Substance misuse

People use substances (such as drugs) for a range of reasons, including for pleasure, to facilitate social occasions, as a coping mechanism, for health reasons, and for bodily enhancement.
This section talks about how the use of substances can affect you, factors that lead to misuse and some of the mental health conditions that can be the causes of substance misuse.

Substance misuse

What can lead to a substance use problem?

All substance use brings a risk of harm. This harm can range from individual physical and mental effects such as mental illness or heart disease, to those impacting on friends, family and colleagues including relationship breakdown and financial issues.

Most people use substances without experiencing harm, and a proportion of people will experience stand-alone incidences of substance-use related harms without developing longer-term dependence issues.

However, there are factors that increase the risk of someone developing problematic substance use, including:

  • Exposure to trauma

  • A parent with a drug or alcohol problem

  • Co-existing physical or mental health issues

  • Social isolation

  • Poverty

  • Early initiation to substance use

  • High levels of peer use.

What can I do about it?

This website provides some really useful information on substance misuse, specifically alcohol and drugs:

  • Alcohol: This section looks at alcohol related problems as well as guidance for what to do if you think you might be drinking too much.

  • Drugs: This section looks at drug related problems as well as guidance for what to do if you think you have a problem with drugs.

Further information to come

NZDF is currently working on framework to address this issue for it's people, so keep an eye out for further information over time.