Drugs in schools: What they are and what they do

Cannabis was by far and away the most common substance involved in drugs offences at schools in the last four years, according to the 21 police forces in England and Wales with relevant information.

Here is a guide to some of the more popular drugs seized by police:

– Cannabis: Class B

Cannabis accounted for more than nine in every 10 (92%) of the 2,074 drugs involved in the figures. It is the most used illegal drug in England, according to the NHS, and can be taken in multiple ways – including being smoked in spliffs. The drug is also known as marijuana, ganja, grass and weed, and has hallucinogenic qualities.


– MDMA: Class A

The powder equivalent of Ecstasy, the club drug taken in pill form. MDMA can be taken by rubbing it into the gums, and can lead to an increased heart rate. Possession can result in a lengthy prison term. It was the second most popular drug in schools, according to police forces with information.

– Cocaine: Class A

The third most popular drug found in schools, according to the figures, it is a powerful stimulant that can be snorted as a powder – referred to as “coke” – or smoked from small rocks known as crack cocaine.

Cocaine stock
Cocaine stock

– Amphetamine: Class B

Also known as speed, it can be snorted, ingested and rubbed onto the gums. Amphetamine comes in off-white powdered form and has been linked to anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.

– Heroin: Class A

The powerful opiate kills more people in the UK every year than any other illegal drug, and can be smoked, snorted or injected – the latter leading to an increased risk of HIV and hepatitis. Possession can lead to a substantial prison term.