Young Person’s Substance Misuse

As the plethora of NPS’s and other drugs available to our young people expands, Youth Interventions believe that we have an ethical duty to respond to the needs of our young people who are developing substance misuse problems and/or psychological and physical dependencies.

Substance misuse brings about many other consequences: relationship breakdowns, financial pressures and deteriorating mental health.   And sometimes you don’t even know you’re in it – until you are right in it.

In response to this, and in conjunction with the Scottish Government’s strategy towards both illicit drug and alcohol use in young people, Youth Interventions have  developed a service that facilitates both the recovery and harm reduction of the young people of Scotland.

It is rarely the case, if ever, that the substance is the problem.  Substance misuse is mostly used to mask emotional pain, and that is the basis that we work from.  We work across the different domains of the young person’s life, building up their “recovery capital” and helping them to create manageability when it feels like life is unmanageable. 

Life on life’s terms is hard.  We’ll walk beside you for a while and help you to build up positive coping strategies and resilience,  improve your sense of self,  build a more positive perception of the world around you, and mentally “tool you up”  for those inevitable times that life kicks us when we’re down.

Using up to date evidence based practice we use a variety of recovery tools to create a person centred individually tailored recovery plan for every young person with whom we work.

Together we’ll work across the domains of the young person’s lives, helping them to build up their recovery capital, while reducing their use of drugs.

So….why Y.I.?

Our approach is different because we know that when we’re working with young people and trying to help them change behaviour patterns and thought processes, we have to accept that it’s not the same as working with an adult.  

  1. Many young people are resistant to change – the familiar, no matter how destructful, is comforting because change is scary and we are unknown.  It’s common for young people to behave in ways that are harmful to them and that adults find frustrating.  But that’s often because there’s a lot going on in their lives and minds that they can’t find the words to express.  Feelings and emotions can be overpowering, and it takes a long time to understand them and to find the skills to manage them.  We help with this.
  2. We take the time to get to know you.  In fancy terms, we’re “relational” and that means that we understand the importance of working collaboratively with you.  This isn’t a process that is going to happen “to” you.  We’ll work alongside you, building trust and together creating a safe space where you can make the changes that you want to.
  3. From our many years of collective experience, we reject the idea that we have to wait until a young person has experienced their “epiphany” or “rock bottom”.  Much work can be done with you to reduce harm, encourage your motivation and to help you understand why you do what you do, a little bit of who you are, and how to change the parts that are giving you grief!
  4. We understand that this is a time of massive change and growth developmentally.  Risk taking and pushing the boundaries are normal.  However, we also understand the vulnerabilities that you face.  So, not only are we skilled in the counselling of young people and substance misuse, but we’re socially aware and sensitive to the contributing factors that can escalate emotional problems for young people.


If you are, or know a young person who is affected by inter-generational or independent drug/alcohol misuse, then we can help.

Let’s work to find other solutions.