A drug is any chemical that is not food and that affects your body.
- Some drugs, like medicines and painkillers are prescribed by a doctor to help you be healthy, or they are available in pharmacies without a prescription. Some drugs are available in health food shops or supermarkets.
- Other drugs like alcohol and nicotine (in cigarettes) can be bought in lots of places if you are over 18 years old.
- Caffeine is also a drug, - it is in tea, coffee or some soft drinks - and there are no restrictions on where you can get it.
- Some drugs are illegal and can not be grown, sold, bought or supplied without breaking laws in nearly every country. These are drugs that affect the mind.
To find out more about drugs and their effects have a look the many topics in the Alcohol and other drugs section of the Reachout website
The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor or other health professional.