As well as changing the way you experience things physically, your mental health can be affected by all drugs — whether they're legal, illegal or controlled substances.

There are many reasons why people take substances like cannabis, cocaine or heroin recreationally. Some people use drugs as a coping mechanism, while others may have started to take them because of peer pressure. You may have been prescribed drugs by a doctor at one point, but have come to rely on them.

In some cases, using drugs can lead to long-term consequences on your mental health, including depression or psychosis. Drugs can also exacerbate pre-existing mental health conditions, making treatment more challenging.

While substances can provide temporary relief to your wellbeing, they can cause more issues in the long term.

Your emotions may become even more unstable if you are using substances. You may find yourself using higher and higher doses of any drug to achieve the same level of comfort or high.

  • Cannabis can increase your risk of experiencing depression or anxiety, and maybe even psychosis
  • Stimulant drugs like cocaine can make you experience paranoia, anxiety and depression as well as issues with memory
  • Magic mushrooms and other hallucinogenic drugs can make you feel detached from reality and can trigger panic attacks.

Substance use may also put strain on your personal relationships and work life.

If you’re in a mental health crisis and need urgent help, call the Single Point of Access on (01472) 256256 and select option 3. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alternatively, you can call NHS 111 free from a landline or mobile phone.

In the first instance, you should speak to your GP if you’re concerned about your substance use. They will be able to signpost you to the most appropriate support. They may decide that talking therapies, such as NHS Talking Therapies, may help you if you are feeling depressed.

Sometimes, we may feel like you need some extra support to reduce or stabilise your substance use before accessing psychological therapies, so you can get the most out of treatment. If you access NAViGO services, we may recommend that you engage with our substance team who will help you achieve this.

We Are With You provides free, confidential support to people experiencing issues with substance use. You can call them on (01472) 806890 or chat to the team online.

Safespace provides instant support if you’re vulnerable and need assistance with your mental health out-of-hours. You can speak to the team using Zoom or by visiting NAViGO House on Brighowgate in Grimsby. Find the latest opening times here.

We've also teamed up with Shout to provide specialist mental health text support for North East Lincolnshire. Just text ORANGE to 85258. This is also a 24/7 service. Please note: this service is run by Shout and not by the NAViGO crisis team.

We Are With You: Get help and advice on managing your substance use, with tips on reducing cravings, setting realistic goals and much more. 

The Comeback: Home to the Addiction Recovery Community in Grimsby, The Comeback is a drop-in centre, community space and much more.

FRANK: FRANK offers confidential advice and information about drugs, their effects and the law.

We Are One: We Are One offers support for problems with drug and alcohol use.

DrugFAM: Provides support to anyone affected by someone else's harmful use of drugs.

Families Anonymous: Support for friends and family of people with drug problems.

Found a useful resource we haven't included? Know an organisation or group we could be signposting to? Contact us and let us know!