So although this blog is primarily about alcohol addiction, substance abuse and misuse isn’t that neat and tidy and many of us have/had multiple addictions to many substances and behaviours. I recently watched the BBC series Drugsland which I was really impressed with and learnt a great deal hence wanted to share here for those of you who may also be interested.
The image on this blog post comes from an organisation called The Loop:
The Loop is a not for profit Community Interest Company established in 2013 which provides drug safety testing, welfare and harm reduction services at nightclubs, festivals and other leisure events.
We also provide staff training on drugs awareness, in-house welfare service delivery, the prevention of drug related harm at events, and the delivery of ethical ‘front of house’ drug safety testing services.
This part of their service really struck me as vital:
To provide an opportunity to engage with hidden and hard to reach user populations who are predominantly not in touch with drugs services and who are unlikely to get the opportunity to have any other advice or brief interventions
Such a brilliant organisation and much needed service.
Here is the link to the episode of Drugsland which features Prof David Nutt and Dr Ben Sessa talking about the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act which at over 45 years old still governs the legal, and therefore criminal processes, here in the UK. There is also an interesting discussion about how alcohol and tobacco should be made illegal if there are no changes to current drugs laws!
And this one is also well worth a watch:
To be honest all four episodes are excellent although at times I found them hard to watch. I agree with all that David Nutt and Dr Sessa say and believe it is time to review and revise the policy around drugs including decriminalisation so that drug testing and harm reduction services could be more widely expanded to support public health and safety. I would have happily used the services of The Loop if they had been available in my past and would encourage anyone to use them if they are present at an event you are attending. New Years Eve used to be a big night out back in the day so sharing this felt timely as we approach just that night.
If you’re concerned about your drug taking and need advice and support the Drugsland website also provide an excellent list of resources: