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Alcohol and drug misuse

Alcohol and drug misuse, also known as substance misuse, has a negative effect on health, safety and quality of life for the user, their friends, family and the community.

We work to prevent alcohol and drug related crimes as well as ensure support is available for those struggling with alcohol and drug use.

Alcohol offences

Excessive drinking tends to cause anti-social behaviour, aggression, violence or the need for medical attention.

We work with partner agencies such as Aspire Recovery Service Peterborough (opens in a new window), Inclusion Cambridgeshire (opens in a new window) and Talk to Frank (opens in a new window)to tackle the underlying causes of alcohol and drug related harm before it becomes a problem.

We take various steps to reduce alcohol and drug related harm and believe the problem requires more than responding to crime and arresting offenders. We want to help prevent alcohol relates issues by;

Drug offences

Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (opens in a new window), it is an offence to;

  • possess a controlled substance
  • possess a controlled substance with the intent to supply it
  • supply, or offer to supply, a controlled drug
  • allow a property to be used by people for the purpose of taking drugs.

Drugs are grouped in classes depending on their type. The maximum penalty for possessing, supplying or producing drugs depends on their class;

Drug classifications
 Class Drug examples   Possession Supply and production 
 Class A  

Crack cocaine, cocaine, ecstasy (MDMA), heroin, LSD, magic   mushrooms, methadone, methamphetamine (crystal meth)


Up to 7 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both


Up to life in prison, an unlimited fine or both

Class B  

Amphetamines, barbiturates, cannabis, codeine, ketamine,   methylphenidate (Ritalin), synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic cathinones (e.g.;   mephedrone, methoxetamine)


Up to 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both


Up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both

 Class C  

Anabolic steroids, benzodiazepines (diazepam), gamma hydroxybutyrate   (GHB), gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), MDMA


Up to 2 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both


Up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both

We recognise that drugs and legal highs can have a significant impact on people’s lives. For a full guide to these substances, or for help and support, please visit the Talk to Frank website (opens in a new window).

Legal highs

Psychoactive substances, known as ‘legal highs’, are often designed to mimic the effects of class A drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy. The Psychoactive Substances Act (opens in a new window)aims to ban and disrupt the production, distribution, sale and supply of legal highs in the UK.

Side effects are common and can include heart palpitations, vomiting, dizziness, fainting, panic attacks and psychosis.

Those involved in the supply, production, possession, importation or exportation of a psychoactive substance can face a prison sentence of up to 7 years.

Officers have the authority to hand out civil sanctions and notices to shut down ‘headshops’ and dealers. Anyone who fails to comply with a sanction or notice can be handed a prison sentence of up to two years.


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