Impacts of alcohol and drug use
Addiction to alcohol and other drugs can impact people’s lives in different ways. There are however some common experiences.
If you are concerned about your alcohol and drug use and would like some support you can chat to one of our counsellors anytime. Our service is free, confidential and available 24/7. You can also chat with others with similar experiences on our forum.
Some early signs that alcohol or other drug use is impacting you include:
- feeling moody, irritable or angry for seemingly no reason
- negative changes to relationships and social circles
- being dishonest to friends and family
- increasing levels of debt
- struggling to pay bills on time
- inability to pay for small luxuries
- missing work or school or having trouble concentrating at work or studying, or
- prioritising spending time and money on drugs over other activities.
If you are experiencing some of these signs you might like to chat with a counsellor – it’s easy to start a session. Our service is free, confidential and available 24/7.
More serious impacts
If addiction progresses, there can be greater impact and more serious harms caused.
Some signs that your alcohol or drug use has become more serious include:
- declining mental health – depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts
- declining physical health
- relationship disruption, conflict or breakdown
- financial harm – inability to pay for essentials
- criminal activity – stealing or fraud
- cultural harm – disengaging from cultural activities, or
- reduced performance at work or study, loss of job or education
If you identify with any of these, we have a range of free and confidential services available to help you. This includes chat counselling, self-help, our peer support forum, and email support.
If you would like to know a bit more about the service before getting in contact — take a look through find support.
What can I do next?
Not sure whether alcohol or drug use is a problem for you?
- Read about signs of a problem.
- It’s a good idea to plan how you will manage cravings or urges if they occur – read our section on managing cravings to get you started.
- Learn more about chatting with a counsellor.