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If you are worried about how drugs or alcohol are affecting a friend – say something. Drugsmeter gives you
some tips on how to start the conversation below.
- 1. Before you say anything, remember that how you feel about your mates and what they are doing to themselves and others through their use of drugs or alcohol can influence what you say and how you say it. Being angry, judgmental and derogatory about an issue may discourage them listen to you or take your concerns seriously.
2. Get informed about the drug before you say something
3. When – Try not to raise your concerns in the middle of session or both of you are intoxicated or about to rack up another line. Obviously if you are worried about someone’s immediate safety, then say something on the spot. Try to pick a time when you are both straight, are somewhere quiet, and have enough time to have a conversation.
4. Why – Problems with drugs, if they are spotted early, are often easier to address – just by pulling back, slowing down or taking a break. Trying to do things when someone is depressed, ill or dependent on a drug is harder. The earlier you say something the easier it is.
5. Where – Don’t start the conversation in a crowded placed or where you are surrounded by other mates, It’s too easy to deflect the issue on to others or to feel like they are being picked on. Pick a time when you are engaged in another non-drug related activity e.g sport/movie
6. How – Start by being positive about that person – their qualities, the reason you are mates, your history and how they have looked out for you.
7. What – Express that you are worried, but you are not sure if you need to be. Make sure you focus on behaviours or actions, not the person. For example, reflect back to a recent event or series of events that made you worried and ask for their view. Ask them what they think.
8. Don’t get into arguments about their drug use, yours or others. Everyone is different, some people run into problems earlier or more easily than others. The conversation is about your concerns for them. Don’t expect change to occur over night and if they get angry leave it and come back to it another time.
9. Lead by example. If you are regular drug-using friends you might want to offer to share period of reduced use to support them.
10. End your conversation by saying thank you. Tell them that you only mentioned it because you care and that you can imagine it might not have been easy to listen to. Say you hope if they ever have worries about you they they would say something. Offer to help and support in any way you can. Looking out for mates.
If you are worried about how drugs or alcohol are affecting a friend – say something.
Drugs meter gives you some tips on how to start the conversation below. How do you measure up www.drugsmeter.com
Last year Global Drug Survey found out that 1 in 8 young people had taken a mystery white powder to get high.
Since you never know what’s in it so drugs meter thought a few tips might be of use. We can’t guarantee they’ll keep you safe but they may help.
First time with a new powder or pill
1. Do your research – recognize it’s limitations.
2. The biggest risk is starting off taking lots of an unknown drug before you know how long it takes to come
3. on, peak and starting coming down – so easy does it.
4. Test drive it before putting your foot down.
5. Choose your time – don’t be coming down or experiment on the back of a bender.
6. Don’t have anything else on board/including prescribed medications.
7. Don’t be on your own.
8. Make sure others know what you have taken and that at least one of them is not intoxicated.
9. If you feel unwell let someone know and seek help.
10. Be in a safe place – familiar.
11. First dose should be at least a quarter of what you think a tiny dose is (or a maximum quarter of a pill).
12. Wait for at least 90-120 minutes before re-dosing.
13. Avoid taking other drugs/alcohol after dosing.
14. Don’t drive/bath/play with knives.
15. Accept many drugs wont be very good/effective or nice.
16. Plan ahead before you’re too off your head.
Compare yourself to others www.drugsmeter.com
Fact 1 Over 80% of A+E presentations involving mephedrone also involve alcohol
Tip 1 Keep your alcohol drinking down (5 units) and stay well hydrated with water or juice
Fact 2 The more mephedrone you use and the longer your session is the more likely you are to experience problems
Tip 2 Keep your doses down (best under 1/2gram a session) and keep your session short
Fact 3 Injecting mephedrone is by far the most risky way of using.
Tip 3 Avoid injecting but if you do always use a clean works and dispose of it in a sharps box
Fact 4 If you feel depressed before you start using mephedrone your comedown will be really bad
Tip 4 Avoid using when you feel down, depressed or anxious or if you are on any medication for your mood, heart or brain.
Fact 5 Most A+E presentations involving mephedrone also involve other drugs especially ketamine, cocaine and E
Tip 5 Avoid using other stimulant (cocaine, E, amphetamine) drugs with mephedrone
Fact 6 Most people who have a bad time with mephedrone can feel things starting to go wrong but carry on taking more instead of stopping
Tip 6 If you start to feel agitated, angry, frightened, really paranoid, hot, or confused, or start to feel your race away or get chest pain or hear or see things then stop using immediately. The sooner you stop the sooner you’ll feel back to normal. If you don’t feel better after a little while get help.
Fact 7 Most people who have used mephedrone who turn up to A+E have mates that probably could have got them to slow down or stop before it got really bad.
Tip 7 Don’t be afraid to say something and look out for your mates
At the end of November 2011 Global Drug Survey in association with Mixmag and in partnership with the Guardian, ran the largest survey of current drug users ever conducted. With over 15,000 people taking part from across the globe, the results were reported around the world and led to important changes in the way we think about drugs and the people who use them. We got great information out to people and launched the drugs meter. We had loads of feedback as well about what you wanted us to cover this year. You wanted more on drugs and pleasure and more on sex.
This year we are going for the biggest survery ever and with a our new array of international media partners from the USA (NBC), Australia (Fairfax Media who do the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Age among other publications) as well a Gay Times in the UK we think this year’s survey will be the best ever.
