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Health, Sports & Psychology
  • Audio
  • 15 mins
  • Level 1: Introductory

All You Need to Know About Drugs

Updated Wednesday 15th November 2017

Recreational drugs are on the rise and the harm and risk associated with drug-taking is much greater. Explore the OpenLearn video content, articles and courses on offer and uncover all you need to know about drugs. 

Image of cocaine Creative commons image Icon stevepb / 499 images under CC licence under Creative-Commons license

What's in your drugs? 


The trend towards drugs becoming purer has increased in recent years with some potentially worrying consequences. For example, if you are used to 30% heroin and you take some 65% heroin the chances of overdosing increase dramatically. Crack is now routinely found with a purity of over 90% - a consequence of drug gangs trying to secure new clients. E’s are now standardly 3 times the dose in a single pill than they used to be. And then there are the impurities... some of which can harm or even kill. Cheaper cutting agents, such as fentanyl, are often more dangerous than the drug itself. This will include footage shot with the police forensics team and with the Loop team at Boomtown festival who test drugs for festival goers to see if they really want to take them.

Is this the first step towards decriminalisation? 

Footage from Bristol's Drugs Education Programme. In a test scheme Bristol is the first city to divert criminalisation for possession through a 'speed awareness course style programme'. We follow police as they detain, search and seize drugs from revellers in the town centre on a Saturday night. We go on to see people (non-identifiable) who have been caught in possession as they go through the course.  Is this course working and should it be rolled out across the country?

What does it feel like to detox? 

Ever wondered what it feels like to go cold turkey? There are two contrasting ways to do it - with and without expert help. We have audio of a contributor talking about what it's like to detox in the community and what it’s like to detox in a specialist unit, The Acer Unit in Bristol. Two very different experiences. The contributor needs to remain anonymous and so we will use his audio over graphics and animation.

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