Risks: illegal drugs

Drugs are chemicals that change the way a person’s body works. Illegal drugs aren’t good for anyone, but they are particularly bad for young people whose brains and bodies are still growing.

Illegal drugs can damage the brain, heart and other essential organs. Cocaine, for example, can cause a heart attack, even in a teenager. If you use drugs it will affect your performance in all aspects of your life – relationships with others, your schoolwork, sporting activities – and you are less likely to have control over your actions. Even drugs legally prescribed by doctors for illnesses can be abused and do cause harm.

It is important to think carefully about what level of risk you are willing to take. Those who risk their health and even their lives are making a choice of self-neglect that is extremely dangerous. People who value themselves – those who have good self-esteem – will generally make better decisions that help them stay alive and well.

Take a look at some of the excellent information and advice on the following websites:

  • Kidshealth – this will tell you what you need to know about drugs
  • FRANK – friendly, confidential advice about drugs
  • Young Addaction – UK charity for helping those with drug addiction
  • Adfam – support for families dealing with drug and alcohol addiction