Drugs are substances taken to change the way that the mind or body works. Drugs can be prescribed drugs from doctors or illegal drugs on the street but there are always risks to taking them. Some drugs come from plants that grow wild and some can be made in laboratories. There are legal and illegal drugs and there are drugs that are helpful and drugs that can be harmful.
Some of those risks include:
- damage to physical and mental health
- accidents while you are not in control of what you are doing
- not knowing what the drug will do to you
- taking too much in one go and possible overdose
- becoming dependent on drugs
- spending too much money
- missing out on school work
- falling out with family and friends
- getting in trouble with the police
- owing money to drug dealers who may become violent or dangerous if you can't pay.
Prescribed drugs are just as addictive and sometimes just as dangerous as illegal drugs so you should always look at the side effects of the drugs before taking anything.
For more information see our webpages on useful contacts
The most common illegal drugs are listed here (including some of their other names). For more information about these and other illegal drugs not listed here the BBC Radio 1 advice page has full information or try the other, external websites listed on this page.
- Amphetamines - Speed, Billy, Whiz, Phet.
- Cannabis - Dope, Hash, Weed, Pot, Skunk, Ganga, Zoot, Spliff, Green
- Cocaine and Crack - Coke, Charlie, White, Snow, Sniff, White Lady
- Ecstasy - E, Beans, Pills, Doves, Apples
- Heroin - Smack, Junk, H, Brown, Gear, Skag
- Ketamine - Green, K, Special K, Super K
- Khat - Qat, Quat, Chat
- LSD - Acid, Tabs, Trips
- Magic Mushrooms - Shrooms, Mushies, Magics
- Mephedrone - Meow Meow, M-Cat, Drone, Bubbles, Bounce
- Volatile substances (solvents) - includes things like glue, hairspray, gas refills for lighters, paints, thinners and correcting fluids