The Post COVID cathinone hydra

Written by Professor Fiona Measham and Dr Michael Pascoe A study published in the journal of Drug Science Policy and Law describes tumultuous changes to the UK MDMA drug market following Brexit and COVID-19 lockdowns. In this first academic publication from The Loop’s ‘back of house’ testing service, nearly half of substances sold as MDMA were  …


DHSC announces that the UK will not legalise Snus

DHSC announces that it will not legalise the world’s most successful smoking substitute   The health department has stated that it will not legalise the oral nicotine product snus The product has driven the world’s most dramatic falls in smoking in Scandinavia It is popular among hardcore smokers who do not want to use inhaled  …


Effects of Mixing and Dosing MDMA, LSD, and 2C-B with Dr Friederike Meckel Fischer

Dosing in psychoactive drugs Dosing represents one of the three critical elements that determine the quality of a drug experience, alongside set and setting. Determining appropriate dosages can be difficult due to ambiguity in drug purity, drug experience of the individual, tolerance, and the aforementioned set and setting. While these represent general guidelines, experience, variability  …


The Cocaine Vape - A concept of a harm reduction device for current users of smokable cocaine forms

Authors Fabian P Steinmetz, Heino Stöver Published October 16, 2021 Although there are great regional differences, smokable forms of cocaine (crack, free-base, paco, etc.) are a drug complex associated with often harmful and problematic drug use patterns. While strategies based on drug prohibition did not eradicate the consumption of smokable cocaine forms, prohibition itself led  …


The Future of Festivals

In this webinar, we discuss how festivals can be improved as they return from their 2020 hiatus. Drug use at festivals is unsurprisingly high, and always has been, but organisers are often battling against drug policy in their efforts to improve the safety of festival-goers with harm reduction techniques such as drug testing and psy-care.  …


Drug Consumption Rooms

Drug Consumption Rooms (DCRs), also known as Supervised/Safe Injection Facilities (SIFs), or Overdose Prevention Centres (OPCs), provide safe environments for people to consume controlled drugs under the supervision of trained professionals who can save lives if medical emergencies such as overdoses take place. These facilities can be a powerful harm reduction strategy when implemented correctly.  …


Addiction in Psychiatry

Drug usage is currently extremely high and it is particularly prevalent amongst those suffering from mental health conditions. Despite this, many healthcare workers are not trained to recognise the signs of substance misuse and are often unaware of how to treat this distinctive patient group appropriately.  Psychiatric patients who use drugs are much less likely  …


Supervised Injection Facilities

Supervised Injection Facilities (SIFs) are known by many names including Safe Injection Facilities, Overdose Prevention Centres, and Drug Consumption Rooms. There are subtle nuances between these amenities, but they all function to provide safe spaces for people to consume controlled drugs under the supervision of trained professionals who can save lives if overdoses occur. Drug-related  …


Drug Checking – The Evidence is Building!

The Loop, a non-profit NGO, introduced event-based drug checking in the UK in 2016 and community-based drug checking in 2018. The most recent findings from the Loop, published today, dig deeper into behavioural outcomes and ask what happens next, after people have used a drug checking service?

The study compares 10 key (positive, negative and neutral) outcomes of The Loop’s service that reached nearly 3,500 festival-goers in 2017, with a follow-up survey with a sub-sample three months later, to find out how the combination of test results and personalised health consultations affected their subsequent drug taking and risk management strategies.


Building a Career in Drug Science

After hearing feedback about challenges finding career opportunities from the Drug Science Student Society, this webinar provides insight into the careers available in the industries of psychedelics, cannabis, and addiction treatment. With speakers including healthcare workers and both industry and research executives, this webinar will help you find a career working with drugs. With more than  …


#35 - Crack Cocaine

This week’s episode features Carl Hart, professor of neuroscience and psychology at Columbia University in New York. Professor Nutt and professor Hart discuss drug addiction and its political context in the US. Are drug policies racist? Were they made to help or to harm? What does the declaration of independence have to do with drug  …


Multi Criteria Decision Analysis for Evaluating Government Policy Responses to Heroin Use

