How to Help Yourself and Others?


In an emergency?

If you're with someone who needs medical help, call an ambulance and tell the crew everything you know about the drugs taken, it could save their life. If you have any drugs left, hand them over to the crew as it may help. In most circumstances they won't tell the police.


Peer Pressure

It can be tempting to do everything you can to fit in with your friends. But if you don't feel comfortable with something it's always okay to say "no". Remember:

1. Say it with confidence

2. Find friends who share the same values

3. Think of an excuse

4. Suggest something else to do

5. Avoid certain situations

6. Stand up for others


Concerned about a friend

Drugs and alcohol can be hard subjects to discuss, especially if you think your friend or relative has a problem.

Try to stay open-minded and remember that, with the right help and support, most people overcome their use before any serious harm is caused. Also, even if you do offer support, they might not change their behaviour.


Avoid mixing

Mixing drugs is never a good idea, for a lot of reasons:

  • Taking two types of similar drugs can be dangerous, increasing the negative risks associated with both.For example, it is not a good idea to mix two depressants like alcohol and heroin.
  • Taking two drugs together can make one drug more dangerous than usual.
  • The risk of overdose is heightened when you take two drugs together. One drugs effects might cause you to take a higher than usual dose of another drug to feel it’s effects.

Scroll down for more information of drug mixing.


Know the risks

There are always risks involved when taking any kind of drug. Some drugs can be unsafe and could make you very ill. Here are some of the risks:

  • Damage to your physical and mental health
  • Becoming addicted and feeling like you can't cope without drugs
  • Falling behind with school work
  • Falling out with family and friends
  • Getting into trouble with the police or involved in a crime. Find out about your rights if you're stopped and searched by the police.
  • Being more likely to do dangerous things
  • Overdosing or having a bad experience from what you've taken.
  • Owing money to drug dealers or gangs who may become violent if you can't pay.

In an emergency? Call 999

Call the emergency services if you feel you or someone you know is in danger after taking drugs.

Popular drugs and their effects



Cannabis is a plant-based drug. It can be smoked, eaten or vaped. Cannabis is a class B drug.

It is also known as:

Bud, Dope, Grass, Hash, Herb, Marijuana, Pollen, Polly, Pot, Skunk, Smoke, Weed.

How does it make you feel:

The effect of cannabis can vary from person to person, but many people say feeling 'stoned' makes them feel chilled out and happy in their own thoughts, with feelings of euphoria and relaxation, while others say it makes them giggly and chatty. However, it can also make people feel lethargic, unmotivated, paranoid, confused and anxious.

The Risks:

Physical health risks

It can damage you lungs, make you cough painfully, and make your asthma worse if you have it. Long term it can Increase the risk of lung cancer, affect your blood pressure, and impact the ability of men and women to have children

Mental health risks

It affects your motivation to do things, impairs your memory so you can’t remember things or learn new information, give you mood swings, disturb your sleep and make you depressed, make you anxious (sometimes for days at a time), paranoia and hallucinations, and increase your chances of developing illnesses like schizophrenia.



Cocaine is a white powder stimulant that is normally snorted or rubbed into the gums. Cocaine is a Class A drug.

It is also known as:

  • Blow, Beak, Charlie, Coke, Crack, Flake, Lemo, Sniff, Snow, Stripe.

How does it make you feel:

The effect of Cocaine can vary from person to person, Taking cocaine can make you feel: happy, excited, wide awake and confident. It can also: make your heart beat faster, raise your body temperature, stop you feeling hungry, make, you feel sick, make you need to poo, make you anxious and panicky, make you paranoid, make you so confident that you do things you wouldn’t normally do (which might be risky)

The Risks:

Physical health risks

Cocaine is risky for anyone with high blood pressure or a heart condition, but even healthy young people can have a fit, heart attack or stroke after using the drug. The risk of overdose increases if you mix cocaine with other drugs or alcohol. Snorting cocaine damages the cartilage in your nose that separates your nostrils.

Mental health risks

Regular use of cocaine can make people feel: depressed, run-down, anxious, paranoid. Cocaine can bring previous mental health problems to the surface too, and if a relative has had mental health problems, there might be an increased risk for you.