Thanks for the Alliance link, Elsa - it's very interesting.
Ant -I'm not sure about "fooling yourself" - but the 2 people I've seen with negative tests, when they thought they'd used, were genuinely surprised.
The labs don't routinely test for everything - and some things are harder to test than others - have you any pointers to what we should be asking them to look for?
I am no chemist Sally, I just can not see a benzo alone beating sickness. There has to be something else, Mandrax (methaqualone, Ludes man!) or a barbituate, Methadone sounds possible. If your punters/clients were not sick when they got high on the room..... maybe! 'They scored for the immaculate hit' (borrowed, thanks Bill B) perhaps.
Sorry for the aggresive tone previously.
Ant I don't think you came across ad aggressive, passionate obviously but no.
I think, with all sub use, there is an element of placebo but I don't think it covers or stretches to opiates. One can sort of 'fool oneself' to the extent of 'well today's batch will be better' or 'it was weak but I felt something'. Tho this is not truly accepted as a dose. It's just one of the hazards.
I think a little Methadone with a lot of crap is probably the solution (no pun intended).
Horrible, I have been clean for a couple of months now, I took the Ibogaine cure and it really does what it says on the packet. It cleans the brain its like the Heroin years happened to someone else. However the politics still interest/disgust me. The failure of prohibition is still the best argument against the criminalisation of drugs, that and the pathetic ad campaigns that led to the demonising of 'all drugs' particually herb. Some are dangerous but its still personal choice, PCP, I've never tried it, and crack on its own I guess I never had more than a hedonistic problem with coke and crack.
The biggest jokers are the alcahol pushers, the most destructive drug of all for my money.
where I work in London we have been having the same probs. Lots of old faces have resurfaced and when the patient is tested mainly getting benzos when they have denied taking this. One client said lots of dealers here were trying to fob them off with coffee-based stuff???!!!
I've not heard any whispers from my british military connections about this 'drought'.
Over the last few days I have seen a few who have said that the 'quality' of street heroin is better again - tentatively seems to be born out by the amount of methadone someone I have just seen is needing, titrating up from a street habit. Anywhere else seeing the same?
Not yet in Birmingham. I saw someone on Tuesday who has been out of treatment for ten months, using street gear, and has now come back to get back on methadone (though not wanting large dose as was pleased to be off it) because no heroin.. a few people can get good qualityin the last week but are now charging more.. eg £15 for 0.1, she says.
people are not expecting good supplies until february for some reason.
I don't think the Home Office will want the price of heroin to rise, as the amount of crime needed to fund it over christmas will clearly rise too. Maybe there'll be a wikileaked request to America to let the crops grow?
And yesterday a chap told me that heroin is appearing again locally, because people are going off to Pakistan and bringing it back in small quantities, outside the usual routes. This is resulting in unusual levels of purity and strength, and he says prices of £20-25 per 0.1gm. Generally now being sold as 0.1 rather than the usual 0.2.
Two worries of course.. the increased purity may result in accidental OD, and the increased price in double the effort to find the money needed to fund it.
The situation is certainly now leading to increased "recovery talk" as people feel fed up with the uncertainty.
Still no normal heroin supplies in Birmingham. Today i was told that "good " heroin can now cost £30 for 0.1gms!
I am told there is a sort of dunkirk spirit about. People are digging out supplies stashed by people who are in prison, in order to cash in on the strong market. One dealer is refusing to deliver any more, and just texts a random street corner each day and sells to the first arrivals. Still lots of stories of being sold paracetamol etc. .. or conversely of very strong batches where 0.1gms is flattening.
Also, more new people are coming into treatment..some have never been scripted. Quite nice to see people who do not yet know how a blue script works.
