Not all drugs are illegal.

Caffeine (coffee), paracetamol and cough syrup are all “drugs”. Drugs which are legal are controlled by scientists and the government know exactly what is in each pack. Illegal drugs are different because nobody really knows what they are taking and how this might harm their body.

Illegal drugs can be split into four main categories:

  • Uppers (stimulants) like cocaine speed the brain and body up
  • Downers (depressants) like cannabis slow the brain and body down
  • Opium related like heroin
  • And Hallucinogens such as LSD which change people’s reality (hallucinate)


In law, different drugs have different punishments for if you are caught in possession, if you supply (or intend to supply) anyone else or if you are involved in making drugs. Drugs are split into class A,B and C with class A holding the longest jail sentences. Check out this link for more details.

Drugs affect us in all sorts of different ways depending on what people have taken. Mixing alcohol and drugs can be very dangerous; see the Alcohol section on our website for more information.

Drugs also change how we make decisions. This can put you at risk of harm, making silly decisions or being a victim of crime because someone can see you are vulnerable.

There is no longer such a thing as legal highs as drug laws have changed. These are now classed as new Psychoactive Substances (NPS).

If you are concerned about your own drug use or someone around you, please get in touch with The Corner team and we can talk to you about this.


Listed below are further resources and information: 

Drugs Penalties – sentencing for taking, carrying, making and supplying drugs

Types of Drugs – The Drugs Wheel

Mind – A to Z of psychiatric drugs

FRANK – honest information about drugs

NHS Substance Misuse Service – help to recover

Sexual Health Tayside and Blood Borne Viruses – safer drug use to reduce harm

Young Scot – basic facts about mixing drugs and alcohol

Hillcrest – improving quality of life

We Are With You – talk about alcohol, drugs or mental health

Choices for Life – Police Scotland information on the dangers of smoking, alcohol and drugs

Fast Forward – information and education

CREW – spreading knowledge on drugs, reducing harm

Know The Score – find out the real facts about drugs

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