We care, for the better.
A place for families, because you don't have to use drugs to be affected by them.
- How do I know if they're using drugs?
- Why do they use drugs/alcohol?
- Is it my fault?
- How can I cope with their behaviour?
- Understanding the stages of addiction and recovery
- Where do I get the help I need?
- Getting support for your loved one
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Get educated on the basics
Getting educated about drugs is vital for parents and families. Whether you are concerned that a family member might be taking drugs, you know they have a problem or are looking for information to help you in conversations about drugs, this section is a useful starting point.
If you think you know enough about drugs and want to discuss your experiences as a family member in more detail, visit our local support page to find somewhere in your area.
Many websites offer information on drugs and their effects, but it is essential that you get hold of information that is responsible, reliable, honest and trustworthy. The Home Office website FRANK has a wealth of information on drugs and their effects.
People often forget that alcohol is a drug, and easily the most widely used drug in the country.
Amphetamine is a cheap stimulant which makes people more alert and allows them to stay awake for longer.
Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug. It is smoked, usually with tobacco, and is used primarily for its relaxing effects.
Cocaine used to be a preserve of the rich due to its expense, but is much more common now. People use it to feel more confident, talkative and alert.
Crack cocaine is made by mixing cocaine with baking soda to make small rocks. It provides intense but short-lived feelings of euphoria, energy and talkativeness.
Usually a liquid club drug with euphoric, sedative and anaesthetic properties.
Heroin is an extremely addictive drug derived from the poppy, like other opiates such as morphine. Due to its nature as a painkiller, heroin can make people forget about their problems and feel more comfortable.
Ketamine is a powerful anaesthetic and has been used in operations. It has become popular in the dance community and makes people feel detached from their surroundings; at higher doses it can make people hallucinate.
MDMA, a stimulant, makes people feel energised, happy, affectionate and awake. It is often taken in pill form and known as ecstasy. Ecstasy is widely used in clubs and at parties and raves, or other places where people dance and socialise for long periods of time.
Mephedrone has come to prominence in the last five or so years and many parents and families are concerned about it. It is a stimulant with similar effects to ecstasy or cocaine in that it makes people feel energetic and confident.
Methadone is an opiod whose main use lies in the treatment of heroin addiction – it is prescribed as part of a treatment programme. However, it can be misused and is available on the black market.
Crystal meth, a powerful and addictive stimulant, has become more prominent and popular recently. It gives its users intense feelings of euphoria and also increases sexual desire.
Household goods and chemicals which can be used as drugs – for example glues, aerosols and lighter fluids. They are easy to get hold of and can pose real risk of harm, even on first use.