Alcohol is the most widely used drug in Australia today and drinking in moderation is acceptable to many people. However, alcohol can be harmful to both mental and physical health and the risks increase with the amount of alcohol consumed.
Other Psycho-active drugs
Psycho-active drugs are substances that affect the brain and cause an altered mental or emotional state. They include legally prescribed drugs such as antidepressants and sleeping tablets, as well as illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy or amphetamines.
Legal problems aside, some people use illicit drugs without coming to any physical or mental harm. However, many find that their drug use causes problems with their physical and/or mental health.
Talk To Someone
Remember that many people experience problems with alcohol and drugs. It can be very helpful to talk to a friend, relative, counsellor or psychologist to better understand what part these substances are playing in your life and to seek specialist help if your use is a significant problem in your life. Don’t let misconceptions about addictions stop you from seeking help.
- Contact the Mental Health Information Service on 1300 794 991 for information about services in your area
- Contact the Alcohol and Drug Information Service on (02) 9361 8000 or 1800 422 599 for information about treatment options
- See your family doctor (GP)
- Contact the Australian Psychological Society (APS) on 1800 333 497 for referral to a psychologist in your area.
- Addiction Workbook: A Step-By-Step Guide to Quitting Alcohol and Drugs, by John O’Neill and Patrick Fanning, New Harbinger Publications, 1996
- Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol, Frequently Asked Questions, National Health and Medical Research Council 2009
- How to Quit Drugs for Good: A Complete Self-Help Guide by Jerry Dorsman, Crown Publishing Group, 1998
- Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide for Managing Drugs and Alcohol by Patt Denning, Jeannie Little and Adina Glickman, Guilford Publications, Inc, 2003
- Recovery Options: The Complete Guide, How You and Your Loved Ones Can Understand and Treat Alcohol and Other Drug Problems by Joseph Volpicelli and Maia Szalavitz, Wiley, John & Sons, 2000
- Under the Influence for Parents: The Truth about Kids, Alcohol, and Other Drugs, How to Recognize the Problem and What to Do about It by Katherine Ketcham, Ballantine Books, 2003
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This information is for educational purposes. As neither brochures nor websites can diagnose people it is always important to obtain professional advice and/or help when needed.
This information may be reproduced with an acknowledgement to WayAhead – Mental Health Association.
The Association encourages feedback and welcomes comments about the information provided.