Author Archive for admin

The smoke and mirrors of vaping

A new report about the tobacco harm reduction potential of safer nicotine products (SNP) such as e-cigarettes tries to clear the air of lies, propaganda and misinformation confusing smokers and politicians alike. By Harry Shapiro I have spent the last…

No REST for the vulnerable

The threatened closure of London’s only specialist support service for those battling tranquiliser dependency underlines the parlous state of UK healthcare for this patient group. By Harry Shapiro Based in north London, REST (Recovery Experience Sleeping Tablets and Tranquilisers) has…

Spice zombies and the return of the drug fiend

The current fashion for linking spice users to supernatural horrors is the latest chapter in the stigmatisation of high risk drug users. By Harry Shapiro I was preparing my presentation on spice for the recent HIT Hot Topics conference. I’d…

Fentanyl

There is growing concern in the UK about the presence of fentanyl, a powerful opioid drug, in samples of heroin and linked to a number of overdose deaths. See the Fentanyl DrugWatch briefing for detailed information from DrugWatch, an online network of drug experts…

Mortality matters – but how much does it matter?

The unwelcome arrival of fentanyl onto the UK heroin market made this important Addaction conference even more timely. But hand-wringing is not enough. What needs to be done? By Harry Shapiro. The figures are not huge, about 3000 drug-related deaths…

Drug law reform and the three card trick

This year Addaction celebrates its 50th anniversary and to commemorate the event, they are holding a series of lectures, of which this, given by Professor David Nutt on why we should decriminalise personal possession of all drugs, is the first.…

Recovery

Recovery can mean different things to different people and may depend upon a multitude of factors such as the causes and extent of a person’s problematic drug use, the resources available to help them and their personal priorities. Despite this, it is…

Performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs)

Performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs) are taken by people who wish to improve their physical appearance and/or enhance their strength and sporting performance. Possible benefits include increasing the size and definition of muscles, reducing body fat, increasing strength/endurance and…

Psychoactive Substances Act 2016

Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 The Psychoactive Substances Act received Royal Assent on 28 January 2016. The act applies across the UK and came into force on 26 May 2016. Possession for personal use is not an offence, unless in prison. The act:…