Spice, Kryptonite, Black Mamba – legal high marketing

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That the market for ‘legal highs’, or more accurately, new psychoactive substances (NPS) has grown there is no doubt. What’s also growing, in terms of sophistication and technique, is the marketing of these products. With NPS, things are changing so fast that the research is well behind what’s happening in real time. Business is way […]

Accepting the unacceptable – Scotland and alcohol

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Yesterday I was trapped in a sealed container for fifteen minutes with six very drunk and out of control men. It was an alarming experience. The container was an underground train. It was a Glasgow Underground train. Oddly enough, the last time I travelled on the Subway in Glasgow (last month) I was in the […]

Drug deaths – what’s changing?

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One thousand nine hundred and fifty-seven people died from drug-related causes in England and Wales last year. That’s a 21% jump with a significant rise in deaths related to heroin and morphine. The data for Scotland, released last month, showed a 9% drop compared to 2012, though this was still the fifth highest on record. What’s […]

Stigma – a good thing?

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Stigma discredits individuals and groups, reducing social status and creating ‘spoiled identities’, says Goffman. It’s not a good thing. But hang on a minute – might it have a positive function? Could it actually help in terms of public health? Help by changing behaviour through societal pressure. If so, that would be a good thing, […]

From opioid pills to heroin injecting

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SMMGP reviews research relevant to primary care in its July bulletin. Dr Euan Lawson covers a paper called  “Every ‘Never’ I Ever Said Came True”: Transitions from opioid pills to heroin injecting.  The paper studies those moving from prescription pill opioids (e.g. oxycodone) to heroin: People who had progressed to heroin from prescription opioids typically reported […]

The marketing triumphs of legal highs

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There is evidence accumulating from all over that new psychoactive substances (NPS) or ‘legal highs’ are on the up. Reports from mental health services, addiction services, homeless support services and criminal justice settings can leave us in no doubt though hard research evidence is still playing a bit of catch up. One of the reasons that […]

Cannabis-like new psychoactive substances – warnings

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In Europe drug seekers have the luxury of 651 websites from which to buy their ‘legal highs’ or NPS. Alternatively in many towns and cities you can just pop down to the nearest head shop or indeed the nearest corner shop. NPS are more accessible than most drugs. Cannabis-like new psychoactive substances are popular and […]

12 things about alcohol and other drugs

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Andrew Brown at DrugScope posted a great little presentation called 12 things about alcohol and other drugs you may have missed. It’s an eclectic collection of interesting and useful facts that just might have passed us by. He is absolutely right, I had missed many of them. The info on residential rehab in Europe and […]

Can recovering drug addicts drink safely?

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In Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous meetings up and down the country tonight, members will read out literature warning those attending that drinking alcohol is a risk to their recoveries. This is not based on scientific study, but on the experience across decades of those following the 12-step programme. When considered in the light of […]