You may ask “What does where I live have to do with what I use”? Did you know that there is often a close relationship between your living situation and use of drugs and alcohol?

What this relationship is different for every young person. 

  • For some young people their use of drugs or alcohol makes it hard for them to maintain housing or be allowed to stay at home
  • For others not having somewhere safe and secure to call home is actually what contributes to them using drugs or alcohol.
  • Sometimes it’s a combination of both

Whatever the relationship for you, did you know that helping young people to stabilise their circumstances and maintain secure and safe housing is the highest priority for youth workers helping young people address drug or alcohol related issues?

Similarly, not having a safe and secure roof over your head is one of the biggest barriers to getting on with other goals in your life.


This can be a frightening experience and it can be hard trying to find somewhere safe to stay but there are supports and services that can help you. In Victoria a great starting point is Melbourne Youth Support Service. They are a state-wide housing referral service for young people.

But of course we understand it is more complicated than just finding a bed. It’s also about having the confidence that you will be able to make the most of it. In the meantime try to stay as safe as you can. 

There is often a close relationship between your living situation and use of drugs and alcohol?
  • If you are thinking of leaving home because of family conflict, think carefully about it. You might want to talk about it first with a support worker or kidshelpline.
  • If you haven’t got stable accommodation, have you thought of every possible family memeber or friend that could put you up safely?
  • Remember you don’t have to be living on the streets to be concerned about housing. Even living in dangerous or unsuitable accommodation or only having somewhere temporary to stay is actually considered homeless. If this is the case for you we also recommend this article from Reachout.