I am a service user in Leeds, I occasionally use on top of my methadone 'script along with a lot of other people who live in my area of Leeds. For the past few months the situation with scoring heroin has been dire. Several months ago now the quality of heroin started to get really bad, although its never been consistent this was something else. Our regular suppliers started knocking out this stuff that when we cooked it up and drew it up into the barrel it would start to form crystals in the syringe and unless you were able to hit a vein quickly and inject the dig the crystals would block the pin up. This caused us much misery as often when you do get a vein you draw some blood into the syringe first and if the crystals cause the pinto block then you not only had the problem of the gear crystalizing but also blood clotting in the barrel. The only solution seemed to be to dilute the gear with more water and reheat the concotion. Quite often what would happen is you would end up with a large residue left on the spoon and a 'weak as witches piss' amount of liquid in the pin. Anyway for a week or so in late October I think, all the dealers had nothing. This was something that in over 10 years of heroin addiction neither myself or anyone I knew had ever known. Out of the 8 or so regular dealers that we use nobody had anything. I was just relieved that I was on my methadone 'script and not habitted up! Anyway after this week of nothing happening I suddenly started getting texts from the dealers saying they were back on tomorrow - 'massive bags' were promised etc. So I decided to try some of the stuff, but as had been happening prior to the week long drought the gear was similarly absolutely shite. And still it continues. I have started to engage more with the drug services and while I have had a few more dabbles with heroin from dealers over the past couple of months nothing I have bought from them has been worth buying. A friend of mine expressed it best when he said '... they wouldnt like it if we gave them fake £10 notes to pay for the gear, but they are giving us fake gear for our geniune money...!'. It clear that the dealers cant get hold of any decent stuff, I have them ringing me up constantly telling me they are 'in the area..' or that they have 'got some dynamite gear', but whenever I have tried it, its been rubbish, and I havent heard any reports from anyone else about any remotely good stuff been about. I think the dealers are just clutching at straws now, they know that some users will buy the odd bag on spec to see if its any good but unless you are a total mug you wont keep buying it knowing it is doing nothing. Anyway this drought has done me a favour, I have given some clean samples recently for the first time in a long time and its helping me put some distance between me and using drugs that I have badly needed, its also helped change my perspective on the whole drugs issue and I am sure a lot of other users feel the same.
I agree the unusual situation does seem to have had an effect on hearts and minds. Somehow heroin seems to have lost some of its Magic status, and is being looked on as commodity which of course it is, like any other. The dealers seem to have lost their capital D, and become like any other irritating sales people who are not delivering a service.
I continue to see people like yourself, who have lost affection for the whole situation, and are coming into treatment or returning with new emphasis on getting drug free.
For someone like myself, who has argued that the "illegal" status of heroin causes far more harm than good, and that it should be brought in to the regulated tobacco/alcohol/medication type area, it all gives pause for thought.
If making access to heroin so much more difficult really does help people to move towards getting away from dependancy then that is clearly good. However i suppose one of the points against that line is that the present scarcity is bound to be short term, as the "war on drugs" has never been effective for long , with global markets and communications.
I still think (I think )on balance that regulation is the way to go, in view of the human and financial and social costs and very limited success of prohibition. Interesting times though.
Thanks for a really interesting post, Johnny. It's good to have a fuller account rather than the usual "I can't get anything so script me".
Nobody wants to see users suffering because they can't get a supply of some kind - I'd prefer legal and scripted, but I don't want people improvising with any old garbage someone wants to tell them might be heroin. The amount of heroin in some samples would only work if you believe in homeopathy.
For me the chink of light in all this is the effect it's having on relationships. When I first started working in this area we had a client whose partner was at her wits' end and finally said in front of us all "You have to decide who is the most important person in your life - me, or your dealer." He chose the dealer.
Exactly as Judith says, we're now hearing clients telling us they see their dealer as a shabby little telesales guy who delivers on his promises less often than British Gas. That lets us dull but reliable types look more interesting for once.
I also have been having recent drug tests which came back negative for opiates but positive for methadone which I am prescribed but also positive for benzos which I am neither prescribed nor do I (knowingly!) take. I get this a lot from drug workers who seem to believe that I am trying to hide a benzodiazipine addiction. I have absolutely no problem admitting to my keyworker / doctor if I have used heroin / crack etc and I usually can tell them what the results of any urine sample test will be before they peel the label off the cup. If I were buying valium / nitrazipam off the street then I wouldnt have a problem telling my drug workers. However for nearly as long as I can remember I have always given positive sample results for benzos - despite not having taken them! So either all the heroin I have ever bought from drug dealers has been cut with benzos or there is some problem with the test.
I guess as this drought continues any lingering supplies of heroin are getting more and more adulterated with whatever substances can be used to masquerade as heroin - benzo's, tranq's, ajax(!) etc. I am absolutely refusing to waste money buying any more of this garbage that the streets are currently awash with. The laugh of it is that our regular dealers who have been punting this trash out keep sending us texts and phoning us promising that today they really have got some'dynamite gear - massive bagz!' - yet to find out that you have bought a bag of brick dust / crushed up paracetemol they expect us to shell out the usual £15 for the pleasure of feeling completely ripped off! Any illusions I ever had of these people doing us a service and them just supplying to meet a demand have now gone and I think they are all evil money grabbing scum who have actually been stealing from us all for years, not the mention the associated misery / death etc that it brings.
