Drugs Information

The ADP develops strategies aimed at preventing and reducing drug use through education and information programmes and helping to support people to quickly access services so they can begin the process of recovery. Understanding the facts about what drugs can do to the body and the effects they have can help to understand why an individual uses. If you are worried about someone who uses drugs or are considering taking drugs yourself, make sure you know the facts, know what to expect and how best to keep safe.

Drug Information

What do you know about drugs?

Drugs can be categorised into two different types:
• Depressants
• Stimulants

These type of drugs slow the brain, heart rate and breathing.  Effects are varied but generally can make the user relaxed, drowsy and numb, detached from worry, and oblivious to pain. Relieve anxiety and tension. Calms users and slows them down. High doses can make users drowsy and forgetful. The following drugs are all depressants:
• Alcohol
• Cannabis
• Heroin
• Nicotine
• Methadone
• Ketamine
• Tranquilisers
• Solvents

These types of drugs increase energy and general sense of well-being and/or confidence. Sounds, colours and emotions can become more intense. Can lead to overheating and dehydration if users are active without taking breaks or sipping non-alcoholic fluids. 
• Amphetamines
• Caffeine
• Cocaine
• Ecstasy
• Psychoactive Substances (see below for more information on this)

Drugs and the law
All drugs are classified under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The act creates three classes of controlled substances, A, B, and C, and ranges of penalties for illegal or unlicensed possession and possession with intent to supply are graded differently within each class.
To view the Drugs Classification Table  Link opens in new windowclick here.

Psychoactive Substances
A new trend for ‘legal highs’ has been sweeping the nation. But don’t be fooled. These Psychoactive substances are not legal. Most of the chemicals contained in these designer drugs have never been tested on humans and are chemicals known to be unfit for human consumption. In many cases the ‘legal high’ has contained elements of illegal drugs, so those found in possession are not only putting themselves at risk if they consume but are at risk of being arrested.

Before you use any drug, always find out the facts first and let someone know what you are doing.

Training and Supply of Naloxone to drug users and their families

What is Naloxone ?
Naloxone is a drug which reverses the effects of opiates such as heroin and methadone. It is only available on prescription but anyone can use it in a suspected overdose situation to save life.

Training can be done in a 1-1 or group session and consists of Basic Life Support and administering Naloxone. At the end of the training the service user is given a Naloxone kit as it  can only be supplied to the person it is intended to be used on. Families and friends cannot be given their own supply but they can be trained to use Naloxone so that in an overdose situation they can administer it if it is available.

This training will show you :

  • How to recognise an overdose
  • Perform Basic Life Support
  • How to use Naloxone
  • Preventing Overdose

Please contact :

Addaction on 0800 035 0793 (Regionwide)  

NHS Specialist Drug and Alcohol Service:

01387 244550/244555 (Dumfries,Stewartry, Annandale & Eskdale)

01671 402548 (Wigtownshire)

Apex (Stranraer) 01776 705973

Drug service initiatives

 Shared Care

As part of the local commitment towards an efficient and appropriate drug service pathway, it is important GPs are seen as integral partners within that process.
Although many service users need specialist input to enable them to reduce harmful behaviour, improve aspects of their health and minimise the chaos caused by drug misuse, GPs can also play a crucial role in ensuring that individuals receive the support they need within their local communities.

Therefore many GPs have signed up to what is called a Shared Care Treatment Agreement. This means service users who have stabilised their drug use and are on a reduced appointment schedule at the specialist service can be passed back to their own GP. The GP then becomes an involved, integral partner. Not only does this have benefits for the service user but it also enables specialist services to focus on those most in need of their service provision. 
The ADP believes that working together in this way helps to deliver a more effective service.

GPs signed up to Shared Care
Annandale & Eskdale

  • Greencroft Medical Centre, Annan (South)
  • Greencroft Medical Centre, Annan (North)
  • Gretna Surgery
  • Lockerbie Medical Practice
  • Church Place Surgery,Moffat
  • Drs Sharkey and Morisetty, Moffat

Dumfries and Nithsdale

  • Cairn Valley Surgery, Dumfries
  • Charlotte Medical Practice. Dumfries
  • Gillbrae Medical Centre, Dumfries
  • St Michaels Medical Group, Dumfries
  • Greyfriars Medical Centre, Dumfries
  • Upper Nithsdale Group Practice, Sanquhar
  • Thornhill Health Centre


  • Castle Douglas Medical Practice
  • Dalbeattie Clinic
  • Kirkcudbright Health Centre


  • Lochnaw Practice, Stranraer
  • Lochinch Practice, Stranraer
  • Lochree Practice, Stranraer
  • Wigtown Medical Practice, Wigtown
  • Sandhead Surgery
  • Drummore Clinic
  • Cairnsmore Medical Practice, Newton Stewart
  • The Merrick Practice, Newton Stewart
  • South Machars Practice, Whithorn

Needle Exchange

Annandale & Eskdale

  • Co-op Pharmacy, Lockerbie
  • Co-op Pharmacy, Gretna
  • Lloyd's Pharmacy, Annan


  • Murrays Pharmacy, Dumfries
  • Boots, Castle St ,Dumfries


  • Boots, Castle Douglas
  • Boots, Kirkcudbirght


  • Gordons Chemist, Stranraer
  • Boots, Newton Stewart
  • Whithorn Pharmacy
  • Wigtown Pharmacy

Outreach is provided by the NHS Specialist Drug and Alcohol service covering; Annandale & Eskdale, Nithsdale and Stewartry.
Apex provide a service in Stranraer 9am -5.00pm (Monday to Friday)

New Psychoactive Substances (NPS/Legal Highs)

Little is known about the potential long-term impact of the chemicals in NPS and, as their make-up changes all the time, users cannot be certain what they are taking and what the effects might be. Previously known as 'legal highs', BZP, GBL and synthetic cannabinoids were banned on the 23rd December 2009.

NPS are chemical compounds made up to be similar to the illicit drug that they are attempting to present as. However, to keep them legal the compound has to be changed.  Thus it is often unknown what the constituents of legal highs are. Many of those constituents are unfit for human consumption and are extremely dangerous. It also means that people do not know what they are taking, and in addition, professionals do not know what they are dealing with when people do take them because of constant changes in the compositions.  There have also been reports that due to the lack of information on the drug, medical staff are unsure how to treat these patients.
People believe that because they are 'legal' they must be  safe. This is not the case.

For further information contact the ADP Suppport Team on 01387 244351