Drug Education

Illegal drug use can have major negative effects. This is not only on the user but their family, friends and community. Drug education is important for children, teenagers and adults. This is why Hamilton Police Service aims to promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

A drug is anything ingested or absorbed, other than food, which affects the way a person's body or mind functions.

There are three main categories of drugs:

  1. Stimulants, which excite or speed up functions of the central nervous system (e.g., caffeine, cocaine, and ecstasy)
  2. Depressants, which slow down functions of the central nervous system (e.g., alcohol, marijuana, prescription pills)
  3. Hallucinogens, which affect the senses and changes awareness and perception (e.g., LSD, ecstasy, marijuana, salvia)
  • Drug paraphernalia (bongs, rolling papers etc.)
  • Acts secretive and isn't co-operative
  • Changes in behaviour or personality
  • Changes in appearance
  • Dry mouth
  • Depression
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Bloodshot eyes

Drug paraphernalia is the equipment or tools someone may have in order to create, sell or use drugs.

Paraphernalia includes, but is not limited to:

  • Syringes
  • Lighters/matches
  • Aluminum foil
  • Burnt and bent metal spoons
  • Pipes and bongs
  • Glow sticks
  • Lollypops
  • Rolling paper/cut straws
  • Food grinder
Drug Laws and Penalties

Seeking or selling illegal drugs may result in serious punishments.

Possession or Seeking of Substances

According to the Controlled Drugs Substances Act (CDSA) you can't have or seek illegal substances unless you have valid permission (i.e. medicinal purposes).


You could be found guilty in one of two types of offences:

  1. Indictable offence (more serious) resulting in imprisonment for up to seven years.
  2. Summary offence (less serious).
  • First-time offence is a fine up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment up to six months.
  • For following offences, a fine of up to $2,000 and/or imprisonment up to one year.

According to the CDSA you can't sell or have illegal substances for the purpose of selling.


You could be found: Guilty of an indictable offence, with the sentence depending on the amount of drugs you had.

You may also be sentenced to imprisonment for a minimum of:

  • One year, if you commit the offence for criminal organizations, used/threatened to use violence, carried/used/threatened to use a weapon, or have a previous drug related conviction.
  • Two years, if the offence is committed in or within the area of a school or place that minors normally visit, or if a minor was involved in committing the crime.
  • Alcohol Drug & Gambling Services                              905-546-3606
  • Alternatives for Youth                                                    905-527-4469
  • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health                     800-463-6273
  • Connex Ontario                                                               800-565-8603
  • New Choices (Women/Teens)                                    905-522-5556 ext.301
  • Men’s Addiction Services Hamilton (MASH)             905-527-9264
  • Mission Services                                                             905-528-7635
  • Suntrac Wellness & Addiction Centre                          905-528-0389
  • Narcotics Anonymous                                                   888-811-3887
  • Wayside House of Hamilton (Men)                             905-528-8969
  • Wesley Urban Ministries – Claremont House          905-318-6903
  • Womankind – Telephone Support                             905-545-9100
  • Treatment                                                                      905-521-9591 ext.237
  • Crisis Line                                                                       905-545-9100