Drug Misuse

Drug misuse can involve the use of illegal drugs such as opiates, stimulants or cannabis or the use of prescription drugs in a way not intended by the prescribing doctor.


Drug misuse, in the same way as alcohol misuse, may cause or increase the symptoms of mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety or stress.  In some cases, the mental illness may lead to drug or alcohol misuse.


Physical signs such as loss of appetite, inability to sleep, nausea, vomiting, tremors or hyperactivity can all be symptoms of drug misuse. Behavioural changes such as changes in personality, activities and hobbies or habits combined with lack of energy, loss of concentration, irritability or paranoia can also occur.

There are many websites that can give more advice on recognising drug misuse and some are listed on our Helplines page.


A good place to start is with a visit to your GP who will discuss appropriate options with you. This is likely to involve a detoxification programme and may include therapies such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) once abstinence has been achieved if you are experiencing anxiety or depression.  Attendance at Narcotics Anonymous is frequently useful as well.

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