Substance misuse

Types of substance misuse

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What are the different ways you might experience substance misuse?

The substances we choose to use can be influenced by what we enjoy, past experiences, culture, what’s available and what’s socially accepted.

Any substance can be misused, but the most common include:

  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine (cigarettes or vapes)
  • Illicit drugs (such as ice, cocaine, heroin, weed, ecstasy, and others)
  • Prescription medication (such as painkillers, sleeping tablets, antidepressants and others)
  • Petrol, glue, synthetic drugs & other substances.

Substance misuse can look completely different for everyone. It might involve different substances, but also misusing them in different ways.

For example, in the case of alcohol, misuse could look like any of the following:

  • Drinking before you go to work, or to get through the day
  • Binge drinking
  • Excessive drinking on the weekend
  • Excessive drinking with friends
  • Drinking after a hard day
  • Drinking habitually before or after a particular event.
My first drink is always nine o’clock on a dot and I continuously drink all day until bedtime.

See what is substance misuse for more information, including when substance use becomes a problem.

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