Youth & Substance Use

Youth & Substance Abuse

Substance use among youth is a reality. Although rates have been declining, a recent BC Adolescent Health Survey shows 45% of students in British Columbia have tried alcohol; 26% have tried marijuana; and 21% have tried tobacco.

Excessive alcohol or drug use often leads to other complications such as serious injuries and accidents while under the influence, unintended sex, conflicts with family or friends and problems in school.

Prevention

It is common for teenagers to be offered cigarettes, alcohol, and illegal drugs. You can prepare by giving  factual information, sharing your values, and teaching  a young person how to make safe, healthy decisions about substance use.

While it's never too early or too late to talk about substance use with your kids, the recent rash of fentanyl related incidents is a reminder of just how important this conversation is.

Learn more here: 

Let's Talk - Speaking with our Kids about Substance Use
Helping Your Child Avoid Tobacco, Drugs, and Alcohol


Is your teen using drugs?

If you are a parent or caregiver who loves and worries about a teenager who may be experimenting with or regularly engaged in relationship with alcohol or other drugs, you are not alone. Island Health offers a workbook to help you understand and respond to substance use:

Recognizing Resilience: A Workbook for Parents and Caregivers of Teens Involved with Substances

You can also visit our Youth & Family Substance Use Resources page for more information and support.

Help is available

If your teen develops a  problematic relationship with substance  use , you and your family may  benefit from a consultation with a substance use counselling professional.

Talk to your family doctor or other health care professional for referrals, and visit our Youth and Family Substance Use Services page.

Please note that referrals are also accepted from families, youth themselves, or any allied service.

Also see: Substance Use Problems: How to Help Your Teen

News & Events

Large red letters that spell "Emergency" in front of an emergency department

Island Health asks for public’s assistance in appropriate emergency department use

Island Health is asking people to do their part to ensure our hospital emergency departments can continue to meet the care needs of patients experiencing medical emergencies.

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Picture of Ocean at Comox Valley

Island Health rebooking all June 29 COVID-19 immunization appointments at Glacier Gardens in Comox

Due to the extreme heat wave that is currently affecting British Columbia, Island Health is rebooking all COVID-19 immunization appointments that were scheduled on Tuesday, June 29 at Glacier Gardens in Comox. 

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an overhead watershed picture of comox

Island Health reschedules some immunization appointments due to extreme heat

Due to the extreme heat wave that is currently affecting British Columbia, Island Health is rebooking some COVID-19 immunization appointments in Langford and Comox.

Read more