Club Drugs; help is at hand!

My name is Dr Tim Williams and with my colleague Elaine Driver we run Bristol’s ‘Club Drug Clinic’. This is only the second such clinic nationally and is a response to changing trends of drug use in young people.

In the last 10 years there has been a steady reduction in young people using drugs such as cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine, and heroin. Increasingly young people are buying compounds directly from internet sites for delivery. More and more young people are now finding they have developed a problem with internet substances and need some help and support. Others are wanting accurate information to ensure they are not using toxic substances. Since the media storm around mephedrone there has been a diversification in the market and new compounds emerging, usually from labs inChina, in rapid succession. Some of these compounds have been harmless but others have been poorly researched and trialled, resulting in psychoactive chemicals which are highly potent and have a very narrow safety window. Consequently in Bristol we have had several young people die after taking white powders that the press erroneously labelled as MDMA or ecstasy. The Club Drug Clinic aims to provide up to date information and advice to people who are using well known compounds such as ketamine, methoxetamine, and methiopropamine or branded internet compounds such as BenzoFury or NRG.

I am part of Professor David Nutts’ Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD). The ISCD draws together experts in the field of drug science and allows us to have the most up-to-date information on what is out there. The forensic scientists on the committee have amazing knowledge and experience of analysing and characterising new compounds that come onto the market. Part of my role in the Club Drug Clinic is to get any information from users about compounds that have caused problems or side effects, so we are always interested in hearing about your experiences. Anyone can come in and talk to us anonymously for a chat and to share information.

If someone needed more help and treatment we would start seeing people regularly and could link into our extensive treatment services which includes detox if this was necessary.

 We are open for drop-in every Wednesday between 5-7pm at Colston Fort, Montague Place, Kinsdown, BS6 5UB. Its just off St Michaels Hill, just ring the buzzer and we would love to meet you.