Drink and Drugs News DDN October 2018 | Page 12

Letters and Comment

DDN welcomes your letters Please email the editor , claire @ cjwellings . com , or post them to DDN , cJ wellings ltd , romney House , school road , Ashford , Kent tN27 0lt . letters may be edited for space or clarity .

‘ Although online drug markets have massively opened up “ consumer choice ” for drugs and lead to higher purity and lower prices , they are much safer for users to access compared to buying more dangerous and expensive “ street drugs ”.’

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I am 20 years old , serving a five-anda-half-year sentence for importation of MDMA and ketamine , and possession with intent to supply for the same , including LSD . I have reasonable experience as a casual user of most traditional illicit drugs , including opiates .
I mostly used the ‘ dark net ’ and have significant experience with this as a buyer and minor experience as a ‘ vendor ’. I no longer have any intentions to sell drugs when released on any level , and will be focusing on building a legitimate career and pursuing education .
With regards to addiction , overdoses , violence and crime associated with illicit drug use , I cannot see how we would ever come close to managing these until we move drug policy from the Ministry of Justice to the Department of Health , and this should be the very first step – just getting government policy in the correct regulatory framework would lay the foundations for far superior solutions to these chronic problems .
Until all drug use is decriminalised and we begin to legalise and regulate certain drugs for ( at least ) medicinal use , we won ’ t even scratch the surface with solving the problems drug markets and drug use create .
As a former ‘ drug trader / supplier ’ myself , I can say with confidence that no current and active drug supplier would want drug law reform in the form of legislation , as it would wipe out a lot of their profits and they would lose most of their market share to the legal supply chains .
There seem to be so many areas that would benefit from a regulated drugs market . But specifically for prisons , surely we would completely solve overcrowding by not sending nonviolent drug users to prison , opting instead for rehab centres etc .
The only negative effect of more liberal drug policies would be some increase in drug use . But please distinguish from casual drug use and compulsive drug use ; they are very different animals .
One point on the dark net – although these online drug markets have massively opened up ‘ consumer choice ’ for drugs and lead to higher purity and lower prices , they are much safer for users to access compared to buying more dangerous and expensive ‘ street drugs ’. The dark web markets are utterly unstoppable , in the same way that street markets will never be stopped unless there are radical changes in policy aimed at removing the profit incentives that drove people like me to sell drugs . I reiterate my urge for you to focus all efforts on fighting against the concept of prohibition of drugs and argue for a more rational , humane approach – rather than demonising all illegal drugs as
‘ bad ’. No solution will ever be a panacea , but this pragmatic case is the best .
When released , I will be working ( in my spare time ) to combat the irrational laws on prohibition until every last battle against the ‘ war on drugs ’ has been won .
Lewis Rawlinson , HMP Portland
Wrong prescription
Dr Simone Yule ’ s interesting article on painkiller addiction ( DDN , September , page 9 ) starts to reveal the far greater problem of prescription-fuelled addiction , initiated by the Carnegie Institute and John D Rockefeller when , in the early 1900s , they jointly took over and eventually re-directed worldwide doctor training overwhelmingly towards palliative symptom medicating .
In addition to the approximately 1m illicit drug users and the similar number of patients addicted to painkillers , the UK has some 200,000 people on prescribed methadone or buprenorphine etc , and approaching 3m more prescription addicts on benzodiazepines , ‘ C ’ drugs and ‘ Z ’ drugs , a major proportion being in care , nursing or rest homes .
These were previously mainly diagnosed with depression , anxiety or some other form of psychosis , but today are now suffering solely from addictive drug usage ‘ sideeffects ’ as well as severe ‘ cold turkey ’ trauma if they try to escape their addiction .
The near 4m prescription addicts – in dosage supplies alone – cost the NHS some £ 12,000,000 each day ( that ’ s £ 4.38bn a year ), 70 to 75 per cent of whom could be cured in six to nine months with BNF-recommended ‘ small-dose step-down withdrawal management ’. But the pharmaceutical industry has largely decided against offering ,
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