Friday, 13 September 2013

The ultimate lego collection for the Recreational Drugs generation? A Meths Lab..seriously and it sells out

What will people think of next.  A toy company has caused outrage (well according to the Daily Mail) by selling a limited edition Lego Toy set of a Crystal Meth Lab.  Creative? Definitely. Educational? Perhaps. Collectable? Absolutely as it sold out in no time.  What will they think of next? Lego smack den?  Cannabis Factory?  Mexican drug gang massacre? Not one for the kids under this year Christmas Tree.

If you need some Lego action stick to watching this Lego Rave on You Tube. Legendary.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Deaths from Legal Highs rise to a high according to the ONS

Popular festival/recreational legal highs are causing more deaths than ever before according to statistics by the Office National Statics.  News report below.  The numbers are still relatively low considering the number of users, but the government continues to push people into taking untried and untested products and it can only be a matter of time before one new products proves to be more lethal to a larger number of people..... we only can pray not

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said deaths linked with the psychoactive substances jumped from 29 in 2011 to 52 last year, an 80 per cent rise.
Even as recently as 2007 the annual number of deaths from the new synthetic drugs was in single figures.
The ONS drug poisoning data also showed deaths from the painkiller tramadol have more than doubled since 2008 to 175 in last year.
Many of the so-called legal highs - which give the user euphoric sensations similar to the drug ecstasy - have been made illegal by the Home Office butthe law struggles to keep pace with a proliferation of different types.
Synthetic drugs sold under the names Black Mamba and Mexxy were made Class B drugs last year and Theresa May, the Home Secretary, authorised temporary bans on two other groups - Benzofury and NBOMe - in June.
Mephedrone, or miaow miaow, was made illegal in 2010.
The ONS figures covering England and Wales also showed a significant rise in the number of people killed after inhaling helium.
There were 58 deaths involving the gas last year, up from 12 in 2008, and many were linked with suicides, according to the ONS report.
In all, 891 women died from drug poisoning - including legal and illegal drugs - which was a rise of 880 the previous year.
In the same period the number of male deaths fell 4 per cent to 1,706.
The number of deaths involving heroin or morphine fell slightly in 2012 to 579 deaths, but these remained the substances most commonly involved in drug poisoning deaths, the ONS said.
The 30 to 39 age group saw the most deaths from drug misuse, and the North West had highest mortality rate by area.

Full stats and the reports are on the link below
Read more info about Recreational drugs...

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

New research says LSD & Magic Mushrooms do not cause mental heath problems

Newspaper reports today state that researchers have stats that prove that LSD and Magic Mushrooms do not cause mental health and great fear of many recreational drugs users since the 60's.   You can read the full story below or see the Fantazia drugs section for more information on various recreational drugs

Psychedelic drugs such as LSD and magic mushrooms do not cause mental health problems in users, a new study has claimed.
Researchers in Norway have said they in fact found 'significant associations' between the drugs and fewer psychological problems.
The team, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's (NTNU) Department of Neuroscience, studied more than 130,000 random people, including 22,000 who had used the drugs at least once, included in a health survey in the US.

Clinical psychologist Pål-Ørjan Johansen, who carried out the study with researcher Teri Krebs, said: 'After adjusting for other risk factors, lifetime use of LSD, psilocybin, mescaline or peyote, or past year use of LSD was not associated with a higher rate of mental health problems or receiving mental health treatment.'
The team studied the 2001-2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health which asked people about mental health conditions including general psychological distress, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and psychosis.
Krebs and Johansen used the data to investigate connections between the use of psychedelic drugs and the mental health issues.

The researchers said rather than finding a connection between their use and an increase in problems, they discovered long-term use of drugs such as psilocybin or mescaline was linked to 'lower rates of serious psychological distress'.
Meanwhile, people who had used LSD in the last 12 months were also associated with lower rates of distress, while those who had used the drug long-term had a lower rate of treatment for mental health issues.
The researchers have said it is not possible to determine the reason behind their discoveries, because of the nature of the study, and warned the drugs could be harmful to some.

They wrote: 'We cannot exclude the possibility that use of psychedelics might have a negative effect on mental health for some individuals or groups, perhaps counterbalanced at a population level by a positive effect on mental health in others.'
The researchers pointed out that recent trials 'have also failed to find any evidence of any lasting harmful effects of psychedelics'.
Krebs said: 'Everything has some potential for negative effects, but psychedelic use is overall considered to pose a very low risk to the individual and to society.'
The results are published in the journal PLOS One.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

The dark side of Ibiza & drugs article

An article from the papers today talking about the dark side of Ibiza and its changing drugs culture and seedier side which is worth a read...

