Drug and alcohol stories in the news recently

Two Deaths from Ecstasy November 2011 after clubbers had attended the same venue Alexandra Palace London

Last month 2 young men died aged 20 and 21 years of age died after being admitted to hospital after having taken suspected ‘rogue ecstasy’. A third man was also admitted.

More info here http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/28/clubbers-test-ecstasy-nightclub-deaths

All drivers in France may be  required to carry breathlyzer kits in their cars from Spring 20112

New planned legislation recently announced by the french president recently will require all drivers in France to keep breathalyzer kits in their cars to test themselves. The new planned requirement is a move by the french to cut the number of deaths on the french roads . Under the new plans anyone stopped and found not to have a breathalyzer kit in their car will be fined.

Decriminilising Cannabis-a good or bad idea-the debate continues

Last month an ex MI5 boss gave a speech to a all party parliamentary drug group & urged the goverment to consider decriminalising Cannabis

Read more here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-15770842

Drug testing kits for urine and saliva available to purchase online in UK

Digital breathalysers, breathalyser kits and alcohol tests available from Value Breathalysers

Mephadrone just one of a new range of drugs

Twenty four new psychoactive drugs were reported to the official European monitoring centre during 2009, the largest number ever reported in a single year.

All the new drugs were synthetic compounds, and included 9 cannabinoid (cannabis) like substances.

The growth in synthesised drugs, side-stepping current legal restrictions to enable fast market and internet sales of “legal highs” seems to have been the growth trend of 2009 with a reduction in MDMA in tablets sold as E’s and substitution with Piperazine mCPP like substances.

As the UK moves to legislate to cover these developments, the market will move to traditional criminal production and supply chains associated with established drug groups.

There is still no test available for any of these new drugs, making screening and detection difficult.

Cocaine and Ecstacy still dominate over ‘legal highs’

Mephedrone had been encountered by up to 19% (almost 1/5) of regular users of Cocaine and ecstacy, in a recent study questionare on drug use in the preceeding 6 months.

This level was lower than expected, with the media hype over ‘legal highs’, however the study was in drug users already in contact with a drug worker. It is suggested the group consists of experienced drug users with existing patterns and preferences in drug taking. The conclusion is the mephedrone is not seen as an alternative to illegal drug use by experienced users.

Methamphetaine and MDMA tests how do they vary and what do they detect ?

Methamphetamine and MDMA (Methylenedioxymethampetamine) are chemically very similar and while drug test membranes specific to only MDMA Ecstacy are available, most drug test membranes for Methamphetamine MET will also detect MDMA (ecstacy)

As most MDMA is made in illicit labs, most tablets sold and Ecstacy also contain other amphetamine esters, including MET.

As a consequence the MET test membrane is a good general screen, detecting much which is sold as pills or tablets in clubs etc. If you specifically want to identify MDMA in its pure form buy the MDMA test membrane

Clubbers confuse ecstasy powder with cocaine

Ecstasy really is in the news this weekend. Read this article today in the Guardian

Sales of ecstasy in powder form make it increasingly difficult for drug takers to know what mind-altering substance they are consuming, a senior government adviser warned yesterday.

A rise in the importation of high-purity powder or crystal ecstasy has led to clubbers confusing it with cocaine, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACDM) heard at an open session reviewing legal classification.

Prof David Nutt, the council’s incoming chairman, said: “If you are buying white powders from someone, how do you know if you are getting MDMA [ecstasy’s main ingredient], methamphetamine or cocaine? It’s potentially very dangerous.” Powdered ecstasy was “massively more powerful” than tablet form.

Dr Paul Dargan, head of the poisons unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’s hospital, told the meeting: “We see a lot of patients who have taken powder they think is cocaine but was actually MDMA.

Read the full article

Agonising about ecstasy from guardian.co.uk Friday September 26 2008

Read this interesting article online by Colin Blakemore that I thought may be of interest to you. It is about the classification of drugs including ecstasy (ecstasy is currently a Class A drug ) and he concludes that ‘No drug is completely safe, but ecstasy does not destroy the brain and is not exceptionally toxic’

 Click here to read the full article about Ecstasy