I really wish that there could be some enlightened action in the whole approach to drug treatment - heroin on prescription etc as they have trialled in places like Switzerland to take it out of the hands of criminals and free people from the whole world of having to break the law to feed their habits. Unfortunately I really believe that there is some cruel conspiracy at work where legalisation of drugs would not be compatible with the profits of shareholders in pharmaceutical companies that produce methadone / subutex, plus the legal system, the police and prisons would probably go bust now if they didnt have their bread and butter of drug related crime and punishment. Its probably the economy is partly dependent on the drugs trade / war on drugs etc and thats probably just the tip of the iceberg. Its seems ridiculous when the solution could be quite simple why are millions of people condemned to suffer because of addiction, been forced into crime / prostitution, held in prisons and so on? Anyway I am just rambling on here, I am grateful for the drug treatment I do receive, even if it is a state-sponsered addiction to methadone, without it I would currently be going through hell trying to get a hit from a bag of coffee/brick dust impersonating as heroin. So as i reach for my 60mls of green methadone linctus I'll be saying 'bottoms up'! heh heh heh!
I agree with Graham, thanks so much Jon, its really taught me something reading this. I had never really considered how people felt about their dealers before, but I suppose when you're desperate and someone is able to supply you with the thing that makes you feel better, you could end up feeling your relationship with them was more than business, that they actually wanted to help you, that they cared.
We do know availability is a factor in all substance use. We hear of people giving up cigarettes when they had to go down 5 floors and stand in the rain to have a smoke, and there is less alcoholism in strict muslim countries. I happen to think being able to buy alcohol in petrol stations and newsagents these days is contributing significantly to the problem of rising alcohol use disorder.
But back to your dealers, we also get alot of benzo positive urines from people who deny touching them, I do worry that everyone is going to get a benzo addiction next - and it can be very nasty!
Thanks for the comments above, I reckon if we (users) all stop buying this bollox they are punting out at the moment the tackle would definately improve. However at the moment I am the cleanest I have been in years, I wish the wretched stuff would never come back. I have a feeling it will, but judging by the greed of these dealers no doubt they will be cutting it to the MAX to increase their profits - and our misery!
I think this latest drought has demonstrated to them that users will put up with, and still pay for the lowest quality shite that the dealers can get away with peddling. The very fact that we have paid them millions of pounds for many years clearly means nothing to them, to them there is no such thing as loyalty / trust etc, they couldnt care less if whatever they are cutting the gear with kills you tomorrow or gives you cancer in ten years time, all they care about is you putting money into their pocket. The amount of times me and my pals have been rattling and begged dealers for a lay on, only for them to tell us to 'fuck off!' I cant remember, the times they have left us 'high and dry' late at night despite promising they were only 5 minutes away, I have lost count of. The number of times we have booted up only to be completely disappointed by the quality of the gear outnumber the times that it was any good 10-1.
Who are these con men?! Unfortunately the nature of the beast means that regardless of how much a dealer screws you around / rips you off you are still forced to use his shite for toothpaste and say thank you for it because the concequensces of doing otherwise dont bear thinking about, especially if you are rattling! I think as users and addicts we become so entrenched in the whole scene we cant see how much these cunts are taking the piss out of us and how ridiculous the whole situation is. Money loses its value, it just becomes pieces of paper that we swap for bags of drugs to make us feel better. Anyway, I am rambling on - again, let me know what you think!
I havent got any interest in going back to using that rubbish, not to mention the cost in terms of money / health / stress etc. I hope that thousands of other users are beginning to see the light as well.
Take is E-ZEE!
I did type out a long response to your last post only to see it disappear as my phone battery went.
I talked about how sad using became for me when the 'order of the day' became to treat your punters like filth. Paying for your daily dose is one thing but paying, saying pretty please and dancing (I is dancing Boss ize dancing).
I began to despise them, then the routine and then the blooming drug. I had had enough. Judith describes it well, I fell out of love with the whole thing.
So I'm with you absolutely my friend.
Your post after that I also empathise with but do feel the 'drought' is no new phenomenon. I haven't used for over seven years, used for 24 and this nonsense came round like the seasons more or less the whole time. Mostly they aren't true droughts are they? Just price and/or quality control, usually after a period of intense competition and strong gear on the streets.
Give us a knock on fb, be good to chat Jon.
Keep on keeping on. Always remember how you feel now and recently. A great time to get out, remembering the dangers when supplies return to above average. Great news Jon and well done mate.
What are the chances of getting my methadone changed over to IV diamorphine?
If you get one Jon buy a lottery ticket that day, buy two one for me.
No chance. IMO
Tho Jon you seem to be on the right track and 'falling out of love' with using, please allow this to motivate you to grab yourself a stronger life.
Tho again I wish most could have dia or Morph, as this Methadone whilst a life saver, it only becomes a life giver after coming off (on the whole) and we know how hard, compared to Heroin, that is.
Yes it's a good life saver, giving us time to find our life legs again, or for the first time.
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