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Substance misuse

Are you worried about substance misuse (including vaping, smoking, alcohol and drugs) being involved in crime or child exploitation? 

As you get older you may be around people who are using substances such as drugs and alcohol. You may feel curious about experimenting with these substance or feel pressured to try them. It is important you understand the risks around substance use and how this can affect your health and wellbeing.

It is also important for you to understand the law, how this applies to criminal behaviour in teenagers and young adults and how to protect yourself from exploitation or prosecution.

More information about substances and the law can be found below:

Substance misuse and being involved in crime or child exploitation

  • Drug Wise - what are the UK drug laws?

  • Some facts about substances:

  • What can you do?

  • Crime and Child exploitation

What you can do to help

Do your research, look at the web pages and links below, it is always best to be well informed around any decision making. Explore these resources even if you don’t need support - you may be able to support a friend.

Check out our page on keeping safe for more ideas about protecting yourself and your friends.

Don’t be afraid to discuss your thoughts, ask questions or reach out for help from trusted adults and professionals.


Be a role model; discuss substance misuse, crime and exploitation and be open to talk with your child and answer their questions; try to include these subjects in the talks about moving on from their school; discuss healthy and safe decision making and how to research these subjects.

Look at some of the web pages in the section below, be prepared for difficult discussion and try to keep calm and reasonable:

Who can help?

For more advice about substance misuse speak to one of our team. You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation. **Monday to Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm excluding bank holidays**

Older children (aged 11-19) can ask advice from a school nurse by texting our confidential ChatHealth service on 07480 635 443.

Need more information?

Stopping smoking (tobacco, nicotine and vaping)

You can also call the NHS Smokefree helpline on 0300 123 1044, open Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm and Saturday to Sunday, 11am to 4pm.

Alcohol and Substances (not including tobacco or nicotine)

Local services Cambridgeshire


To access support about understanding your substance use and how this is effecting your life or help to reduce or stop your using, you can access CASUS through a self-referral.

You can also be referred by a teacher, health professional, school or support worker with your consent.

How they can help:

Local services Peterborough

CGL (Change, Grow, Live)

Support for young people aged 11-18:

Free chatline for under 21’s:

If you are worried you have a problem or are developing an addiction to drugs: 

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Delivering excellence in Children and Young People’s Services:
a partnership between Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust and
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.
Funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council

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