As a young person you have to face lots of different issues and drugs may be one of them. You may have made the decision to use them yourself or you may be affected by someone else’s drug use.
It can be confusing to understand what a drug is. It is important to remember a drug is a chemical that can affect the physical function of a body or something that can alter moods, thinking and behaviour.
Below are descriptions of the most commonly used legal and illegal drugs.
Cannabis (dope, draw, ganja, grass, hash, skunk, weed)
Law: Cannabis is illegal; it's a Class B drug. If you’re caught with cannabis the police will always take action.
Cannabis is a commonly used illegal drug and is made from different parts of the cannabis plant. Its affects can be different with each user. Some people become very sleepy or it can ‘chill’ people out while others can become more excitable and chatty. Often these side effects are known as being stoned. Some people may also experience mild hallucinations, which means reality may be distorted. It’s the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) chemical in the plant that gets you stoned.
Cocaine and Crack Cocaine (Charlie, coke, white, snow (powdered cocaine) and rocks, pebbles, stones, base, freebase (crack cocaine)
Law: Cocaine and crack are Class A drugs - It's illegal to have, give away or sell.
Cocaine powder, freebase and crack are all forms of cocaine. They are stimulants (speed up the mind and body) that have powerful short-lived affects. These affects can be feeling of euphoria, excitability, lack of hunger, increased confidence but they can also cause people to become frantic, panicky and aggressive.
Freebase and Crack can be smoked while cocaine powder is normally snorted. All three are powerful but due to the way the smoking allows the drug to reach the brain very quickly, freebase and crack have a much stronger and more addictive affect. Most people who use Crack Cocaine, Freebase and Cocaine powder will suffer from harsh ‘come-downs’. These comedowns are when the body tries to reach ‘normal’ levels and often people feel very irritable, sad, aggressive and sick in the process.
Ecstasy (E’s, XTC, pills, beans)
Law: Ecstasy is a Class A drug - It's illegal to have, give away or sell.
Ecstasy is another stimulant drug (speeds up the mind and body) and is often connected to the dance music scene. This is because it’s often used by clubbers / ravers to keep them awake and heighten the atmosphere. Ecstasy affects the unitary system and can increase the risk of overheating or dehydration so the correct use of water is vital. It’s recommended you should sip a pint of water an hour and AVOID alcohol. However the not knowing what is in your ecstasy tablet is a very large risk. The affects can last between 3-6 hours followed by a gradual comedown.
Amphetamines (speed, Billy, whiz)
Law: Speed is a Class B drug. It’s illegal to have, give away or sell.Prepared-for-injection Speed becomes a Class A.
Speed is the street name for a range of amphetamines. Like cocaine, amphetamines are stimulants that people take to keep them awake and alert. The affects of amphetamine kick in within half an hour of taking. Speed can come in a pill, powder and paste form. If you inject it you’ll experience the effects quicker and these effects can last for up to six hours. The high is generally followed by a long slow comedown.
Magic Mushroom (mushies, shrooms, liberty)
Law: Magic mushrooms are a Class A drug - illegal to have, give away or sell.
Magic mushrooms grow in the wild mainly in the autumn season. They are hallucinogenic which means they can change your perception of reality and you may see things and objects that are not there. The hallucinations can last for up to 12 hours.
There are two main types of magic mushrooms illegally sold and these are the ‘Liberty cap’ and ‘Fly Argaric’. Although magic mushrooms grow naturally in easy accessed areas they can be difficult to tell apart from other extremely poisonous mushrooms. So the best advice is unless you are 100% sure of what you are picking, do not do it!
Tobacco (fags, baccy, snouts, ciggies)
Law: It is illegal for shopkeepers to sell tobacco or tobacco products to anyone under 18.
Tobacco comes from the leaves of the tobacco plant. It contains a drug called nicotine, which is highly addictive. It's nicotine that gives smokers their 'hit'.
Solvents (gases, glues)
Law: Solvent misuse isn't illegal. Although, it’s illegal in England and Wales for shopkeepers to sell you intoxicating substances if they think you’re likely to be inhaling them.
Solvents cover a huge number of substances: gas lighter refills, aerosols containing hairspray, deodorants and air fresheners, tins or tubes of glue, some paints, thinners and correcting fluids, cleaning fluids, surgical spirit, dry-cleaning fluids and petroleum products. When inhaled, solvents have a similar effect to alcohol. They make people feel uninhibited, euphoric and dizzy.
LSD (Acid, trips, tabs, blotters)
Law: LSD is a Class A drug - illegal to have, give away or sell.
LSD is a hallucinogenic drug and is commonly known as Acid. The experience of using LSD is often known as a ‘trip’ and they can be good and bad. The trip will normally last for about 12 hours and once started they cannot be stopped. Until you take a tab of acid you cannot tell how strong it is or how it is going to affect you. How the trip goes can be affected by who you are, how you are feeling and how comfortable you are with the people you are with.
Drugs not only have an affect on us physically and emotionally but they also affect our relationships with our friends and families, education, finances and our choices. If you would like support because drugs and alcohol are impacting on you, you can contact Essex Young People’s drug and Alcohol service on 01245 493311 or drop into their young people’s centre at 114 Springfield Road, Chelmsford Essex.
They can offer you information such as leaflets or they can meet with you for a chat. As long as you are comfortable with it they can meet you on your own so you can talk privately to someone about your problem. If you did want to meet with someone we would come to you and meet wherever you feel most comfortable whether this is at home or in your local café or park.
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