Substance Abuse
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Introduction to Substance Abuse

category substance abuseSubstance abuse refers to the harmful or hazardous use of substances, including consuming excess amounts of alcohol, smoking and drugs. The use of recreational or prescription drugs, alcohol or smoking can cause addiction and negative consequences.

Repeated substance abuse can lead to the development of behavioural, cognitive, and physiological problems, causing a strong desire to take the drug and difficulties in controlling its use. These effects can make it difficult to stop despite harmful consequences, resulting in a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance, and sometimes a physical withdrawal state.


It is therefore very common for substance abuse to lead to problems at work, home, school, and in relationships. It is not uncommon to feel isolated, helpless, or ashamed. Nevertheless, if you are worried about yourself or a friend or family member who is suffering from substance abuse, it is important to get help. Recognising that you have a problem is the first step and takes tremendous courage and strength.


Talking to the Sikh Helpline can help to give you a better understanding of the problem and how to best deal with it. We can help by supporting and getting you in touch with the right agencies. The Sikh Helpline is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help and you can contact us anytime.


Read articles, case studies and other information related to this topic below.



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BBC - For many British Punjabis, alcohol abuse is an open secret. Alcohol consumption is glamorised across different aspects of Punjabi culture and shame stops many seeking the help that they need.  


Click here to read full news..


sikh helpline drugsIn this video, the characters re-enact a scene which happens too often to too many people. Here, the girl is distracted from her drink and whilst the boy has her attention, he puts his arm over her shoulder and drops a tablet into her drink, which causes her to lose her awareness and as a result she is assaulted.


This scenario is now recognised as 'Drug Rape' and it is one of the most dangerous and frequently used methods to assault vulnerable people. The substances used are purposely odourless, tasteless and do not alter the appearance of the drink to prevent the victim from becoming suspicious. Therefore, it is very important to never leave your drink unattended or leave it with another person even if they are your friend. Research shows 85% of assaults linked to drugs are carried out by individuals known to the victim.

Binge drinking amongst teenagers is rising at an exponential rate and can be bought on by a variety of factors. One often overlooked factor is the influence a childs own family may have. Giving children their first sip of alcohol at a young age, drinking infront of children at weddings or drinking at home often influences impressionable youngsters to begin drinking.

If you suffer, or your family are going through similar problems please contact the Sikh Helpline Charity No: 115 4449  Call: 0845 644 0704 / 07999 00 4364 (UK)


sikh helpline alcoholUniversity is a difficult time for young girls and boys as peer group pressure means that its most often your closest friends that can lead you on to a path which you don't want to follow. This video by the Sikh Helpline illustrates the dangers faced by youth in the UK by being pressured by your peers!


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