Substance use amongst young people: September 2022

Published on October 2022

Trigger warning: This report includes references to substance use, addiction and loss of life.

Following the ending of Covid-19 restrictions, illegal drug use has soared among young people. 1 in 3 young people have used an illegal drug in the past 12 months, and yet it still remains a taboo topic in our society.

1 in 5 substance users now take drugs or alcohol to escape problems in their life, and growing numbers experience challenges due to substance use and are in need of support. However, societal attitudes connected to substance use and addiction, lack of awareness of services available or belief that there are no suitable services available prevent many from seeking help. As a result, hundreds of thousands of young people are suffering in silence rather than reaching out for support.

Much more can be done to ensure that young people with substance use issues seek and receive support. The Mix conducted a survey to understand the prevalence of substance use among young people, including alcohol, tobacco/cigarettes, vaping and drug use. It also looked into motivations for substance use, barriers to accessing support and ways these could be overcome to encourage more young people to seek support.

Read our full report here: