Most people don't use illicit drugs but for those that do, it is important to be aware of the risks to your health. There are many different types of drugs, with varying effects.

Drug Use - What does it do to your body?

There are many different types of drugs, the effects of which can be read here.

Drug dependency

A small percentage of people who use drugs develop a dependency to them. If you need treatment for drug addiction, you're entitled to NHS care in the same way as anyone else that has a health problem.

With the right help and support, it's possible for you to get drug free and stay that way.

Your GP can discuss options with you and refer you into specialist treatment for drug addiction. If you are not comfortable approaching your GP about this, you can contact the Substance Misuse Recovery Service which is based in the Mental Health Department of the Lerwick Health Centre: 01595 743006


There are a range of organisations in Shetland that contribute to reducing the harm caused by alcohol and drugs in Shetland.

The Shetland Community Bike Project provides supported therapeutic, volunteer and paid employment placements to individuals who have barriers to employment that may include alcohol or drug related problems. The project works with the individual to remove these barriers and move them on into sustainable mainstream employment. For more information you can contact Caroline Adamson on: mail@shetlandbikeproject.co.uk or call 01595 690077. 





OPEN Peer Education Project provides harm reduction information to young people through workshops in schools and community settings. In addition to this, they provide a range of volunteering and development opportunities for young people aged 14-25. If you would like to find out more about this please contact: una.murray@shetland.org/wayne.leask@shetland.org



Dogs Against Drugs (In memory of John) provide a Drugs Dog Deterrence and Detection Service based in Shetland, for the local Shetland Community that is operationally managed by Police Scotland officers based in Shetland. The dogs and handlers also visit Shetland schools and communities to deliver drugs education to all age ranges of pupils.


The Substance Misuse Recovery Service (SMRS) is based in the Mental Health Department of the Lerwick Health Centre. They provide specialist healthcare and support for anyone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol. You can be referred to them by your GP or you can contact them yourself on 01595 743006.
The FAB Group provides a safe space for families affected by someones alcohol or drug use to come together and support each other. The group meets biweekly on Wednesdays at Market House, contact Karen on 01595 743923 for details.


Shetland Alcohol and Drug Partnership

The Shetland Alcohol and Drug Partnership is a multi-agency group that work alongside the Scottish Government to reduce the harm caused by alcohol and drugs in Shetland.  

If you are looking for services that are available locally, information or resources about alcohol and drugs or would like to reach the partnership for any other reason, you can contact:

Wendy McConnachie, Alcohol and Drugs Development Officer: wendy.mcconnachie@nhs.net

Carol Scott, Alcohol and Drug Development Assistant: carol.scott21@nhs.net


Illegal drug use and crime

The illicit drugs trade is associated with high levels of crime and violence that can devastate lives and communities. A campaign called #everylinecounts was launched in 2015 to illustrate the cost of the cocaine trade to communities around the world. The following video by the National Crime Agency demonstrates this.