Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Sorting out our thinking on drugs

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  • Shulgin,

    DI Mills told me he regards them as basically educational.

    In reply..... Mills would say that...cause he sure needs edyakaychun...after what he did over/around the maxwell report....fiddling figures with Inspector Mills....very nawtee D I MIlls! (He should resign!)

    NZ • Since May 2011 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    the discomfit zone
    Dunne squirms on Campbell Live in Naenae - and he says he hates the shopping centre that someone else has just said has been ruined by the 'highs' shop - just another adverse reaction...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Then Campbell live moved on to Graham Norton doing an infomercial about Kiwi wine.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to steven crawford,

    Graham Norton doing an infomercial about Kiwi wine.

    I know, a crushing metaphor.....
    I'm still waiting for them to acknowledge that The Graham Norton Show is a TV3 property - transparency cuts through all things Mr Campbell.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Based on that a savvy 'Highs' manufacturer would be looking for a celebrity tie-in, and donating half the profits to TV3's Greta Garbo Home For Wayward Boys and Girls, or some such...
    aaah legitimacy.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to steven crawford,

    Then Campbell live moved on to Graham Norton doing an infomercial about Kiwi wine.

    Wow, true. It's so normalized I didn't even notice the juxtaposition. I'm about to go out on the town, will see if I can find any people acting as "disgracefully" as the guy who was stoned and drunk (he seemed more drunk than stoned). My bet is that it will take me about 1 minute to find some on K Road. But it's Friday night, and getting wasted is a national institution.

    Loved the guy who said it got him off the bud. When asked which he'd rather have - "Bud". Instant. Cause Bud is better. Even Peter Dunne knows that, cause he had Bud himself but wouldn't touch legal highs.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to BenWilson,

    I'll drink to that!

    Cause Bud is better.
    Even Peter Dunne knows that

    Why can't Dunne see the tax implications?
    Didn't he used to be Minister of Revenue?

    On the evidence tonight
    Give the people what they want
    less random factors
    more control
    and take the tax

    what does the pharmacological levy accrue at the moment?

    and from alcohol / tobacco?

    Market affordable
    marijuana as :
    Levytation - Let the Good Tithes Roll!
    Fiscal EXcises - Recharge your imagination...
    Duty Calls - The Customs always right
    or even
    Green Fee - Bunker down for the afternoon..

    Win! Win!
    I tell you...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Shulgin,

    NZ • Since May 2011 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Virginia Brooks, in reply to debunk,

    re: The UK toxocologist John Ramsey “has spent decades collecting more than 27,000 samples of narcotics” etc (www.theguardian,com/society/2013/apr/26/hidden-dangers-of-legal-highs)..

    Thanks, that is the article I was looking for. When I first read it I was amazed at the size of Ramsey's project and its value as a data base in detailing the geography of synthetics. We (society) need this info.

    Since Jun 2008 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Virginia Brooks, in reply to Ross Bell,

    re: a great service called Check It.
    I checked it, it looks amazing. This is what we need in NZ. Please someone make it happen...

    At the moment we have so little medical info and we are wasting info by not analysing, archiving and disseminating info to both users and health professionals.

    I speak from experience. Some yrs ago my son had a number of very unpleasant overdose experiences with phenazepham, its a benzo / pure powder, he was using it to make kronic type blends but ended up using the powder on its own.
    I had to google info at the hospital A & E desk to show the medical team because they hadn't even heard of synthetic marijuana at that point. They couldn't relate to what I was showing them.
    The same thing happened last yr with synthetic LSD. Health professionals looked back at me and spoke slowly ' you know LSD is naturally synthetic'.
    Again, they had no official or otherwise info on NBOMe or any other such synthetics.

    Matt died 3 wks later.

    It was suicide but where synthetics a contributing factor?
    I offered his leftover hoard to the coroners office for testing / making medical data available to others. The response was its not worth it, we'll only bin it.

    Since Jun 2008 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • debunk, in reply to Virginia Brooks,

    Virginia
    So sorry to hear your story about Matt. I always wondered if my teenage son was going to reach 20 and that was just in the years of beer and marijuana through school, and assorted risky teenage behaviour. There is money about for NGOs. Perhaps this is what the Drug Foundation could raise funds for through the universities as the Neurological Foundation supports a Professorship in Auckland I believe. Though one would think the Poisons Centre would be providing analytical services and not just "advice" as it appears to do. My primary experience is in Australia where I taught in a course on evidence based medicine ("Critical Appraisal") to mid-course medical students for a decade a while back .. and in the UK where I have been doing similar things on research proposals for the NHS which, despite crying poor, has a substantial research fund. They are always looking for projects; I'll try to contact Dr Ramsey to see where they get support from - if any. Looks a cash-strapped project.

