Changing young people’s attitudes towards drugs and alcohol

Friday, June 21, 2024

We’re working closely with partners to deliver targeted support, interventions and raise awareness to change attitudes in relation to drugs and alcohol use.

The aim is that fewer people take or feel drawn towards taking drugs and alcohol, and today’s children and young people grow up in a safer and healthier environment.

“We are seeing young people access drug treatment primarily for support around cannabis use, however we are also noticing a concerning increase in ketamine use and vapes containing cannabis.

“It is incredibly important that we offer support services that can intervene with this drug and alcohol use at a young age and help them to live a safer and healthier life going forward.

“That’s why we’re also working closely with school and colleges to raise awareness, in the hope that we can stop the next generation from ever misusing drugs and alcohol.

“If any young person is struggling, I would urge them to reach out, and know that help and support is available.”

Steve Turnbull

Director of Public Health

Steve Turnbull

The Wakefield District School Health Survey asked Year 9 secondary school pupils about some of their experiences of drugs. In 2022, 14% of Year 9 pupils said they had ever been offered cannabis and 4% said they had ever taken cannabis. 7% of Year 9 pupils had ever been offered other drugs, but only 2% had ever taken other drugs.

We’re working with a variety of partners and organisations, including schools and colleges, across the Wakefield district that can support individuals and families who need help, advice, or support in relation to drugs and alcohol.

We have nine Family Hubs and three Youth Hubs in the district, where parents, carers and children and young people of all ages can access support, advice and information.

Family Hubs provide a linked network of local community venues, specialist services and partner organisations so that people can access early help, meet other local families, take part in activities, receive support and information and join helpful groups.

Further information can be found on the Wakefield Families Together website at

Turning Point also hold outreach and one to one support sessions at the Family and Youth Hubs.

Turning Point Inspiring Futures is the Young People and Young Adults Drug and Alcohol Treatment Service in Wakefield.

Their service supports individuals under the age of 25 with drug and alcohol issues, offering confidential assistance tailored to their needs, whether at school, youth clubs, or elsewhere.

Here is what young people and their families had to say about the service:

"He's over the moon after speaking with you. Thank you as always, I’ve just got here to see him and the first thing he told me was about speaking to you. His anger has subsided so much more, so think with your help and what you’re trying to do and the help and support, we might genuinely have a success story which is 100% on your wall of fame. I hope he can make a difference like you do and talk about these things to other kids too. Won't jump ahead and jinx it just yet but we're having positive thoughts rather than nervous anxious ones on this side, which is a nice environment to be in.”

“My support is useful, and it makes me see the reality of things from a different point of view. It's important that I am listened to, and I feel heard. It's nice that my worker isn’t opinionated and is empathic. More adults should know about drugs, and they need to let young people know that using drugs doesn’t define them, not to put a negative title on them so they can reach out for support.”

Find out more about the support available at

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