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Child Protection UK Ltd - What are Drugs

A drug is any substance that changes how the body works once it gets inside the body.


  • Most common drugs used


    The three most common drugs used by teenagers today are:




    Marijuana (Cannabis)


  • Inhalants

    Most inhalants are extremely toxic to the body's organs. Inhalant use may cause neural damage b leading to the loss of reasoning ability as well as psychological and social problems. Significant damage to the liver and kidneys may also occur. Some inhalants cause sudden death due to heartbeat irregularities.


    Users of inhalants may have a sense of light-headedness and experience vivid fantasies. Long-term users often lose weight, have nosebleeds, mouth sores and are irritable and depressed. Nausea, vomiting and extreme salivation are common side effects.


  • Tobacco

    Teen tobacco users risk addiction, which can lead to heart disease, lung cancer, emphysema and cancers of the mouth, to name a few.


    Research shows that young people may not understand these long-term health effects. If the health message doesn't register with teens you know, you may also point out that tobacco decreases their stamina, stains their teeth, wrinkles their skin and gives them bad breath.


    If you know children or teens that smoke cigarettes to demonstrate their independence, point out that tobaccos active ingredient b nicotine b is a highly addictive substance. Smokers may continue using tobacco even if they know and understand its dangers. Instead of being independent, they are slaves to a dirty, unhealthy habit.


  • Marijuana (Cannabis)

    Marijuana leaves the body slowly, the effects of smoking Marijuana, last for hours. Somebody who smokes at night may still be under the drugs influences the following morning.


    There are telltale signs of marijuana use. Someone who has smoked a single marijuana cigarette may be in a talkative, outgoing mood and have food cravings. This is often followed by a period of sleepiness. Users often show signs of paranoia. Marijuana also impairs co-ordination and concentration.


    What is cannabis?


    Cannabis or Marijuana comes from the dried bud of the female plant, which is the highest concentration of psychoactive compound. These buds are usually what is sold and consumed as cannabis.


    Cannabis is usually rolled up into a joint and smoked, but bongs, pipes and other devices are also used.


    Cannabis can also be eaten, most users bake cakes for ingestion. Often people cook with leaves of the plant as opposed to using the bud.


  • Alcohol

    Even though alcohol is not illegal, it is still classed as a harmful drug and is responsible for many unpleasant situations in the UK, ranging from violent behavior, domestic violence and serious road traffic accidents. Alcohol does not affect everyone in the same way, it can depend on a person's age, gender, physical condition, the amount of food eaten, other drugs or medicines taken and if these drugs are still in the system.

  • Gases, glues and aerosols

    Solvents cover a huge number of substances. Gas lighter refills, aerosols containing hairspray, deodorants, air fresheners, tins or tubes of glue, thinners and cleaning fluids, surgical spirits, dry-cleaning fluids and petrol are all substances which are known as solvents.


    Other common names;

    gases, aerosols, glue, thinners, volatile substances.


  • Anabolic Steroids

    Anabolic steroids contain male hormones and were designed ideally to be used to treat anaemia and muscle weakness after surgery.


    Also known as:

    Susta durabolin





    Anabolic steroids are a Class C drug. Steroids can come in tablet form, which is swallowed or in liquid form, which is injected.


    There are many imitation steroids sold on the streets that don't do what they are believed to do and in many cases don't have any active ingredients in them at all. Athletes/sports people and bodybuilders mainly use anabolic steroids. Although steroids are not physically addictive the user can quite quickly become psychologically dependent. Steroids are only to be sold over the counter in pharmacies with a doctor's prescription. It is not illegal to possess or import steroids for personal use, but if it's thought that you intend to supply it is illegal and could lead to 14 years imprisonment and possibly a fine.

  • GHB

    What is GHB?


    GHB (Gamma Hydroxybutyrate) usually comes as an odourless liquid, slightly salty to the taste and sold in small bottles. It has also been found in powder and capsule form.


    It is classified as a sedative-hypnotic, and was originally developed as a sleep aid.


    A similar drug GBL is often sold under different names and turns into GHB in the body, having the same effect.

  • Magic Mushrooms

    Magic mushrooms are mushrooms, which grow in the wild, giving similar effects to LSD when eaten. There are two main types and varieties are very different.


    The most common form is a species called psilocy'e; this is a psychedelic drug and has been used by many indigenous cultures to induce altered stages of consciousness during religious rituals. The other more potent variety is amanita mushrooms. There are deadly poisonous species of mushrooms. Any user who is unaware of what they are taking can put them in a very dangerous situation.


