The Other Heroin

Maybe it’s first prescribed to you for a bad back. Or maybe your friend had wisdom tooth surgery and had a couple pills left over, giving you one to help you relax. At first, you’re fine with just a pill or two, taking them occasionally on the weekend to celebrate or to help you unwind. Then it becomes a regular thing in the evening after work – just like a glass of wine, right?

But then one isn’t quite doing it for you, you’re starting to lose that blissful initial buzz as your tolerance starts to kick in. So you up it to two. Just two, that’s not bad, right? And then someone tells you – you’re not sure who, or maybe you read it on the internet – that if you crush them up and snort them you can get that quick burst back like you used to have.

A public service announcement

So I know I’ve written a lot about drugs and addiction recently (it is my profession after all!), but I have one more important thing to say on the nature of harm reduction for those who do choose to use drugs.

Some of you may have heard of several tragic and avoidable drug-related deaths that have occurred over the last couple of months at clubs and festivals in both the UK and the US. This has largely been in people who think they are taking MDMA, a relatively safe drug that has a low toxicity level and low risk for dependence, but instead have consumed a much more dangerous analog of MDMA called PMA.