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At LANDED, when we talk about Drugs we are talking about both legal and illegal substances. We recognise there are lots of different types of drugs, probably way too many for us to cover on this one page. What we have done is cover the drugs that we know young people may be using in Lanarkshire. It is important to recognise that there is no safe way to take drugs.

You will learn a good bit about drugs and their harms from this page and how to keep yourself a little safer. But, we would encourage you to look into substances a bit more before taking anything. This isn't a how-to guide or a bible for drug-taking as everyone reacts differently to drugs every time they take them. Your experiences may well be different to your friends.

Why do people use drugs?

Some of the reasons why people might use drugs:

to fit in

to forget

to feel relaxed


calm down


to escape

relieve stress


to feel better

change mood


Why do people use drugs?

How do drugs work?

At LANDED, we recognise that there are many different categories of drugs. However, we find from our experience of working with young people, these are the three main categories of drugs we refer to.

A drug is placed into a specific category based on the effects that it has on your body and mind.

You can read more about the different drug categories below:

How do drugs work?

Uppers can make you feel:

  • Energetic

  • Alert

  • Talkative

  • Fast heartbeat

  • Quick breathing

  • No appetite 

  • Paranoia













Depressants can make you feel:

  • Relaxed

  • Down

  • Chilled out

  • Slow heartbeat

  • Slurred speech

  • Paranoia











Halllucinogens can make you feel:

  • Altered sense of time

  • Mood swings

  • Out of body experience

  • Hallucinations

  • Distorted reality

  • Paranoia


magic mushrooms







Drug Information

Just So You Know - Drug Information Cards

These drug information cards were developed to give you a better understanding of drugs, their effects and harm reduction information relating to them.

They can be ordered from our resource shop if you would like physical versions of them for your organisation.

You can read more about the different drugs below:

New Psychoactive Substances Act 2016

New Psychoactive Substances -often known as legal highs are synthetic substances created to mimic the effects of existing illegal drugs.

Legal highs were created in order to get around the law, but in May 2016 The Law changed, and a ban placed on all New Psychoactive Substances making them illegal to give away or sell.


There is no penalty for possessing synthetic cannabis unless you are in prison.


Up to 7 years in prison.


Up to 7 years in prison.

Driving Offences
Like any drug, if you are caught driving under the influence of drugs you could receive a heavy fine, driving ban, or prison sentence. Not to mention it is extremely dangerous to yourself and other road users.

NPS comes in the form of powders, pills, herbs, and capsules. They can be snorted, ingested, smoked and injected.

The effects of NPS on the body can be dangerous and unpredictable. Like all drugs, there is no guarantee of the quality and the content of the drug - you never really know what you are getting. 

For more information on NPS visit the Talk To Frank website.

synthetic packets.png

Drugs and The Law

The legal classification of drugs is set by The Government and is outlined in The Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) Many people think that this legislation is out of date, they argue that this needs to change and we should have updated and more relevant drug laws in the UK.

You may have heard the terms 'Class A', 'Class B' and 'Class C' when people talk about drugs. Drugs are put into these three categories depending on how harmful they appear to be to society and the individual.

Have a look at the image below to see what drugs fit into what class and the legal penalties you can face for posession, supply or production of these drugs.

drugs and the law.jpg
Drugs & The Law

Possession -  You are caught with a small amount of the drug on you for personal use.

Supply / Dealing - You have a large amount of the drug and there is evidence to suggest you are selling it. This could be bags, scales, a burner phone or a tick list. Supply also covers things like picking up/ dropping off drugs for your pals, passing a joint to your mate or sharing a bag of cocaine, we may think we are being helpful sharing our drugs but in the eyes of the law, this could still be considered as supply.

Production - You are growing or producing the drug and there is sufficient evidence to suggest this. This could be pots, soil, lights, seeds (cannabis production), a pill press (ecstasy production), cutting agents (general drugs production).

Your penalty will depend on:

  • the class and quantity of drug

  • where you and the drugs were found

  • your personal history (previous crimes, including any previous drug offences)

Poly Drug Use

What is it?

Mixing drugs or taking more than one drug at a time is known as poly drug use.

