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5% Discount on Legal Highs, Salvia Divinorum and Everything Else From The Coffeesh0p

Educators Don't Want To Listen

By John Clarke

So, I was having a browse round Drug Edu­ca­tion News — a blog all about the Drug Edu­ca­tion Forum, who are appar­ently “an umbrella body for national organ­isa­tions com­mit­ted to improv­ing drug edu­ca­tion in England” — and came across a post about legal highs. Admit­tedly, this is a repost of a member’s brief­ing from Drug­Scope, so not their own words, but that’s not why I have a problem with them. Have a read:

Drugs EducationDevon-based Children’s Society pro­jects are con­cerned about an increase in the avail­ab­il­ity of these [legal highs] sub­stances and the use of them by young people in their area. This increase in use has been mirrored by recent art­icles in national press and sector pub­lic­a­tions, putting forward a range of limited research and anec­dotal evid­ence — with par­tic­u­lar atten­tion paid to a few users who have exper­i­enced some­times lethal side effects.

Steven Hawker, Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Worker at The Children’s Society Check­point project in Torquay, expressed concern about the way young people view these drugs and the way pro­fes­sion­als com­mu­nic­ate about them. “While we feel there is some advant­age in high­light­ing spe­cific risks and effects of indi­vidual legal highs, it con­cerns me there is very little lit­er­at­ure high­light­ing the general risks of these sub­stances”, he said. “Of par­tic­u­lar concern are inex­per­i­enced sub­stance users who may take the view that legal equals safe and that this may impact on them con­sum­ing poten­tially large amounts of stim­u­lants or hal­lu­cino­gens.”

The Children’s Society would be inter­ested if any organ­isa­tion has:

  • pro­duced any aware­ness cam­paigns in their area
  • seen sig­ni­fic­ant rises in use
  • become aware of spe­cific neg­at­ive effects of par­tic­u­lar drugs.

The Children’s Society would also welcome any thoughts on how young people should be made aware of the poten­tial risks of legal highs, par­tic­u­larly sub­stances where research into the risks of short and long-term use is limited.

Fair enough, sort of. These people are con­cerned for their kids, but that still doesn’t excuse the hypo­crisy subtly inter­woven into the fabric of their terror. I’m all for edu­ca­tion, raising aware­ness and semi-anonym­ously inform­ing people of their mis­takes via the inter­net, so I thought I’d post a little comment out­lining my opinion. It went some­thing like this:

synchroniumWhat about alcohol and tobacco? By the same reas­on­ing employed above, their leg­al­ity also sug­gests to kids they’re safe. In a similar vein, no respect­able retailer of these legal altern­at­ives to illegal drugs would sell them to anyone under the age of 18.

I agree that more research into these types of sub­stance should be done, so that we know what’s safe to take and what isn’t. I can assure you though, that acohol and tobacco would end up much further towards the unsafe end of the spec­trum.

Am I being a dick? No. Am I being beli­ger­ant? No. Am I fur­ther­ing dis­cus­sion on the topic? Fuck yeah! So why the hell did they delete my comment?! It seems to me the Drug Edu­ca­tion News blog (notice I’m not linking to them for this very reason) simply do not want to listen when it comes to dif­fer­ing opinion.

And here was me think­ing edu­ca­tion was all about listen­ing to what other people had to say in order to rein­force or refute your current under­stand­ing. At the very least, they could have let the comment stay and respon­ded to it with a well reasoned argu­ment about why I’m wrong. A pretty poor show, overall.

