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What is substance abuse ?
Substance abuse can be defined in different ways.
It's the point at which the use of legal or illegal drugs becomes a problem by negatively impacting on a person's life and the lives of those close to them. Individuals and family members can experience social, financial, psychological, physical or legal problems at any stage or level of drug or alcohol use.
People often abuse substances such as alcohol, cigarettes, heroin, cocaine and other drugs for varied and complicated reasons. Young people often ask questions like ‘why can’t my mum/dad stop drinking or taking drugs’ when they can clearly see the harm that it is causing them.
Illegal drugs are not the only substances that can be abused. Alcohol, prescription medications, solvents, even coffee & cigarettes, can be used to harmful excess. In fact, almost any substance can be abused.
For many substances, the line between use and abuse isn't clear… Is having a few drinks every day after work to help relax use or abuse? Would drinking four cups of coffee in the morning to get your day started be considered as use or abuse? Generally in these situations, only the individual or a close family member can determine where use ends and abuse begins.
The latest research from the National Addiction Centre, estimates that seven million young people in the UK are affected by drug and alcohol abuse, in the form of parental binge drinking, hazardous drinking, and parental drug misuse.
We're Here to Help...
Our online community supports and empowers its members, providing a space to share problems and seek advice from others who understand what they’re going through.
COAP provides free Online Counselling for any young UK residents aged 11 to 30 years old, affected by someone else's addiction.
Our work in schools helps to raise awareness of parental and family addiction. Letting young people know they are not alone, what the problem is, and where to go for support.