FAQs for young people

Why do Rehabs ask for UDSs (Urine Drug Screen)?

A UDS screen means you to pee in a cup. That urine is then tested for traces of alcohol and other drugs. This process maybe sighted (someone standing at the door making sure the urine is not from someone else).

A UDS can inform the rehab facility if a person is physically ready to enter a program or if more detox time is needed. This is to make sure a person gets the right support at the right time. 

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active substance in the cannabis plant. It is of particular interest to medical researchers due to it’s anti-psychotic properties. Understanding that some cannabis contains CBD further helps us understand the appeal cannabis has for young people with mental health concerns.

My mates seem to be able to have a good time with drugs but I can never control my use. Why am I so different?

Everyone has a different experience with drugs and alcohol. Some people have no problems others struggle with their relationship with drugs from the beginning. Usually there is a reason why some people experience problems compared with others. Check out his article about the reasons drugs can become a problem. As hard as it can be, it is best to think about your needs and goals rather than comparing yourself to other peoples experiences. 

I want to stop using but I have been using for a while. I'm scared of how I'll feel. How can I know what to expect?

Reducing or stopping your use, whatever the drug, is probably going to be a unique experience for you. It depends on lots of things such as how long you've used for, how often you use, what drugs you use and even why you use in the first place. We recommend this article which explores some of these ideas. 

What should I bring to detox?

The main things to pack are a change of clothes and toiletries you like to use. Some young people pack gym clothes, swimmers, a favourite book, guitar, photos or encouraging letters or some pocket money.

Some detoxes allow you to have a mobile phone or laptop, others request you hand it into be kept in the safe. 

Check the detoxes smoking (tobacco) policy, usually if smoking is permitted, the detox will ask you to bring enough cigarettes for the length of your stay. 

How long do drugs stay in your system?

Drugs stay in your system for different periods of time – it depends on what you took. It’s also important to know that your body stores drugs differently in different parts of the body. For example, alcohol stays in your blood and saliva for 12-24 hours, your urine for 6-24 hours, and your hair for 2 days; while amphetamine stays in your blood and saliva for 12 hours, urine for 1-3 days and hair for up to 90 days!

Can a court make me do a drug test?

Yes, sometimes courts or other justice workers can require you to do drug tests as part of the conditions of your order. At other times young people choose to do drug screens as a way of demonstrating things are under control.

My worker told me sniffing paint is worse than glue? Is that true?

Its hard to say exactly. Certainly there are some types of glue that seem less harmful than some types of paint but a lot also depends on how much you sniff/use, and where you use (in an enclosed space versus an open space) and other factors such as how much harm you might expose yourself to while using.


What is the worst way to take drugs?

There are lots of ‘worst ways’ to take drugs. Using too much of one type of drug, mixing drugs, unplanned use, or using unsterile or sharing injecting equipment are all ways that could mean you have bad experience  or overdose. You can find out how to plan safer drug use here:


I get panic attacks when I don't smoke cannabis. Is that withdrawal?

Panic attacks might be symptom of cannabis withdrawal, but it might also be that you’re feeling anxious about other things in your life. Either way, panic attacks are not fun, and it’s definitely worthwhile talking to your GP, youth worker or health professional about it so you can figure out what’s causing them.

Is cannabis stronger than in the past?

Sort of! Cannabis itself hasn’t become stronger, but the strength of THC (and other active ingredients in cannabis) can change with each plant. The part of the plant you smoke (or eat) and how it’s been grown also changes the strength. If you are using It’s a good idea to have a smaller amount the first time you use a new batch to test out how strong it is.Check out other info about cannabis

Will cannabis lead to other drugs?

People who try other drugs often start out with either alcohol or cannabis, or both. However many people who use cannabis don’t try any other illegal drugs – it depends on each person’s preferences.

What is a hot shot?

A hot shot is either a lethally large amount of heroin (or other opiate), or a shot of heroin mixed with something else, another drug or something a drug is cut with. They’re rare, but there are ways you can reduce the risk of injecting

Is it true that you can get hooked after one try?

There are lots of big statements made about drugs and alcohol. While some substances are likely to be more addictive than others, it’s not really possible to get physically addicted to any drug after one try.

Do I have to pay for detox?

Most public withdrawal units are free, although you may still have to pay for some types of medications and personal items. There are also private detoxes that have fees and are generally recommended for people who have insurance that they can claim costs back from. 

What is the worst drug?

We try to stay away from grading drugs. The worst drug is the drug that contributes to the most problems for you. Any drug (including alcohol) can cause problems, especially if you don’t use safely. 

Is Kronic better or worse than real choof?

Kronic is neither better nor worse than real cannabis. Some people have said they have less side effects when using real cannabis but personal experiences vary. As with any drug, if you are going to use, it’s important to be informed about what you use and try to be as safe as you can. 

My mum is always ringing my worker. What can they tell her?

Your worker will only tell your mum (or anyone else) what you have said they can tell her/them. What you and your worker talk about is confidential, even from your mum, unless you’ve said it’s ok, or unless your worker believes you are at risk of harming yourself or others.

What is a UDS?

A UDS is a Urine Drug Screen. It’s a test that means taking a sample of your urine and testing it for traces of drugs. These sorts of tests can also be done on hair, blood, breath, sweat or saliva. UDS are used in professional sport to see if athletes are using performance enchancing drugs (like steroids) and also by courts and diversion workers to see if people are using drugs or not. 


Can friends visit you in detox?

Different services have different rules about visitors, so you should check with the service you’re looking at. You should always be allowed some support but generally, most places limit or control visitors in some way in the hope that this helps you focus on your goals and not get distracted by everything that’s happening in your normal world. Since there are others people staying in services at the same time as you, limiting visitors for everyone also helps keep the place calm and quiet.

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