Information about drugs, staying safe, penalties for drug offences and new psychoactive substances.
On this page:
Drugs can be very dangerous to your health and can kill.
The advice of Police Scotland is simple:
- There is no ‘safe’ way to take drugs, there is always a risk
- The only way of staying safe is to avoid drugs altogether.
Here are some points to help you stay safe:
- Don't be pressured into taking drugs
- Plan what you will say and do before it happens
- It's ok to make excuses not to take them
- If you’re offered a drug, refuse it
- Encourage your friends not to take drugs
- If you have taken a drug and feel unwell then seek urgent medical advice
- If you are a young person then tell someone responsible about what happened.
Having a drug conviction can stop you getting a job. Employers can now request information about previous convictions.
Having a drug conviction can also stop you entering countries such as the USA, Australia, New Zealand and many others.
Giving, selling or even sharing any controlled drug, such as an ecstasy tablet or cannabis, to or with a friend or anyone else is classed as supplying an illegal drug. This carries a stiff penalty.
Even though you made no money, you are still supplying drugs.
Controlled drugs are classified as A, B or C depending upon how much harm they can cause to the user and to society.
The most severe penalties relate to dealing or possessing Class A drugs. This includes drugs such as ecstasy, cocaine and heroin.
These substances are designed and produced to mimic the effects of drugs. They try and replicate drugs such as cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy.
What should I do if I’m offered a substance like this?
The advice of Police Scotland is again simple:
- There is no ‘safe’ way to take them – there is always a risk
- The only way of staying safe is to avoid them altogether.
You don’t know what you’re getting
Many NPS are new chemicals and haven’t been tested on humans. Many of these chemicals are harmful and toxic.
There is no way of knowing what they may do to your body. NPS if taken can lead to death.
Many people report effects to their physical and mental health as a result of taking these substances. This can include psychosis, paranoia and seizures.
Taking NPS is dangerous. Mixing drugs, including controlled drugs and NPS increases the risks to your health even more. This includes mixing drugs with alcohol.
What do NPS look like?
Generally they are powders, pills, or liquids.
These drugs cannot legally be sold for human consumption. They are often sold as research chemicals, collector’s item, bath salts or plant food to get around the law.
This includes inhalation of substances such as glue or gas from items such as aerosol canisters, cigarette lighters, plastic bags or tins.
What are the dangers?
There are immediate dangers associated such as suffocation. Sometimes inhaling solvents can cause a person’s heart to stop beating.
This can result in sudden death. Even if this doesn’t happen, there are serious long term health implications.
Is it against the law to take solvents?
- Depending on the circumstances it can be an offence
- It is a very dangerous thing to do, be it gases, glue or aerosol.
Solvent abuse can kill.
Know the Score get help or find out more information about substance misuse.
Re-solv for more information about volatile substance use.
Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol & Drugs get help if someone in your family is or has been affected by drug use.