Drugs and Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol or taking drugs can have a detrimental impact on your health and wellbeing. There is help, whether your aim is to stop drinking or using drugs altogether or to just cut down.   

Why and how we can help you

Drinking too much alcohol or taking drugs can negatively impact your health and wellbeing and the effects of drug and alcohol use in the family go well beyond the direct effects on the person using them. Seeking support can be difficult, and many people struggle, but it is important to know that you are not alone and there are people here to help. Milton Keynes Council ensures there are services available offering a range of support option to help you, whether your aim is to stop drinking or using drugs altogether, or just to cut down.


For many of us, alcohol is a part of our social lives, but even in small amounts, drinking can be damaging to your health. Approximately 10.8 million people in England drink at a level that puts their health at risk, with 1.6 million having some level of alcohol dependence

While not everyone with a level of alcohol dependence will require specialist treatment, many could benefit from brief interventions for their harmful drinking. As there is no such thing as ‘risk free’ drinking, it can be difficult to know if you’re drinking too much. However, drinking less than 14 units a week is considered ‘low risk’ drinking and both men and women are advised not to exceed this.


Drug misuse is a serious issue, with the number of drug-related deaths increasing annually. There are many factors which contribute to drug use and most people do not understand how addiction develops.

Drug addiction alters your brain chemistry, making you increasingly dependent on substances to achieve the same pleasure you would otherwise get from food, social activities or sex. In the long term these changes can affect your judgement, decision-making, memory and behaviour, or put you at risk of heart or lung disease, cancer, mental illness and blood borne viruses like Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.

Drug use can also have damaging effects on your baby if you use throughout your pregnancy; these include premature birth and neonatal withdrawal syndrome.

There is ‘no single factor’ to predict your drug addiction as your environment, development and genetics all play a role. However, drug addiction is treatable, and with a tailored approach which also addresses your mental health and social issues, a continued recovery is achievable

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Last Updated: 2 May 2022