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To Sam


Hi Sam, I'm A and I'm 13, I've been trying to stop the urge to drink for a couple of months now because I feel happy for most of the drunken feeling but afterwards when I run out I feel so depressed and I have even tried to take my own life when I'm not under the influence even though I no it ruins my life when I don't have alcohol in front of me I'm not happy and if I go along time without it I'm probably the most depressing person ever. Coz of this my grade have just started to slip and i even bring alcopops and beer into school and just hope to not be caught (I have let others drink it as well.) Along with this I also have used inhalants to get high but it hurts mt chest and I can't run or walk properly any more without breathing heavly. Plus I cud be moving soon so I'm trying to stop before then. How??
Ask Sam


Hi A,

I’m glad you thought of writing to me about trying to control your urge to drink.  It sounds like alcohol has become a big part of your life and I know that can happen without you meaning to. Even though you’d like to stop, it sounds like you’re taking more risks - like bringing alcohol to school and using inhalants to get high.

You’ve described the cycle that goes with drinking alcohol really well. First you feel happy while drunk, but then afterwards you feel depressed. You’ve even tried to take your own life when not under the influence of alcohol. I think a lot of people don’t know that alcohol is a drug and acts like a depressant. A 'depressant' means the high doesn’t last and it explains why you feel so low afterwards. Though I can’t say for sure, you may also be describing what addiction is, where you can’t stop taking the drug (in this case alcohol) and where it seems like more and more is needed to feed the habit.

As well as seeing the negative effect alcohol is having on your life, you’re also worried about having to move soon. Moving means there may be a lot of change ahead for you. I want you to know I believe you’ve tried to stop, but I also want you to know that if you’re addicted to alcohol, you may need help from a doctor or other responsible adults to help make that happen. I know it could be a hard thing to talk about, but asking an adult you trust to support you could really help you cut out alcohol. Take a look at out tips on asking for help.

I want you to be healthy and safe so I have to point out that heavy drinking at your age can lead to things like liver damage, problems in brain development (affecting things like memory, reactions and attention span) as well as a variety of emotional problems. I hope you’ll be able to look at our page on Alcohol. To help you with feeling low, you could also read our pages about depression and suicidal feelings.

You could also take a look at Drinkaware and the information they have about alcohol use in young people under the age of 18.

I really think the counsellors here at ChildLine would like to talk with you about how your drinking started, what your home life is like and the kind of things you may have been struggling with before you started to drink so heavily. You can tell us more either by email, calling free on 0800 1111 or by having an online 1-2-1 chat.

You’ve taken a very brave first step by writing to me. You understand that alcohol is a problem for you right now and I’m hoping with our help you can get all the support you deserve to have.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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