The Misuse Of Drugs Act (1971) is the law that controls the classification of illegal drugs.
Drugs are classed as A,B,C depending on how harmful they are considered to be.
Heroin, Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, Ecstasy (MDMA), LSD, Magic Mushrooms, Methadone and Methamphetamine.
Amphetamines, Barbiturates, Cannabis, Ketamine, Methylphenidate, Synthetic Cannabinoids.
Anabolic Steroids, Benzodiazepines (Diazepam) GHB, GBL.
Using any drug can be risky. Drugs can be harmful to your physical and mental heatlh, and affect your decision making meaning you may be more likely do something you wouldn't normally do.
Drugs can be put in 3 categories:
These are drugs like Amphetamines (Speed, Bubble) Cocaine or Ecstasy. They can make you feel over confident and happy, chatty and energetic and not worried about what might happen. But they can also make you feel anxious, panicky, confused. These types of drugs can put a strain on your heart and nervous system and give your immune system a battering, so you may get more colds, flu and sore throats. People often struggle to sleep and eat after using stimulants, so will often feel quite low and down after using them.
These are drugs like Cannabis, Benzodiazepines (Valium or Diazepam) or GHB/GBL. Depressants slow your system down, so can reduce concentration, slow down your reactions and make you feel tired, forgetful or physically unsteady, placing you at risk of accidents. Using these drugs can affect your sleep and appetite too.
Drugs like LSD, Magic Mushrooms and Ketamine can make people see, hear and experience things that others can't. This is called a trip. A bad trip can be really scary. The effects of hailicinogens can make you behave strangely, and make you vulnerable.
New Psychoactive Substances are also known as Legal Highs. They often provide similar effects to other illegal drugs. Some of these new substances are not yet controlled under The Misuse Of Drugs Act 1971 and there is often not enough research about them to know how they affect people, These drugs are often sold over the internet, and people who use them don't really know what they are taking or what to expect.
More and more NPS are being researched to see what there dangers are and to see whether they should be made illegal. In fact many of the substances that have been been found in some 'legal highs' have already been made illegal.
NPS are sold as not fit for human consumption so they are often sold as incense, salts or plant food to get around the law. The packaging may describe a list of ingredients but you cannot be sure that this is what the product will contain, or how this will affect you.
You cannot be really sure of whats in a 'legal high' that you have bought or been given, or what effect its likely to be on you or your friends.
We know that many 'legal highs' are sold under brand names like Clockwork Orange, Bliss, Mary Jane and have been directly linked to poisoning, and emergency hospital admissions.
Just because a substance is sold as 'legal' does not mean it is safe (or legal)!