A crowded dancefloor is hemmed in by multiple VIP areas. Topless men with flawless physiques perform camp manoeuvres on a stage. As Ibiza's flagship club, Pacha, celebrated its 40th year of existence, its denizens were in party mood last week.
Built in 1973 on former wasteland, a place that started life as an all-night cosy party venue attended by friends, hippies and locals has become the venue of choice for those with deep pockets. Entry can be as much as €100 (£85), or €440 for a VIP table, "mixer" drinks are around €20 and a bottle of water costs €12. But for those able to afford it, all the fabled glamour of Ibiza is here.
Outside it is something of a different story. For all the hands-in-the-air moments, this ever-popular hedonistic island has a dark side that is getting darker. Ibiza is now operating at two different speeds. On the streets of San Antonio, "looky looky" men loiter and ask people if they want to buy sunglasses, and then ask if they want drugs.
"I've seen English dealers running after them at the end of the season when they don't pay their debts," said Peter Nee, Privilege club PR manager. "The police chase them on their bikes sometimes, but it's all cat and mouse."
Following the arrest in Peru of Michaella McCollum Connolly, 20, from Co Tyrone, and Melissa Reid, 19, from Lenzie, near Glasgow, who were stopped at Lima airport for allegedly smuggling £1.5m of cocaine, Ibiza's drug culture is in the headlines again.
Like hundreds of others, Connolly and Reid had spent the summer working in clubs and bars on the island, where the lure of illicit substances, to consume or sell, is constant.
In the early days, there was a "happy" drug culture of marijuana, then LSD in the 1970s and ecstasy in the 1990s. Now, people opt for ketamine, GHB and cocaine.
Given the high prices in clubs such as Pacha, some succumb to the lavish lifestyle by dealing drugs; others fall into a pattern of free parties at villas and on yachts, sometimes thrown by dubious hosts. Many avoid overpriced drinks altogether, taking drugs as a far cheaper alternative.
This young summer workforce, employed as dancers, flyer distributors, waiters and hospitality staff, earn just about enough to live. The Spanish landlords of the cramped apartments, where two or three people share a room, charge them around half their monthly pay. There is hot competition for each job and a constant tussle to get the bar and restaurant owners to pay them the right amount, and on time. Fern Bowler, 20, from Guildford, Surrey, a waitress in San Antonio, said she could see how people can fall into the Ibiza drug culture.
"Dealing over here isn't like back home, it's normal," she said. "Doing ketamine would be frowned on in the UK, but here every Tom, Dick and Harry does it.
"They sell drugs behind the bars and some people even brought some over with them in protein tubs. Nothing is innocent here." Another worker, who has been here for five summers, agreed: "Workers on the island can easily fall into the wrong circles.
"It's not the first time someone on the island will have done this. When they look at those girls, people are saying: 'It could have been me'."
In July, a British mother of two drowned after going for a late-night swim in Ibiza having taken a cocktail of illegal drugs. Next day, her body was found washed up on the shore.
In recent weeks, Grant Weston, 24, from Pembroke, died after falling from a balcony following a night out with friends, and Michael Jordan Hill, 19, from Stockton-on-Tees, Co Durham, was seriously injured after falling from the fourth floor of a hotel.
But despite the seamier underside to life on the island, its reputation and prestige persist. More than 600,000 Brits went on holiday to Ibiza in 2012 and tour operators are reporting even higher booking levels this year. Clearly, though, something has been lost through the sheer commercial success of the Ibiza brand.
Terry Farley, co-founder of the record label Junior Boys Own, whose artists have included Underworld and the Chemical Brothers, has been going to the island since the early 1990s. He thinks the VIP culture of clubs such as Pacha has become a micro-climate of corporate brands and a world turned upside down by money: "The VIP culture has ruined the island for everyone – apart from investment bankers and drug dealers," he said.
Bill Brewster, co-author of Last Night a DJ Saved my Life, said: "It always had that element of celebrity, but it never felt like that; it felt like everybody dancing together in a cosmopolitan way.
"I do still enjoy it, but the purity of it all has been dissipated by the money. For me, it seems to be a bit of a cash cow for British promoters to fleece gullible clubbers of their money."
Though many former punters might agree with that assessment, there are more than enough new recruits to take their place. But after the events of last week, the high-roller side of the island has been overshadowed by the story unfolding in Peru.
The Spanish owner of the Amsterdam bar in San Antonio, where McCollum Connolly briefly worked, has lived in Ibiza for 40 years. He said drugs were ruining the island.
"It's run by an English mafia between Manchester and Liverpool, there were shootings between them a few years ago. Two people have died from drugs just in the last few weeks."
He added: "Ibiza destroys young people. It's paradise, but it's also hell."


