By Mimi Goess-Saurau >

Experimentation with alcohol and drugs is very common amongst teenagers and young adults, with more than 50% of young adults reports at least trying alcohol at least once in their life time.

Many young adults going to university may experience, often for the first time in their lives, a wide range of demands on individual, interpersonal, academic and societal levels such as leaving home, developing autonomy, making new friends and peer pressure which may put them at risk of substance misuse. In addition, environmental, individual, personality and family factors such as drug-using peers, parental substance abuse and mental health problems continue to play a significant role as risk factors

Difficult Conversation

The common consensus that ‘drugs and alcohol are bad’ and that ‘people that use drugs need to stop immediately’ is often so strong and overwhelming that it stops some from seeking any help and support for fear that they will be told to stop using everything and immediately!

Talking honestly about drug use can be difficult for some young people because they expect judgement and an overreaction from the ‘adult’ in the room. Getting disapproving looks and statements are unhelpful and mostly lead to understandable guardedness and defensiveness.

Looking at options

Not all those that have gone too far with drugs an alcohol are addicts and alcoholics. Having a conversation and gaining a greater amount of information on strategies that can be used to reduce intake