Drugs are controlled by several different laws in the UK. ‘Controlled’ means that the law states when it is okay to possess or supply a drug, and when it isn’t. For example, some drugs are legal to possess if a doctor has prescribed them to you, but not legal to possess otherwise. Alcohol is legal to possess if you are aged 18 or over, but not if you are younger.
The main law controlling drugs is the Misuse of Drugs Act. This law puts drugs into one of three categories – Class A, Class B and Class C. Drugs that are considered the most dangerous are put into Class A. Class B drugs are considered slightly less dangerous, and Class C drugs slightly less dangerous again.
See our individual drugs pages on this website for information about specific drugs and the law.
See our Young People, Drugs and the Law page for information about what might happen if the police find you have drugs in your possession
Generally, it is an offence to:
- possess a controlled drug (unless you have a prescription, in your name)
- possess a controlled drug with the intention of supplying it to someone else (giving, selling or sharing)
- unlawfully supply (give, sell, share) a controlled drug to someone else
- allow other people to use drugs in your home
Sharing drugs amongst friends is considered to be ‘supplying’ by the law.
If you would like to read more about young people, drugs and the law in the UK, please have a look at the following links:
DAN 24/7’s Drug Classification Page
Talk to Frank’s Drink and Drug Driving page