Why do people mix drugs?

Can heighten both the positive and negative effects of the drugs.

Often people use more than one drug to counteract the negative effects of each other.

What risks are involved?

Using more than one drug at a time could increase the risk of overdose and other negative effects.

Below we have a list of the most commonly mixed drugs and some harm reduction information

Poly Drug Use

Drug Combos

We have put a list of the top 5 most mixed drugs in Lanarkshire below, with some information about the risks and harm reduction tips.

Cannabis VS Alcohol

Risks: Whitey(Greening out)

Reasons: Alcohol is known to increase the absorption rate of THC into the body. This means the THC present in cannabis hits the system quicker. This can increase the likelihood of you experiencing negative side effects such as a whitey(being sick), feeling light-headed and a bit confused.

Harm reduction: "Bong before beer you have less to fear. Beer then bong it’s going to go wrong." 

In other words, if you use Cannabis before you start drinking you could reduce the risk of the negative effects such as being sick.

MDMA (Ecstasy) VS Alcohol

Risks: Pressure on the heart and dehydration.

Reasons: Both drugs are different; one is a stimulant and the other depressant.

Stimulants are known to increase your heart rate and depressants are known to decrease the heart rate. Using these two drugs can put your heart under pressure. 

Both these drugs dehydrate the body.

Harm Reduction: If you are already drinking alcohol when you take Ecstasy; stop drinking alcohol after taking Ecstasy and drink water instead.

Remember it is recommended you sip a pint of water per hour when using Ecstasy(MDMA).

If you continue to drink alcohol reduce the amount of ecstasy you would normally use. Alcohol can reduce the stimulant effects of ecstasy and vice versa. This can lead to you taking too much.

Remember only to take a small amount!

Alcohol VS Cocaine

Risks: Increased risk of heart attack or stroke and even overdose.

Reason: Similar to Ecstasy and Alcohol; Alcohol and Cocaine are two different categories of drugs. One is a stimulant and the other depressant. Stimulants are known to increase your heart rate and depressants are known to decrease the heart rate. Using these two drugs can put your heart under pressure. 

Mixing Cocaine and Alcohol can create a new substance called Cocaethylene. This can be produced when the liver is trying to process both cocaine and alcohol at the same time. This can increase the likelihood of the user experiencing a heart attack or stroke.

Harm reduction: These drugs do not mix well together. Avoid mixing when possible,

If you do continue to use both drugs then keep an eye on the amount you are using. You can easily end up taking too much!

Valium VS Alcohol

Risks: Coma. Blacking out (functioning but not aware of your actions).

Reason: These two drugs have a depressant effect on the body. They both slow down your heart rate and breathing increasing the chance of coma.

Valium can dramatically enhance the effects of alcohol in the bloodstream. Meaning you could Blackout. We have all read about celebrities who have been arrested coming off flights, the most common reason is known to be that they have taken a Valium to help them sleep on the flight then had a few drinks. This has led to them becoming aggressive and arrested. Many have no recollection of what happened when they wake up the next day.

Harm reduction: Do not knowingly mix Alcohol and Valium together.

If you do decide to use both make sure you drink less alcohol than you would normally as we know that Valium can enhance the negative effects of alcohol. 

GHB VS Alcohol

Risks: Coma, passing out and tremors.

Reason: These two drugs have a depressant effect on the body. They both slow down your heart rate and breathing increasing the chance of coma.

GHB is a drug commonly used during Chem–Sex. Just so you know, Chem-Sex is a term used to describe sex that is enhanced by using drugs. This tends to be within the MSM (men who have sex with other men) community. Alcohol can enhance the effects of GHB. It means that you are more likely to experience negative effects of GHB quicker. If you use too much Alcohol and GHB you can pass out. If you are having sex this can lead to you not being able to give consent to sex and leave you vulnerable.

Harm Reduction: If you are using GHB try not to drink alcohol at the same time. If you decide to use both make sure you monitor your dose of GHB or make sure you are with a friend who can keep an eye on your dose times.

Further Information

Further Information

Have a look at the links below for further reading and information. 

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