Drugs, alcohol and mental health

Drugs and alcohol change the way your brain and body work. They change the balance of chemicals that help your brain to think, feel, create and make decisions.

If you’re going through a tough time, it can be tempting to use drugs and alcohol as a coping strategy. However, these are addictive substances that can cause symptoms of depression and/or anxiety or make an existing problem worse, while making recovery much harder. Some people with depression and/or anxiety can also develop problems with drugs and alcohol, which may also need treatment.

Changing drug and alcohol habits can take time, but with support and perseverance you will notice positive changes in your mental and physical wellbeing.

Click here for support and the most up to date access to services to help with drugs & alcohol please see the link below to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation 

No tolerance
The Rules of Racing has a zero tolerance to illicit drugs. Registered or licensed personal are not permitted to work while under the influence of drugs

Registered and licensed persons can be randomly tested at any time. Stewards are able to take a sample at any time, either prior or after handling a horse at any race meeting, official trial, jump out or in training.
Signs it’s becoming an issue
  • Regularly turning up to work a bit tipsy, then disturbing everyone and making it harder for people to work
  • Having memory problems, feeling tired from not sleeping and clumsiness at work
  • Taking illicit drugs and drinking alcohol excessively on the weekends and/or weekdays and coming into work tired, moody and irritable regularly.
  • Regularly or continued substance use to cope emotionally, socially or physically
Steps to take how to seek help
  1. Recognise when your substance use has become a problem - realising and accepting that you are abusing or addicted to substances is the first step to finding help.
  2. Get support - Don’t tackle the road on your own. Talk to friends, family, your doctor, other health professionals or a telephone helpline about your substance use. Establish a joint approach with your employer.
  3. Investigate options for help - Seek help from counselling, medication, rehabilitation centres, self-help programs or support networks. You might need to try a number of options before you find what works for you.
  4. Find alternative coping strategies - substance use is often misused in order to cope with life or escape personal problems, identify hazards that can cause the use of alcohol and drugs in the workplace and try to remove them. By removing the hazards you can make it easier to recover and not relapse.
  5. Deal with setbacks and keep going - Recovery can be a long and difficult road. Expect some setbacks and don’t focus on failures, focus on your plan and understand your triggers and how to best respond to them in future.

What is an alcohol and other drug problem
An alcohol and drug problem is the harmful use of drugs or alcohol for non-medical purposes. An alcohol or drug problem isn’t necessarily measured by how much, how many or what type of drugs a person uses but by how the drug affects the person’s life and the lives of those around them.