What is a drug?

Any substance that changes the way you think, feel or behave.  Drugs affect how your brain and body work; this can have very serious effects on your health and how you think and feel.  It is important to know that all drugs have the potential to cause harm and that every time someone takes a drug they are taking a risk.

Not all drugs are illegal, medicines like paracetamol are also drugs, and some drugs such as alcohol, caffeine and tobacco are legal (with some restrictions on who can buy them).  Remember that just because a drug is legal, it does not mean it is safe.

Key facts:

Most drugs can be put in 3 categories:

Stimulants (uppers)

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.   Nicotine (found in cigarettes and e-cigs), and caffience are both stimulant drugs.

Depressants (downers)

These are drugs like Cannabis, Alcohol, Heroin and Painkillers . 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.  If someone takes too much they may be sick, or become unconcious (pass out). 


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 hallucinogens can make you behave strangely, and make you vulnerable.


Drugs & the Law

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.

Class A drugs

Heroin, Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, Ecstasy (MDMA), LSD, Magic Mushrooms, Methadone and Methamphetamine.

Class B drugs

Amphetamines, Barbiturates, Cannabis, Ketamine, Methylphenidate, Synthetic Cannabinoids.

Class C drugs

Anabolic Steroids, Benzodiazepines (Diazepam) GHB, GBL.


To find out more please visit www.talktofrank.com where you will find the most recent information about drugs, their effects and the law.