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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Drug Experimentation Doesn’t Have To Be Part of Leaving Home

Every September the residence halls of UK universities fill up with freshers getting their first taste of freedom. They are living away from home for the first time, experiencing all of the things that come with adult life. Unfortunately, some of them succumb to drug use. Drug experimentation is fairly common in universities. It may start with legal drugs that can be used to enhance one’s performance – substances also known as ‘study drugs’ – or perhaps a little cannabis here and there. Yet it does not take much for drug experimentation to lead to drug abuse and eventual addiction....

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Should Anything Be Done about Free and Discounted Drink Offers for Students?

As a university student, how do you feel about excess alcohol consumption? For that matter, how do you feel about the free and discounted drink offers local establishments frequently offer to students? Does something need to be done about it, or is everything fine as is? In 2006, Reading University pro-vice Chancellor Professor Tony Downes wrote a letter and sent it to the operators of local pubs and bars. The letter requested they stop giving away free alcohol or offering drink discounts to Reading students. He wrote, in part: “If you wish to promote your venue to our students, this...

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NICE Announces New Prescription Drug for Moderate Drinkers

In what some critics are calling a short-sighted attempt to reduce the number of problem drinkers in the UK, the National Institute for Health Clinical Excellence (NICE) has announced a plan to provide moderate drinkers with a new anti-drinking drug known as nalmefene. The plan will require the NHS and local officials to come up with the necessary funding in a matter of months. The drug is intended for adults considered moderate drinkers but who otherwise show no ill effects of their alcohol consumption. As a benchmark, the drug would be given to men who drink three pints of beer...

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Kent Charity Offers Legal Highs Training to Professionals

A Maidstone drug and alcohol charity has decided to get involved in the battle against legal highs by offering training to professionals involved in addiction prevention and recovery. CRI Maidstone has a dual mission of assisting those in need of rehab while also educating the public. Their recent training session was implemented as a way of educating the addiction recovery community about the emerging dangers of new (or novel) psychoactive substances, also known as legal highs. The legal high environment is changing so rapidly that it is difficult for healthcare and addiction professionals to keep up. CRI hopes their training...

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Big Lottery Fund Awards £231K Therapy Grant

A Swindon substance abuse and addiction charity now has an additional £231,000 to put to use to help those in need, thanks to a grant received from the Big Lottery Fund. Swindon and Wiltshire Alcohol and Drug Service (SWADS) routinely helps about 250 people every year recover from different levels of substance abuse and addiction. SWADS director Chris Stickler says his organisation is very pleased to receive the grant. The money will be used to further fund the charity’s programmes, including their creative arts therapies. SWADS is unusual in that they use things such as music and graphic arts to...

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