Family Services

Substance Abuse & Tobacco

People have used a variety of substances throughout history to alter their mood or behaviour. However, there is some health risk to using any substance, even a legal substance like alcohol or caffeine. The risk increases if you take a substance frequently or if you are young and your body is still growing.

Substance abuse can also cause serious problems in your life such as losing friends or a job, or getting expelled from school. Even knowing substances such as alcohol, drugs or tobacco can be harmful, some people choose to continue using them. Others become addicted and can’t seem to quit on their own.

When alcohol or drug use becomes a regular occurrence, it can indicate the possibility of an addiction and/or a mental health problem.

If you feel you or your child is in danger of abusing drugs or alcohol, get help right away. Contact your Community Social Service Worker or local health care provider.

(Reference: Offord Centre for Child Studies – Substance Abuse in Children and Adolescents article & Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre)


Substance Abuse in Children and Adolescents (Offord Centre PDF)


Centre for Addiction and Mental Health – Addiction: An Information Guide

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health – When a Parent Drinks Too Much Alcohol, What Kids Want to Know

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health – Women and Alcohol

Centre of Knowledge on Healthy Child Development

First Nations, Inuit and Aboriginal Health – Substance Abuse and Treatment of Addictions

Government of Canada, National Anti-Drug Strategy, Youth Drug Prevention for Parents

Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre – Substance Use, Teen Use

Government of Nunavut: Tobacco Has No Place Here.

Books in Your Community

For Adults

Choices and Consequences: What to do When a Teenager Use Alcohol/Drugs, Dick Schaefer.

Teenagers, Alcohol and Drugs: What Your Kids Really Want and Need to Know about Alcohol and Drugs, Paul Dillon.

When a Family is in Trouble: Children Can Cope with Grief from Drug and Alcohol Addiction, Marge Heegaard.

Smoking Sucks, Department of Health and Social Services.

Healing from Smoking, Department of Health and Social Services.

Our Ancestors Never Smoked, Pauktuutit.

Easy Way to Stop Smoking, Allen Carr.

For Children and Youth

How to Say No to Drugs and Alcohol, Jim Auer.