Hide page
Illustration of young person

17 or under

Do you do stupid things when you have had a drink?

Do you struggle to stop drinking once you have started?

Did you start using drugs with friends for a laugh and it’s now it’s happening really often?

Then you may need some support to manage your drug and/or alcohol use.

Forward Leeds are a drug and alcohol support service for Leeds and the surrounding area. They offer one to one support for young people who may want to learn more about drugs and alcohol or feel they would benefit from some support to cut down their drug or alcohol use.

How to use safely

‘top tips for staying safe

If you are planning to drink or use drugs try to stay safe.

Start low and go slow pace yourself when drinking alcohol to minimise the risk of overdose.

Avoid mixing drugs and alcohol mixing drugs and alcohol can have unpredictable side effects and put additional strain on you organs.

Know what you are taking – make sure you know the dose and possible side effects of drugs before taking them.

Make sure someone is there to look out for you – if you are using alone, tell someone where you are and what you are doing, or make sure you have a friend who isn’t drinking or using drugs if you are using in a group. It will mean someone can help if it goes wrong.

Keep hydrated aim to sip a pint of water over an hour, particularly if you are dancing.

Protect yourself – if someone you don’t know well is offering you free drink or drugs, ask yourself what they might want in return. Know the risks and how to stay safe.

Read more

Different types of drugs have different effects, with some waking you up and making you want to party with friends (Simulants) and others relaxing you or making you forget things (Depressants).  This means that some people may turn to drugs or alcohol to make them feel better or to block out stressful or difficult memories. If you use drink or drugs to deal with difficult situations or emotions, it’s likely to be (or become) a problem that could seriously affect your life.

Drinking occasionally at high levels can be just as risky as day to day drinking, because your body (particularly the liver) struggles to break down large amounts of alcohol. Researchers define binge drinking as consuming 8+ units in a single session for men and 6+ for women.

Things you might find useful

Forward Leeds

Forward Leeds is the alcohol and drug service in Leeds for adults, young people and families.

Visit website

Rise Above

Exploring the issues on your mind – smoking, drugs, drinking, sex. Helps you make better decisions that are right for you.

Visit website

Talk to Frank

Learn the facts about drugs, read real life stories and access helplines.

Visit website


Help and support for teenage friends and relatives of alcoholics.

Visit website

‘Just a Few Drinks’

Watch clips of young people talking about how drinking too much alcohol changed their lives.

Watch video

LSCB - Party Animals

If you’ve been invited to a party and told there will be “free” drink and or drugs, it could come at a price. Know the risks and how to stay safe.

Find out more

MindMate is not responsible for content on websites or apps mentioned on the site. Always read the app’s Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy to see how your data may be used. Read our advice about messageboards on our Worried About Bullying page.