May 17, 2020

Recession sees cocaine use fall while legal highs rise

legal highs
drugs
cocaine
recession
Admin
2 min
The use of legal highs has increased in the recession
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction has warned that although the use of some illegal drugs is decreasing or at the least remain...

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction has warned that although the use of some illegal drugs is decreasing or at the least remaining stable, the abuse of ‘legal highs’ is increasing.  

According to the drug agency’s annual report, new types of synthetic ‘clubbing drugs’ are constantly being developed and will be one of the biggest challenges policy makers face in the coming years.

Thirty-nine new drugs have been developed in 2011 alone and are currently being monitored by the European early warning system along with 41 that were developed in 2010.

The organisation has said there is so sign of their use declining and that is unlikely while there are 600 online retailers willing to sell the psychoactive substances, such as mephedrone, to countries across Europe.

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However, in more positive news, the organisation said levels of cocaine usage have reached their peak and may have even entered a phase of decline as the recession bites and people are unable to afford the affluent drug.

The use of ecstasy and amphetamines is also declining and although cannabis remains as the most popularly used drug in Europe, it is thought its use is declining among young people.  

Wolfgang Gotz, Director of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, said eradicating the use of legal highs will be difficult because the drugs industry is so easily adaptable to changing trends and demands.

He said: “This is reflected, not only in the sheer number of new substances appearing on the market, but also in their diversity and in how they are produced, distributed and marketed.

“We need a proactive strategy that allows us to identify new drugs and emerging trends so that we can anticipate their potential implications.”

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Jun 17, 2021

Dexcom: changing the lives of people with type 1 diabetes

diabetes
glucosemonitoring
type1diabetes
insulin
3 min
British actress Nina Wadia OBE tells us how her son's life has changed since using glucose monitoring system Dexcom

It is estimated that 9.3% of adults around the world are living with type 1 diabetes, which amounts to a total of 463 million people. A further 1.1 million children and adolescents under the age of 20 are living with the condition. 

Unlike the more prevalent type 2 diabetes, where the body still produces insulin and symptoms develop slowly, people with type 1 diabetes need regular insulin injections or pumps, and must monitor their sugar levels frequently. 

In recent years a number of remote glucose monitoring systems have become available that patients can use at home. These work with a sensor, usually placed under the skin, that measures glucose levels every few minutes. This information is then transmitted wirelessly to a device like a smartphone or tablet, which can then be shared with their clinician. 

British actress Nina Wadia's son Aidan, 14, has type 1 diabetes, and has been managing his condition using Dexcom, a glucose monitoring system used by patients all over the world. Here Wadia explains how Dexcom has improved their lives. 

As a parent of someone with type 1 diabetes, what is your day-to-day life like?
Being able to take a breath, think and pivot constantly without getting frustrated becomes an essential mindset because sometimes it feels like each day is determined to be different from the day before. Whatever worked yesterday is going to misfire today. 

Which areas of yours and Aidan’s life are most impacted by diabetes? 
The one thing that you have to fight hard to reclaim is spontaneity, especially when it comes to food and exercise. It’s only when this is taken do you realise how essential each one is. You can be flexible and there are no real limits, but only in the sense that a great athlete can be flexible without limits because they’ve trained super hard to be that way. So we’ve all had to become athletes when it comes to being spontaneous.

How has Dexcom helped you and Aidan? 
Dexcom has brought future science fiction to real life today. The continuous glucose monitoring system is tiny, sits discreetly on his body and gives him a ten-day breather between sensor changes, so it's goodbye finger-pricking seven times daily. 

Dexcom is totally active at a grass roots level and for Diabetes Awareness has pledged to donate £2,000 if #DexcomDiabetesStories and/or #DexcomWarriorStories is shared 200 times! I’ll be sharing more on social media and would love to hear how other families are winning their fights.

Maybe most importantly Dexcom is trying to introduce a reimbursement programme for type 1 diabetes  patients which will give greater access to modern, life changing hi-tech. I want to spread the word on the importance of accessing it through this campaign. 

If you compared your life today with how it was before Aidan was using Dexcom, what has changed? 
It's always working, which lets him take his mind off diabetes for longer stretches. It also lets me get off his back. We both receive alerts so I no longer have to pester him by asking him what his number is, and especially importantly, I don’t have to wake him at night to prick his finger if I’m worried. Dexcom gave us back our sleep!

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