Daily Mail tragically wrong on ecstasy deaths

January 2, 2008

Lots in the news yesterday about ecstasy, following Richard Brunstrom’s latest publicity drive.

The Daily Mail weighs in with its usual care and moderation. Rounding up the usual photogenic tragedies with comments from the grieving mothers, they put them under the headline: “Safer than aspirin, Mr Brunstrom? Tell that to the 50 families a year who lose a child to this insidious drug”.

The hypocrisy stinks – talk about taking advantage. So do the statistics.

50 deaths a year is accurate if you take the bare figures. But the bare figures conceal far more than they reveal.

Any fair examination of drug use facts shows that ecstasy is not what we should be worried about – not at all.

Read the rest of this entry »


Spiders on Drugs

October 24, 2007

More important news on drugs to be found at this site.

Continuing their fine tradition of pointless research, NASA’s scientists have given a bunch of spiders a load of different drugs, then taken photos of their webs.

Below, stoned spider. The site helpfully records that “spiders on marijuana made a reasonable stab at spinning webs but appeared to lose concentration about half-way through”.

Stoned Spiders

Just don’t look if you’ve been drinking coffee…

Drugs (mis)treatment 2

October 24, 2007

A postscript to my post of 18th October about the BBC’s story on drug treatment.

A mate who works in the drug treatment world went down to visit the Plymouth Drug Action Team today. They were the people who were fingered in particular for supposedly giving “rewards” to drug users, and were featured in all the news bulletins.

He sent me this email.

“Plymouth was very interesting. Apparently the BBC spent a lot of time talking to users there and then didn’t show any of it because the users resolutely refused to say what they were supposed to say (or rather they showed it, in the sense that they used visuals, so the viewers could register what a drug addict looks like, but not sound – just a disapproving voice-over.) The interviewers kept asking what rewards they got for presenting clean urine samples and the users kept saying things like ‘staying clean’, ‘making progress’, ‘feeling better’. Poor fools, no sense at all of what makes a good story…”

The true face of drug crime

October 17, 2007

Here is an article by on drugs and crime by Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA and former Blair strategist, in today’s Guardian.

Noteworthy not only for its exposure of the fallacy that drugs and crime are irrevocably and directly linked (ref. any government document 1997-2007), but because it was written by me.

The two or three people who obviously know what they’re talking about have left interesting, supportive comments. Otherwise; well, it is Comment is Free…