1960s Tourism to Ibiza started to boom in the 1960s when the island played host to an influx of young hippies arriving from across Europe. They were attracted by the weather, relaxed attitudes and the island's natural beauty, and were part of the blossoming of the flower power revolution.
1970s The first nightclubs and discos opened in the 1970s, attracting a new range of young people. Among them was the Pacha dance club, a mainstay of the island's nightlife ever since.
1980s New clubs emerged, including Paradis and the Star, which catered to both British and continental tastes. The island became associated with the rise of house, electronic and rave music – and the birth of what became known as the Balearic sound. More young Britons took their holidays on the island than ever before.
1990s By the end of the decade, Ibiza had become a premier destination for Britons. Club entry prices were high, and many areas filled with drunken tourists over the summer. Sky TV released a documentary series on such holidays called Ibiza Uncovered.
2000s There was a boom in tourists arriving on all-inclusive cut-price package deals soon after the millennium. Many cheap apartments were bought up by British and European businesspeople. While droves of young Britons were still out to enjoy themselves, resentment was growing among some the island's locals.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Who uses what drugs. Interesting article

There is an interesting article in The Guardian today with stats on what drugs people are using and which people do each. It seems young people are less likely to be frequent drug users and cocaine is a rich mans drug. Some obvious and some not so obvious facts. Take a read

We hope to be doing more regular posts and updates this month as we have been a bit quiet due to other work pressures

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Interesting article about the legalisation of Cannabis in Denver, USA. The way forward?

Read the article above for an interesting look at the possible future for legalisation of Cannabis.  Examining Denver in Colorado
and it forthcoming legalisation of Cannabis in 2014 following a vote of the people in favour.

Will the rest of the USA follow or even the world?  

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Police warn of possible deadly batch of Ecstasy that is actually

Police are reporting that a number of people have died after taking Ecstasy in the North of England over the past month and therefore users should be more aware then ever of what they are taking and from who.  It appears the batch of tablets contains the MDMA like drug PMA which is far more deadly.

Read more below and be careful out there all you ravers.  If people were able to by legal / tested version this would never been an issue and these deaths may never have occurred....

Monday, 14 January 2013

Police admit they cant control legal highs

Report from the BBC showing why forcing people into trying completely untried drugs is not the answer...
Deaths linked to legal highs may just be the first signs of the damage they do, according to a medical expert.
In total 43 people in the UK died after taking now-outlawed methcathinones in 2010, the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths said.
This compared with five deaths in 2009, its report said.
But Dr Owen Bowden-Jones, founder of the Club Drug Clinic at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, said: "We may just be seeing the tip of the iceberg."
A BBC investigation revealed untested chemicals were being sold in London.
"The concern I have is that in two or three years, we'll begin to see the consequences of the harm that's going on now," Mr Jones added.
'Unknown risks'
Dr John Ramsey, a toxicologist at St George's Hospital, described how there are dozens of types of untested and sometimes deadly chemicals that are being sold legally in London.
Dr John Ramsey,Dr John Ramsey said users could not know the risks
"We put a urinal in Wardour Street in Soho and found 60 different drugs in there," he said.
"I think these are probably the first people who have taken these compounds.
"They've never been evaluated as drugs anywhere in the world before," he added.
"They can't possibly know the risks of the compounds they're taken."
He described how "these things are made in China, shipped over here, a kid buys a gram and takes it".
As part of its investigation, BBC Inside Out legally ordered £640 of chemicals from China, packaged in a bag labelled: "Harmful if swallowed. May damage an unborn child. Avoid breathing dust and fumes. If exposed, call a poison centre".
Experts told the programme these are the type of chemicals that are sold in 1g bags for £15 each in London - meaning the £640 of chemicals from China could have a London street value of £15,000.
'Kids dying'
Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) drugs spokesman Tim Hollis said: "Kids are sending around party invites with a link on where to buy your drugs.
"The Home Office and police find that extremely difficult to get our heads around and we are flat footed."
Benzo FurySome of the drugs have now been banned but new ones keep appearing
Baroness Molly Meacher, of the Parliamentary Drug Policy Group, said: "The UK Border Agency has got great hangars full of little packets of white powder.
"They just simply haven't got the technology, they haven't got the money, they haven't got the resources.
"They don't know what's in all those packages."

