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Describe Different Types of Drugs

In this worksheet, students will describe the different types of drugs.

'Describe Different Types of Drugs' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Year:  Year 7 Science worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Biology: Structure and Function of Living Organisms

Curriculum subtopic:   Health

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

It's funny how some words can change their meaning over time. 


If you've looked at the activity on diet, you'll know that 'diet' has two different meanings.  A diet can mean what someone eats i.e. 'their normal diet' or, it can mean that someone is 'on a diet' and reducing the number of calories they eat.   


It's the same with 'drugs'.  We often hear in the news about 'drugs,' normally we hear about the ones that are illegal and those that have a very negative impact on people's lives.


drug bottle


So, what exactly are drugs and are they all bad? 


Image of alcoholic drinks


A drug is a chemical that can change the way our body works.


There are three different groups of drugs:


1. Medicinal

2. Recreational

3. Illegal


Image of medicines


Medicinal drugs treat disease or relieve symptoms. For example, painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen would help to lower our temperature if we had a cold. These can be bought from a pharmacy over-the-counter. Antibiotics like penicillin destroy bacteria; if we were to have a bacterial infection we might be prescribed antibiotics by the doctor - we can't get these over-the-counter without a prescription.


 image of coffee, alcohol and cigarettes


Recreational drugs are ones that are taken for pleasure. People take recreational drugs because they like the feelings of pleasure they get. For example, when someone drinks alcohol they may feel more relaxed and confident. Other recreational drugs include tobacco in cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes can improve your mood and concentration, and caffeine in coffee can leave us feeling more active and focused, which might explain why we tend to have a coffee at breakfast time!


Image of medicines


Illegal drugs are those that aren't allowed by the law and can be dangerous. Illegal drugs tend to be recreational as well as people choose to take them. Most illegal drugs can cause long term damage. For example, cannabis can cause memory loss and heroin can lead to collapsed veins and liver and kidney disease. Cocaine can lead to blocked arteries in the heart and ecstasy can lead to kidney failure. Many of these illegal drugs will give feelings of relaxation or intense happiness. 

People often take these drugs because they like the feelings of pleasure they get and are addicted to them. This means they have formed a habit and crave (want) more of a particular drug. They have become dependent on it.


In this activity, we will describe the different types of drugs and their effects.

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