Effects of Drugs


The 2009/10 British Crime Survey estimates that 8.6% of 16 to 59 year olds living in England and Wales have tried illegal drugs in the last year.

Among young people, this figure is more than twice as high, with an estimated 20% of 16 to 24 year olds having used illegal drugs in the last year.

For the people who take them, illegal drugs can be a serious problem. They're responsible for between 1,300 and 1,600 deaths a year in the UK, and destroy thousands of relationships, families and careers.


According to the 2009/10 British Crime Survey, the most commonly used drugs in the UK are:


1. Cannabis

As in previous years, cannabis was the drug most likely to be used in England and Wales. The survey found that 6.6% of 16 to 59 year olds (or about 2.2 million people) reported using cannabis in the last year.

Cannabis can cause anxiety, paranoia and loss of motivation. There's evidence that cannabis use increases the risk of developing a psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia, and can cause a relapse in those with a pre-existing condition. Cannabis, like tobacco, can cause lung disease. Long-term or heavy use may cause cancer.


2. Powder cocaine

Powder cocaine is the second most commonly used drug, with 2.4% of 16 to 59 year olds saying they had taken powder cocaine in the last year.

Cocaine, or coke, is highly addictive. People who are young and healthy can have a fit or heart attack after taking too much coke. It can also cause panic attacks.


3. Ecstasy

The survey revealed that 1.6% of 16 to 59 year olds had taken ecstasy in the last year.

Ecstasy can cause panic attacks or psychotic states. There have been more than 200 ecstasy-related deaths in the UK since 1996. The drug has been linked to liver, kidney and heart problems.


4. Amyl nitrite and amphetamine

Levels of amyl nitrite (also called poppers) and amphetamine use were similar (1.1% and 1%, respectively).

Poppers aren’t addictive, but they can make you feel sick, faint or weak and give you an extreme headache. Some men have trouble getting an erection after sniffing poppers.

Amphetamines are very addictive, and the comedown can make you feel depressed. They put a strain on your heart, and users have died from overdosing.


5. Hallucinogens and ketamine

The survey found that 0.5% of 16 to 59 year olds had used hallucinogens (LSD and magic mushrooms). Use of ketamine was also estimated at 0.5%.

The side effects of hallucinogens, which are random and occasionally very frightening, may include flashbacks.

Ketamine can cause panic attacks and depression. High doses can dangerously suppress breathing and heart function, and can lead to unconsciousness.


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The Have I Got A Problem website is a free online resource to help people better understand any issues or concerns they may have about mental health or addiction. The website includes resources specifically focused to; general Mental Health, Depression, Stress, Anxiety, Insecurities, Self-harm Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Anger Management, Eating Disorders, Coping, general Addiction, Alcohol, Smoking, Gambling, Drugs, Cocaine, Heroin, Marijuana (Cannabis) Ecstasy, PCP, Mephedrone, Ketamine & Crystal Meth.

The site was created to give the public information to help them understand mental health and addiction issues and to assist people in making better informed decisions about their life and personal choices.

www.haveigotaproblem.com was created and is run by 'Advising Communities’, which is a UK registered charity (Charity No. 1061055)


"Buying drugs is illegal, so your consumer rights fly out the window, and you're at the mercy of criminals"


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