    New Zealand • Since Aug 2012 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Could “time” be the variant. As is with addiction for other drugs. For most drugs it’s over time that dependence occurs.

    Whether addiction is inherent in the substances themselves or specific to individual constitutions should most probably feature in this discussion.

    In 2011, 4.2 million Americans aged 12 or older (or 1.6 percent) had used heroin at least once in their lives. It is estimated that about 23 percent of individuals who use heroin become dependent on it.

    http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin

    Various findings here and here seem inclined to attribute dependence to subjective and collective misery, poverty and general hopelessness. Issues far beyond the mandate of the Ministry of Health, perhaps taxation could be a contributing factor Ian, perhaps over-regulation*.

    Looking objectively at a situation where people are driven en masse to expose our own machinery to unknown and untested substances with flagrant disregard for the consequences/ damage and /or a desire to facilitate these effects: The willingness to apportion blame on the substances or the users themselves rather than working wholeheartedly to change the controlled conditions (society) in which these choices are made, doesn’t seem far removed from the case of the dependent user for whom these chemicals likewise serve as a crutch and means to obfuscate the underlying problem.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to mark taslov,

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • debunk,

    Psychologists call it "avoidance" - see a lot of it on this thread. Happy to be proved wrong. I would suggest "addiction" is a physiological problem and not just habituation to soothing "addictive" substances.

    New Zealand • Since Aug 2012 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to mark taslov,

    Thanks Taslov. Interesting that marijuana is a most popular choice. No shit Sherlock ;) I guess we humans can be a sensible lot if you compare those statistics. Looks like we choose one of the least harmful on the body out of the range looked at there. Plus those surveys also indicate it's not going away whereas some other chemical highs are decreasing. That young people's use goes up as risk perception goes down. Must go look to see if I can find stats on how the state of the Nation's wallet/household/financial Crisis, effects choice of drug. Do people chill or speed up as finances fall?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Lawless bud substitute...
    Watching Dunne do the 'avoid dance' on Campbell Live was just as 'extraordinarily depressing' as he said he found the whole shopping centre - the 'pretty unsavoury' (to use Dunne's words again) state of which was roundly placed, by locals, on the existence of the Highs shop and its customers ...

    I feel Dunne equivocates when he says Councils came to Government for the power to do something about these shops - A need due to the vacuum of real leadership on the issue at a Government level...

    He effectively blames the 'legally lost' souls for their weakness - sorry Peter but not everyone has your steely self control - and those are the people laws are supposed to protect aren't they?

    His kneejerk 'cyanide' analogy is risible, and speaks volumes about his disengagement from reality.

    I guess there's a Highs shop in the Ohariu Electorate
    - with that kind of foot traffic maybe it could be a polling booth!

    Watch Campbell Live piece here

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to debunk,

    Psychologists call it “avoidance” – see a lot of it on this thread. Happy to be proved wrong. I would suggest “addiction” is a physiological problem and not just habituation to soothing “addictive” substances.

    Alcoholics anonymous describe it as a spiritual malaise. That is to say: addiction is all encompassing. if I remember correctly, it was a Blackfoot Indian iwi, who after falling victim to alcohol addiction, achieved 95% sobriety. Part of the key to there mass recovery, was to recover more of there ancestral land.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Attachment

    A hard case study...
    Back in the '70s in Chchch many young people were seduced by this dreadful drug 'Mary Jane' or 'Pot' (often mixed with the more prevalent and debilitating alcohol) - sneaking out on to the fire escape of the Upstairs Common Room, the parking lot at The Gresham or in squalid flats near the faux -gothic university... in some cases making habits (and friends) for life...

    Some tried it, but didn't enjoy it, in some instances because they had already had gateway experiences of stronger stuff - something we will simply call P - an alarming scourge the consequences of which still reverberate to this day!

    Enabled by a complicit University, otherwise solid students, once given a taste, were forced to beg in public for P - some even shamelessly taking ads or writing columns in student papers to support and progress their habit.

    It is unlikely the current Government has the stomach, or will, to address the problem, after all P has them all in its clutches - be it the acceptable face of Position, the runaway governance of Politics or the heart-racing rush of unbridled Power!

    The photo above (from the student paper of the time) is of one such lost soul, one wonders if he ever made it out of this degrading and headlong spiral in his quest for 'High Office', or whether he had to pawn that leather jacket for just a few more flyers...

    ...a legally lost generation, indeed!

