KISS’ Gene Simmons: Drugs and Alcohol Don’t Mix

Legendary rocker and KISS front man Gene Simmons is, by all accounts, a personal and commercial success. Not only is he a member of one of the most successful American rock bands in history, he is also an author, actor, record producer, songwriter and TV personality. And according to the man himself, he has never been high or drunk. KISS fans might find that hard to believe, but Simmons insists he learned early on that ‘drugs and alcohol don’t mix’ with success. In a recent interview, Simmons told the Naperville Sun that using drugs and alcohol is one way to...

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Can Psychedelic Drugs Help to Combat Addiction?

Not many people realise that LSD has been around since the 1930s. It was manufactured and distributed in the 1940s and 50s as a drug with therapeutic uses for certain psychiatric conditions. Not until LSD became a recreational drug in the 1960s was it outlawed in the US and Europe. Now, new research hearkening back to the last century is making the case that psychedelic drugs similar to LSD might be helpful in combating addiction. One of the most promising drugs is known as Psilocybin. This drug is the same compound that gives magic mushrooms their psychedelic effect. It is...

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Steven Tyler: Don’t Forsake AA Meetings

Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler was spending some time at his home in Maui, between concert dates, when he decided to contact the local Drug Court to find out when the next graduation ceremony would be. True to character, Tyler said he would be there to address the graduates on their special night. It is something that Tyler has been doing regularly for several years. As he often does, Tyler took the occasion of the Maui Drug Court graduation to tell graduates and their families his own personal story. He encouraged them to not forsake AA meetings and other scheduled...

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Russia’s Love Affair with Spice Symptomatic of Legal High Problem

By some accounts, Government policy makers are not taking the threat of legal highs, also known as the psychoactive substances (NPS), seriously enough. If that is true, we can probably make the case that the public does not see the threat either. So perhaps we need to step back and look at another country that is not so close to home. Russia provides a perfect example. Drug users in Russia have fallen in love with a cannabis substitute known as Spice. This product is an herbal concoction mixed with certain chemicals to create a flaky powder that can be smoked....

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Drug and Alcohol Education Programme to Visit Derbyshire Schools

A new drug and alcohol education programme designed to be implemented in 10 regions across the UK will include Derbyshire on its list of target areas. The programme, put together by the Adaction charity, intends to visit every secondary school in the county. The Amy Winehouse foundation will be joining Adaction in the effort. Mitch Winehouse, the father of the late pop singer, told the Burton Mail that secondary school drug and alcohol education is something that is not as common as it should be. He hopes his foundation’s involvement with the Adaction project will yield positive results. The Derbyshire...

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Unfortunate Crime Highlights Consequences of Drug Use

A recent and unfortunate theft committed by a former drug addict is shining the light on one of the consequences of drug use that we rarely talk about: crime. The theft was perpetrated by a 25-year-old Devon man who said he committed the crime in order to pay off some of his old drug dealing debts. He claimed he was bullied into the act by a group of people to whom he owed money. What makes this crime so unfortunate is the fact that the man had been given a second chance. After completing a drug rehabilitation programme, he was...

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Addiction: Rock Bottom, Intervention and Recovery

Keep doing what you do, and nothing will change. A phrase we all often hear in the addiction and recovery circles but it’s wrong. Addiction’s progressive nature means, left untreated, everything changes. Life changes for the worse. All sorts of problems increase or arise in varying degrees. Financial, criminal, intimacy and family problems, never mind the intrinsic physical, mental, emotional and spiritual demise of the individual in long-term, untreated addiction. Many people believe, inside and outside the sector, that an addict has to reach rock bottom in order to begin to get well and others believe that it does exist...

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Latest Alcohol Stats: A Conflict of Interest?

