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How drug or alcohol use can affect me

Be aware of the risks

Drug and alcohol use affect you physically and mentally.  Different drugs have different effects on you.  It’s important to understand what you are taking and the potential risks. For example:

‘Legal Highs’

‘Legal Highs’ contain substances that produce similar effects to illegal drugs.   They are only legal because they are not yet controlled by law (Misuse of Drugs Act (1971)).  This doesn’t mean they are safe. Often they are so new, no one knows the risks or effects of taking them.  You could be taking a cocktail of all kinds of substances that might mimic the effects of other illegal drugs: but you wont know for sure what that is or how it will affect you.


It may be legal to buy alcohol when you are 18, but that doesn’t mean that alcohol isn’t just as risky to your health as other drugs, especially if you are under 15 as your body and brain are still developing.


Illegal drugs can be mixed with other substances so you never quite know what you are taking.   The long term effects of taking Mephedrone are not yet known.  Find out more: read our Mephedrone Flyer for Young People.

To find out more about ‘Legal Highs’, alcohol, tobacco or any other drugs visit the Frank website

 Making safer choices

When you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol you are vulnerable.  The safest thing to do is

  • Don’t drink or use drugs
  • Hang around with people who don’t want to
  • Find another way to stop the boredom

If you still decide you are going to, think about how to make safer choices:

  • Make sure that you are with friends you trust.
  • Look out for each other.
  • Know what/how much you are drinking/taking.
  • Don’t mix drinks and/or drugs.
  • Pace yourself.
  • Drink water/soft drinks.
  • Don’t accept drinks/drugs from strangers.
  • Know how you are getting home.
  • Take a small amount.
  • Be aware of your mood as it can effect how you react.

To read other peoples experiences of using drugs and alcohol, visit

Want some help or non judgmental advice?

Speak to someone you can trust.

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