    </thinly veiled satire>

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Lawless bud substitute…

    The guy that went to the shop and told Dunne off on his way in could have been a good follow up and I’d be interested to see what comes of the shop keeper’s request to see Campbell.
    Once again, Dunne talking up bad effects of marijuana with nothing that backs his claims.
    One interesting comment from Ryan who said the legal highs are ok for drug testing with employment, but would rather smoke buds. So hey, get a job . It's the Council's fault now that its too hard, now that it's all up in ya face Dunne. No substance Minister.
    Why oh why can this man not want to follow the States with legalising marijuana.
    The Taxes alone should be his no brainer. This Govt just lurves the US of A.
    Going by that Photo, Dunne got a job and a haircut! Oh the hair ! :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Virginia Brooks,

    the coroners office for testing / making medical data available to others. The response was its not worth it, we’ll only bin it.

    Hi Virginia. The Coroners may not have wanted to do research but Otago University might have.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Virginia Brooks, in reply to debunk,

    Thanks muchly Debunk. Let me know how you get on with your enquires.

    Russell and Ross also mentioned websites like Erowid and Trip me - they are excellent and there are other sites also which have communities of users sharing info & experiences - its a form of self education and peer learning.

    But our medical staff are excluded from the dialogue. Where are the medical journal articles, the info databases, accurate toxicology screens (like the boy outside the legal high shop in the Campbell live show explained, legal highs are great for work because they don't show up in conventional drug tests)...

    Matt researched chemicals he was interested in and used sites like Erowid. As a result, the times he ODed, he knew what he had taken (more or less) & what drugs were needed to counter the effects and could tell A & E staff. Needless to say they would refuse. They had no idea what he was talking about and his behaviour looked like drug seeking (which it was, but with a purpose). All they could do was put security on his room (he was erratic and very high) & wait till visible effects wore off. And thank you to Auckland Hospital A & E, they do an incredible job, day in, day out. As a parent I was grateful they would always do what they could.

    But that's the crazy thing. We have users / legal high industry players / illegal producers who are streets ahead of mainstream services.

    This is where a service like Checkit is invaluable. Users get the benefit of amnesty and accurate checking / support / education, while up to the minute data is shared with educators / universities / medical facilities / drug, alcohol and mental health services.

    The psychoactive substances act is a step in the right direction because it makes ingredient identification and testing mandatory. This info can then be more widely used. But a service like Checkit would also pick up the wider black market products - which is the bigger market.

    Of course the other key thing about the act is it allows the govt to collect revenue from the legal highs industry. Shouldn't a percentage be channelled back into providing access to services like Checkit?

    Since Jun 2008 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Virginia Brooks, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Really? who and where? Just give me the info...

    Since Jun 2008 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I feel Dunne equivocates when he says Councils came to Government for the power to do something about these shops – A need due to the vacuum of real leadership on the issue at a Government level…

    He is actually correct on that. Under the act, councils must define where these businesses can operate – and, more importantly where they can’t.

    Hutt Council has a draft Local Approved Products Plan which, as far as I can tell, would shut down the shop in Naenae when adopted. The council is receiving submissions now. It had originally promised that the LAPP would be in place by March this year.

    I’m not completely clear on whether the Act allows the LAPPs to become fully operative as soon as the councils agree them, but I can’t find anything that says otherwise.

    Christchurch City Council is at the same stage, but has chosen to exempt the city’s eight retailers from compliance until the full MoH regulations are in place, which isn’t expected to be until mid next year.

    But I can’t work out why the Hutt council hasn’t exercised its right to include this (from the Christchurch draft) in its LAPP:

    Are not permitted within 100 metres of a ‘sensitive site’ – such as playgrounds, early childhood centres, schools, tertiary institutions and specialist drug and alcohol treatment and support services – at the time the application for a full licence is made.

    It seems a no-brainer to require this.

    That Campbell report was bloody good, by the way.

    EDIT: The Drug Foundation has just posted a LAPP FAQ on its website. Reading Hutt council’s draft, it appears that the Naenae mall shop will be gone as soon as the council publishes its LAPP. From what I can see, this really is on the council. BUT there are fishooks, as Ross Bell notes in his comment.

    So yeah, everyone needs to get a move on with this, including but not only the council.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Attachment

    These jokers are on synthetic mushrooms, I think.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Virginia Brooks,

    Matt died 3 wks later.

    I'm so sorry to learn that. I appreciate your presence in this discussion more than ever.

    It was suicide but where synthetics a contributing factor?
    I offered his leftover hoard to the coroners office for testing / making medical data available to others. The response was its not worth it, we’ll only bin it.

    I can imagine the coroner's office wouldn't be interested.

    But Sofie was referring to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) in Dunedin, which collates reports on products covered by the Psychoactive Substances Act. But if you can wait a few days, I'll ask the MoH person I've been dealing with whether there's a better place to try.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

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