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Drug-related Harms in Homeless Populations: Response to Call For Evidence and Dialogue

What follows is a submission for Scottish Parliament of perspectives relevant to drug related harms in homeless populations plus correspondence on the submission. There was a call for evidence and participation from people with lived or living experience of drug use. As a part of this initiative, which is feeding into the redevelopment of national policy for the next ten years, I have become a participant in a number of roles and groups; one of them being a contributor to the steering committee of the Drugs Research Network based at Stirling University. Read more

Reportage: Salvation Army Presentation in Scottish Parliament on Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Services by Alex Dunedin

This is an audio recording of the Salvation Army Presentation in Scottish Parliament on Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Services which took place on Thursday 8 February 2018 17:30-19:30 in The Garden Lobby.  At the beginning of 2018 Scottish Government was to begin the process of renewing ten years of drugs and alcohol recovery policy. Read more

Disaster Capitalism and War on Drugs: An Interview With Antony Loewenstein and Q+A Session at Recovering Justice

A key aim of Antony Loewenstein’s book and film ‘Disaster Capitalism’ is to examine and reveal the dark and manipulative sides of aid as something which is used to extract profit from misery and disaster.  This article covers an interview with Antony as he did a film screening followed by questions and answers at Recovering Justice in Newcastle.  Disaster capitalism is about how economies have risen out of exploiting war, the criminalisation of populations, illness, natural disaster, and vulnerabilities across the world and on our own doorstep. Read more

Podcast: Michael Collins Deputy Director at the Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs Explains How To Influence Legislation

Deputy Director at the Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs in Washington, D.C, is Michael Collins.  He works with Congress to effect change in legislation on a wide variety of drug policy issues including ‘the war against drugs’, access to sterile syringes for drug users, appropriations, and Latin America. Originally from Glasgow in Scotland, he has lived in France, Spain and Mexico, before he moved to the U.S. Read more

‘Future Shock’: The Crisis of Relationships Between Body, Mind and Environment by Anne Fernie

Nervous exhaustion, melancholy, Weltschmerz, ennui, alienation, neurasthenia, Americanitis, stress, chronic fatigue syndrome, burnout ~ the labels & the socio-cultural context may change yet the symptoms remain the same. We are not referring to issues of faulty brain chemistry here such as clinical depression, mania or psychosis, yet these common & everyday emotions are increasingly being perceived as mental health issues. Should they be? Existential malaise manifests itself in a myriad of symptoms with crucially, no definitive cause ever identified.

A common historical (and current) explanation is that of the socio-cultural, likened to a virus attacking the body but this psychic virus‘inflames’ the psyche (Schaffner, 2014), no more so than during times of rapid social change (Kury, 2012). I do not intend to present a clinical analysis of the ‘condition’ but, whilst acknowledging a consistent trajectory in the occurrence of this individual ‘dis-ease’ with life, focus on the presumptions, treatments and explanations of the times to demonstrate to what extent perceptions of ‘illness’ are influenced by social prejudices and expectations. Read more