Start Quote

I went in to Tesco naked and assaulted a police officer - they asked me what are you on? ”
Katie Wilson,Former Benzo Fury user
The Metropolitan Police and UK Border Agency (UKBA) declined to be interviewed by BBC Inside Out.
But Dr Ramsey said: "Controlling substances... all it does is spawn the production of one that isn't controlled.
"We're damned if we do and damned if we don't."
Katie Wilson, 19, from east London, described her experience of taking now banned drug Benzo Fury.
"I got a lot of euphoria, happiness, I presumed like ecstasy," she said. "After the Benzo had worn off, I swore I was going to die."
"I went in to Tesco naked and assaulted a police officer.
"They asked me what sort are you on? Heroin? Crack? Crystal meth?"
Maryon Stewart's daughter Hester died after taking the now banned substance GBL.
Ms Stewart has since set up the Angelas Foundation, which highlights the risks of legal highs.
"There are kids dying every week. The youngest I've heard of is 14 years old," she said.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Committee of MPs recommend drug legalisation

A select committee of MPs have concluded that prison for Drug offences just is not having the desired effect of decreasing drug use and is costing us all a lot of money and causing more of the crimes that its attempting to stop reports newspapers today.  Sense if you ask us.   However  the PM is likely to reject the advice for their own political gains and not peoples health and welfare..

Britain is losing the war on drugs and should consider the radical option of legalisation, a powerful committee of MPs will argue this week.   In a controversial move which could lead to yet another Coalition rift, the influential Commons Home Affairs Committee is expected to put pressure on David Cameron to establish a Royal Commission to draw up changes to the law. The MPs have concluded that prison sentences – which can be up to life for dealers of heroin and cocaine –  are failing to deter drugs barons, and may even be encouraging a crime-riddled black market in the substances.

Despite a youthful flirtation with the idea of drugs liberalisation when he first became an MP, the Prime Minister is now opposed to the idea – as is the majority of his party.  But a number of senior Liberal Democrats recently backed reforms under which drug users would receive treatment rather than be classed as criminals.

Last night, an MP on the Home Affairs Committee – which took evidence from dozens of witnesses, including comedian and reformed addict Russell Brand – told The Mail on Sunday that current laws were no longer ‘fit for purpose’.
The MP said: ‘The general view [of the committee] was that the drug laws in Britain are all a bit out-dated. We have a Drugs Act that’s really outlived its usefulness and that really belongs in the 1960s and 1970s. 

'It seems to deal with the drugs world as a fairly simple market with a relatively small number of controlled substances out there. But that’s not the case.’  The MP added that, although the committee ‘had not reached a settled view’ on the decriminalisation of drugs, its members agreed Britain was ‘fighting a losing battle over drugs policy’.

Details of the report will not be revealed until its publication tomorrow, but it is understood that it will call on the Prime Minister to establish a Royal Commission on drugs to report in time for the next General Election in 2015. 
Although the conclusions of such commissions are not binding on Governments, they have such clout that it is politically difficult for Prime Ministers to reject their findings out of hand.

The MPs are not expected to specify which drugs could be subject to the relaxation.  But their report follows the controversial decision by two American states, Washington and Colorado, to decriminalise cannabis – a move expected to be copied widely throughout the US.

The committee also studied the situation in Portugal where, for the past decade, it has only been an ‘administrative offence’, not a criminal, one to possess small amounts of any drug.  As a result, say supporters, criminal offences such as robbery have fallen, as have HIV infections from dirty needles used to inject heroin.

According to the most recent UK poll on the subject, conducted by YouGov, 49 per cent of voters supports keeping the law on drugs as it is, while 45 per cent support liberalising the law on soft drugs – either by downgrading offences or completely decriminalising drug use.

In the UK, under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, possession of Class A drugs – ecstasy, LSD, heroin, cocaine, crack and magic mushrooms – carries a jail sentence of up to seven years, while dealing carries a term of up to life.
Class B drugs – including cannabis, amphetamines and unprescribed Ritalin – carry a five-year sentence for possession and 14 years for dealing.  Even dealing in Class C drugs, such as tranquilisers, carries a possible sentence of 14 years – more than the maximum prison term for gun dealers.

Supporters of decriminalisation cite the example of gay marriage, which has gone from being a marginal issue to a key area of policy debate.

The committee is also expected to call for responsibility for drugs policy to be switched from the Home Office to the Health Department, as part of a shift in policy emphasis from ‘criminality’ to ‘medical addiction’.

In his evidence to the committee, Mr Brand said that taking drugs should not be seen as a ‘criminal or judicial matter’ and users should be shown more compassion. He argued that drug addiction was primarily a health matter, and while he approved of partial decriminalisation, he opposed a ‘wacky free-for-all’. In his 2007 autobiography, Mr Brand described his extensive use of drugs and how his ‘love’ of heroin in particular had damaged his relationships, health and career.

One MP on the committee revealed: ‘We are going to back a Royal Commission as the way forward.’

