Substance misuse service for young people

If you or someone you know needs help with substance misuse, we offer a free and confidential service. We listen and can give you one to one support.   

Who are we?

Young People's Substance Misuse Service (YPSMS) is a voluntary, free and confidential specialist drug and alcohol service. It helps young people up to the age of 18 in Barnsley who are affected by their own, or someone else's substance use, at any level.

As well as those at risk of using substances, we support young people who are using drugs or alcohol, feel they have a problem and want some help. This can either be a one off or a longer piece of work.

How can we help?

We'll support you to reduce or prevent the harm that comes with drug and alcohol use.  

We’re not here to judge you or tell you what to do, but we can help you make the changes you want to make. These can either be now or in the future.

We know it can sometimes be difficult to talk openly and honestly, especially about drugs and alcohol. We'll try to make it as easy as we can for you and come to see you where you want to be seen. This could be at school, college, youth centre or even at home.

We also offer:

  • the c-card service
  • blood borne virus screening and access to vaccination
  • access to sexual health screening
  • support around other areas of your life such as relationships, mental health, finances, physical health, family support, education/training/employment.

Parent and carers support

We also offer provision for parents, carers and professionals that support young people in Barnsley. This could be offering advice and support to professionals or parents/carers who are helping young people. Even if they may not yet be ready to access the service.

The service can also work with other professionals and community groups. We offer targeted group sessions, training, and outreach provisions with identified groups.

When are we open?

Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, however we will see young people at a venue to suit them and out of office hours. 


Drug use screening tool (DUST)

Our drug use screening tool (DUST) can help you decide whether an assessment from a specialist service is needed. The information is also designed to help any specialist service you may make a referral to.

Please download the drug use screening tool (DUST) form and complete it by ticking the most appropriate box. You may be unable to complete all of the questions but please answer as many as possible. This part of the form is not a requirement but it does enable services to build a better picture of need to ensure the most appropriate response.

If you are not able to complete this page of the form but still wish to refer, please complete the first part of the form. We encourage people to complete this form together with the client or patient where possible.

Once you have completed the form, please add up the points from each section. This will help you to decide which service(s) are most appropriate to refer to. This form cannot replace your own judgment or that of the person you are working with.

Once complete, send the referral form to us at

Drug use screening tool (DUST) guidance

DUST is a screening tool only, completing this form can help you decide whether an assessment from specialist services is needed. The information is also designed to help any specialist service you may make a referral to. Once you have completed the form, please add up the points from each section. This will assist you in deciding which services are most appropriate to refer to. This form cannot replace your own judgment or that of the person you are working with.

Although many young people will try drugs at some time, most do not progress beyond experimentation.

Research indicates that many factors can increase the risk of a young person moving from ‘drug use’ to drug misuse’. Some protective factors can reduce these risks. Unless you are a specialist drug worker it can be difficult to distinguish between ‘use’ and ‘misuse’. This tool should help to accurately assess these risk factors.

To complete this form you do not need a comprehensive knowledge of drugs and alcohol. You may, however, need to know how to contact Barnsley Young People Substance Misuse Service, please see below. The Barnsley Young People Substance Misuse Service will be able to provide appropriate information, leaflets and guidance.

DUST is designed for use with young people about whom there may be concerns regarding drug/alcohol use.

  • It will not provide a comprehensive or specialist substance use assessment.
  • It will indicate when specialist advice should be sought.
  • It will help identify risk factors

Defining the terms

  • Drug - the term ‘drug’ is used to refer to any psychoactive substance. This includes legal and illegal substances, illicit prescription drugs and volatile substances (eg solvents).
  • Substance - Young people’s drug use is often linked together with alcohol use. Drugs and alcohol together are collectively termed substances.
  • Drug and alcohol use - The consumption of drugs/alcohol by a young person. When the term use is contrasted with ‘misuse’, ‘use’ means the consumption of a drug that does not cause any noticeable use immediate harm. It may still carry some risk of harm.
  • Drug and alcohol misuse - Use of a drug or combination of substances, that harms health or social functioning. This is either dependent use (physical or psychological) or use that is part of a wider spectrum of misuse problematic or harmful behaviour.
  • Vulnerable group - young people are at increased risk of drug misuse if they belong to certain groups. This group risk increases if there is membership of more than one group.
  • Protective factors - Increase a young person’s resilience to the development of drug misuse problems.
  • Risk factors - increase the likelihood that drug misuse will occur.

