RUG INFORMATIONWhat is a drug?A drug is any substance (with the exception of food and water) which, when taken into the body, alters the body's function either physically and/or psychologically.
Drugs may be legal (e.g. alcohol, caffeine and tobacco) or illegal (e.g. cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin).
What is a psychoactive drug?Psychoactive drugs affect the central nervous system and alter a person's mood, thinking and behaviour.
Psychoactive drugs may be divided into four categories:Depressants: Drugs that decrease alertness by slowing down the activity of the central nervous system (e.g. heroin, alcohol and analgesics).Stimulants: Drugs that increase the body's state of arousal by increasing the activity of the brain (e.g. caffeine, nicotine and amphetamines).Hallucinogens: Drugs that alter perception and can cause hallucinations, such as seeing or hearing something that is not there (e.g. LSD and 'magic mushrooms'). Other: Some drugs fall into the 'other' category, as they may have properties of more than one of the above categories (e.g. cannabis has depressive, hallucinogenic and some stimulant properties).
Why do people use drugs?People use drugs for a variety of reasons.
Young people often use drugs for the same reasons that adults do.
Some of these include:to have funto relax and forget problemsto gain confidenceto socialiseout of curiosityas a form of escapismto lessen inhibitionsto remove personal responsibility for decisionsto celebrate or commiserateto relieve boredom and stressself-medication to cope with problems
Friends, parents, older brothers and sisters and the media can also have some influence over a young person's decision to use drugs.