    Other common names of magic mushrooms:


    Magic mushies

    Liberty cap



    Amani agaric

    Fly agaric

  • LSD Lysergic Diethlamide

    LSD is a strong hallucinogenic drug that changes the way the mind and eyes see things; the drug comes from Ergot, which is a wild fungus that grows on rye and other grains.


    LSD is a very unpredictable drug and once under the influence is not a drug that the user can control the effects of; the effects usually start to take effect between 20 to 60 minutes and can last up to 12 hours.


    LSD is taken orally and licked off blotter paper. Gelatine or liquid can be put in the user's eye.


    Usually sold on small pieces of blotter paper (the size of a fingernail) with a variety of pictures/designs on, can also be sold as liquid or small pellets.


    Other street names:

    Trips, Acid, Blotter, Dots, Drop, Microdots, Paper mushrooms, Tabs.


    Most of the street names come from the print/design on the paper i.e. strawberries, smiley face and batman etc.

  • Speed

    This is a Class B drug, but when prepared for injection it becomes a Class A drug.


    Speed is a stimulant, which makes you feel awake, alert, talkative and full of energy. Speed suppresses hunger. When the effects of taking speed begin to wear off, the user often goes 'on a come down', this leaves you feeling depressed and irritable this can last for a few hours or a couple of days.


    This drug is often sold in a small bag or wrap of paper in grams (usually single) and is often an off white powder or greyish-pink paste (base speed).


    Users often take this drug by dabbing it onto their gums or wrapped up in a paper (often Rizla Paper) and swallowed (this is known as a speed/whiz z bomb). Speed can also be injected or smoked (methamphetamine); by taking the drug this way the effects kick in much quicker. The user usually feels the effects after approximately half an hour and depending on how much is taken it can last for several hours.


    Also known as:



    Billy Whizz



  • Ecstasy

    What is Ecstasy?


    Ecstasy or MDMA is a synthetic drug, which acts as a stimulant with hallucinogenic properties. It belongs to the family of drugs called bentactogens": which literally means touching within.


    Before it was made illegal in 1985, psychiatrists used MDMA as a therapeutic tool. Studies are currently underway in parts of Europe assessing MDMA's effectiveness in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


    Ecstasy is normally taken in tablet form (and often contains other drugs) mostly by teenagers at Raves.


    Users say that Ecstasy causes a sense of euphoria, followed by a feeling of calm. They claim it makes them feel more confident and increases their awareness of their surroundings.

  • Cocaine

    Cocaine is a Class A drug.


    Cocaine Hydrochloride is a white powder that derives from the leaves of cocoa plants, it is a stimulant most associated to the clubbing scene, coke is an extremely addictive drug; it is thought that the psychological dependence for cocaine is harder to resist than the physical withdrawal symptoms. Once injected cocaine is absorbed into the bloodstream with immediate effect and much more intensity, but the effects wear off slightly faster. When snorted cocaine enters the bloodstream through the nasal tissue and takes around 15 to 30 minutes to take effect usually the 'High' lasts for 20 to 40 minutes feeling a need to take more to keep the sensation. If the cocaine is rubbed onto the gums, a feeling of numbness in the mouth, lips, throat and face is perfectly normal.


    Crack cocaine is made by chemically altering cocaine powder into crystals or rocks, which are easily smoked.


    Other street names:








  • Heroin

    What is Heroin?

    Heroin is made from the opium poppy. It belongs to a class of drugs known as opiates, along with morphine and opium.


    Heroin is produced from Morphine, which is a principal component of Opium. Opium is a naturally occurring substance that is extracted from the seedpod of the opium poppy.


    Heroin is highly addictive and rapidly acting opiate.

    Heroin is either snorted, smoked (chased) or injected.


    Both new and experienced users risk overdosing on heroin because it is impossible to know the purity of the heroin they are using.


    Many new users start off by smoking heroin because they wish to avoid the social stigma attached to injecting, believing if they don't inject, they cannot become addicted.


    Users who snort or smoke heroin will graduate to injecting, as their bodies become conditioned to the drug, the effects become less intense. This in turn leads them to injecting to try to attain the more intense affects they experienced when they first started using the drug.


    Addiction is a risk of heroin use, whether you smoke, snort or inject. Also overdose is another main factor, because it is impossible to know the purity of heroin, (heroin sold on the streets is often cut with sugar, glucose, starch and even poisons such as strychnine).

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Please note Child Protection UK LTD Company registration number: 5346299 is an independent campaign and is not a charity.