Support for young people and families

Spectrum is committed to reducing the harms caused by under-age drinking and supporting people affected by substance misuse to find support.

Across many locations in the Yorkshire and the North East, Spectrum works with partners including Change Grow Live, Changing Lives, Turning Point and Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) to offer support for young people affected by alcohol misuse and raise awareness of the dangers of underage drinking.

Health risks of under-age drinking

Drinking under-age can be harmful in many ways, and can be more damaging for young people because of the way it interferes with the development of the brain.

Under-age drinking can:

• Impact on a young person’s development, including their memory, which could affect their performance at school
• Disrupt family life and personal relationships
• Lead to a greater risk of health issues such as weight loss, disturbed sleep and headaches
• Be linked to other harmful behaviours, such as taking drugs
• Leave young people more vulnerable to risky situations

National guidance advises that an alcohol-free childhood is the healthiest and best option. However, if children do drink underage, it should not be until at least the age of 15 years.

In the Wakefield District, anyone seeking support for a person under 18 can contact:

CGL Wakefield Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Service:  07917200969

This free service offers

  • One to one support for young people
  • Group work sessions which provide education and advice to reduce or prevent the harm associated with drug and alcohol use.
  • Specialist training programmes for professionals.
  • Support for parents and families who are concerned about the drug and alcohol use of a young person.

Substance misuse can also have a harmful effect on families and loved ones.

GASPED, a Wakefield-based charity, provides support for families affected by substance misuse, including:

  • A 24-hour confidential helpline – 0845 146 0002
  • Drop-in service for people who need help and support immediately
  • Person-centered counselling
  • Complementary therapies
  • Respite days out
  • A network of family and carer community-based support groups