This briefing paper is part of a series produced by the Drug Education Forum, for schools and others involved in drug education or informal drug prevention. There are many legal drugs which people take in order to change the way they feel, think or behave, or fight illness or disease. Common examples include alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and over-the-counter and prescribed medicines. Learning about all such drugs is a core part of drug education in schools. However, the term ‘legal highs’ as used in the media does not refer to the examples above, but to a group of drugs more accurately called ‘novel psychoactive substances’. These are designed to imitate the effects of illegal drugs: either stimulants, cannabis or hallucinogens.
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