Understanding how to help

Advice and info for you, when a young person:

Understanding how to help

Finding a good GP for a young person

Family members can be a great support in assisting young people to access a good GP....

Has a problem

Before Services get involved - Waiting vs Preparation

Helping a Young person through their drug use can be a long, exhausting journey for families. If a young person finds themselves feeling ready to change, it can frustrating to find there are waiting times for services....

Is experimenting

Harm reduction

Understand the most effective tool we have to keep young people who are already using drugs, safe from harm. ...

Understanding how to help

What young people wish their families knew

YoDAA met with young people in drug and alcohol treatment. Here's what they had to say....

Has a problem

Scaring a young person into not using drugs

Using scare tactics can be hugely tempting when talking about drugs with a young person you care about. ...

Has a problem

Should I Drug Test a Young Person?

If you suspect that a young person you care about is using drugs it is understandable that you will want to know the truth as soon as possible to help the situation. ...

Understanding how to help

Drug Tests – How and Why?

Tests that claim to show weather or not a young person has been using drugs are a tempting option for family members concerned about a persons behaviour. But are drug tests everything they are cracked up to be? ...

Has a problem

Ice- tips for supporting a young person

So much information about ice is worrying. Families constantly tell YoDAA that they struggle to understand the nature of the problems their loved one is facing....

Understanding how to help

Help a young person cope with cravings at home

No matter how committed a young person is to reducing substance use, cravings are a normal part of recovery. Here's a practical activity youth AOD workers use to help young people deal with cravings that anyone can do....

Needs a service

Home Based Withdrawal

Home Based Withdrawal (HBW) is where a young person gets linked up with a drug and alcohol outreach worker who is also a registered nurse...

Needs a service

Self-directed help

Self-directed Help is where a young person accesses booklets, books, videos, websites, worksheets or even apps to work through or explore substance use issues....

Has a problem

What you’ll be asked when seeking help

Youth Drug and Alcohol services receive referrals from families all the time. Understanding what will happen when you ring a service can make it an easier experience for families and carers. ...

Is in treatment

Will I be involved in treatment?

If a young person you care about is getting professional help or support, it is understandable that you would want to be involved or know as much as possible....

Hasn't yet used drugs

The role of family in preventing drug problems

No one wants someone they love to develop a problem with drugs or alcohol. In the face of frightening reports about the risks that drugs or alcohol pose you can be forgiven for feeling powerless or helpless in protecting young people....

Has a problem

Will they grow out of this?

Many young people who try drugs or alcohol don’t go on to experience problems. For the small percentage who do, there are many different pathways into problems with drugs and many pathways young people can take to move on from them....

Has a problem

Identifying signs that drugs might be a problem

Understanding the signs will help you be observant and pay attention to a young person’s welfare. ...

Is in treatment

Will services solve the problem?

It would be nice to think that if a young person was getting help from a service then any drug related problems would be solved. But seeing services comes with no guarantee that a young person will stop but they should always be helpful....

Hasn't yet used drugs

Will a young person develop a problem?

Worrying that a young person you care about will develop a drug or alcohol problem can create anxiety and fear and can affect how you care and support a young person. ...

Has a problem

The role of family in overcoming drug problems

Sometimes you can feel really helpless when a young person you care about is experiencing drug problems. It would be nice to think that “sending them off” to a treatment program would make things OK yeah? ...

Needs a service

Short-term residential support

Residential Withdrawal units, sometimes called ‘Detox’ or ‘withdrawal units’ are safe, supportive units staffed 24/7 by youth AOD workers where a young person can stay for up to 2 weeks. ...

Needs a service

Outreach support

Outreach support is a treatment option whereby trained Youth AOD Outreach Workers will meet up with a young person 1:1 in their home, where they hang out or any other place they feel comfortable....

Is in treatment

No one will tell me anything! Privacy explained

So your loved one has finally agreed to get help for problems with alcohol and other drugs, but when you call their youth worker and ask for information about how they are going, it feels like you are getting the run around. ...

Needs a service

Long-term residential support/ Rehabilitation

Many family members have heard of ‘rehab’ and believe it to be a solution to a young persons drug and alcohol issues. ...

Has a problem

Limits and Consequences

It’s common to feel exasperated trying to set limits and respond when limits are breached (especially around drug use). Here are some ideas that may help you....

Has a problem

Knowing when Alcohol and Drug use is a problem

“He just doesn’t seem to see that he has a problem! I’m beside myself with worry and he just comes home like everything’s normal.”...

Has a problem

Effective Communication

Sometimes it can seem as though you are always fighting, arguing or disagreeing with a young person. This can be frustrating for both of you. ...

Needs a service


When you consider how much time young people spend talking to their friends online or on their phones, it is not surprising that some are more comfortable talking to support workers in this way too....

Needs a service

Day programs

Day programs, sometimes called ‘drop in centres’ are safe places where a young person can go during the day and seek help for substance use....

Has a problem

Communicating your concerns about drug or alcohol use

Telling a young person you suspect they are using drugs or that you suspect their use is a problem is potentially one of the hardest conversations to have. ...

Needs a service

Centre-based support and counselling

Centre-based counselling and support involves meeting with a trained Youth AOD counsellor or other therapist for scheduled appointments to discuss substance use or other issues that are currently impacting them....


What is the worst drug?

We try to stay away from grading drugs. The worst drug is the drug that ...

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