There are lots of different types of drugs and they can all be harmful.
These are described in different 'classes' depending on how unsafe they are.
Class A drugs are the most harmful and dangerous. These include:
- heroin, also known as gear, smack or horse
- cocaine, also known as coke, crack, charlie or snow
- ecstasy, also known as E, pills, mandy, MDMA or XTC
- crystal meth, also known as glass, tina, meth or ice
- lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), also known as acid, lucy, mushrooms or trips
Class B drugs are harmful and addictive. These include:
- cannabis, also known as marijuana, weed, skunk, dope, pot or ganja
- ketamine, also known as special k, vitamin k or super k
- amphetamines, also known as speed, sulph, base or whizz
Class C drugs can be harmful and unsafe. These include:
- tranquilisers, also known as roofies, blues, jellies or benzos
- steroids, also known as roids or juice
These drugs can make you feel 'high', relaxed, happy, confident and some may give you more energy. The harmful effects include, feeling paranoid, depressed, dizzy, anxious, out of control and vomiting. They can affect mental and physical health. You can never know how your body will react so while one person might be fine, another might end up with a reaction that could harm them. By taking any type of illegal drug you are also at risk of poisoning, overdosing or dying.
To find out more about different types of drugs and their effects, visit Talk to Frank
These are drugs that you can only get from a pharmacist or hospital, with a prescription from your doctor. You may need a prescribed drug for an illness or health problem. If you take more than what your doctor tells you to or if you take them without your doctor knowing, it can be unsafe. You should never take prescription medication that is meant for someone else because it may not be safe for you.
Over the counter drugs
These are drugs that can be bought from shops, supermarkets or pharmacies, for example, pills to help with aches, pain, cold and flu. If you take more than what is recommended on the pack or mix them with other drugs, this could be unsafe.
Performance enhancing drugs
These are drugs that can help with doing well in sport. Some athletes take them to improve the way they perform but this is usually seen as unfair or illegal. Sports clubs and organisations have banned these drugs and they can have dangerous effects.
These are substances which are meant to have similar effects as some illegal drugs. They are often easily available and sold as different names. The laws have changed to make it illegal to sell legal highs.They are made of chemicals that are often unsafe and can be just as dangerous as other illegal drugs. Find out more about legal highs.
Remember: Taking too much of any type of drug or mixing drugs can cause overdosing or drug poisoning. You can talk to ChildLine if you're worried or need help.