Drug Facts


Drugs are grouped into the following categories:



Effects – increase in energy, euphoria, dilated pupils, paranoia, anxiety, sexual arousal, sexual impotence or comedowns.

Examples of stimulants – Caffeine, cocaine, amphetamine, mephedrone, khat, nicotine


Effects – feeling “stoned”, chilled out, hungry, paranoid or anxious

Examples of cannabinoids – Cannabis, synthetic cannabinoids – Spice, K2


Effects – Euphoria, confidence, risk-taking behaviour, unconsciousness, vomiting or death

Drugs in this group – Alcohol, diazepam, benzodiazepines, gabapentin, etilozam, GHB, GBL

Crew has further information on ‘street benzos’.


Effects – “out of body experience”, a feeling of disconnect, relaxation, numbness, fear or being unable to move

Drugs in this group – Ketamine, Nitrous Oxide, Salvia, Ether


Effects – Feeling of connectedness, warmth, understanding, sweating, arousal, mood swings or depression

Drugs in this group – MDMA (Ecstasy), MDA, MDAI


Effects – may reduce pain, constricted pupils, hallucinations, withdrawal or overdose

Drugs in this group – Heroin, Methadone, Morphine, Fentanyl


Effects – Spiritual connections, heightened senses, visual or auditory hallucination, anxiety or panic

Drugs in this group – DMT, LSD, Mescaline, Psilocybin (mushrooms)


New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) are drugs which are designed to replicate the effects of illegal substances like cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy.  You can find out further information on these through the following link – NPSInfographic-2.pdf (drugwise.org.uk)


The effect of a drug will vary depending on the drug taken.  There are ways to reduce risk of harm, infection or overdose when taking drugs.


Avoid being alone

  • If you are using drugs alone it is important to be extra cautious around how much you take and how often you take it.
  • If you are about to use drugs, We Are With You is a charity that will stay on the phone with you until you are safe. To contact We Are With You, phone 0808 801 0609, Monday to Sunday, 9am to 9pm.
  • It’s safer to avoid taking drugs alone, but if you are going to see CREW Safer Solo Seshing


Be cautious

  • If you are using drugs, start low and go slow. Start with a small amount (sometimes called a test dose) and wait at least 2 hours before taking any more as the drug may not have taken full effect.
  • If you don’t feel the effect as quickly as you’d expect, don’t assume the drugs are of bad quality. They may contain another substance that takes longer to kick in.


Avoid mixing drugs

  • (including alcohol and medicines). Mixing drugs can cause unexpected and unpredictable results. This is a major risk factor in drug related deaths in Scotland. It is extremely dangerous to mix depressant drugs together with:
    • alcohol
    • benzodiazepines (like diazepam and etizolam)
    • gabapentinoids (like gabapentin and pregabalin)
    • opioids (like heroin, buprenorphine and methadone)
    • some prescription medicines


All of these drugs can slow breathing and cause a serious risk of death if mixed


Signs of an overdose and what to do  – Dealing with an overdose



Naloxone is a drug that can reverse the effect of opioid drugs. Naloxone should be given to anyone who is non-responsive and displaying the signs of an overdose.  If you use opioid drugs, always ensure you have a naloxone kit to hand. To find out more about how to access Naloxone see link – Naloxone Provision


Further Information