Drugs fall into 3 main categories
Such as caffeine and khat (legal) or cocaine and amphetamines (illegal)
Such as alcohol and diazepam (legal) or heroin and GHB (illegal)
Perception altering drugs
such as salvia divinorum (legal) or magic mushrooms and LSD (illegal)
(Adapted from Legal Highs:the facts)
How a drug affects an individual will depend on the:
Recreational drug use can easily become problematic and result in damaging effects on a person's health, wealth, performance and personal relationships.
It may be tempting to use a drug to soften the effects of another, such as smoking cannabis after a speed trip. Yet this could increase your paranoia.
Mixing drugs is unpredictable and can be dangerous, for example
For more information on combining different drugs, visit the FRANK webpage
You are at greater risk of physical or sexual assault when under the influence of drugs.
You may appear threatening to others and this will affect their behaviour towards you.
Top tips for staying safe
If things are getting too much, don't keep it a secret
See your GP who will be able to look at referral to specialist services if appropriate
The University of Nottingham Counselling Service produced a leaflet, Alcohol and Drugs:stay in control
FRANK is an independent website giving friendly, confidential drugs advice, with a comprehensive drugs A-Z, personal stories, videos and a freephone, text and email service
Drugs are substances taken into the body which change the way we feel or act. They affect the central nervous system and may alter perception, mood, consciousness, personality or behaviour.
There are hundreds of drugs and even more slang names, so visit the FRANK website for the up to date drugs A-Z, plus information on effects, risks and the law.
The legal status of drugs is complex and changes all the time. Visit Thesite.org for more on current law around different drugs and your rights if suspected of possession or possession with intent to supply.
If prosecuted for drugs possession or supply you could face
Just because a drug is not technically illegal (yet), it doesn't mean it is safe. N.B The government has brought in temporary bans for previously 'legal highs'.
So called 'legal' or 'herbal highs' are designed to mimic class A, B or C drugs such as cocaine or cannabis but may not have been tested for human consumption.
New drugs are constantly being developed and long term effects on the body and brain are unknown.
See the NHS Choices webpage on 'legal highs'.