Royal Commissions – made up of a panel of experts appointed by the Government and headed by a distinguished public figure such as a judge –  have been used over the last 200 years to find answers on the key issues of the day, covering everything from the width of railway gauges to capital punishment. 

The most recent was the 1998 Royal Commission on long-term care for the elderly.  The Home Affairs report comes ten years after the committee’s previous examination of drugs laws.  That committee’s call for Ecstasy to be legally downgraded was firmly rejected by David Blunkett, the Home Secretary at the time.
Angela Watkinson, a Tory member of the committee, distanced herself from the report, claiming colleagues were on a ‘slippery slope’ by even discussing legalisation.   Last year, Tom Brake, head of the Lib Dem committee on Home Affairs, called on Ministers to establish an independent panel to examine the Portuguese experiment and to consider the ‘costs and benefits’ of decriminalisation or legalisation.

But former Tory Shadow Home  Secretary David Davis  said: ‘The failure of drugs policy is at the centre  of a whole range of criminal problems from organised crime through petty pilfering.   'So what is needed is a firm implementation of clear anti-drugs policies – not procrastination that appeases today’s metropolitan elite, who are surrounded by a haze of  confusion.’

Fellow Tory MP Peter Bone said: ‘There’s a liberal, fashionable view at the moment that will back softening the drugs laws as they back gay marriage.   'But making these drugs legal is not the answer – the answer is to break up the gangs that deal in these substances.   'We should not be giving these gangs any encouragement by giving the impression we’re setting off down the soft route of decriminalising hard drugs.’

Last night, Baroness Meacher, chairman of the all-party group on drugs policy reform at Westminster, said a full review of drugs laws was now needed to cope with the influx of new drugs.    She said: ‘These are coming on the market at the rate of one a week – we cannot cope any longer.’   Last night, a government spokesperson said: 'Drugs are illegal because they are harmful - they destroy lives and blight communities.   'Our current laws draw on the best available evidence and as such we have no intention of downgrading or declassifying cannabis.

'A Royal Commission on drugs is simply not necessary. Our cross-government approach is working. 
'Drug usage is at its lowest level since records began and people going into treatment today are far more likely to free themselves from dependency than ever before.    'We will respond to the report more fully in due course.'

Friday, 7 December 2012

Cannabis legal Washington State from today

In Seattle today lots of dope smokers freely lit up a joint without fear of arrest after cannabis was legalised in the state of Washington in the USA.  Coming to a state or Country near you?  Lets hope so, criminalisation is bad for society and fills prisons with the wrong people.....

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Hemp & Cannabis to return to being legal in the USA?

Hemp long baned in the USA as associated with cannabis, though it contains very little #THC the active ingredient that make #dope so potent, could be on its way back to being legally allowed to be grown.  Several states have recently passed laws planning to make even #cannabis legal even though this is against Federal laws

Read more

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Interesting Documentary about Opium addiction and its history

Interesting Documentary about Opium addiction and its history now showing in Iplayer. Worth a watch

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Mephedrone use on the increase? Did banning it increase its popularity?

A story local to Fantazia's home town of Cheltenham (which surprisingly has a high incidence of drug taking) about the rise of Mephedrone use and if its conclusion is true then it is more evidence for why drugs should never be banned as it only benefits the dealers and endangers the lives of the users....
Spiraling numbers of young people are said to be getting their highs from lethal drug mephedrone.
The substance, which is better known as Meow Meow or M-Cat, is being sold on the streets of Cheltenham for between £8 and £15 per gram.
Police say usage of the drug has gone up since it was made illegal two years ago – a move the Government hoped would reduce its impact after it was linked to a string of deaths.
Problems linked to its use include paranoia, anxiety and heart palpitations.
Users say it is now on a par with cocaine and ketamine as the most popular drugs among young people in the county.
Users claimed that rather than reducing the drug's usage, making it illegal had led to people buying the substance from shady dealers.
He added: "Previously when websites were competing openly with each other, the quality of the product had to be high as otherwise people wouldn't go back.
"One of the problems since it has been made illegal is the quality has nose-dived.
"Now people are having to buy it on street corners and although they are paying the same price, they're being sold a product diluted with some other rubbish."
Tony France, of the Nelson Trust, which helps drug users in Gloucestershire, said the substance was here to stay.
"Meph has really claimed its spot," he said. "It shows the assumption that making it illegal would drive usage down was wrong.
"It is now in the top four in terms of usage among young people.
"I deal with lots of young people who have taken it and see the impact it has on them.
"It can pose a significant risk."
He said problems were more likely to arise from people overdosing on a night out – rather than the downward spiral effect of a substance like cannabis.
He added: "The best way to avoid coming to harm from drugs is not to take them at all.
"But failing that, mixing substances in your body at the same time – including taking something like mephedrone with alcohol – should be avoided."
Police said there was evidence to suggest the use of mephedrone had become more widespread in the county in recent years.
Acting superintendent Andrew Wasley said: "Since about 2008 we have seen an increase in the reporting of intelligence concerning its use in Gloucestershire."

