Drugs and you
Drugs are chemicals that can alter the way the body works. There are different types of drugs, and these have different effects on the body. Tobacco and alcohol are legal recreational drugs which have potentially serious effects on the body. Illegal drugs are classified on a scale from Class A - the most dangerous - to Class C - the least dangerous.
Drugs are chemicals that can alter the way the body works. Some are beneficial, while some are harmful.
|type of drug||effect on the body||example|
|depressant||slows down brain activity||alcohol, solvents, temazepam|
|hallucinogen||alters what we hear and see||cannabis, LSD|
|painkiller||blocks nerve impulses||aspirin, heroin|
|performance enhancer||improves muscle development||anabolic steroids|
|stimulant||increases brain activity||nicotine, caffeine, ecstasy|
Some drugs are legal, such as tobacco and alcohol. Others are illegal, or must only be prescribed by a doctor. Some prescription drugs are mistreated and taken for recreational use, rather than for medical reasons. They become illegal under these circumstances.
Illegal drugs are classified from Class A to Class C. Class A drugs are the most dangerous, with the most serious penalties for possession or dealing. Class C are the least dangerous, with the lightest penalties, but this does not mean they are safe to use. The table shows some of the drugs in each class. For interest, it also shows the 2007 penalties for having them or dealing in them:
|Class of drug||Examples||Penalty for possession||penalty for dealing|
|Class A||ecstasy, LSD, heroin, cocaine, crack, magic mushrooms, injected amphetamines||Up to seven years in prison or an unlimited fine, or both||Up to life in prison or an unlimited fine, or both|
|Class B||amphetamines, cannabis||Up to five years in prison or an unlimited fine, or both||Up to 14 years in prison or an unlimited fine or both|
|Class C||tranquilisers, painkillers||Up to two years in prison or an unlimited fine or both||Up to 14 years in prison or an unlimited fine, or both|
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.