Unexpected good sense from Russell Brand at the House of Commons home affairs select committee on drugs. Sure, he flirted with the – unproven and misleading – notion of addiction as a “disease”, but he also said that alcohol and drugs were “inextricably linked”.
This is what middle-aged addiction experts so often get wrong. They remember their own university days, when drink and drugs were quite separate experiences, and taking an illegal drug (with the possible exception of a drag on a joint) was an adventure.
Not any more. I won’t have to tell anyone under the age of 30 this, but clubbing often involves a pre-planned trajectory of booze, powder and pills. It’s one of the themes of The Fix, in which I speak to a psychiatrist in the Accident and Emergency department of a London hospital whose job involves asking young patients about their drug and alcohol history.
‘As soon as they know I’m not going to rat on them, most of them admit to doing something – coke, MDMA, mephedrone, ketamine – in the previous few days,’ he says.
‘What the older generation doesn’t understand is that combining drugs and alcohol is normal for young clubbers. They might do a bit of coke before they go out, or “pre-loading” with a few drinks, then go to a bar and get drunk, do a line of coke in the loos and stop drinking. If they go on to a club they’ll drop a pill – or maybe pure MDMA, because no one trusts Ecstasy these days. They don’t know what’s in it. The last thing they want to do then is drink and many of the clubs won’t even serve alcohol anyway. Then they go back to someone’s house and want to come down, so they use Zopiclone, Zolpidem or Valium.’
Much more on this in the book…
Posted in: Booze, Drugs, Pills
The Fix: How Addiction Is Invading Our Lives And Taking Over Your World is OUT NOW, published by Collins. Click here to buy your copy in hardcover or on Kindle.