Authors: Steve Rolles, Anne Katrin Schlag, Fiona Measham, Lawrence Phillips, David Nutt, Daniel Bergsvik, Ole Rogeberg Published: February 25, 2021 This Drug Science research was published in the International Journal of Drug Policy. A further write-up was featured in the Academic Times. Globally, non-medical heroin use is generating significant public health and social harms, and  …

David Nutt on Alcohol as a Drug

David Nutt – Deep Dive into Alcohol Alcohol is among the most harmful of all recreational drugs, and yet it is the most widely used in the UK. But how much do you really know about what alcohol does to the body and brain? In this video, Professor David Nutt, founder of Drug Science and  …


In My Professional Opinion - Vaping and Tobacco Harm Reduction

Clive Bates – Vaping and Tobacco Harm Reduction Nicotine without smoke? This discussion takes a brief tour through the science and policy controversies surrounding the concept of tobacco harm reduction: the idea of delivering the mild recreational drug without products of combustion of tobacco leaf. The WHO reports that 8 million deaths are caused annually  …


Drug Science submission to the WHO enquiry on vaping

Fifteen years ago, the World Health Organization developed the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which aims to provide governments with guidelines for reducing tobacco use. Every two years, representatives meet at the Conference of the Parties (COP) to discuss ways in which the FCTC might be improved. The ninth Conference of the Parties (COP9)  …


How did COVID-19 affect drug use?

COVID-19 changed our lives: from travel bans, social and physical isolation and empty cities to workers laid off and governments scrambling to muster effective responses. The impact that coronavirus had on people varies widely and differently between countries. Relationships were placed under new stresses and for those educating children at home, long division never seemed  …


#32 - Drug Consumption Rooms

Peter Krykant previously used intravenous drugs whilst living homeless in Birmingham. His lived experience has shown him the benefits of drug consumption rooms; to prevent the spread of bloodborne diseases and protect people who use drugs from accidental overdose. Seven weeks ago, Peter set up the first UK drug consumption room which attracted the attention  …


#20 - Sex and drugs

In this episode of the Drug Science podcast, Professor David Nutt is joined by two pharmacosexuality experts to discuss chemsex, drug fuelled sex parties and sexual psychonauts. From the peak sexual experience to sober sex, our relationship with sex and drugs is complicated but intrinsically personal. Find out who chooses to mix sex and drugs,  …


Medical MDMA Educational Resources

MDMA (3,4-Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine) was first synthesised in 1912 by chemists at the pharmaceutical company, Merck in Germany. In 1985, MDMA was placed in schedule 1, resulting in no research being conducted into the potential therapeutic applications of MDMA between 1985 – 2000. However, since then, MDMA has been included in over 5000 academic articles and administered to  …


#13 - The Vape Debate

The emergence of vaping and e-cigarettes is a relatively new and novel form of harm reduction. The UK has taken a scientific approach to the regulation of vaporisers and has been rewarded with great reductions of new and existing tobacco smokers. However, internationally vaporisers have been met with great distain and in some cases prohibition.  …


#11 - Policing Drugs - Undercover

Neil Woods is a former Undercover Drugs Detective Sergeant whose brief was to infiltrate Britain’s most dangerous drug gangs, befriending the foot soldiers before taking on their gangster bosses. Neil risked his life to infiltrate some of the UK’s most vicious gangs, by doing so he came to realise the terrifying reality of the drug  …


Society’s inconsistent moral judgements of potentially harmful activities

What do horse riding, motorsports, base jumping, mountain climbing, storm chasing, and drug use have in common? They are of all course all potentially dangerous activities pursued for a thrill, a rush, and often a great deal of enjoyment. But in our modern-day prohibitionist culture, one of those things is not seen as being like  …


The Unintended Consequences of Prohibitionist Policies - Mephedrone

Mephedrone is the common name for 4-methylmethcathinone. This is a synthetic derivative of cathinone, first synthesized in 1929, and largely forgotten until the early 2000s when Israeli scientists working for an insecticide company started experimenting with cathinones as octopamine analogues to disrupt the brain activity of aphids so make them less damaging to plants. Mephedrone  …