The most recent data tells us that cannabis and alcohol are the most common substances that young people are seeking help with. However, the landscape of young people’s substance use is forever changing. The prominence of certain substances differs from region to region. Contact your local service to find out more on which substances are more prominent in your area.
Young people’s attitudes and behaviours are influenced by the world they live in and the adults around them, so exposure to substance using behaviour by adult role models will increase the likelihood of the young person experimenting with alcohol or drugs.
There are, of course, young people that are more vulnerable to risk than others. Risk factors include abuse and neglect (including emotional abuse), truanting from school, offending, early sexual activity, antisocial behaviour and being exposed to parental substance misuse (also known as hidden harm). By using substances young people can become more vulnerable to Child Sexual or Criminal Exploitation. Those that use more than one substance (poly-drug use) become more vulnerable also due to the mixture of substances.