Teenagers and Counselling

Alcohol and drug use and the regulations as they affect teenagers in France...

Teenagers who run into difficulties with alcohol or drugs can find help and support throughout France.

Many schools have regular visits from social welfare or health experts plus talks by local police and information on drink and drugs. Larger towns will often have a youth help centre (Centre Accueil et Aide aux Jeunes) where young people can go for help.

To find telephone numbers for local counselling and help services consult the front of a local telephone directory.

Drogues Info Service provides information (in French) on addiction to drugs, alcohol, medication as well as games.

SOS amitié helps with drug related problems and Aids. It also provides a telephone counselling service.


  • Some areas of France are also able to offer English-speaking counselling services, see website Counselling in France
  • SOS Helpline also offers English-language advice and support
    Tel: 01 46 21 46 46
    Open: 15:00-23:00 daily

Teenagers and Alcohol

Alcohol and its abuse remains a problem for the French. Many people die as a direct result of alcohol and the majority of these deaths occur in poor urban and rural areas.

The legal age for drinking alcohol in France is 18.

Alcoholics Anonymous (Alcooliques Anonymes) is active in France and has some groups which operate English-speaking sessions.

  • The helpline is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Tel: 09 69 39 40 20
  • See the AA Europe website for English-speaking meetings in France

Teenagers and Drugs

Although still a problem, the use of illegal drugs in France is less widespread than in many other developed countries. Responsibility for dealing with drugs in France rests with the Ministry of the Interior.

Information includes latest initiatives to combat the problem, as well as the current legal situation. Use of drugs including cannabis is prohibited. Possession and sale of drugs is also subject to severe punishment.

English language help can be found via the organisations mentioned previously in the Counselling section.