Drugs, alcohol and smoking can lead to health complications and wrong decisions if done to excess.


A drug is a chemical that you take into your body, which changes your mood and the way you feel.

There are always risks involved taking any kind of drug. Even taking prescribed drugs from your doctor or bought in shops can have side effects which should be explained to you. Illegal drugs may be mixed with other substances and you never know exactly how they will affect you. If you are unsure or worried about anything, you might feel better to talk to someone about it.


Lots of people drink alcohol, and in sensible amounts it's usually fine, but drinking to excess can cause lots of problems and lasting damage to your body. If someone you care about is drinking too much, this can affect you too.

Don't forget, it is illegal to buy alcohol under the age of 18.


Smoking cigarettes or cannabis can be addictive and quitting can be really difficult. But there's lots of help out there if you want to quit smoking or want to help a friend or family member stop.

Starting to smoke when you are a young teenager can lead to a habit that will last for your whole life and be very difficult to stop. Tobacco contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. Nicotine works just like addictive drugs such as heroin. It makes the body and mind become used to having it that you start to need nicotine in order to feel normal.

The most obvious things you will notice if you smoke are that your:

  • Clothes, hair and skin will smell of smoke
  • Fingers will get stained yellow
  • Teeth will get stained and long term smoking can cause your teeth to rot if not looked after
  • Breath will smell
  • Skin will be dry and break out
  • Fertility (the ability to have children) will be reduced
  • You can start to cough a lot

Not only that, but it also damages your wallet! Smoking just 5 cigarettes a day costs you over £600 a year - just think what you could do with that cash instead of burning it!

See what you could save in the 'Swap fags for swag' and get help and support to quit: