How does ecstasy kill?

MDMA itself isn’t a dangerous drug. But adulterants found in drugs made by at-home chemists can be deadly.from shutterstock.com MDMA (Methylenedioxymethamphetamine), commonly referred to as ecstasy, was manufactured as a potential pharmaceutical early last century. It had some limited use in the 1970s as...

Here’s why doctors are backing pill testing at music festivals across Australia

Pill testing is a rare opportunity to speak to drug users about their drug use. from www.shutterstock.com For many years experts in the field of drug policy in Australia have known existing policies are failing. Crude messages (calls for total abstinence: “just say no to...

Explainer: what is nitrous oxide (or nangs) and how dangerous is it?

Nitrous oxide has been used as an anaesthetic for over 100 years. Shutterstock Media reports last week linked the use of “nangs” to the death of a teenager at schoolies week on the Gold Coast. Hamish Bidgood died when he fell from a balcony. He and his...

I can’t sleep. What drugs can I (safely) take?

There are many pharmacological options available for insomnia. But they will mostly make you reliant upon them for sleep. from www.shutterstock.com If you’re having trouble sleeping, medicines shouldn’t be your first option. Exercise regularly, cut back on coffee (and other...

Daily low-dose aspirin doesn’t reduce heart-attack risk in healthy people

For decades, doctors have been prescribing low-dose aspirin for healthy people over the age of 70. from shutterstock.com Taking low-dose aspirin daily doesn’t preserve good health or delay the onset of disability or dementia in healthy older people. This was one finding from our seven-year...

Revised DrinkWise posters use clumsy language to dampen alcohol warnings

There is evidence drinking alcohol during pregnancy can harm the developing foetus. From shutterstock.com DrinkWise Australia has withdrawn thousands of posters designed to inform women about the risks of drinking during pregnancy. DrinkWise – which has previously drawn criticism for its alignment with the alcohol industry – distributed the posters...

Monkey Dust, Krokodil, Nyaope: why new drug concoctions keep appearing

Reaching out. Shutterstock The globalisation brought about by the internet means that recreational drug use is now a worldwide issue. And for legislators, drug taking is a rapidly moving target. Over past decades, we have seen changes in how drugs are being used, with new combinations...