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Substance Use

Use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco is common among young people in India. Nearly one in seven young people experience any kind of substance use related problems, with tobacco being the most common.

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However, substance use can lead to harmful, potentially dangerous cycles. To take care of yourself, it’s important to recognize the impact substances may have on you and develop a healthy relationship with them.

Alcohol, drugs, and tobacco can be used in ways that they enjoy and do not cause them practical or emotional problems. However, excess use can lead to a dangerous cycle, in people try to use substances to remedy negative emotions. This kind of substance use then leads to longer-term worse feelings and day-to-day challenges.


Becoming dependent on substances happens when the body gets used to them, so the person needs to consume more to get the same effect. When someone is addicted, they are physically and mentally dependent on a substance and feel out of control.

Dependence and addiction are best prevented with early action. If you think you or someone you know might be engaging in harmful substance use, it’s important to learn more and reach out to resources.

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Do you think you or someone you know might need help with substance use? Try the following resources:

  • iCALL: Telephone and email counselling.
    Available Monday-Saturday, 8 AM-10 PM.
    Call 9152987821, email at, or download nULTA app to chat.

  • Sangath: Helpline for mental health concerns.
    Call +91 95525 30557, available by appointment

  • Samaritans Mumbai: Helpline and email.
    Call any day, 5-8 PM
    +91 84229 84528, +91 84229 84529, or +91 84229 84530 or email at

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