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Recreational drugs, alcohol and addiction

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Recreational drugs and alcohol can affect your mental health in lots of different ways. And it can be hard to know where to find support if you are struggling with addiction. 

These pages have information to help you understand the impact drugs and alcohol can have on your mental health.

We also have guidance on how to find the support you need – whether it's for yourself, or to help someone else.

Effects on mental health

Learn how drugs and alcohol can affect your mental health, including whether they can cause mental health problems. 

Support for drug problems

Read about ways to get help for recreational drug and alcohol use, including help through your GP and local support groups. 

Interactions with medication

Read about interactions between recreational drugs and psychiatric medication, and how this can affect your health.

Helping someone else

Find advice for supporting someone who is struggling with drug or alcohol use, and ways to take care of yourself. 

Useful contacts for addiction

Find a list of organisations who offer support for drug and alcohol problems - whether for yourself, or if you are helping someone else. 

This information was published in June 2022.  We will revise it in 2025.

References and bibliography available on request.

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