The Different Substances Which Individuals Might Use

Categories: HealthSubstance Abuse

Identify the different substances which individuals might use, how they are used and their likely effects. Abused substances produce some form of intoxication that alters judgment, attention, perception, or physical control.

Psychoactive drugs can be categorised into three broad groups:

  1. Stimulants: Amphetamines, Cocaine, Crack, Ecstasy, Anabolic steroids.
  2. Depressants: Cannabis, Alcohol, Benzodiazepines GHB etc.
  3. Hallucinogens: LSD, Magic Mushrooms (Psilocybin), Skunk.

Drugs also have street names (i.e. Alcohol – booze; Cannabis – Dope/Hash/Skunk; LSD – Acid/Trip/Blotter) and this varies from place to place therefore, a good health care worker should be able to understand the terms used (generic and street names) if possible.

effects of substance abuse are; Alcohol – (This is taken as a relaxant and for social reasons) causes slurred speech, nausea and physical dependence Amphetamines – (Taken for the euphoria and increased energy) effects includes Anxiety, panic and paranoia Cannabis – (Taken for relaxation and increased sensory awareness) causes red eyes, anxiety, confusion and psychosis. Cocaine – Leads to sweating, tremor and depression

1.2 Identify the risks involved with substance use both in the short and long term

Alcohol abuse has also been affected with nearly half of all fatal motor accidents. Cocaine also known as Crack can be smoked, injected or swallowed. Short term effects includes paranoia, constriction of blood vessels leading to heart damage or stroke, irregular heart beat and even death. Long term effect has been associated with damage to the heart, brain, lungs and kidneys. With LSD and Mushrooms which have both been associated with club scenes cause hallucinations, numbness with long term effects such as unwanted flashbacks and mood disturbances.

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Other effects and risks of substance use are thoughts of harming oneself, difficulty concentrating, dependence on substances, difficulties going sober, overdosing, confusions, difficulties speaking, HIV/AIDs (sharing needles) trouble keeping balance, problems in family and social life etc.

1.3 Explain legislation, policies and guidelines on the use and storage of substances

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is intended to prevent the non-medical use of certain drugs. It controls not just medicinal drugs but also drugs with no current medical uses. Illegal drugs are classified into 3 categories: A, B and C (Misuse of Drugs Act 1971). Class A drugs are known as the most dangerous of the three categories and carry the greatest penalties for illegal supply and use.

Class A – Heroin, Methamphetamine, Ecstasy, Cocaine and LSD

Class B – Cannabis, Codeine, Amphetamines and Barbiturates

Class C – Benzodiazepines, Ketamine, Minor tranquilisers and GHB.

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is based on 4 principles, which states that is it unlawful to;

  1. Possess a controlled drug;
  2. Possess a controlled drug with intent to supply;
  3. Supply (share/sell/give) a controlled drug, even if it is given away freely;
  4. To allow premises you occupy or manage to be used for the use of drugs

Cite this page

The Different Substances Which Individuals Might Use. (2016, Sep 15). Retrieved from

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