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Drug and Alcohol Use/Abuse


Drugs, both legal and illegal, are a part of our social life and culture and can be harmful to both physical and mental health.

Illicit drugs are illegal drugs and include cannabis (marijuana, hash), meth/amphetamine (speed), ecstasy, cocaine, hallucinogen drugs, opiates (heroin), inhalants, and steroids.

The consequences of illicit drug use can include both physical and mental health problems. Physical problems may include damage to the liver, kidney and heart, loss of memory and concentration. Mental health problems can include psychosis, as well as longer-term mental health problems. There are also the social implications of drug use. These include loss of friendships, relationships, and income, engaging in criminal activity to buy the drugs.

The best way to avoid problems with drugs is to not use them. However, if you choose to use them it is important to do so in the safest way possible.

Once a decision is made to do something about using drugs, it’s a good idea to talk to a professional about the best way to manage this as the reduction of some drugs may cause medical complications.

Some options for managing this include: Making it difficult to access drugs - distraction, support from family/friends, or talking to a counsellor.


Alcohol is a legal drug and is accepted as part of our culture. Alcohol is a mood altering drug which when consumed in large quantities can act as a depressant. It affects an individual’s judgement and coordination. Prolonged alcohol abuse can affect the liver and the brain.

If you drink alcohol your body adapts to having it regularly in your system and your body functions ‘normally’ with alcohol. When you stop drinking, your body has to readjust to being without alcohol. This means your body has to get back to working normally without the drug.

Counselling is one option that can help an individual with alcohol problems. Counselling can help you get through withdrawal and then help you look at what you want to do next. Working through these issues can cause a lot of emotional pain and anxiety, so it is best to deal with one thing at a time. When you’re feeling better, physically and mentally, then you can choose to deal with other stuff.

We have carefully researched additional information, including Government Health Web sites and specific self help and support groups. You will find those links to other Web sites on our Useful Links page.

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Allied Health Professional Specialising in Mental Health

Personal Counselling Services
PO Box 665,
Aspley, Queensland 4034

Telephone: 07-33125322

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