All drugs carry risks. You never know how you’ll react to a drug or what effect it could have on you, despite what people may tell you.


Some drugs are more addictive than others, for example, heroin and tobacco.


Some drugs, although not directly addictive, can still cause the user to develop a psychological dependence to the drug.


Some are likely to cause immediate dangerous effects; people have died instantly by inhaling aerosol gasses/solvents. For example, heart attacks in people who use crack cocaine or someone who drinks and drives.


Some can lead to specific long term physical damage, for example ketamine causing damage to your bladder and alcohol damage to your liver.


Some drugs can have a strong impact on your mental health and well-being and could, for example, trigger the onset of a pre-existing mental condition. For example, khat, amphetamine and cannabis are known to have these effects.

New psycho active substances, known as ‘legal highs’ may not be against the law, but are not safe to use.. In 2012 there were 68 deaths that were due to the use of these drugs.


Alcohol, though socially acceptable, can cause the body many problems if it is abused. More people die of alcohol related disease every year than deaths related to the use of illegal drugs. Even drinking within recommended daily limits, over many years alcohol can cause chronic damage to the body.


If you think that you or a friend could have a problem with drugs or alcohol then please talk in confidence to a school nurse/ health professional about it.


If you would like to contact your School Nurse, please click here