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Smoking, drinking, drugs and gambling

Smoking, drug use, alcohol misuse and gambling can contribute to poor mental health. Equally, poor mental health can lead to increased substance misuse, smoking and addictive behaviours.

This means we can find ourselves trapped in a vicious circle.

For example, someone using cannabis to self-medicate their mental health issues might actually find themselves more anxious and paranoid in the short term, and could even go on to develop a psychotic illness.

Coupled with anxiety about getting the next drink, hit or win, substance misuse and addiction can make us feel guilty, worried about money, and put a strain on our relationships.

Quitting smoking and drugs, cutting down on alcohol and managing our gambling can help us take back control of our moods and emotions.

People who smoke, for instance, can mistakenly believe that stopping smoking will negatively affect their mental health. But it can actually reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

There are lots of sources of support and information that can help if you smoke, gamble or misuse drugs or alcohol.