Online information and feedback
There are innumerable online resources with varying degrees of reliability – I thought I’d highlight a few of the better ones.
This knowdrugs app can has useful and (obviously) portable facts – it could constitute £1.49 well spent.
This site can give you personalised feedback on your substance use. With all these things I’d note that if you hang around with people who share your interests and those interests include using drugs – you might get a skewed view of how common drug use is (aka ‘sampling bias’).
You might also like to fill in their Global Drug Survey to contribute to everyone’s understanding of what’s going on and how people can be safer.
It’s important not to forget alcohol which could be considered the ultimate ‘club drug’ or even ‘legal high’.
As it’s Alcohol Awareness Week (I know how much these things capture the imagination, don’t forget British Sandwich Week is in May) it’s worth pointing out that people and services* often have a bit of a blind spot for the demon drink but it’d be wrong to overlook the harm it can do in the short and long term and how vulnerable it can leave you. The mantra “just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s safe” applies, I’d go as far as to suggest not drinking alcohol if you’re using other drugs. It interacts with other drugs in dangerous ways – way beyond the room spinning after succumbing to a spliff whilst ‘tired and emotional’.
For feedback on your drinking this site will come in useful. You’ll need to give an e-mail address to use it but I’m pretty sure the NSA won’t be onto you (although I can’t guarantee it).
* The billions it costs society through the NHS and other services, lost work time, the thousands of people per year it kills, the many cancers it causes, the town centres you’ll do anything to avoid because of the vomiting and violence, the car crashes, the domestic violence – imagine people shrugging their shoulders if it was any other drug…Politicians not wanting to be seen as the nanny state when it comes to alcohol but determined to look tough on ‘drugs’…OK rant over.
Anyway, congratulations to the hardcore still reading: 50 years on, for those of a slightly paranoid bent, I can’t help but feel there is a ring of truth about this.