What are street drugs?

Street drugs are substances people take to give themselves a pleasurable experience, or to help them feel better if they are having a bad time, or simply because their friends are using them.They include heroin, cocaine, cannabis, alcohol and some prescribed medicines.

Street drugs may be:

  • legal – such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.
  • illegal – this means it is against the law to have them or supply them to other people. Most street drugs are illegal.
  • controlled – these are drugs used in medicine, such as benzodiazepines (see p.9). It is legal to take controlled drugs if a doctor has given you a prescription for them, but it is illegal to have them if not. It is also illegal to give or sell them to anyone else

The way street drugs are legally classified does not reflect how harmful they are to your mental health. Illegal, controlled and legal drugs can all have a negative impact on you, whatever class (A, B or C) they are given.


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