A drug is something that affects both your body and mind. This can include the way you think, feel and act.
Not all drugs are illegal. However drugs like cannabis, ecstasy, amphetamine, cocaine and heroin are illegal and these drugs can be dangerous to take. Some drugs known as prescribed drugs can only be given out by doctors, like tranquilisers and painkillers. It is also important to remember that prescriptions are for that named person only and must never be shared.
Drugs affect lots of people’s lives. Even legal drugs can be dangerous when people become dependent on them, like alcohol or tobacco.
• Know what you are taking – make sure you know the dose and possible side effects of drugs before taking them.
• Make sure someone is there to look out for you – if you are using alone, tell someone where you are and what you are doing, or make sure you have a friend who isn’t drinking or using drugs if you are using in a group. It will mean someone can help if it goes wrong.
• Keep hydrated – aim to sip a pint of water over an hour, particularly if you are dancing.
• Protect yourself – if someone you don’t know well is offering you free drink or drugs, ask yourself what they might want in return. Know the risks and how to stay safe.
Remember it is important to know your limits, and not be tempted to take more drugs even if you are encouraged by those around you. If you’ve taken something and start to feel unwell, and the problem doesn’t improve or is getting worse, you should seek medical help urgently by calling for an ambulance 999.
Drugs contain chemicals which bind themselves to nerve cells in the areas of the brain that are responsible for memory. These chemicals disrupt short-term memory by making it harder to learn new information or tasks, especially if it involves several stages.
Consequences for school:
• Reduced concentration
• Make more errors
• Trouble remembering things
• Effects your recall system or short-term memory.
Start to reduce drug use a few months before exams. This could include
• reducing your daily amount
• reducing to weekends only
• thinking about your trigger / cravings and replacing it with something else
Have a direct conversation with the person who you feel is pressuring you, in an assertive not aggressive manner.
• Use humour which can be a good strategy.
• Say No and Mean No – Be aware of your body language. You can reinforce this by for example substituting the word No – with never or no way. Out stretch your arms when saying No, direct eye contact (briefly).
• You can excuse yourself- State I have somewhere else to be, family member just text/messaged me I need to be home.
• Reversing the pressure – Why is this activity so important to you, why does a person have to drink or use drugs to have fun?
• Seek support from others, whether they are friends, family or a teacher.
Sometimes people who use drugs and alcohol don’t think they have a problem, and this may be causing difficulties in their life. If you are worried about a friend and you want to help them, think about how you’re going to approach this and what you’re going to say. This may be a sensitive subject for them and you don’t what to looking like you’re nagging them, as they may not listen to you.
A good thing to do is to keep your friends away from situations or places which might entice them – like the park or a mates house. Rather show them some other things to do to keep themselves busy.
The best thing that you can do is to be there for them, to support them. Talk to DELTA (phone number below) for more ideas and ways to help.
If you’re really worried about someone who has taken drugs, if they fall unconscious, are having difficulty breathing then call 999 and ask for an ambulance immediately. It might save a life and you won’t get into trouble. Put them in the recovery position; stay with them until medical help arrives.
Please remember it is important to give the medical staff as much information about what they have taken as you can. For further advive check out Talk to Franks Emergency help.
DELTA young people’s Drug and Alcohol Service provides information, advice and support to young people who are using drugs and/or alcohol. DELTA will not tell you what to do. However we will make sure you are fully aware of the risks and dangers of drug and alcohol use, and encourage you to keep safe. The service can help you to cut down or stop using drugs. You can if you wish self-refer in to our service, though depending on your age we may need permission for your parent carer.
Telephone: 01724 298528
Address: 22-24 Cole Street