Alcohol and drugs
Alcohol can make people more sociable and friendly, but excessive drinking can lead to problems.
The Department of Health sets sensible drinking limits at two to three units of alcohol per day for women and three to four units per day for men.
Binge drinking, 'drinking to get drunk' and drunkenness can be a factor in crime and can increase your chances of being a victim of crime. Just under half of all violent crime is thought to be alcohol-related.
Drunkenness can lead to disorder and crimes such as criminal damage and violence. There is a lot of social pressure to drink and more young people 'overdose' on alcohol than take illegal drugs.
Drinking and driving causes many deaths every year.
Possession of controlled drugs and their supply is illegal. Drugs are divided into Classes A, B or C according to the harm they can do. Class A drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine are the most harmful. The penalties for possessing or dealing drugs are different depending on the class and the circumstances. The penalties for dealing drugs are a lot more severe than those for possession of small amounts for personal use.
Drug use can lead to other criminal activity too, like stealing to pay for more drugs or driving under the influence of drugs, which is just as illegal and dangerous as drink driving.