Be safe, be in the know
All drugs carry risks.
Mixing drugs, especially with alcohol, increases these risks. For information on individual drugs visit the Talk to Frank website.
1. Cannabis (hash, weed, grass, skunk, marijuana)
Cannabis is a calming drug that also alters perceptions. It's seen as "natural" because it's made from the cannabis plant, but that doesn't mean it's safe. Cannabis can make you feel relaxed and happy, but sometimes makes people feel lethargic, very anxious and paranoid, and even psychotic.
It is possible to become psychologically dependent on cannabis. And some people do experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking it.
2. Cocaine (powder cocaine, coke, crack)
Powder cocaine (coke) and crack are types of cocaine, and are powerful stimulants. Crack can be smoked, and powder cocaine can be snorted in lines. Both cocaine powder and crack can also be prepared for injecting.
If you take cocaine, it's possible to die of an overdose from over stimulating the heart and nervous system, which can lead to a heart attack. It can be more risky if mixed with alcohol.
Cocaine is highly addictive and can cause a very strong psychological dependence.
3. Ecstasy (MDMA, pills, crystal, E)
Ecstasy is a "psychedelic" stimulant drug usually sold as tablets, but it's sometimes dabbed on to gums or snorted in its powder form. It's also known as MDMA or "crystal".
Long-term use has been linked with memory problems, depression and anxiety. Ecstasy use affects the body's temperature control and can lead to dangerous overheating and dehydration.
Ecstasy can be addictive, as users can develop a psychological dependence on this drug. It is also possible to build up a tolerance to the drug and need to take more and more to get the same effect.
4. Amphetamine (speed, whizz)
Speed is the street name for drugs based on amphetamine, and is a stimulant drug. It's usually an off-white or pink powder that's either dabbed on to gums, snorted or swallowed in paper.
Taking speed can be dangerous for the heart, as it can cause high blood pressure and heart attacks. Injecting speed is particularly dangerous, as death can occur from overdose. Any sharing of injecting equipment adds the risk of contracting hepatitis C and HIV.
Heroin is a drug made from morphine, which is extracted from the opium poppy. ‘Street’ heroin often sold as 'brown' is highly addictive and people can quickly get hooked.
Injecting heroin and sharing injecting equipment can be very risky, as it increases the risk of overdose and contracting or spreading a virus, such as HIV or hepatitis C. There is also the risk that veins may be damaged and that an abscess or blood clot may develop.
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