Substance information library

Medicine

All substances by A-Z

Alcohol

Depressant

Alcohol is widely available in many varieties, including wine, beer, and spirits, and drinking alcohol is largely viewed as socially acceptable in the UK. Alcohol varies in strength and taste. Labels will always tell you how strong the drink is and will usually outline how many units are in the drink.

Also known as:

  • Booze
  • Sauce
  • Hooch

Amphetamine

Sedative

Amphetamine is a stimulant drug which can make you feel alert. It usually looks like a white, off-white or pink powder but can also look like crystals or a paste.

Also known as:

  • Speed
  • Base
  • Billy
  • Paste
  • Sulph
  • Whizz

Benzodiazepines

Sedative

Benzodiazepines are a group of sedative drugs. Some people may be prescribed a type of benzodiazepine, while other types are only available illicitly (sometimes called ‘street benzos’). Street benzos often contain several different drugs, which can increase the risk of overdose.

Also known as:

  • Benzos
  • Diazepam
  • Valium
  • Xanax
  • Rohypnol
  • Roofies
  • Blues

Cannabis

Cannabinoid

Cannabis is a plant-based drug. It usually looks like small buds of leaves, or whole or shredded green leaves, and has a strong smell. It can also look like a solid lump of dark brown or black resin or a solid, crystal-like slab.

Also known as:

  • Weed
  • Marijuana
  • Pot
  • Skunk
  • Hash
  • Bud
  • Puff
  • Resin
  • Grass
  • Dope
  • Ganja

Cocaethylene

Sedative

Cocaethylene is a toxic substance produced when cocaine and alcohol are taken together. It can cause permanent damage to your liver and heart.

Also known as:

  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine

Cocaine

Stimulant

Cocaine is a stimulant drug which can make you feel alert. It usually looks like a white powder. Crack cocaine usually looks like a yellow-white crystal.

Also known as:

  • Blow
  • Bump
  • C
  • Coke
  • Charlie
  • Crack
  • Flake
  • Snow
  • Stones
  • Toot
  • Wash
  • White
  • Ching
  • Ice
  • Rock

Ecstasy

Stimulant

MDMA (ecstasy) is a stimulant and psychedelic drug which can make you feel energised. It usually looks like an off-white, yellow, grey, purple or light brown crystal-like powder, but can also look like tablets.

Also known as:

  • E
  • MDMA
  • Molly
  • Mandy

Fentanyl

Opioid

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid. It can be taken on its own, but it has also been found in heroin and other illicit drugs like oxycodone and benzodiazepines. If a drug contains fentanyl, there is an increased risk of harm, overdose and death.

Also known as:

  • Fent

Heroin

Opiate

Heroin is an opioid drug which can make you feel relaxed, confused and zoned out. It usually looks like an off-white or brown powder.

Also known as:

  • Smack
  • H
  • Junk
  • Skag
  • China White
  • Brown
  • Gear
  • Dope

Prescription drugs

Sedative

Illicit prescription drugs are drugs obtained without a valid prescription from a qualified healthcare professional. They’re considered illicit because in the UK, prescription-only medicines are not legally available without a prescription from a qualified healthcare professional.

Also known as:

  • Speed
  • Base
  • Billy
  • Paste
  • Sulph
  • Whizz

Ketamine

Dissociative anaesthetic

Ketamine is a dissociative drug which can make you feel detached from your body or physical environment. It usually looks like a grainy white or light brown crystal-like powder.

Also known as:

  • K
  • Special K
  • Ket
  • Vitamin K
  • Kenny
  • Jet
  • Donkey Dust
  • Wobble

Nitazenes

Opioid

Nitazenes are a group of synthetic opioids which have emerged in the UK drug supply. They can be taken on their own (sometimes unknowingly), and they have been found in heroin and other illicit drugs like oxycodone and benzodiazepines. If a drug contains nitazenes, there is an increased risk of harm, overdose and death.

Also known as:

  • metonitazene
  • etonitazine
  • N-pyrrolidino-etonitazene (NPE)

Nitrous oxide (NOS)

Inhalent

Nitrous oxide is a drug with anaesthetic and psychedelic properties which can have a dissociative effect.

Also known as:

  • Nos
  • Laughing gas
  • Balloons
  • Chargers
  • Hippie Crack

Synthetic cannabinoids

Hallucinogen

Synthetic cannabinoids are man-made drugs which are designed to act like the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis. They usually look like a mixture that resembles buds or leaves like cannabis.

It's becoming increasingly common for these drugs to be found in vapes, as well as edibles (e.g. gummies) and mixed with herbal cannabis.

Also known as:

  • Magic mushrooms
  • Shrooms
  • Caps
  • Spice
  • Mamba
  • Amsterdam Gold
  • Annihilation
  • Devil's weed
  • K2
  • Tai
  • Haze

THC vapes

Cannabinoid

THC vapes are illicit vapes that have been found to contain the substance THC which can be preloaded into disposable vapes or mixed with vape liquid.

Also known as:

  • Cannabis Vapes
  • Weed Pens
  • Cannabis Pens

Xylazine

Sedative

Xylazine is a powerful and dangerous anaesthetic that relaxes the muscles and causes severe drowsiness. It is often mixed with opioids like heroin and nitazenes, and has been found in other illicit drugs like benzodiazepines and THC vapes. If a drug contains xylazine, because it’s not what’s expected and could have different effects, there is an increased risk of harm, overdose and death.

Also known as:

  • Tranq dope

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