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Drug death stats are out and Helium and barbiturates top

Drug death stats are out and Helium and barbiturates top making a nonsense over the moral panic often in the press about the use of ecstasy and legal highs.

More info on recreational drugs...

Full story:

The inert gas helium and barbiturate drugs contributed to more deaths last year than ecstasy, cannabis, mephedrone and GHB, official figures show.
According to Office for National Statistics data released on Wednesday, the number of deaths mentioning barbiturates increased from six in 2007 to 37 in 2011, the highest number since 1996, despite the number of prescriptions for barbiturates more than halving over this period.
Over the same period, deaths involving helium have risen from two to 42. By comparison there were just seven cannabis-related deaths last year while ecstasy was responsible for 13 deaths. Cocaine claimed the lives of 112 people.
Almost all of those who died taking barbiturate and helium were recorded as suicides. Helium in particular has seen a steep rise in its use. Between 1993 and 2007 just 18 people died using the gas. The gas has become a feature of both literature and public policy debate in the last 20 years as the row over right-to-die has become more intense.
Overall, there were 1,772 male and 880 female drug poisoning deaths – involving both legal and illegal drugs – in 2011, a 6% decrease since 2010 for males and a 3% increase for females.
Over half of all the deaths related to drug poisoning involved opiates. In 2011 heroin or morphine, were involved in 596 deaths.
However, there has been a fall in deaths involving heroin or another opiate. For men the mortality rate has fallen sharply in the last two years, down from 27.9 deaths per million population in 2009 to 17.1 in 2011. This is a 39% fall and is the lowest rate since 1997.
The decrease in deaths has many reasons but ONS points to evidence of a "heroin drought" in the UK, "with shortages in the availability of heroin continuing in some areas in 2011-12" with a result that the street purity of opiates sold has dropped.
Despite fears from drug workers that the low purity levels would lead to overdoses, the reduced supply seems to have led to less demand.
Results from the British Crime Survey, the ONS says, suggest there was a significant decline in the proportion of 16-to-59-year-olds reporting use of heroin in the last month between 2009-10 and 2010-11. This is backed up by evidence from the NHS's National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse which said that the number of adults newly entering treatment for heroin and crack use has fallen by 15% in two years.
"[The data] suggests that this decline is probably due to reduced demand rather than any shortfall in services. These factors may explain the decline in deaths involving heroin/morphine that has been seen over the last couple of years," said the ONS.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Is it already to late to save your intelligence? Cannabis smokers beware...

Is it already to late to save your intelligence?  Cannabis smokers beware... a new report out today based on a study of 1000 young people born in 1972 says that people who smoke cannabis prior to the age of 18 face a  loss in IQ.  Apparently if you start after this age there is no effect on the IQ.   The reports and evidence against dope smoking seem to be building up.  Is this political bias or will it turn out to be true. Time will tell.
Read more about Cannabis:
Read the full BBC story:

Young people who smoke cannabis run the risk of a significant and irreversible reduction in their IQ, research suggests.
The findings come from a study of around 1,000 people in New Zealand.
An international team found those who started using cannabis below the age of 18 - while their brains were still developing - suffered a drop in IQ.
A UK expert said the research might explain why people who use the drug often seem to under-achieve.
For more than 20 years researchers have followed the lives of a group of people from Dunedin in New Zealand.
They assessed them as children - before any of them had started using cannabis - and then re-interviewed them repeatedly, up to the age of 38.
Having taken into account other factors such as alcohol or tobacco dependency or other drug use, as well the number of years spent in education, they found that those who persistently used cannabis suffered a decline in their IQ.
The more that people smoked, the greater the loss in IQ.
The effect was most marked in those who started smoking cannabis as adolescents.
For example, researchers found that individuals who started using cannabis in adolescence and then carried on using it for years showed an average eight-point IQ decline.
Stopping or reducing cannabis use failed to fully restore the lost IQ.
The researchers, writing in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that: "Persistent cannabis use over 20 years was associated with neuropsychological decline, and greater decline was evident for more persistent users."
"Collectively, these findings are consistent with speculation that cannabis use in adolescence, when the brain is undergoing critical development, may have neurotoxic effects."
One member of the team, Prof Terrie Moffitt of King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry, said this study could have a significant impact on our understanding of the dangers posed by cannabis use.
"This work took an amazing scientific effort. We followed almost 1,000 participants, we tested their mental abilities as kids before they ever tried cannabis, and we tested them again 25 years later after some participants became chronic users.
"Participants were frank about their substance abuse habits because they trust our confidentiality guarantee, and 96% of the original participants stuck with the study from 1972 to today.
"It is such a special study that I'm fairly confident that cannabis is safe for over-18 brains, but risky for under-18 brains."
Robin Murray, professor of psychiatric research, also at the King's College London Institute of Psychiatry but not involved in the study, said this was an impressive piece of research.
"The Dunedin sample is probably the most intensively studied cohort in the world and therefore the data are very good.
"Although one should never be convinced by a single study, I take the findings very seriously.
"There are a lot of clinical and educational anecdotal reports that cannabis users tend to be less successful in their educational achievement, marriages and occupations.
"It is of course part of folk-lore among young people that some heavy users of cannabis - my daughter callers them stoners - seem to gradually lose their abilities and end up achieving much less than one would have anticipated. This study provides one explanation as to why this might be the case.
"I suspect that the findings are true. If and when they are replicated then it will be very important and public education campaigns should be initiated to let people know the risks."

