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There are four different categories of drugs:

  • Drugs you can buy from a Pharmacy or Supermarket - These are often called "Over the counter drugs", and include paracetamol and aspirin. While these are freely available, they can still have negative effects.
  • Drugs you can only get with a prescription - These are called Prescription drugs.You can only get these from a pharmacy if you have a prescription from a doctor as they could be dangerous or addictive if not controlled. If you take these drugs without a prescription your health could be at risk
  • Legal Highs (Psychoactive Drugs) - Just because a substance hasn't been banned, it does not mean it is safe. These drugs are developed quickly and sold on the internet. The chemicals they contain have in most cases never been used in drugs for human consumption before, so haven't been tested to show that they are safe. Users can never be certain what they are taking and what the effects might be.
  • Illegal Classified Drugs - If you are found in possession of these drugs, you can be arrested and end up with a criminal record and even go to prison. These drugs include ecstasy, heroin and cocaine and can cause serious harm to your body. The are classified depending on how much harm they cause.

Being addicted means that you cannot go about your daily life, without taking or using the product of what you are addicted t. Some drugs are more addictive than others. Here are some things to look out if you think you or someone you know is becoming addicted:

  • not being able to concentrate
  • feeling shaky or jittery
  • missing school or work
  • always talking about taking drugs

There are two things the police can charge you with if you are caught in possession of drugs:

Possession - If the police find drugs on you, they will always confiscate them from you. You may get charged by the police. You will be arrested if the police if you are found in possession of a Class A drug, or you have been caught with drugs before.

Dealing - If the police think you are going to sell or even share the drugs you are carrying, then you can be charged with "Possession Intent to Supply". Dealing can carry a long jail sentence.

Need advice, support or information on this topic?

You can always talk to a Youth Support Worker:

Want to know more?

Talk to FRANK - A to Z list of substances explains appearance and use, effects, chances of getting hooked, health risks and UK law.

Know The Score - Tel: 08000 199951- Services for young people (up to the age of 19) experiencing problems with alcohol or drugs