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The minefield that is alcohol and other drugs …

There is no easy way of dealing with the
topic of alcohol and other drugs. Over the years I have been called a ‘promoter
of drugs’ (once actually being accused of contributing to the ‘killing of young
people’ with the messages I was promoting in schools!), as well as being an
‘anti-drug crusader’ (a term I particularly dislike – it sounds like I should
be wearing a cape and flying through the sky …) …it really is extremely
difficult to get the balance right – you simply can’t please everyone!
A book has recently been published in the
UK by Professor David Nutt who has found himself right in the middle of the
debate a number of times in the past year or two. Once the leading advisor to
the UK Government on issues around drugs, he was sacked for, amongst other
things, comparing the harms of taking ecstasy to that of horse riding! The
book, Drugs:Without the Hot Air, has been described as written in “straightforward
language” and “explores the science of what a drug is and how it
works, why people take drugs, and how it affects them.”
 I haven’t read the book but do plan
to as soon as I can get my hands on one. I certainly don’t agree with
everything that Professor Nutt has been quoted in the media as saying, but an
excerpt of his book that has been made available on the Internet is very powerful. See what
you think ….
“A terrifying new “legal high” has hit
our streets. Methyl-carbonol, known by the street name “wiz,” is a clear liquid
that causes cancers, liver problems, and brain disease, and is more toxic than
ecstasy and cocaine. Addiction can occur after just one drink, and addicts will
go to any lengths to get their next fix – even letting their kids go hungry or
beating up their partners to obtain money. Casual users can go into blind rages
when they’re high, and police have reported a huge increase in crime where the
drug is being used. Worst of all, drinks companies are adding “wiz” to fizzy
drinks and advertising them to kids like they’re plain Coca-Cola. Two or three
teenagers die from it every week overdosing on a binge, and another 10 from
having accidents caused by reckless driving. “Wiz” is a public menace – when
will the Home Secretary think of the children and make this dangerous substance
Class A?”

Looking for information or support services on alcohol or drugs?

If you or a friend or family member needs assistance in this area, Alcohol and Drug Information Services (ADIS) are available in every state and territory. Each of these are each staffed by trained professionals who can help with your query and provide confidential advice or refer you to an appropriate service in your area.

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