How to Avoid Getting Spiked

The NHS estimates that hundreds of students are victims of spiking every year. What is spiking? It is the practice of covertly adding drugs or other substances to a person’s drink in order to achieve some intended purpose. Spiking is often nothing more than a practical joke done for laughs. However, it can be more sinister in nature. Spiking at universities is a way for young men to ‘loosen up’ young women for the purposes of engaging in sexual activity. Other students might spike drink as a way to knock people out so they can steal from student rooms. When...

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Cannabis: The Second Most Commonly Used Drug among Students

All across the UK a new wave of first-year university students have begun to settle in to their routine. Returning students, already having put their first years behind them, know the routine all too well. They will put in the classroom hours as needed, and then spend much of their free time either partying or otherwise enjoying social events. For many of them, cannabis will be a big part of the equation. As a student, what are your perceptions of cannabis? Are you among that group of students that believes cannabis use is largely harmless? Alternatively, are you the kind...

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Study: Spirituality Helpful in Fight against Drink and Drugs

The 12-step approach to alcoholism developed by Alcoholics Anonymous back in the 1930s has been successfully used in addiction recovery for generations. However, it involves a spiritual component that some experts say really need not be included. A recent study released from Baylor University (Waco, Texas, USA) says otherwise. Their research shows that spirituality can be very helpful in the fight against drink and drugs. Baylor researchers studied 195 juvenile offenders who were referred to residential treatment by a court, mental health professional, or physician. The subjects were interviewed at both the commencement and completion of their eight-week treatments. Researchers...

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Why Recovery Month Matters

The month of September is known in the addiction recovery community as Recovery Month. Observance of Recovery Month, now in his 25th year, was originally conceived as an American observance of the success of drug and alcohol recovery programmes. However, it has since become a worldwide celebration. The UK participates each year with a Recovery Walk that attracts thousands of former addicts to celebrate their own recovery. Some question the need for a Recovery Month observance on either side of the Pond. Most of the questioning comes in light of the fact that similar events are used to raise awareness...

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Young City Workers Turning to Drugs More Frequently

The excesses of the 1980s introduced a subculture of white-collar city workers to recreational cocaine and heroin use. More than one professional went far beyond recreation, using drugs to cope with the stresses of fast-paced financial and legal careers. It turns out that little has changed in more than 20 years. In fact, it may be getting worse. It appears as though young city workers are turning to drugs more frequently than ever before. To be clear, city workers are defined as white-collar professionals involved in employment sectors such as financial, legal, public service, and IT. They are individuals who...

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Yes – Student Loan Money Is Being Used for Drugs and Alcohol

The average UK citizen probably just assumes that student loan money is being used as it is designed to be: to cover the costs of attending university. So would it surprise you to know that some of the money is being used for all sorts of unrelated things, including drugs and alcohol? It is true. No one knows the extent of the problem, but there is no denying the problem exists. A recent story printed by the Daily Mail is proof. The story profiled two young ladies who found themselves battling alcohol abuse during their university years. One of the...

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Binge Drinking and Drug Use: A Bad Omen of Things to Come

Those of us in the drug and alcohol recovery community are trained to look for certain signs when evaluating the seriousness of a substance abuse problem. For example, we look for signs of binge drinking and drug use. A student who frequently binges may very well be on the road to full-blown addiction in the very near future. Without intervention, the outcome could be devastating. According to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) Statistics on Alcohol: England 2014 report, as many as 33.8% of men and 15.7% of women in England are classified by the AUDIT standards as...

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Daily Mail Reveals Horrors of University Drinking Culture

The Daily Mail published a stunning exposé on September 17 sure to turn the stomachs of every parent who now has a first-year student at University. The article shows the true horrors of the university drinking culture – from turning young people into alcoholics to promoting reckless sexual behaviours. The excessive drinking that goes on at universities across the UK is a problem that needs to be dealt with. The Daily Mail piece focused primarily on two young students – one who eventually dropped out and another who managed to graduate despite being an alcohol abuser. We recommend you read...

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Manchester March Proves Addiction Recovery Possible

On September 13 (2014), approximately 8,000 people gathered in the streets of Manchester for an organised march. They were not marching to protest war or raise awareness of the latest social cause. They were marching in celebration of having achieved recovery from either drugs, alcohol, or both. By all accounts, the 2014 edition of the UK Recovery Walk was a huge success. One of the main features of the event was an address by actor Kevin Kennedy. The former Coronation Street star has been open about his own struggles with alcohol more than a decade ago. He is the patron...

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Survey Shows British Teens More Likely to Be Sober

With all the bad news we hear about drugs and alcohol in the UK, it is refreshing to hear good news every now and again. Such is the case with the results of a brand-new survey that shows today’s teenagers are more likely to be sober than those of a decade ago. In addition to drinking less, teens appear to be taking drugs and engaging in careless sexual behaviours less frequently. The survey, conducted by the Health and Social Care Information Centre polled 5,000 students regarding their attitudes toward smoking, alcohol, drugs, and premarital sex. Official figures show that only...

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Locating Resources to Help Young People Get Clean

By the time a young person reaches the point of requiring professional help for substance abuse, it is no longer useful to ask what could have been done to prevent the problem from happening. Instead, it’s time to find a way to help the individual overcome his or her substance abuse problems once and for all. Where parents are concerned, it is a matter of locating the right resources that will help a young person get clean. The first thing parents need to understand is that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for every kid. Every human being is different. Every...

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Why Are so Many Creative People Linked to Drug Use?

Peaches Geldof, Amy Winehouse, Philip Seymour Hoffman – three incredibly creative people who died at the hands of drug overdose. But why? What is it about drugs and alcohol that seem to attract artists of all kinds? Why are so many creative people linked to drug use? Throughout history there have been many famously creative individuals linked to substance abuse of some sort. For example, author Ernest Hemingway was a noted alcoholic for most of his adult life. Other notable substance abusers include Beethoven, actress Edie Falco, actor Johnny Depp, and late comedian Robin Williams. Some suggest that creative people...

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Study Reveals Different Attitudes about Alcohol and Cannabis

A study among US teens regarding alcohol and cannabis use shows differing attitudes relating to the negative effects of both. The study, which was conducted by researchers at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, seems to indicate that teens do not believe that marijuana use is as dangerous as alcohol use. What makes this particular study different is that researchers did not survey students about both substances simultaneously. One group was surveyed about alcohol, the other about cannabis. The same questions were asked to both groups relating to their particular substances. A few of the key results are as follows:...

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Richard Branson: War on Drugs Has Failed

Speaking at a New York press conference organised by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson likened the 50-year-old war on drugs to a business that has failed miserably. He said that had he operated a business suffering similar failures over such a long period, he would expect someone to have taken him to a ‘psychiatric hospital’ for examination. Branson’s comments were part of a meeting of the Global Commission, a group Branson is an active member of. The group is calling on government leaders and the United Nations to work toward new strategies that treat...

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Results of Teen Drinking Study Shock Researchers

A study looking into teen alcohol abuse has revealed something very few people saw coming. In fact, the results of the study have been called ‘shocking’ by the researchers and observers. It turns out that giving alcohol to your children as a means of teaching them how to drink responsibly increases the likelihood that those children will become heavy drinkers. The study followed 2,000 families over a four-year period. It was conducted by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, and led by chief investigator Prof Richard Mattick. Mattick said that although parents may be confused as to the best...

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