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Should you need urgent health advice please contact your GP or call NHS 111. In an emergency please visit A&E or call 999

Drugs and alcohol use

The term ‘drugs’ can be used to describe tablets or medicine that doctors give people when they’re not well, but the word drugs can also be used to describe something else too. These type of drugs are against the law which mean that people can get into a lot of trouble with the police if they have or use drugs.

There are a lot of different types of drugs, they have different names and people react to them in different ways.

Drugs can have a big impact on the way people think and feel, some drugs make people behave out of character and act in ways they wouldn’t usually act. Drugs can effect how people feel, for example, depending on what drug they have use some people might suddenly feel really happy, while others might feel really sad, some people might have a lot of energy, while others might feel like they can’t move or do anything at all. Drugs can make people feel unwell and can have very serious effects on people’s health.

Generally it is not thought of as a good thing when someone takes drugs but they may need help to stop.

If you are worried that someone you know is taking drugs you should tell a trusted grown up, perhaps a family member such as a parent or carer, or someone who works at your school.

You might have heard of alcohol before, it’s a term to describe drinks such as beer, wine and spirits such as gin or vodka for instance. People under the age of 18 aren’t allowed to buy alcohol and people over 18 are told not to drink too much – although small amounts aren’t anything to worry about. Alcohol can change the way that people act, sometimes they feel wobbly and can’t walk properly, or slur their speech.

Sometimes they might laugh a lot or feel jittery. Sometimes alcohol can cause people to say and do things that they shouldn’t, or be hurtful towards other people.

If you are worried that someone you know might be drinking too much alcohol you should speak a trusted grown up, perhaps a family member such as a parent or carer, or someone who works at your school.