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Drugs encompass a wide range of substances that can alter your body and mind. They come in different forms, like pills, liquids, powders and even plants. Some drugs have a legitimate medical use and are prescribed by a healthcare professional and help people when they’re sick or in pain. There are also drugs that people use to feel different in ways that aren’t good for them. These are called recreational drugs.

Consequences of using drugs too much or in the wrong way can range from impaired judgment and an inability to think clearly, to addiction, to long-term health issues, and legal consequences.  If your judgement is impaired you are more likely to do risky things that could be dangerous.  Understanding these effects, risks, and consequences is crucial for making healthy, informed choices.

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug use, you're not alone. Take the first step toward recovery by reaching out for help and guidance from trained professionals who understand what you're going through.

Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is when your friends or people your age try to convince you to do something, even if you're not comfortable with it. It can be tough to say no, especially when you want to fit in or avoid feeling left out. Saying no to drugs is totally okay, and it's actually really brave! You have the right to make your own choices about what you do with your body, and you don't have to do anything that makes you uncomfortable.


Resilience is the ability to bounce back from tough situations and keep going, even when things get challenging. And when it comes to drugs, having resilience can make a huge difference in keeping you safe and healthy.

Here are some tips to help you stay strong:

  • Know Your Boundaries: Take some time to think about what you're comfortable with and what you're not. Knowing your boundaries will help you stay true to yourself, even in tricky situations.
  • Practice Saying No: It might sound silly, but practicing saying no can actually make it easier when the real situation comes up. You can say things like, "No thanks, I'm good," or "I'm not into that."
  • Surround Yourself with Supportive People who are a positive influence: Hang out with friends who respect your decisions and don't pressure you into doing things you're not comfortable with. Friends who are a positive influence will support your goals and values and encourage you to make healthy decisions.  Real friends will always have your back, no matter what.
  • Have an Exit Plan: It's essential to have a plan in case things don't go as planned. Make sure someone you trust knows what you're doing and where you are, and you have access to emergency services if needed.
  • Find Healthy Coping Strategies: Life can be stressful sometimes, but turning to drugs isn't the answer. Instead, find healthy ways to cope with stress and difficult emotions, like talking to a friend, exercising, or practicing relaxation techniques.
  • Learn from Mistakes: Nobody's perfect, and it's okay to make mistakes sometimes. What's important is that you learn from them and use them as opportunities to grow and become stronger. If you ever make a bad decision regarding drugs, don't be too hard on yourself—instead, reflect on what happened and how you can make better choices in the future.
  • Stay Informed: Knowledge is power! Educate yourself about the risks and consequences of drug use so you can make informed decisions. Understanding the dangers of drugs can help you resist peer pressure and stay strong in your commitment to a healthy, drug-free life.  Use the links at the bottom of this page to find out the truth about different drugs and the effects they might have on you.
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Staying Safe

It's important to understand that while the best choice is to avoid drugs altogether, we know that sometimes things don't go as planned. That's where harm reduction comes in—it's all about minimising the risks and staying safe if you do decide to use drugs.  Below are some harm reduction strategies that are good to know.

Staying Safe: Good to know
Know what you are taking square Good to know!

If you’re going to use drugs, it’s crucial to know exactly what you’re putting into your body. Be wary of taking substances from strangers or in unfamiliar settings. If possible, test the drugs using a drug testing kit to check for harmful additives or contaminants.

Start low and go slow square Good to know

If you’re trying a drug for the first time or trying a new batch, start with a small dose and wait to see how it affects you before taking more (at least 2 hours). Different people react differently to drugs, so it’s essential to know your limits and listen to your body.

Avoid mixing drugs square Good to know

Mixing drugs, including alcohol, can increase the risk of harmful effects and overdose. Be cautious about combining substances, as interactions between drugs can be unpredictable and dangerous.

Don't drink too much water square Good to know

Drinking too much water can also be dangerous, it can impact your body’s salt balance. Sip no more than 1 pint of water every hour.

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For further support and information... 

These links take you to other websites or services that are not provided by Teen Health. The pages have been selected to give you more information on this topic area. They will open another tab in your browser.  
YoungMinds logo


A guide on drugs and alcohol

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Health for Teens

Health for Teens

Information on drugs

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Honest information about drugs

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Live Safe logo

Live Safe

Information on substance use

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Turning Point

Support and advice on drugs and alcohol in Leicestershire and Rutland

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Information on the different penalties for drugs

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BBC Bitesize

The effects of recreational drugs on health and behaviour

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ChildLine logo


Information on drugs and access to their helpline

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tellmi logo


Tellmi is a safe, anonymous app where you can talk about absolutely anything 

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