Yesterday, the news wires went absolutely crazy following the release of new data from Alcohol Concern. According to the charity, some 9.6 million Britons are drinking in excess of Government recommendations. However, upon closer scrutiny, it turns out that Alcohol Concern work with a pharmaceutical company to produce the statistics; the same company responsible for the anti-drink medication known as nalmefene. We have to ask, is there a conflict of interest here? Alcohol Concern has published an interactive alcohol map on their website enabling users to view data collected from various regions of the UK. The text accompanying the map...

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Charity Calls for More Drink Driving Education

According to Swanswell, a nationally known charity working to end substance abuse and addiction, 230 people died in drink driving accidents in 2012. Another 10,000 were injured. Now the charity is calling on the Government to take action that would require more drink driving education among UK drivers. The charity believes more education would save lives. The Lancashire Evening Post reports that Swanswell has been holding fringe events in recent weeks, addressing the Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and Labour party conferences in the hopes of affecting change. It has specifically challenged the conferences as to whether or not current education initiatives...

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Ketamine: The New Ecstasy among Students

From the mid-1990s through until the mid-2000, the cheap drug of choice among students was ecstasy. However, much negative press surrounding the drug reduced its popularity among young people looking to get high with little perceived risk. Fast forward to the start of the current decade and a new drug has stepped in to take of its place: ketamine. The pinkish powder also known as ‘K’ is the new ecstasy among UK students. Ketamine is sometimes referred to as a horse tranquilliser because it is mainly used as an anaesthesia for animals under the care of a veterinarian. It can...

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Drugs and Peer Pressure: How Strong Is the Relationship?

Peer pressure is often cited as one of the things motivating young people to use drugs. It’s just assumed that a young person who has never consumed alcohol or taking drugs will automatically feel pressure to do so when put in the midst of others his or her age already behaving in that way. There is some truth to this belief, but research suggests peer pressure may not be as prevalent as we think it to be. As a student, what are your thoughts? According to the Drug Scope charity, there are a number of reasons kids start taking drugs...

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Nalmefene Only a Benefit to Certain Kinds of Drinkers

Last week the Government announced plans to begin giving a new drug to problem drinkers as a means of helping them avoid consuming more than one drink per day. The drug, known as nalmefene, will be offered by GPs during routine examinations. However, as we mentioned in a previous blog post, the benefit of nalmefene will be limited only to certain kinds of drinkers: those who understand they have a problem and generally want to correct it. The public position recently taken by the Royal College of GPs confirms what we said last week. According to The Telegraph, the medical...

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Lancashire Recovery Group Embraces Different Recovery Model

In the Lancashire town of Morecambe, an addiction recovery group meets at CRI Recovery at Bellfield House. The group is similar to others in that participants are both recovering substance abusers and those that have already established a new life after recovery. What is different is the approach they take. Rather than sitting in a circle and talking, you will find this group doing things such as playing board games or enjoying the Wii or Xbox. Star Treatment and Recover (STAR) is a recovery programme that looks unlike most other programmes in the UK. Rather than base their recovery methods...

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Study Reveals Cannabis Is Highly Addictive & Highly Dangerous

Twenty-Year Study Reveals Destructive Nature of Cannabis Use A compelling twenty-year study has finally given us some answers regarding something we have known intuitively for generations: using pot is dangerous. The study, conducted by King’s College London professor Wayne Hall, definitively links sustained cannabis use with a whole host of problems, including mental illness and poor school performance. Hall is a professor of addiction policy at King’s College as well as a drugs advisor to the World Health Organisation. Hall admits that cannabis is less dangerous than other drugs inasmuch as it is almost impossible to ingest a lethal dose. However,...

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Survey: Drug Use Up but Not Addiction

There is both good and bad news to report regarding drug use among adults in the UK. The good news is that the number of people suffering from addiction has not increased significantly since the Observer took their last survey in 2008. The bad news is that more adults report using illegal drugs in the 2014 edition of the survey. In 2008, just 27% of UK adults acknowledged having used an illicit drug at some point during their lives. The 2014 survey shows an increase to 31%. That means more than one-third of all adults have used illicit drugs at...

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