While you might hear the terms class A, B or C drugs being mentioned, you might not realise which drugs come under each category.

A variety of drugs are included in the categories and when caught either taking, carrying, making or supplying them, people can face consequences including varying prison sentences and unlimited fines, sometimes even both.

But which drugs fit into each category and what punishments could you get?

Which drugs are categorised as class A, B and C?

The government website sets out which drugs come under each band.

Class A drugs include crack cocaine, cocaine, ecstasy (MDMA), heroin, LSD, magic mushrooms, methadone and methamphetamine (crystal meth).

Islington Gazette: People can be sent to prison for possessing, selling or making drugsPeople can be sent to prison for possessing, selling or making drugs (Image: Getty Images)

Amphetamines, barbiturates, cannabis, codeine, ketamine, methylphenidate (Ritalin), synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones (for example mephedrone, methoxetamine) are all class B drugs.

Class C drugs are anabolic steroids, benzodiazepines (diazepam), gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), piperazines (BZP) and khat.

On November 8 2023, a ban on nitrous oxide has come into force and it is now considered a class C drug.

Some drugs are considered temporary class drugs as the government can ban drugs for one year under a temporary banning order while it decides which class to put them in.

Some methylphenidate substances (ethylphenidate, 3,4-dichloromethylphenidate (3,4-DCMP), methylnaphthidate (HDMP-28), isopropylphenidate (IPP or IPPD), 4-methylmethylphenidate, ethylnaphthidate, propylphenidate) and their simple derivatives are temporary class drugs.

What punishments can you get for taking, dealing, or producing drugs?

It’s important to know that punishments can vary depending on the type of drug/substance, the amount a person has and whether it is also being sold or produced by that person.

If you’re found to be in possession of a class A drug, you can spend up to seven years in prison and you might also receive an unlimited fine or both.

Islington Gazette: You can be fined or go to prison if you're caught in possession of drugsYou can be fined or go to prison if you're caught in possession of drugs (Image: Getty Images)

However, if you are found to be supplying or making a class A drug, you can receive up to a life sentence in prison, an unlimited fine or both.

Possession of a class B drug could get you up to five years in prison, an unlimited fine or both while supplying or making a class B drug can result in up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.

If you’re found to be in possession of a class C drug, you can expect up to two years in prison, an unlimited fine or both, however, it isn’t an offence to possess anabolic steroids for personal use.

Supplying or producing class C drugs can result in up to 14 years in prison, and/or an unlimited fine.

If you’re caught in possession of temporary class drugs, there is no punishment but police can take it away from you.

However, producing or supplying a temporary class drug can result in up to 14 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine.

You can find out more about drugs and psychoactive substances via the government website.