They include alcohol, tobacco (nicotine), substances such as cannabis, heroin, cocaine and ecstasy, and some prescribed medicines.
Drugs are substances people take:
All my experiences with recreational drug use started due to
social influences, of wanting to 'fit in'.
A number of substances previously known as ‘legal highs’ are now illegal
– for example, mephedrone ('meow meow').
Most drugs come under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, which makes it illegal to possess certain drugs and to supply them to others. They are classified as class A, B or C, depending on the presumed risk of harm they may cause.
New synthetic versions of existing drugs (previously called ‘legal highs’) come under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016. These are chemicals made to mimic the effects of existing illegal drugs, for example cannabis or cocaine. The Psychoactive Substances Act, which came into effect in May 2016, makes it illegal to produce or supply these types of substances, or to possess them with the intention of supplying them.
The way street drugs are legally classified does not reflect how harmful they are to your mental health. Legal, illegal and controlled drugs can all have a negative impact on you, whichever Act of Parliament they come under and whatever class they are given
Some of the substances discussed on these pages have potential medical uses:
Download the PDF