Protective and risk factors

Protective factors Risk factor - Belonging to a vulnerable group Risk factor - Social and cultural factors Risk factor -Interpersonal and individual risk factors
  • Positive temperament
  • Intellectual ability
  • Supportive family environment
  • Social support system
  • Caring relationship with at least one adult
  • In education, employment or training
  • Young offenders
  • Looked after children
  • Mental health problems
  • School non-attendees
  • Substance misuse by parents/carers
  • Abuse within the family
  • Homelessness
  • Parents/carers with mental health problems
  • High levels of neighbourhood crime
  • High levels of poverty and decay
  • Easy drug availability
  • Areas where there is widespread social acceptance of drug abuse
  • Lack of perception of the risks from drugs
  • Physiological and psychological factors
  • Family dysfunction
  • Behavioural difficulties
  • Academic problems
  • Association with peers who use drugs
  • Early onset of drug or alcohol use

Barnsley TYS Substance Misuse Service

Reducing drug and alcohol use by young people, particularly the most vulnerable, is central to Barnsley’s Health and Wellbeing and Community Safety Strategies. It's also a key local and national Public Health Outcome.

Section 1 – Drug/alcohol use

If a young person scores less than 4 in this area, please provide the young person with some information and advice around drug or alcohol use. If there is a score of 5-6, please consider seeking advice from Barnsley YP Substance Misuse Service and make a referral if appropriate. If a young person scores over 7 in this area, this would usually prompt a referral into Barnsley Young Persons Substance Misuse Service:

Barnsley Young Persons Substance Misuse Service

Tel: (01226) 705980

Section 2 – Social situation/behaviour and Section 3 – general and psychological health

If a young person scores highly in either of these sections, or you have certain concerns, please refer to the appropriate young person support agency(s) below. You should makes sure you follow their referral procedures. It's best that you also follow early help procedures. In an emergency, call 999 or attend A&E.

Local service Service provided Address Contact information
SHARP – Barnsley Sexual Health and GUM Gateway Clinic, Sackville St, Barnsley, S70 2RD Tel: (01226) 970012
Family Information Service Free and confidential advice for the whole family Various Tel: (0800) 0345340
Barnsley Beacon Support service for carers/parents affected by drug and alcohol use 19 Doncaster Road, Barnsley, S70 1TH Tel: (01226) 814012
Children's Services / Children's social care Child protection concerns Various Tel: (01226) 772423
Out of hours: (08449) 841800
Emergency: (01142) 202020
Targeted Information, Advise and Guidance (TIAG) Employment, training and education advice for young people Wellington House, Barnsley, S70 1WA Tel: (01226) 775270
Housing Advice Support regarding accommodation and emergency shelters Second floor of Wellington House, Wellington Street, Barnsley Tel: (01226) 773870
Out of hours: (08449) 841800
CAMHS Mental Health Services for children and young people Various Tel: (01226) 644829
Barnardos Young Carers service Priory Family Hub, Barnsley, S71 5PN Tel: (01226) 770619

Support Agencies

  • Childline – 0800 1111
  • NHS Health non-emergency – 111
  • Family Lives – 0808 800 2222
  • Police non-emergency – 101
  • FRANK – 0800 77 66 00
  • Mind – 0300 123 3393
  • Samaritans – 08457 90 90 90
  • Young Minds – 0808 802 5544
  • Shelter – 0808 800 4444