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Drugs, Alcohol and Gambling

Drugs, Alcohol and Gambling

What do we mean?

When we talk about 'Drugs' on this site, we are referring to any substance you might take to alter your perception, mood or feelings.  Not all drugs are illegal, for example: alcohol; cigarettes; solvents and drugs prescribed for you by your doctor. Even legal drugs can be dangerous and addictive. Just because a drug is legal, it doesn't mean it's safe!

Gambling is defined as betting, gaming or participating in a lottery



Most people enjoy a drink without coming to any harm.  Young and inexperienced drinkers can be at more risk as they tend to have less understanding of the effects of alcohol.

Alcohol is measured in units.  Know your units:

  • a single measure of spirits (brandy, whisky, vodka etc)
  • half a pint of normal strength beer (a pint of stronger beer can be 4/5 units)
  • a small glass of wine

The recommended maximum limit is 3/4 units a day for a man and 2/3 units a day for a woman over 18 years old.

Check how many units you are drinking.  If you regularly drink more than this, there is a risk to your health.

Alcohol Problems

Are you:

  • Often hung over?
  • getting into fights and arguments or causing accidents?
  • can't remember what you did the night before, or wake up regretting things you said or did?
  • have money problems because of drinking?
  • causing problems at work of college?
  • violent towards your family when you have been drinking?
  • driving whilst over the legal limit?

If any of these warning signs is true for you, you may want to think about how much you are drinking.  You can seek advice from Drink Aware to reduce your drinking.  Alcohol problems are not just about being an 'alcoholic' or causing immediate health problems.


There can be lots of pressure on you to start smoking.  Smoking is highly addictive and can cause serious health problems, including cancer.  Once you start it can be hard to stop. Each cigarette you smoke is estimated to shorten your life by 11 minutes

The law changed on 1 October 2015 and it is now illegal to sell cigarettes, tobacco or e-cigarettes to anyone under 18.

Do you know what ingredients are in a cigarette?

ingreients of a cigarette, image shows a cigarette with images of the ingredients

Barbecue starter;batteries;lighter fuel;vinegar;

methane gas; poison; automobile exhaust; nail polish remover;

rocket fuel; fuel; paint; toilet cleaner; insecticide; industrial solvent

Get help to stop smoking

The NHS website has information on stopping smoking

City of York Council Health Trainers can help you quit smoking too

 ASH (Action on Smoking and health) have a range of fact sheets on their website that you may find useful to check out.


Some drugs are more harmful than others, but they all carry risks to some degree - whether it is to your health, relationships, your finances or your police record.  Having a criminal conviction for possession of drugs can affect the jobs you are able to do in the future.

If you use drugs, give them the respect they warrant.  If you are concerned about your own drug use or someone else, you can contact the Young persons drug and alcohol service


Gambling is defined as betting, gaming or participating in a lottery.

You should not gamble more than you can afford to lose; but sometimes people become addicted to gambling and this can cause financial and relationship problems.  The charity Gamcare is here to help you if you feel that gambling is becoming a problem for you.

If gambling is on your mind, you can also talk to gambleaware

The Gambling Commission have nine ways to keep yourself safe when gambling

Support Services and Information

For more information about drugs and alcohol Talk to Frank  

If  you have a concern or need advice about your own or someone else drug or alcohol use you can talk to your school nurse or youth support worker. Drink Aware may also be able to help . They will be able to get you the help and support you need. You can also contact Changing Lives or Spectrum Community Health CIC 

York Carers Centre supports family members and carers of people with substance misuse issues.

Addiction Helper is another useful resource. Their focus is on caring for and supporting both individuals and the families of those suffering from addiction. They operate a free helpline called “Addiction Helper” staffed by qualified counsellors and recovered addicts.