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Substance Misuse

All children and young people have the right to grow up in a home protected from the negative consequences of drug and alcohol misuse.

The term drug or alcohol misuse describes a pattern of harmful behaviour involving the misuse or overuse of substances for mood altering purposes. 

When does it become a problem?

Problems arise when drugs or alcohol are over used or guidelines are not followed or when a person takes illegal drugs. If a parent has a problem with drugs or alcohol, it can be upsetting or confusing for children. 

How will I know if my child is affected?

Children can be affected in different ways. Not all children show signs that the parental substance misuse is affecting them.  However, if a child is affected, possible signs are:

  • Withdrawal or depressed mood
  • Lack of friends or friends visiting the home
  • Hungry and tired a lot of the time
  • Sleep disruption
  • Anger or aggression

Information for young people:

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