This year we are exploring a range of experiences about drugs including . . .
- Drugs and pleasure
- Drugs and sex
- Prescription drug use
- Drugs and the internet
- New drug trends
- International drug policy
- Drugs and violence
- What happened if you were found in possession of drugs
Deadly ecstasy pills sporting the Golden Arches MacDonald’s logo have been seized in Scotland, all containing para-methoxy-amphetamine (PMA) – a strong psychedelic and killer ecstasy substitute.
The price of ecstasy pills is on the rise and there is increasing belief that the quantity of MDMA in pills is increasing, but this deadly seizure reminds us that pills vary widely in composition – and there are pills out there you do not want to try.
If only ecstasy pills were as consistent as a Big Mac!
PMA closely related to PMMA, has been connected to a number of deaths over the last decade in Canada, the US, Europe and Australia. While PMA was initially thought to be a by-product created in the production of MDMA, this is unlikely given the different precursors that each requires for their production.
A delayed onset of effect (often more than 2 hours) can lead to inadvertent overdosing – thinking ‘these pills are crap, better take another one of two and see if we get something’. However it can lead to muscle spasms, burred vision, overheating (hyperthermia), and increases in pulse and blood pressure.
Nausea and vomiting can lead to loss of potassium leading to hypokalemia (low potassium levels) which combined with hyperthermia can lead to irregular heart rhythms, seizures and death – see more on taking new pills here.
So if someone offers you a pill with the Macca’s logo on it – believe use you won’t be ‘lovin it’.
If there’s one thing about smoking cannabis that is guaranteed not come with unwanted side effects, then it has to be rolling. Satisfying, engaging and much more creative than ordering a 50/50 pizza instead of a margherita or the inevitable all day cartoon-fest, the art of rolling has almost as much potential to get someone hooked as the drug itself.
Interestingly, smokers from around the world seem to adopt different styles of rolling. While spending time working for Time Out Amsterdam, engaging in the privileged task of writing Coffee shop reviews courtesy of the expense account, I had a chance to observe these various techniques, as demonstrated by pot-smoking tourists burning time in the ‘global-village’. I wouldn’t like to comment on what it says about the various cultural identities, but it’s interesting all the same.
Lets start with the Dutch style, well planned, serious, and big. Using the whole roach card to make a sturdy filter, notable for the folded Z-shape in the middle, these spliffs are chunky and coned. They are also filled with twice as much weed as you need, mixed with cigarette tobacco to help it burn longer.
Any pre-rolled joint you will find in a Dutch coffeeshop is rolled like this and if you do get lucky and spot a Dutch person actually in one, then you’ll find them rolling theirs the very same way. You could say it’s a design classic.
Welcome to #CannabisWeek!
Today we are launching our unique and exclusive ‘cannabis app’ for all smart phones and with cannabis being the most common illicit drug used around the world- what better way to begin?
drugs meter was launched last month and since then over 3,000 people have taken the drugs meter, bringing our comparison database to over 15,000 people! Like all drugs meters, the cannabis app provides you with immediate, objective and personalised feedback and lets you compare your cannabis use with thousands of other current cannabis users. So far around 5,000 cannabis users have examined their use against others on drugs meter….and wouldn’t it be interesting for you to anonymously compare your cannabis use to others within the community- well now you can. Read more
Global Drug Survey conducted the largest ever drug survey with over 15,000 people taking part. From Angola to Australia and Sweden to South Africa, the most comprehensive and contextual information on worldwide drug use was outlined. Drug users told us about the ‘k-hole’, about the cost of luxury cocaine and the quality of mephedrone. 39.5 % of those who filled out the survey were students and they told us something very interesting- students are in fact quite sensible drinkers! Read more
This is a short letter written by Adam and published in the BMJ in response to an editorial piece written by Professor Wayne Hall. Professor Halls editorial is available here- Driving while under the influence of cannabis and addresses the topic of whether roadside drug testing reduces cannabis impaired driving. Below is Adams response using findings from the 2012 Global Drug Survey.
Driving while under the influence of cannabis
I read with interest the editorial by Wayne Hall and the systematic review by Abridge et al in the BMJ, highlighting the increased risk of fatal road collision while driving under the influence of cannabis. As part of a wider survey on drug use patterns and harms conducted at the end of 2011 by Global Drug Survey (www.globaldrugsurvey.com) in partnership with Mixmag and the Guardian newspaper, we asked current cannabis smokers about the risk of being identified as intoxicated with cannabis (without alcohol) whilst driving, if they got pulled over by the police within 2 hours of smoking a joint.
Data from over 10,000 last year cannabis users from around the world was obtained. The results from the UK, USA and Australia are outlined in table 1. The findings tend to support the cautious view put forward by Wayne Hall regarding the likely impact that roadside drug testing would have upon drug driving. For any drug driving policy to be an effective deterrent, drugged drivers must consider the risk of being stopped and subsequently detected as being under the influence as a real possibility.
Our results suggest that only a minority of current cannabis users think they would be detected as driving stoned using the present detection approaches utilised in their countries. The full results of the 2012 Global drug Survey are published exclusively in the Guardian and Mixmag on March 15 2012.
Adam R Wintock, Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist
Want some feedback on your drug use ? Want to know how much you spend? If your use is average? or even how much you use in a year ? Head over to http://drugsmeter.com/ to find out !