Blog Commenting In General

Com­ment­ing on blogs is a great idea if you have a site or blog of your own. The major­ity of blogs allow you to leave your URL along with your comment, allow­ing vis­it­ors to click through to your site, par­tic­u­larly if you have some­thing inter­est­ing to say. Unfor­tu­nately for this reason, a comment system is subject to a lot of spam, but plugins for your blog can help stop those. This blog gets tonnes of spam com­ments from unre­lated sites, but inter­est­ingly, I do get the ocas­sional legal highs site in there. It’s just a shame that they leave the same spammy message on mul­tiple blog posts that add nothing to the dis­cus­sion. As a result, they end up being marked as spam not only by me, but any sub­sequent blog that uses this plugin! Nex­t­Gen­Buzz & SalviaSo­ci­ety are two examples — their aggress­ive spam tactics have ended up not only being a waste of time, but actu­ally hurting their site’s repu­ta­tion. Great going, guys!

Competition Winner

This week’s Hyp­notic Pills winner is BFitzpatric! Please email me back or comment on this post before May 9th to claim your prize. Also, last week’s winner never got in touch, so I still have one more pack to give away! For details on how these can be yours, check out this post.

Oh, and it was my birth­day yes­ter­day. Huzzah!.

6 Responses to Educators Don't Want To Listen

  1. Ken says:

    Ha !! Edu­cat­ors? How can they educate if they don’t research (use) legal highs?

    They have no basis to even present an opinion or evid­ence.

    On the other hand, chil­dren should not be using these entheo­gens. They are not spir­itu­ally, soul­fully, bodily, mind­fully in a place to use any psychaotive. Unless of course, the edu­cat­ors would guide them cor­rectly.

    But this isn’t going to happen because the edu­cat­ors live in fear and dark­ness.

    In ancient times and even in some current soci­et­ies these botan­ic­als are an every­day way of life. Even there the elders guide the young (teen­agers) through a rite of passage into becom­ing an adult with know­ledge.

  2. Andrew Brown says:

    Hi John, sorry to have annoyed you by not pub­lish­ing your comment. I did think long and hard about it, and should have emailed you to explain why I didn’t, so sorry for that too.

    Really it wasn’t the content of your comment that I found objec­tion­able — if you took a look around at our blog you’ll have seen that there are many, many more stories about alcohol and tobacco than there have been about legal highs.

    What I thought when I came to take a (brief) look at your site was that it was part of an attempt to market legal highs and as such I was wary of pub­lish­ing your comment.

    You may not agree with my reas­on­ing, but given you’ve clearly been annoyed I thought I should at least rectify my mistake of not con­tact­ing you privately to let you know why I took that decision.

  3. Synchronium says:

    Hi Andrew, thanks for getting in touch.

    Glad to hear your had no objec­tions to what I actu­ally said. I did have a look around your site at the time and noticed a lot on alcohol and tobacco, but then again, the above quote wasn’t your own words, but those of Drug­Scope, which is why I didn’t think you’d have a problem with my comment when I posted it.

    I’m still won­der­ing though why this site would be inap­pro­pri­ate for your readers? The overall content of this blog isn’t a cheap mar­ket­ing trick, but rather my hobby — I write about what I do because I think what I do is pretty inter­est­ing. While my latest post on kratom for example has a few products at the end, I wouldn’t call a phar­ma­co­lo­gical dis­cus­sion of the active alkal­oids a great selling tool. In fact, those kind of topics are prob­ably what limits my audi­ence to adults only, much like the topics that you cover do. If that’s the case, I’m sure you wouldn’t advise against any of your respons­ible adult readers from vis­it­ing the pub, so I don’t really see a dif­fer­ence with allow­ing them to visit my site. At least some of them might find some decent inform­a­tion about “legal high” topics here — I doubt you’d get such a detailed account of a pint of Guin­ness down at your local.

    Still, it’s your blog, and you reserve the right to link to whatever you like. For­tu­nately, for us humble Word­Press users, the “Edit” link above every comment allows you to remove the link, leaving the comment in place, further facil­it­at­ing dis­cus­sion. Might be some­thing to con­sider next time?


  4. Spaced out says:

    Lol XD

  5. JustWondering says:

    If you like to com­plain about the com­ment­ing, why not learn how to use htac­cess?

  6. Synchronium says:

    What’s htacess got to do with any­thing?

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