The crack-cocaine sentencing disparity - June 24, 2020
The Black Lives Matter movement has forced people around the world to become more aware of ways that systemic racism affects minority communities and, in particular, the Black communities. For example, U.S. government data shows that among COVID-19 cases with known ethnicity, 55% of people are either Hispanic or Black. And while there is still uncertainty in the method of data collection for COVID-19, these numbers demonstrate one consequence of the social and economic disadvantages minority communities face due to institutional barriers1.
Yet Black people have been unfairly targeted by U.S. policies for many years. Since Nixon began the War on Drugs in 1971, the U.S. has wrongly tackled health issues with criminalisation. Whether intentional or not, the strategy has been the cause of unjust incarceration and oppression of Black communities that continues today. One specific example that shows the effects of this misguided strategy is the case of crack cocaine.
How has drug use changed during the pandemic? - June 6, 2020
How can we help?
For all of us at Drugs and Me this has always been the question driving our actions. Back when we were launching the website, we were a group of students who saw others using recreational drugs in rash and dangerous ways, sometimes getting away with it, sometimes not. When the pandemic started unfolding, we saw a lot of our efforts come crumbling down, which was disheartening, to say the least. It hit me quite hard but it forced me to sit down and think about what we’re doing and how we can provide new services to help the PWUD (people who use drugs) community. One of the things that I came up with (as did others!) was to launch a survey to measure the impact of COVID-19 on recreational drug use (and PWUD).
How to cure a comedown - May 25, 2020
The lights, the party, the music, the euphoria…. the comedown. The morning after a big party is never fun is it? Whether what you’ve taken is legal or not, or indeed, if you went to bed sufficiently late, even if you’ve not taken anything. And beyond just your physical health, comedowns can feel pretty gloomy. “How do I hide a comedown?” we hear some of you ask. Not really possible. Going to work hungover? Bad idea. Take care of your body and mind instead. Some of the ideas below are very simple, some can be done together, and some require a bit more investment, try them out, mix and match, and see what self-care routine works for you.
- Eat, hydrate, and sleep
- Practice mindfulness
- Have a warm bath
- Try deep breathing
- Listen to music
- Ground yourself
- Spend time with loved ones and/or animals
Recreational drugs and isolation - May 4, 2020
Lockdown is a funny time to be taking drugs, isn’t it? On one hand, you’re likely working from home (or furloughed...), so can snort cocaine on a school night without the prospect of a 7/10 anxiety attack during the next morning’s commute. On the other: coronavirus has plunged society into an unprecedented crisis, so is it really the appropriate time to be merrily ordering some MDMA and road-testing your ‘Pandemonium’’ playlist?
Nevertheless, 9.4%1 of UK adults aged 16 to 59-years old used an illegal narcotic in 2018/19 with 3.7% taking a Class A drug and 7.4% using cannabis. So people will likely indulge. Whilst supply problems have been mooted2, recent quotes from Bob Van Den Berghe, senior law enforcement officer at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), suggested coke is still flooding into Europe. But how can you do so whilst adhering to the doctrine of social distancing and without losing control?
420 reasons to be cautious - April 20, 2020
2020 started with a bang, be it uncontrollable wildfires raging across Australia or Kobe Bryant’s sudden tragic passing. In the background, however, an epidemic was calmly spreading across China. As it grew in proportion the world suddenly started to pay attention. Whole countries started to lock down and all activity grinded to a halt. Now in April, we find ourselves with a rather unique 4/20. Normally a day of celebration and campaigning across the world, this year cannabis consumers will have to do so inside their own homes and stretch their imaginations. Tune in here for a very special 4/20. With this new disease threatening our health, there are some specific precautions that you can take to stay safe if you consume cannabis. Let’s clear the smoke about cannabis and COVID-19.
What is kratom? - March 29, 2020
These days, use of lesser known party drugs is on the rise. The scope of drugs you might see people using in nightclubs has gone far beyond cocaine and MDMA. Whether these drugs are obscure, traditional medicines imported worldwide or something new altogether, created by someone aiming to make a cheaper alternative of a widely used recreational drug. Where there is a demand there is a supply.
What you can do about an opioid overdose - Feb. 28, 2020
The opioid crisis started in the 90’s after a huge increase in doctors prescribing people drugs like oxycodone, codeine and morphine. This led to the current widespread and problematic opioid use, alongside something even more sinister. Nowadays, we’re seeing fentanyl, a very powerful opioid, being laced into weaker opioids and other drugs like Xanax, diazepam and midazolam. The opioid crisis has claimed the lives of celebrities like Prince, Mac Miller, Tom Petty, Lil Peep with millions more opioid overdoses around the world. So, what can you do?
Why terpenes matter - Jan. 29, 2020
Since the legalization of cannabis in most nations, many people and researchers now focus on the THC and CBD compounds of cannabis. Cannabis is also very rich in terpenes, compounds that give plants their smell, offer protection from predators, and provide health benefits.
Is smoking cannabis with tobacco bad for you? - Dec. 11, 2019
Cannabis and tobacco have been used recreationally for thousands of years. We don’t know exactly when we started mixing cannabis and tobacco but smoking joints has become one of the most common ways to use cannabis. Both have controversial reputations due to links with a lot of - sometimes fatal - health issues2 and sometimes the information out there can be confusing.
Medical cannabis in the UK - Nov. 13, 2019
In November 2018, the UK joined the ranks of many other forward-thinking countries and decided to legalise the use of medical cannabis1. This decision followed Uruguay, and Canada’s ground-breaking ruling that legalised medical and recreational cannabis use. Marijuana is also legal for medical use in many states in the USA, although legislation has not followed at the federal level. Nonetheless, the cannabis industry is booming!
Benzodiazepine addiction and withdrawal - Oct. 16, 2019
Overcoming benzodiazepine addiction can be harder than quitting heroin! Everyone knows how terrible heroin withdrawal is but not many know that benzodiazepine withdrawal can be even worse. Benzodiazepines (or benzos) are some of the most prescribed medicines for insomnia and anxiety. You might think that since doctors prescribe benzodiazepines1, they can’t be too bad, right? Sadly, they are among the most abused medications by patients, alongside opioids. Many people who end up addicted to benzos start taking these drugs because their doctors told them to do so2. Problematic use rates are increasing worryingly quickly. So much so, that benzodiazepines are seen by some as the next prescription drug epidemic3. Make sure you stay safe when taking benzos and check our new guide on them (out soon!).
Can smoking cannabis cause cancer? - Aug. 21, 2019
We often hear about how cannabis might be able to cure cancer. What people ask less is whether cannabis can cause cancer. Well, smoking cannabis is 20 times more likely to cause cancer than tobacco! At least that’s according to the British Lung Foundation’s (BLF) 2012 special report on cannabis…