Alcohol and drugs
Alcohol and drugs are the two most common addictions people battle on a daily basis.
The Northern Trust Addiction Service aims to offer help, guidance and advice to those who are experiencing problems with alcohol and drugs by providing an individually tailored, non-judgemental, confidential and accessible service.
The Community Support Service supports communities in the Northern Trust area on alcohol and drug issues such as underage drinking, binge drinking, hidden harm and tackling alcohol and drug related antisocial behaviour.
Alcohol is the nation's favourite drug of choice! Alcohol in moderation can be part of a healthy balanced diet however it can be easily misused.
Drinking alcohol can contribute to a range of illnesses and diseases including heart disease, cancers and liver disease. It is a major cost to the health service and is also related to a number of problems such as anti-social behaviour, domestic violence and domestic issues.
In the UK, alcohol kills up to 35, 000 people each year through alcohol related illnesses and accidents.
Most parents are worried about young people trying drugs however alcohol also causes a lot of harm.
The Department of Health recommends that people follow sensible drinking guidelines to control and monitor the amount of alcohol they drink and to ensure that they are not at risk of binge drinking.
Drug use varies widely across cultures, people and places. The main illicit drugs misused by people in Northern Ireland are cannabis and ecstasy. Young people try drugs for various reasons including experimentation, to fit in with their peers, to take a risk and to help cope with difficult feelings or situations.
The effects of drugs depends on the type of drug taken. Depressant drugs such as sleeping tablets, solvents and cannabis slow down the brain and the way the body works. Stimulant drugs such as speed and cocaine have the opposite effect and speed up the brain and how the body works. Hallucinogen drugs such as magic mushrooms and LSD change how you see and hear things. Drugs from the opiate such as heroin, morphine and codeine reduce pain.
There are a number of risks from taking drugs and if you are worried about someone you know and suspect that they may be taking drugs there are various signs of drug use that you can look out for.
For more information and advice on alcohol and drugs please contact the Health Improvement/ Community Development Service on 028 2563 5575.
There are a number of organisations which deliver support and help for those concerned about drugs or alcohol issues, as well as offering a variety of education programmes for young people and adults on alcohol and drugs.
Page last updated:28 January 2013