Drugs & Alcohol

We aim to give you the facts about drugs and drinking – the highs as well as the lows, which means you can make your own choices.

If you’re thinking of quitting or cutting down, or would like some advice or support, get in touch with the Young Hackney Substance Misuse Service.

 What you need to know about… Spice

Many have heard about Spice, but what is it, what are the effects and most importantly what are the risks?

Spice is a synthetic cannabinoid, which means it’s a chemical created to have the same effect as cannabis. Synthetic cannabinoids are often stronger than cannabis, so it’s easier to use too much and experience unpleasant and harmful effects. Other synthetic cannabinoids include Noids, Black Mamba, Clockwork Orange, and Pandora’s Box.  As they are made to act like cannabis, the effects will be similar to cannabis, yet unpredictable.

It can be smoked (after being sprayed on to herbal mixtures) or inhaled (using e-cigarettes and vapourisers).

What happens when you take Spice?

Some people get the giggles and become very talkative, while others get more drowsy/sleepy.

Your mood and perception can change and concentration and co-ordination may become difficult. Synthetic cannabinoids, possibly because of their strength, are more likely to cause hallucinations than natural cannabis.  Some people will have quite bad reactions, such as paranoia, panic attacks and forgetfulness.

Other side-effects can include: getting agitated or confused, slurred speech, kidney failure, seizures and hypertension. There are longer term affects as well – it is possible to get addicted to Spice and it can cause psychosis.

Is Spice a legal high?

You may hear about Spice as being a ‘legal high’ – but synthetic cannabinoids, as well as any mixtures that contain illegal drugs, including brands like Black Mamba and Annihilation, are Class B drugs and are now illegal to have, give away or sell. Because these drugs are relatively new, and because they’re often mixed with other substances, it’s difficult to predict how they will affect you, and what happens when they’re used with other substances or alcohol.

Remember: all drugs come with risk.

The Young Hackney Substance Misuse service is open to anyone aged under 25, it’s free and it’s completely confidential..  They can give you advice and support if you’re worried about your own substance use. They’ll also help if you’re worried that a friend or family member has a problem with drugs or alcohol.

For extra information and advice on drugs and drink, visit the Frank and drinkaware websites.

Useful websites


Learn the facts about alcohol – the effects of heavy drinking and tips to cut down if you’re drinking too much.

Talk to Frank

Talk to Frank has information about the effects of drugs and the impact on your health if you take drugs.