Drugs and Alcohol

Drugs - Information and Effects



Heroin (Smack, Brown, Horse, Gear, Junk, H, Jack, Scag)

A brownish-white powder which is smoked, snorted or dissolved and injected. Heroin is addictive and users who form a habit may end up taking the drug just to feel normal.

Small doses give the user a sense of warmth and well-being and larger doses can make them drowsy and relaxed. Excessive amounts can result in overdose, coma and in some cases death, with users at risk of dangerous infections like hepatitis B or C and HIV/AIDS by sharing injecting equipment.




LSD (Acid, Trips, Tabs, Blotters, Microdots, Dots)
¼ inch squares of paper, often with a picture on one side, are swallowed.

The effects of LSD are known as a 'trip' and can last for 8-12 hours with users experiencing surroundings in a very different and sometimes very frightening way. Objects, colours and sound may be distorted and a sense of movement and time may speed up or slow down. Once a trip starts it cannot be stopped and users may have a 'bad trip', which can be terrifying. 'Flashbacks' may also be experienced after the event where parts of a trip are re-lived.


Magic Mushroom


Magic Mushrooms (Shrooms, Mushies)
These mushrooms are eaten raw, dried, cooked in food or stewed in tea and the effect can be similar to that of LSD but the trip is often milder and shorter (about 4 hours).
Eating the wrong kind of mushroom however can cause serious illness and even fatal poisoning. It can also lead to serious stomach pains, sickness and diarrhoea.




Ecstasy (E, Doves, XTC, Disco Biscuits, Echoes, hug drug, burgers, MDMA)

Ecstasy is a popular party drug that comes in the form of a tablet of different shapes, size and colour (but often white) which are swallowed. It makes users feel alert and in tune with their surroundings. It can make users dance for hours making sounds, colours and emotions seem much more intense.

The effects can last from 3 to 6 hours but leave users feeling tired and depressed for days. Users also put themselves at risk of overheating and dehydration by dancing energetically without taking breaks or drinking enough fluids (users should sip about a pint of non-alcoholic fluid such as fruit juice, sports drinks or water every hour). Some experts are concerned that use of ecstasy can lead to brain damage causing depression in later life as well as being linked to liver and kidney problems.




Gases, Glues and Aerosols

Products such as lighter gas refills, aerosols, tins or tubes of glue, some paints, thinners and correcting fluids are sniffed or breathed into the lungs from a cloth or sleeve. Gas products are sometimes squirted directly into the back of the throat. Sniffing gases, glues and aerosols can have a similar affect to feeling very drunk. Users feel thick-headed, dizzy, giggly and dreamy and may also hallucinate.

Effects don't last very long but users can remain intoxicated all day by repeating the dose causing serious nausea, vomiting, black-outs and heart problems that can be fatal. Squirting gas products down the throat may cause the body to produce fluid that floods the lungs and this can cause instant death. There is also risk of suffocation if the substance is inhaled from a plastic bag over the head. Accidents can commonly occur due to the user being high and their senses affected and long-term abuse of glue can damage the brain, liver and kidneys.




Cannabis (Marijuana, Draw, Blow, Weed, Puff, Shit, Hash, Ganja, Spliff, Wacky backy)

Comes in the number of forms which include a solid dark lump known as 'resin, leaves, stalks, seeds called 'grass' and a sticky dark oil. It can be rolled, usually with tobacco, in a spliff or joint, smoked on its own in a special pipe, or cooked and eaten in food.

Mis-using cannabis can make users feel relaxed and talkative bringing on a craving for food often referred to as 'having the munchies'. Cooking the drug then eating it makes the effects more intense and harder to control. Smoking cannabis impairs the ability to learn and concentrate leaving people tired, lacking energy and feel apathetic. Smoking joints over a long period of time can lead to respiratory disorders, including lung cancer and smoking it with tobacco may lead to users becoming hooked on cigarettes.




Cocaine (Coke, Charlie, Snow) & Crack (Rock, Wash)

Cocaine is a white powder that is snorted up the nose, sometimes dissolved and injected whilst Crack is a smoke-able form of cocaine that comes in the form of a small raisin-sized crystals.

Taking cocaine and crack can be highly addictive giving users a sense of well-being, alertness and confidence.




Alkyl Nitrates (Poppers, product names - Ram, Thrust, Kix, TNT, Rock Hard, Liquid Gold)

This clear or straw-coloured liquid comes in a small bottle in which vapour is breathed in through the mouth or nose from a small bottle or tube.

The effects of misusing Alkyl Nitrates are brief but intense, similar to 'head rush'. As well as having a flushed face and neck, they also can cause headaches, faintness and sickness. Regular use can cause skin problems around the mouth and nose and if spilled can burn the skin as well as burning the throat if swallowed.




Amphetamines (Speed, Whiz, Uppers, Amph, Billy, Sulphate)

A grey or white powder that is snorted, smoked, swallowed, injected or dissolved in a drink. Misusing causes excitement making the mind race with users feeling confident and energetic.

Whilst on the drug, some users may become tense and anxious leaving them feeling tired and depressed for one or two days after. High doses repeated over a few days may cause panic and hallucinations with long-term use putting a major strain on the heart. Heavy long-term use can also lead to mental illness.




Tranquilisers (Product names: Valium, Ativan, Mogadon, Librium, Rohypnol, Normison)

Swallowed as tablets or capsules, tranquilisers slow users down mentally, tranquilisers calm users to relieve tension and anxiety, however high doses can make users feel drowsy and forgetful.

They can be addictive and extremely dangerous if mixed with alcohol with some causing a temporary loss of short-term memory. Users trying to quit may suffer panic attacks.


crystal meth


Crystal Meth (Tina, Krank, Ice)

Comes as either a powder or as a crystal with an off-white colour and can be snorted, smoked or injected with some users quickly become dependent on it. As a stronger form of amphetamine, crystal meth can make users feel confident and energetic with a heightened sense of alertness. Like cocaine and speed it produces a powerful high but the effects can last much longer.

As well as damaging the central nervous system and the heart, it can make users stay awake for days using the drug to chase the rush. It can also cause emotional and psychotic symptoms with very unpleasant 'come-downs' with a severe low experienced.




Anabolic Steroids (Roids, product names include: Sustanon 250, Deca-Durabolin, Dianabol, Anavan, Stanozolol)

In the form of liquids which are injected or tablets that are swallowed, anabolic steroids are commonly used by individuals wanting to build muscle quickly, users claim the drug makes them feel more aggressive and able to train harder.

With exercise it can help build up muscle and helps users recover from strenuous exercise faster. However it can potentially stop young people growing properly with the effects for men include erection problems, breast growth, shrinking testicles, sterility, acne, increased chance of liver failure and heart attack. Risks for women include growth of facial hair, deepening voice, shrinking breasts, possible miscarriage and stillbirth.