Young People's
Substance Misuse Service
0300 123 3360

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For referrers

We are here to help. We can provide you with information and advise you on how to approach the subject of substance misuse with a young person and/or their parents.

We offer:

  • advocacy
  • substitute prescribing
  • one-to-one and group sessions
  • motivational interviewing
  • psychosocial interventions

Here is some general advice that may help you get started.

If the young person doesn’t want to talk about their substance use to you or a specialist service

This can be challenging to work with as you may notice changes in the young person’s behaviour and may see other areas of their life deteriorate or become difficult. This could be incorporated into a group work programme or by running a mini-campaign in your centre, school or drop-in or by leaving leaflets around. This way you may be able to provide the young person with enough information to start to think about their use in more detail and become curious about something they have read. Hopefully this will lead to an open dialogue, whether that is with you, another service, parents, carers or friends.

If the young person will talk about their substance use to you but doesn’t want to talk to a specialist service

This is very encouraging. The young person is accepting of the fact that they may need information on their substance use, has a good working relationship with you and feels comfortable talking to you about their issues. We can support you in working with these young people. We can give you ideas on what to talk about, what information is important to give and can suggest and provide various activities, resources and leaflets for you to use with the young person. We can also offer you consultation around working with a particular young person or a general substance misuse issue.It may be the case that they will never want to access a specialist service so it is important that you give them the right advice and information.

As time passes, some young people will begin to feel more comfortable and able to access a specialist service. It may be that we can work together to get the young person to the point that they feel comfortable by means of tailored sessions.

If the young person is willing to talk about their substance use to you and a specialist service

In this circumstance, please download our referral form below, and include information on the person’s substance misuse, how and when we can contact the young person, and details on their housing and family situation. We will see the young person where they feel most comfortable. They can bring along a parent, worker or friend for their first appointment. We can meet them at home, school, a youth club, café or at the office – the choice is the young person’s.

If you need any help with the referral, or if you are unsure whether to refer someone, please contact us for advice and guidance.

Referral form – download here.