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Psychedelic drugs can unlock mysteries of brain – former government adviser

David Nutt says research into mental illness is hampered by the prohibition of drugs such as psilocybin and LSD (Reported in the Guardian)

Scientists should have access to illegal psychedelic drugs such as LSD and psilocybin to aid them in brain research, according to the government's former drug adviser Professor David Nutt. He said that research into the deepest mysteries of the brain, including consciousness and mental illness, had been curtailed by the prohibition of the drugs.
Prof Nutt said that scientists might find treatments for conditions such as schizophrenia by using modern techniques to study the effects of psychedelic drugs on the brain.
"Neuroscience should be trying to understand how the brain works," said Nutt, who is professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London. "Psychedelics change the brain in, perhaps, the most profound way of any drug, at least in terms of understanding consciousness and connectivity. Therefore we should be doing a lot more of this research.
"It's extraordinary that 40 years of advances in brain imaging technology and there's never been a study about this before. I think it's a scandal, I think it's outrageous the fact these studies have not been done. And they've not been done simply because the drugs were illegal."
Speaking to the Guardian ahead of a lecture he will give at a University College London neuroscience symposium on Friday, Nutt said that a volunteer for a recent experiment pulled out of the study because he was worried that "being in a study with a so-called illegal drug could mean he couldn't travel to some countries, such as America. To inhibit research to that extent is an outrage."
Nutt's views will challenge governments around the world which, largely, classify psychedelic drugs as harmful and illegal. The professor is used to being a thorn in the side of the authorities. In 2009, the UK's then health secretary, Alan Johnson, sacked him from his post as chair of the government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs for publicly stating that alcohol and tobacco were more harmful than LSD, ecstasy and cannabis.
Hundreds of clinical trials of psychedelic drugs such as LSD were carried out in the 1950s and 1960s, and successful treatments, including one for alcohol addiction, came out of the work. Since LSD was banned around the world, however, the number of scientific studies has dropped to virtually zero, and there have been no studies using modern imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look at what parts of the brain are affected by it.
Nutt recently published research, with colleagues at Cardiff University, on the effects of psilocybin – the active ingredient in magic mushrooms – on the brain. His team had assumed the drug might increase activity in certain parts of the brain, to explain the experience that users get when they eat magic mushrooms. Instead, MRI scans of 30 healthy volunteers showed that psilocybin seemed to decrease activity in the regions of the brain which link up different areas. The study was published in January in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"This is a hugely important way of perturbing the brain to understand the nature of consciousness," said Nutt. At his lecture on Friday, he will examine whether psilocybin's effects on the brain can be used as a model for psychosis. Some of the brain alterations seen as a result of taking psilocybin, he said, are similar to those seen in the brains of people with prodromal schizophrenia.
Psilocybin seems to suppress the actions of a brain system called the "default mode network" which is active whenever a person is, for example, reflecting about the world rather than engaged in a specific activity. The "task-positive network" is engaged when a person focuses on a specific job and it operates out of phase with the default mode network. But in schizophrenia, the networks are much more in phase and, under psilocybin, they are completely in phase.
"So, we're thinking [psilocybin] might be an interesting model for early stages for schizophrenia, it might allow us to test new drugs," said Nutt. "When people start to become psychotic, their ego boundaries break down, the relationship between them and the world gets disrupted and the relationship between their different inner experiences gets mixed up. Eventually they start hearing their own thoughts as someone else's voice.
"That breakdown of connectivity in the brain is very classic in schizophrenia. If we can produce this in a laboratory in a normal volunteer, we can then look for new treatments and it is much more efficient to do that in normal volunteers than try to find young people who are starting to develop their illness and it's ethically more acceptable too."
Nutt and his colleagues are also studying potential uses for ecstasy, also known as MDMA. "The therapeutic value of MDMA for psychotherapy has been widely known until it was banned and has hardly been studied since. There have only been a couple of MDMA imaging studies, but none of them using cutting-edge technologies, so we're doing that at present."
In collaboration with Robin Carhart-Harris at Imperial College London, Nutt also wants to further his research into more psychedelic drugs such as LSD and ibogaine, a derivative of African root bark, which is used to treat addiction in Thailand and Cambodia.
Carrying out such work is usually difficult for researchers, however, because they have to make such lengthy applications for licences to use illegal drugs. And even if the research went ahead and showed benefits from the drugs, it is unlikely doctors would be allowed to prescribe them. Nutt recently called for the UK's classification system of drugs to be rewritten to reflect more accurately their relative harms, and called for a regulated approach to making drugs such as MDMA and cannabis available for medical and research purposes.
"Regulations, which are arbitrary, actually make it virtually impossible to research these drugs," said Nutt last month. "The effect these laws have had on research is greater than the effects that [George] Bush stopping stem cell research has had, because it's been going on since the 1960s."

