Under the Misuse of Drugs Act, it is an offence to:

•    unlawfully possess a controlled substance

•    possess a controlled substance with the intent to supply it

•    supply or offer to supply a controlled drug

•    allow a property to be used by people taking drugs.

If you suspect an offence has been committed please contact your local police station or call 101. In an emergency always dial 999. 


Classes of drugs

Drugs are grouped into ‘classes’, depending on their type. The maximum penalties for drug possession, supply (dealing) and production depend on what type or ‘class’ the drug is.




Supply and Production


Crack cocaine, cocaine, ecstasy (MDMA), heroin, LSD, magic mushrooms, methadone, methamphetamine (crystal meth)

Up to 7 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both

Up to life in prison, an unlimited fine or both


Amphetamines, barbiturates, cannabis, codeine, ketamine, methylphenidate (Ritalin), synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic cathinones (eg mephedrone, methoxetamine)

Up to 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both

Up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both


Anabolic steroids, benzodiazepines (diazepam), gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), piperazines (BZP)

Up to 2 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both

Up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both

We recognise that drugs and legal highs can have a significant impact on people’s lives. For a comprehensive guide to these substances please visit www.talktofrank.com

Helpful organisations:

Talk to Frank
The Frank helpline provides free, confidential advice, counselling and referral to specialist services 24 hours a day. The Talk to Frank website also has a facility for finding organisations in your local area that can help you.

Adfam is an umbrella organisation providing support and information specifically for families affected by drug and alcohol use. It is their ultimate goal that no family in need of support should go without it.

Angelus Foundation
Angelus Foundation aims to help society understand the dangers of ‘legal highs’ (unclassified substances), reduce the harm they cause to young people and their families, and save lives. It seeks to increase knowledge and maximise public understanding of the risks.

The Club Drug Clinic
This is a national service for people who have begun to experience problems with their use of recreational drugs.

Drug Addicts Anonymous
A twelve-step fellowship dedicated to the recovery from addiction to mind altering substances.

DrugWise provides drug information which is topical, evidence-based and non-judgmental.