I was just reading this story from the BBC about a suggestion that the Scottish cannabis crop (worth an estimated £100 million) may now be bigger than the Scottish vegetable crop.
This comes in the same week that we had the story about the sacked Government drugs adviser. As usual then, plenty of stories about drugs.
Just ask a CPN
Of course, if I wanted stories about drugs then I would need to go no further than my own students in practice or my clinical colleagues. Any of these people would be able to reel off hair raising stories about drugs in the communities around us – often we hear about the effects of these substances and their widespread availability (ok, far more often we hear about legal drugs i.e. alcohol)
Not so long back a local CPN told me that in their particular area they may as well stop asking ‘do you take drugs of any sort’ – in favour of asking ‘what do you take?’ When I was last a CPN it was pretty obvious that in some parts of town it was probably more convenient to buy Crack Cocaine or Cannabis than it was to buy, say – five portions of fruit & veg a day!
How much crime is all of this promoting?
A litle example – Not so long back my daughter was in Church with her Nan – whilst the service was in progress she noticed a man going around collecting unattended handbags. As soon as he had gathered enough he ran from the church. ‘Money for drugs’ was the assumption of the (mainly elderly) theft victims – it may not have been, but would you bet against them being right?
As well as a great deal of petty crime there is a colossal amount of organised crime – both here as well as in poorer countries. There is a suggestion that Mexico is close to buckling under the strain of fighting the drugs war as well as other Latin American nations (See link) (also this)
What do you think?
I can’t help thinking that eventually we are going to have to face the fact that the we need to look at this – where is the war on drugs heading? – are we just here to pick up the pieces?
I don’t have the answers of course but I wonder, what would you as Mental Health Nurses do?
Is my assessment over pessimistic? – or are the streets of our major cities awash with illegal drugs?
Do you think that we need more of the same – or some degree of legalised supply of drugs?
I think that Mental Health nurses are ideally placed to comment given our knowledge of what is going on.
Get back with your comments if you get a minute – feel free to do so anonymously if you want.
Time article ‘Drugs in Portugal’