If you’re reading this blog you will most probably have come to the conclusion that if the government regulated drug use, then people wouldn’t be put at risk when experimenting. A new programme has been rolled out at Newcastle University where for £3, people can buy drug testing kits so they know what’s in the pills they are buying from their dodgy drug dealer.
Drug use at universities
Most students will have just left home for the first time and a lot of them will be testing out why their parents denied them access to sex, alcohol, drugs and loud music. A government for 2014-15 suggests that “Around 1 in 5 (19.4%) young adults aged 16 to 24 had taken an illicit drug in the last year.” Among 16-59 year olds, around 1 in 3 people had taken illicit drugs in their lifetime. Not even 1 in 10,000 of them ended up dying from their experimentation – but even one death is not a good statistic.
Where on the one hand it suggests that more than 15 million people in the UK have experimented, and this shows that no one really listens to government whinging, it also shows that there is a clear need for harm reduction as opposed to criminalisation.
Newcastle University took the step last year of getting rid of their zero tolerance policy of drug use in university halls. If you are caught with pills or weed you will not automatically be expelled or evicted. Honestly, if they cracked down on just 1 in 5 of their students then they’d lose lots of money and ruin plenty kids lives! Some would claim that it “serves them right” or that they are ruining their lives already smoking cannabis in the first place, but those narrow minded people should be remember that when they are typing their old-fashioned views into their iPhones dreamt up by the late pot smoking billionaire Steve Jobs that most drugs are bad only because they are illegal and not illegal because they are necessarily worse that what is legal.
Back on subject – Newcastle, rather than following government drug policy of cracking down even harder, they took a sensible approach whereby they understand that young people fresh from the bosom of their families will always try new things and will help them try them safely.
SSDP drug testing kit
The drug testing kits allow the user to break off a little of their pills or powder and put it in a liquid that changes colour according to what chemicals are in it. If there are adulterants that could kill the user, so they will be aware and are able to make an informed choice as to whether take it. There are different kits for Ketamine, Ecstasy and other concoctions.
This might have an impact on the supply chain too, with drug dealers realising that people won’t buy their dodgier concoctions though they may get a rush on their safer pills.
Sensible drug policies really help!
As has been shown in this article, a third of working age adults have taken an illicit substance in their lifetimes, according to the government’s own research! This isn’t a particularly good sign that the War on Drugs that was started in the late 1970’s has worked at all.
As Johan Hari, author of the book ‘Chasing the Scream: The first and last days of the war on drugs’, , “Think about how safe the milk trade would be if the milk was smuggled into the country by criminals and then sold by other criminals who massively adulterate it with whatever white liquid they can get hold of. How safe would that milk be?”
Ultimately, helping people make choices seems to be the way forward rather than pouring billions of pounds into an ineffective criminal justice campaign. Here’s hoping that more universities follow in Newcastle’s path!
This article was originally written in English, If you see any errors please email us at words@The-TripReport.com