Monday, 2 April 2012

Police Chiefs says its a waste of time banning new legal highs

Police Chiefs in the UK have warned the government that banning new legal highs through legislation is a waste of time as the chemist overseas are producing different ones faster than legislation can react meaning the police are wasting lots of time arresting people who's drugs turn out not to be on the banned list.

The Police think a better policy will be to make the sellers of legal highs legally responsible for any harm that comes to the users of the products.  However as they are often marketed as planet food, its seems a difficult proposition. Could a garden center or supermarket be responsible if a customer miss uses a product?  Further hows is harm going to be proven?    The National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths logged 127 suspected deaths in Britain with links to "legal high" drug, mephedrone, over the past two years.  However as none of the logs gave the drug as the cause of death I can see how the seller could be held accountable. It all show the stupidity of the current drug laws.  Why hold sellers responsible.  Treat people as responsible for their own actions and if consequence happen then they only have themselves to blame.....

Read about legal highs...
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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

LSD could be good treatment for alcoholism

Scientist believe LSD could be an effective one use treatment for alcoholism.  You can read the full story from the Daily Mail below.  This is one of a number of stories recently that say that illegal recreational drugs could and can have positive medical benefits for some people. Sadly for many years recreational drugs were banned with only the harm they could possibly do being taken into account, this banning has meant that researchers have found the substances very hard to legally use in tests on patients stifling  possible cures and debate.  With the war on drugs failing its time to look at all the substances again and not just blanket banning them all because people enjoy them.
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Saturday, 3 March 2012

Paris Hilton prosecutor arrested for crack

Oh dear, one time  Vegas Deputy District Attorney David Schubert   who made his name pursing celebrities on drugs charges to increase his own fame and has fallen victim of his vanity its is reported in the Daily Mail as he is busted on Crack cocaine charges.   Now he faces a criminal investigation  after police allegedly caught him buying crack cocaine through a street dealer - who claimed Schubert buys $40 of cocaine  three or four times a week.

A patrol officer stopped the deputy district attorney's BMW in Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon when he spotted what he thought was a drugs transaction.

According to an arrest report seen by TMZ, the officer watched Schubert pick up a black man from an apartment block, then drive to another address where he dropped him off.  Schubert drove round for several minutes and then picked up the man again, police claim. The officer pulled the car over, but the suspected dealer jumped out and fled. Police gave chase and took him into custody. According to the arrest report, the man, named as Raymond Streeter, told officers he knew Schubert as 'Joe'. In 2011 he prosecuted  Paris Hilton, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanour charges after police found 0.8grams of cocaine in her handbag.

Drug temptation is everywhere... his career is now over, whilst its probable that its justified in this case, treatment is a better answer...

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Witney Houston dead. Sad end for a talented performer blighted by self abuse

Sadly the troubled, undoubtedly talented, singer and some time actor Witney Houston has died in the US aged 48.  The cause of her death is not yet known but her troubles with drink and drug abuse are widely known and it is a sadly premature end to a glittering career.   Illegal drugs like alcohol and prescription drugs in the hands of an unhappy person can be  unfortunately used to blot out life's troubles. Witney is reported to have in the past used Crack cocaine and this can have a devastating impact on health and functionality far greater than club drugs like Ecstasy generally do and there is no doubt in my mind they should not be both classed criminally Cat A.  A sad loss. The world will mourn a little today.  Bye Witney
Crack information...
Drugs information...