RMY17(15+): Tobacco, alcohol and drugs

Duration10 minutes
Learning ObjectivesTo understand that tobacco, alcohol and drugs have an adverse effect on mental health.
Tools/materials for the PresenterRural Minds Youth PowerPoint – Tobacco, alcohol and drugs (15+)
Lesson ComponentsDrugs that are referred to here are licit and illicit, so there is a high chance that people in this room are on prescription drugs. Drugs
that are prescribed by a medical professional and taken as per the prescription are excluded from the drug reference in this session.
What is self-medication? The use of tobacco, alcohol and/or drugs in an attempt (deliberate or incidental) to manage a mental health
concern. This only provides short term relief and often actually makes the situation worse in the long-run.
The saying ‘birds of a feather flock together’ is most evident with respect to the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs. If your peer group
is using any of these, it’s extremely likely that you will too. This is what makes quitting even more difficult, as it often means you have to
keep your distance from friends that still engage in the behaviour.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwSxFcHPogU&t=1823s, from 30:13
(warning about language).
There are multiple ways to quit, and quite often it will take more than one attempt in order before succeeding.
Key messagesSelf-medicating with tobacco, alcohol and/or drugs might provide short term relief, but will only make things worse in the long run.
Peer group habits are one of the most significant influences on your behaviour towards tobacco, alcohol and drugs.
Quitting is often made more difficult because it requires distancing yourself from friends that still engage in the behaviour.
There are multiple groups, methods and options to assist with quitting, but it ultimately comes down to willpower and determination.
ReflectionWhy would someone with a mental health concern self-medicate (either deliberately or incidentally) using tobacco, alcohol and/or
drugs?
A: It often provides short term relief, but no connection is made to the longer-term adverse effects of self-medication.