How to Help Yourself and Others?

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​Cannabis is illegal

Remember cannabis is illegal and users face many problems if they are caught in possession, growing or supplying cannabis. The best way to avoid getting into trouble with the law is to not put yourself at risk.
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Cannabis will affect your physical and mental health

If you use cannabis watch how much you’re using and how this may be affecting your physical and mental health, your financial situation, your relationships with others and the impact it may be having on your education, job and ability to follow your aspirations.  If you find the use of cannabis is affecting any of these things then it’s time to think about making some changes.
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​Know who your friends are

Avoid getting involved with people who maybe just interested in using you once you find yourself in a difficult situation you find impossible to get out of. Bear in mind getting cannabis on tick or for free... there is usually a reason why this is happening...
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​Don’t over indulge.

If you are a regular cannabis user watch how much and how often you're using. Is it causing you problems? Ask yourself could you stop if you wanted? Ask how much money you are spending or debt you are building up. Ask yourself is your cannabis use getting in the way of all the things you want to achieve in life. If it is then do something to change this...!
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​Know and find out about cannabis.

Have an understanding about the risks, effects and problems. If you’re a young person and need help, information advice or support concerning alcohol or issues related to alcohol then help is available from:

Engage Knowsley (CGL)
Knowsley Youth Mutual

Who Else Can Help?

There are lots of local and national organisations who can offer support, advice & guidance if you need it. 

WHAT ARE THE FACTS ?

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​Money

Users, especially younger people can find that a lot or all of their money is spent on cannabis for themselves or as part of a group. If you're finding that this is an issue for you then maybe its time to think about reducing or cutting cannabis out.
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Friends

Some cannabis users often use together with their friends. However sometimes these friends are not always your true friends. Criminals use drugs including cannabis to exploit vulnerable young people, once they develop debts or find themselves involved in street gangs, to carry out other favours that generally are illegal. Friends are people who care and look out for you. Being asked to mind drugs, use your home or other buildings to store or grow cannabis etc, which leave you with all the risks of being caught is not what a real friend would ask.
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​Getting into trouble

Cannabis is a Class B drug and is illegal to possess or hold on to for others. Using cannabis in school, work, or college etc can have very serious consequences both at the time and in the future when looking for employment or travelling abroad.
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​Life Chances

The fact that cannabis is an illegal drug means that a criminal record can limit your life opportunities in the future. Many jobs require a criminal records check. Drug convictions can limit your education chances. Users can find that a heavy period of cannabis use in their teens continues well into adult life and past ambitions and aspirations have passed them by due to a lack of motivation and willingness to realise their potential. Don’t let cannabis rob you of the time you have...
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​Health

Just because many people regard cannabis as a safer drug compared to other drugs such as cocaine, alcohol and ecstasy does not mean it is safe. Many users report physical and mental problems due to their use of cannabis. Addiction, psychosis and mental illness are all associated with cannabis use. Some studies suggest young people are 5 times more at risk of mental health problems than adults.

CANNABIS MYTHS

Check out some of the most common Myths that we hear from young people - and what the actual TRUTH is...

MYTHBUSTERS

​Cannabis is not like other drugs... it’s not really addictive!

Cannabis is a psychoactive substance and like many other drugs can lead users to becoming psychologically addicted. Many people who use cannabis regularly and who increase the amount they use also increase their tolerance. Users may find that they will experience physical and mental effects when they do not use. Usually the fact that many users feel that cannabis use is normal can prevent them realising that they may have an issue themselves. Have a think about people you may know who appear to not be able to go even a day without using cannabis!

​Using cannabis with your mates is a laugh!

Using cannabis with friends for some young people is what makes it more enjoyable. However stop to think for a moment... are the people you use cannabis with or get it from really your friends? Some users have found, after getting cannabis free or the offer to pay for it later, that they slowly develop debts that they cannot manage. Some criminals or street gangs use this method to control and exploit people who have cannabis debts putting pressure on them to mind drugs or other illegal items, use their home to grow cannabis (cultivate), pay off debts by becoming a ‘mule’ or ‘do a run’ (transporting drugs from one place to another) and/or do favours or errands, sometimes illegal, they would rather not. These actions usually also affect others i.e. family, friends or partners.

​Cannabis is legal now... isn’t it?

Cannabis is not legal. It is not legal to grow, use or have cannabis in your possession including your home, car or other premises. Cannabis is a Class B drug and possession carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine. Supply and production offences carry maximum penalties of up to 14 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine. If you are under 18 the police are allowed to inform your parents, carers or guardians if you are found in possession of illegal drugs. Police officers can issue a warning or an on the spot fine of £90 if you're caught with cannabis.

It’s cheaper than other drugs!

Heavy cannabis users may not agree in the long run. Cannabis may appear cheaper than other drugs such as cocaine however the amount you use will reveal the actual cost. One of the main problems users report is the amount of money they have spent on daily / heavy cannabis use and the rising debts they build up. Debt problems have resulted in users increasing their debts through gambling in an attempt to get money to pay off dealers or raise funds for more cannabis. Sometimes cannabis user’s debts require family members, friends or partners paying off dealers through fear of violence or intimidation to reduce debts by committing crime or other illegal favours. Some users have also committed crime such as burglary to raise funds for drugs or the debts they have built up.

​Cannabis doesn’t cause any problems really!

Cannabis use relates to many problems associated with regular use. These problems include psychological problems and mental health issues including depression, anxiety, paranoia and drug induced psychosis. Relationships with friends, family and partners can be negatively affected. Cannabis is usually smoked so physical health and related illnesses are an issue. The daily impact of regular cannabis use can have a negative impact on motivation, concentration, education and/or work.