Drugs and drug addiction
Drugs and the law
Drugs are put into 3 classes: A, B and C. Each of these classes has a maximum fine and prison sentence for both possession (having the drug on you) and supply (dealing).
Although these laws are put in place, there is no way of knowing how severe your fine or sentence will be if caught with drugs. The amount of drugs you need on you for the police to believe that you have intent to supply is surprisingly low, and there is no way to prove your intentions to the police. Even sharing drugs with friends is considered supply, and will always carry a much more serious sentence with it than possession.
Even if you have no prior warnings or convictions, being caught with drugs can lead to a criminal record which seriously damages future employment and travel opportunities.
Find out more on Release.
Addiction is incredibly draining; physically, socially and financially. Those affected often feel isolated and because these are many different reasons as to why people develop an issue with drugs, it is easy to feel as though nobody will understand.
Often the most important step in getting help for addiction is speaking about the issue. There are a number or local services that are there to help you, whatever your issue is.
Many people who experiment with drugs do so without becoming addicted. However, if you are aware that you or a loved one has a drug addiction, we are here to help you.
There are a great number of drugs and substances that people can become addicted to. For an in-depth list of street drugs, their appearance, other names and effects, visit Talk to FRANK.
Legal drug taking
Prescription and over the counter medication
It is not only street drugs that are addictive. A lot of medication has a powerful effect on people and it is easy to become addicted to pills which have been prescribed or bought over the counter. Because medicine is designed to make people better and is regulated unlike street drugs, people who abuse it are not often thought of as having a 'drug problem'.
The number of deaths and casualties caused by prescription and over the counter medication massively outweigh the number of deaths caused by other drugs. It can be easy to overdose on medication, especially when a mixture is ingested, or taken with alcohol.
If you have taken even slightly too much medication, urgent medical care is required.
Often, a patient will undergo a medical assessment prior to a prescription, and what may be effective in one patient could be lethal to another. Because of this, it is important never to share medication. A patient may find themselves addicted to their prescribed medication, especially if they have been administered the drug for a long time. If you think that you are becoming addicted to your prescription, talk to your doctor.
More information on the abuse of medication is available on Drugabuse.gov.