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Drugs Misuse

Drug misuse is when you take illegal drugs, or when you take medicines in a way not recommended by your GP or the manufacturer. Taking medicines in very large quantities that are dangerous to your health is also an example of drug misuse.

Examples of drugs that are commonly misused include:

  • Illegal drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Prescribed medicines including painkillers, sleeping tablets, and cold remedies
  • Khat (a leaf that is chewed over several hours)
  • Glues, aerosols, gases and solvents

Illegal drugs are drugs that have been banned, by law, for use in this country. It is illegal to possess or supply banned drugs.

Some illegal drugs have been categorised as prescription-only, meaning that they may be used legally only if prescribed by a doctor, but are illegal to use, possess, or supply, in any other circumstances. Illegal drugs are categorised into three classes: A, B and C.

Physical dependency

Physical dependency means that your body has become so used to a drug that you get physical withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it. This means that you have to keep taking the drug to stop yourself feeling ill.

Psychological dependency

Psychological dependency means that you take the drug because it has formed a large part of your life, and you take it to make yourself feel good. You may feel that you cannot stop taking the drug, even though you are not physically dependent. Some drugs can make you both physically and psychologically dependent.

As you take more of a drug, your body becomes tolerant to it so it does not have such a strong effect. This means that you need to take larger amounts to get the same effect as when you started taking it.

Various centres around Solihull can give you help, support and advice.

Class A drugs

Class A drugs are considered to be most dangerous to health. They include:

  • Cocaine (including crack; nicknamed charlie, coke, snow)
  • Dicanol
  • Heroin (nicknamed smack, H, gear, scag, brown)
  • LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide; nicknamed acid, trips, blotters, tabs)
  • Mescalin
  • Methylamphetamine (crystal meth)
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Opium; PCP (phencyclidine; nicknamed angel dust)
  • Pethadine
  • Poppy straw, all parts of the seeds of the opium poppy (after mowing)
  • Psilocybin
  • STP (amphetamine; nicknamed serenity, tranquility and peace)
  • Magic mushrooms (nicknamed liberties, shrooms)
  • DMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine; nicknamed ecstasy, E, pills, XTC, disco biscuits, Mitsubishis, Rolexs, dolphins)

Class B drugs

Class B drugs are also considered to be dangerous, but less so than class A drugs. They include:

  • Cannabis, cannabis resin and cannabinol (marijuana, grass, pot, weed)
  • Amphetamine (an ingredient of ecstasy; nicknamed speed, whizz, dexies)
  • Codeine (in concentrations above 2.5%)
  • DF118 (dihydrocodeine)
  • Ritalin, and
  • Barbiturates

Class C drugs

Class C drugs are considered to be the least harmful to health but they are still illegal to possess, give or sell to other people. They include:

  • Methaqualone
  • Anabolic steroids (nicknamed roids)
  • Ketamine (nicknamed special K, vitamin K, green)
  • GHB (gammahydroxybutrate; nicknamed GBH, liquid ecstasy and sometimes referred to as date-rape drugs), and
  • Benzodiazepines including valium, and rohypnol (nicknamed roofies and sometimes referred to as date-rape drugs).