Articles on Illicit drugs

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‘I’m not so much anti-establishment as pointing out the obvious.’ Imperial College London/Layton Thompson

David Nutt: ‘I was sacked, I was angry, I was right’

The John Maddox Prize for standing up for science is awarded to individuals who are judged to have “promoted sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest” and especially those who have faced…
Lack of British chemistry. sally_monster

Why meth hasn’t broken bad in the UK

The final episode of the award-winning American TV show Breaking Bad aired last night. Set against the backdrop of illicit crystal methamphetamine production, the series highlights the huge problem parts…
First you’ve got to work out what’s in it. Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab

Fast market for legal highs poses challenge for scientists

Legal highs that are novel psychoactive substances (NPS) have flooded Britain over the past few years and their use has increased drastically. NPS are cleverly constructed designer drugs often structurally…
Lights, camera, police action. PA

There’s still too much haze around cannabis psychosis

Sourcing unbiased information about the health effects of using cannabis has always been difficult. Government-sponsored propaganda was evident as far back as the 1930s in the film Reefer Madness, which…
Needle exchange kits are a cost-effective way of reducing the harm of illicit drugs. http://www.flickr.com/photos/oddwick

Spending down on harm reduction for illicit drugs: report

Australian governments are spending more on law enforcement against illicit drugs than treatment and prevention, according…
High demand for cannabis has led some people down the ‘synthetic drugs’ route - but are these drugs actually trusted by the users? Schorle

Synthetic cannabis: even regular drug users don’t trust it

For decades, cannabis has remained the most popular illicit drug among Australians. The strong demand among cannabis and other drug users for methods to evade detection and legal trouble has made online…
Australia has one of the highest rates of illicit methamphetamine use in the world. Image from shutterstock.com

Explainer: methamphetamine use and addiction in Australia

More commonly known by the street names speed, ice or crystal meth, both amphetamine and methamphetamine belong to a group of stimulant drugs called amphetamines. Australia has one of the highest rates…
Members of the Olympic men’s 4x100-metre freestyle relay team James McEvoy, James Magnussen and Eamon Sullivan at a news conference in Sydney yesterday. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Treatment, enhancement or recreation – why sports and Stilnox are a bad mix

It was a bonding session that involved prank phone calls, knocking on doors late at night and other acts of “harmless fun”. The men’s 4x100m Olympic freestyle relay team made it sound like they were boys…
We might pay more for cocaine in Australia but the social and economic costs of its use reach beyond our shores. Corbis

The true cost of cocaine

According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, Australians are now the world’s eighth highest per capita users of cocaine. Cocaine use within the wealthier echelons of society is so unremarkable…
AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou (centre) has flagged a rise in positive test results, but changes to drug policies won’t necessarily help. AAP/Joe Castro

AFL summit sends wrong message on illicit drug use

The AFL’s approach to illicit drugs was championed as a world leader of drugs-in-sport policy when it was implemented in 2005. It was fair, humane and had been effective in reducing match day and out-of-season…
Researchers found early and persistent cannabis users showed an eight-point decline in IQ compared to those who hadn’t used cannabis in this way. Jonah G.S.

Teen cannabis use lowers IQ, despite claims to the contrary

A study published today in the scholarly journal PNAS questions the conclusion of a paper from last year that was widely seen as greatly strengthening the evidence that regular cannabis use beginning in…
Trials show ketamine acts more quickly than other antidepressants because it affects different parts of the brain. JLM Photography

Special K: ketamine’s road from tranquilliser to possible antidepressant

The drug ketamine has been used for medical purposes since it was developed in the 1960s, but it is perhaps more widely known for its illicit use as a hallucinogenic tranquiliser. Now we’re beginning to…
The finger has been pointed at Collingwood player Dane Swan in the latest drugs in sports ‘scandal’. AAP

AFL drug policy is the best and fairest

Here we go again. Another high profile sportsperson has been implicated in the latest drugs in sport “scandal”. This time the finger is being pointed at Collingwood Brownlow medallist Dane Swan. The same…
Alcohol is responsible for more drug treatments than any other substance. AAP/Melanie Foster

Alcohol is half the problem for substance abusers

Alcohol continues to account for nearly half of government-funded substance abuse treatment in Australia. A report from the…
The products marketed as “legal weed” might cause more harm than the real thing. prensa

Legal highs: what should we do about synthetic cannabis?

Synthetic cannabis is a lab-made product that mimics the effects of cannabis to give users a high when smoked. It has been sold in Australia since 2011 under various brand names, with a range of chemical…

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