Benzodiazepines and Post-War America

Minor tranquilisers are a class of medication known for their anti-anxiety effects. Miltown, the first of these prescription anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) drugs, quickly became a commercial success upon its debut in 1955. In an attempt to replicate Miltown’s success, Hoffman La-Roche developed the benzodiazepines; a class of compounds invented by chemist Leo Sternbach in the 1950s. … Continued

The Survivor-Led Organisations Fighting Back Against The War on Drugs

In 2021, recorded drug deaths in America tragically surpassed 100,000. That’s more than every American soldier killed in action since World War II – including in Vietnam, Korea, both Iraq wars and Afghanistan – put together. According to the CDC, there were 100,306 fatal overdoses, three quarters of which were from opiates, 64% from fentanyls. As experts … Continued

Rethinking Heroin

  I am an opioid user, or a former one anyhow.  Contrary to the cliche, I’m not addicted. I never felt trapped or enslaved by my drug use. I never did anything I regretted to get high. I never shared needles – the sole time I shared a cooker due to interpersonal pressure, I promptly … Continued

Why is British Drug Policy so Disjointed?

  In early January, as the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced a tentative degree of policy experimentation by piloting, in three boroughs, a diversion scheme whereby young people in possession of small amounts of cannabis would be offered counselling and support instead of arrest, the Metropolitan Police were out in Shoreditch conducting their own … Continued

Race must be central to the drug policy conversation.

  Despite the progress made in 2020, race is still a topic a lot of people in the UK feel uncomfortable talking about; the conversation around drug policy is no exception. Racial injustice permeates through the entirety of the effects and influences drug policies have on our society. From the motivations behind the war on … Continued

On Queerness & Drugs

The queer community and illicit drug users are inextricably linked: Both are subjected to similar politicisation of private practices, both are disproportionately aggravated by social harms, and are both fighting stigma and shame for the assurance of rights that should be fundamental. Drug use plays an outsized, if not wholly unsurprising part in the experience of … Continued

On War and Drugs

Like the thick smoky aftertaste that lingers after bonfire night merrymaking, memory hangs heavy in the air during the early weeks of November in the UK. As the oppressive darkness of the ironically named daylight-savings time settles in, we cast our collective memory back to the foiled attempt at Gunpowder Treason in 1605. More poignantly, … Continued