DRUGS in our communities are a major concern and a dangerous public health issue. With drug related deaths ever increasing, health resources stretched and families torn apart by addiction, we ALL need to address this issue, as many people are asking “What do drugs smell like?”.


So, to advance the understanding of the dangers of drugs, Print Specialists UK has developed a drug smelling scratch and sniff technology, as an additional tool to be integrated into drug awareness and prevention presentations and campaigns, called WHAT DO DRUGS SMELL LIKE? that features four separate drug fragrancescannabis weed, ecstasy, cocaine and amphetamine. A UNIQUE interactive drug scented card is ideal for DRUG AWARENESS and PREVENTION in community engagement, education and training as, we have found, it generates many questions.


What Do Drugs Smell Like

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So, what do different drugs smell like?

Although only some people may be aware of the cannabis smell, very few know the smells associated with ecstasy, cocaine and amphetamine. Even though some of these drugs are odourless, when consumed the body emits distinct, somewhat pungent smells in the form of body odour, thereby contaminating clothing. Ideal for schools and education, employers, parents, police forces and the licenced trade for training door security staff.

UK printers of Scratch & Sniff Drug smells.

The four drug card smells are helpful in building community awareness to aid in the detection and reporting of cannabis cultivation farms within local properties.

They are also a parent’s guide to drug smells and odours.

We know our cards can help educate the next generation and get a clear message to them from an early age whilst safeguarding young people regarding drug awareness. The reverse side of the card is designed to advise young people not to bow to peer pressure or friends when they tell you what you will experience when taking drugs. It shows the untruths about drug taking but highlights what could happen and the dangerous consequences that are always random.

This proactive campaign, to know what drugs smell like, is one of drug awareness, with the associated smells of certain drugs, either the smell of the drug itself, or the consequence of taking the drug, in the form of body odour emitted.


County lines is not a new thing – it is a form of criminal exploitation. Criminals will often befriend children either online or offline, and then manipulate them to deal drugs. Children as young as 7 might be targeted!

The drug dealing may happen near where the child lives, or they may be forced to travel away from their hometown. The grooming might start with being given ‘free’ stuff (drinks, food, gaming credits, drugs). Things escalate and soon you might be asked to ‘look after stuff.’ This escalates into being forced to stash weapons, money or supply drugs.

It doesn’t matter where you are from or your social background, children from any community can be groomed into county lines.

County lines might sound glamourous. You might think you can make lots of money, but the reality is harsh. You might be forced to stay away from home, working 24 hours a day, staying in dirty houses, to conceal drugs in your body and to carry weapons. You, your family or friends might be threatened.

You are at serious RISK!

There is always help available. You can speak to trusted adult or a teacher. Google Childline, themix.org, The Children’s Society, Barnardo’s or Crimestoppers Fearless for contact information.



Drug deaths in the UK in 2022


Drug poisoning deaths in England and Wales in 2022


Drug related deaths in Northern Ireland in 2021


Drug related deaths in Scotland in 2022




The campaign that instigated these cards took months of testing samples of different printed fragrances. Throughout the campaign development, we were guided by our client’s expert staff and their drug addicts, interviewed NHS doctors and pharmacists, sought advice from former police drug squad officers and gathered valuable input from university professor of chemistry.

We were advised that a distinctive body odour contaminated user’s clothing, mainly through sweat, when taking amphetamine. Taking this information, we sourced various samples of fragrances for evaluation by our experts.

At the end of the process, a campaign that was well received by them.

To aid identifying different illegal drug smells, we have carefully selected smells that are very off-putting to PREVENT young people experimenting with these dangerous drugs. An early small investment in drug education can prevent addiction that requires a vastly more expensive ‘road to recovery’ route later.

Based in the UK, we are one of two print suppliers worldwide, that we are aware of, who produce educational drug scratch and sniff cards that give off the associated smells of FOUR drugs.

Our ‘Drug Smell Cards’ are produced using our latest printing technology – the cards are printed on both sides in full colour and infused with drug fragrances. Each smell lasts over 12 months and is released by scratching the card. These cards are a cost-effective drug education and prevention tool that can be reused numerous times over and over again.

The associated drug fragrances, used on our cards, do not contain any irritant ingredient and are harmless to humans and animals. Laboratory tests have proved all smells to be within the same limits set for normal household products such as detergent fabric cleaner and perfumes. Our cards can be safely recycled with other printed or plain paper and board in the normal paper recycling bin.

We know we cannot stop the supply of drugs. Our initiative is to avoid the pain and suffering that families must endure at the loss of a child, or family member, through using NPS or drug addiction, by reducing the demand for drugs through education and training.

We found NO DRUG IS SAFE, including alcohol. According to various Drug Related Death Reports, from Government Departments, only a few deaths occur using only one drug. Mixing drugs causes a chemical reaction and alcohol is mentioned many times in toxicology reports. In addition, people’s body chemistry is different, hence allergies, some of which can kill you. So just because a friend is OK when taking a drug, does not mean to say that it is safe for everyone.




For more information, go to: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/keeping-safe/community-family/county-lines

Check out our other scratch & sniff cards called ‘How to Spot a Cannabis Farm’ at HOW TO SPOT A CANNABIS FARM – Print Specialists UK

For any samples of our drug awareness initiatives, go to Contact – Print Specialists UK