Drugs and drug abuse

From harm to hope

From harm to hope is a 10-year plan to cut crime and save lives by reducing the supply and demand for drugs and delivering a high-quality treatment and recovery system. 

You can view the plan at GOV.UK.

Help for people facing addiction and habit forming issues with drugs in Solihull are provided by Solihull Integrated Addiction Services (SIAS).

You can refer yourself to SIAS or customers can be referred by healthcare workers:

Contast SIAS

SIAS provides a range of confidential services and assessed support.


Nobody can be certain how drugs will affect them personally, including:

  • illegal drugs such as cannabis and cocaine
  • prescribed medication such as painkillers and antidepressants
  • club drugs or new psychoactive substances (NPS) previously known as legal highs

Just having 1 joint, 1 pill or 1 pop can easily turn into a very bad experience, causing illness and injury or something even worse.

Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide (commonly known as laughing gas) is a colourless gas sold in canisters, usually inhaled using a balloon.

You can find out more about the health risks associated with taking it and where you can get help.

The law has changed

The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 act captures psychoactive substances that aren’t covered by the existing misuse of drugs framework, e.g. nitrous oxide.

Unlike the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, this act does not list substances that are affected. Instead it covers those that fit its definitions in a similar, but not identical way to ISSA. There is an understanding of so-called legal highs as replacements for controlled drugs, but the act provides a specific definition based on a substance’s effect on people.

A substance must be capable of having a psychoactive effect to be covered by the new legislation. A psychoactive effect is something which affects a person’s mental functioning or emotional state by stimulating or depressing their nervous system.

This would include effects that we associate with controlled drugs, including the following:

  • hallucinations
  • changes in alertness
  • perception of time and space
  • mood or empathy with others
  • drowsiness

Common drug problems

People that are not in control of their drug use will often not feel well and get injured easily. Drug users can also:

  • have no money
  • get into debt
  • lose friends
  • have relationship problems
  • lie frequently
  • struggle at work or to keep a job
  • be in trouble with the police and authorities
  • hide the amount of prescription drugs they are taking

If you recognise any of these signs in yourself or a friend, family member or someone else, call SIAS on 0121 301 4141.

Drugs and driving

It is illegal to drive in the UK if you have taken certain drugs or your driving is affected by drug taking.

If the police stop you and think you have taken drugs they will test your ability to drive. If drugs are found in your system you will be arrested and could be charged with drug driving.

For more information about drug driving you can visit the official Think! Road Safety campaign website.

FRANK – Friendly, confidential drugs advice

All links in this section take you to the www.talktofrank.com website. (www.talktofrank.com)

FRANK is a national drug education service created by the Department of Health. It aims to reduce the abuse of all drugs and medication, by providing facts and figures on the harms of drug use.

It offers help and support to adults and young people, providing such information as: