Legal high problems – time to wake up

Posted · Add Comment

Legal high problems Legal highs, or novel psychoactive substances (NPS), have been causing unusual presentations at A&E (Emergency Room) departments in European cities. Because these are relatively new drugs, doctors and other healthcare professionals are not always familiar with them. They are not easy to test for either, requiring specialist forensic laboratories in the main. […]

Gabapentin abuse

Posted · 3 Comments

Gabapentin can be addictive. Search for gabapentin abuse or pregabalin abuse on Google Scholar and you’ll turn up 18,000 entries in less than a second. Pubmed is a little more specific finding 249 papers related to the subject. Vaults of Erowid has over 100 gabapentin and pregabalin ‘experiences’ detailed by users. I wrote a while back […]

More benzodiazepines, more deaths

Posted · Add Comment

Addiction & Recovery News highlights benzodiazepine related problems from two recent pieces of research. The first is about benzodiazepines and early death. The British Medical Journal reports on a UK General Practice study: We found evidence of an association between prescription of anxiolytic and hypnotic drugs and mortality over an average follow-up period of 7.6 […]

Legal Highs in Scotland: cause for concern

Posted · 1 Comment

Scotland is seeing a change in the pattern of drug use. Actually that’s putting it mildly – Scotland is seeing a potentially profound change in the pattern of drug use. New heroin use seems to be declining and the new kid on the block, Novel Psychoactive Substances (known as ‘legal-highs’) is carving out turf. I […]

Do opioids work for chronic pain? Sorry, we haven’t a clue

Posted · Add Comment

Jason Schwartz highlights a Keith Humphreys post on the challenges of assessing opioids for long term non-cancer pain. With millions of people in the UK prescribed regular opiates on repeat prescriptions for chronic pain and these drugs fraught with dependence dangers, you’d think there would have to be a solid evidence base that they work. Not a bit […]

Sex & drugs in gay men (chemsex): what’s going on?

Posted · 1 Comment

Several pieces of research suggest that lesbian, gay and bisexual people have a higher risk of substance misuse problems and dependence. A few weeks ago we saw the publication of a piece of research looking at the context, harms and implications of the practice of ‘chemsex’ by examining a survey of over a thousand gay and bisexual men […]

Stigma: Overdosing on heroin doesn’t make you a scumbag

Posted · Add Comment

On the day we heard that heroin was implicated in the tragic death of Peaches Geldof, I was reminded of another recent story. Thomas McLellan, a prominent US addiction researcher and policy advisor, lost his son to an overdose in 2008. A month or two back he wrote a piece  in the Huffington Post. He recounts that […]

Addiction researchers’ early trumpeting can leave foul stench

Posted · 4 Comments

Keith Humphreys is given prominence in the journal Addiction to make powerful points about the harm that can be done when scientists are too eager to share new findings. Too eager means bypassing the peer review process that can highlight research shortcomings and often limits the potential for misunderstandings. He points to the recent headlines which […]

Legal highs and Cocaine Anonymous: both growing

Posted · 2 Comments

Legal Highs, now more accurately called Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPSs), or simply ‘new drugs’ are on the radar. They are on the radar not just of Rab and Kirsty down on the High Street who can find them next door to Tesco Metro, but also on the radar of their families, of treatment services, of […]

Tramadol Abuse

Posted · 2 Comments

Drug treatment used to seem so simple. Clients had a drug of choice, lets say alcohol, heroin or cocaine, and they came to treatment for help for that drug. Now they have a drug of choice AND whatever medication they are being prescribed. Treatment is suddenly so much more complicated. Those drugs are things like pregabalin, […]