resources

  1. Learn about alcoholism
  2. Teen Drug abuse resources
  3. Party drugs
  4. The Australian Drug Foundation