We live in dangerous times, not because of some catastropic disease spreading in our community, not out of control lawlessness in our streets, not terrorism but the “recreational drugs” culture that has infiltrated our communities.
Anyone that personally knows me, understands my views on this societal sickness that has been allowed to spread and before I am reminded of the reasons including the pros and cons, the bottom lines is if you make the decision to take drugs it’s because there is a “gap” in your life.
It seems that leaders of all ilk including political, police, church, health etc. are afraid to seriously deal with an issue that I believe defies much of what we stand for as a community.
It seems that courage to express your truth has been overtaken by cowardness.
For the record, there is no such things as recreational drugs.
Call them for what they really are – killer drugs – full stop.
Life has many unpredictable twists and turns, however if it takes drugs to live a fulfilled life then these killer drugs are just a revelation of a serious void that needs attention and drugs are not the answer.
In recent times the peddlers of death have become much deadlier with their marketing – by positioning their products with a galmourous brand image.
They are selling to a target market hooked up in celebrity culture full of the superficial hit associated with the pills they promote.
The following media articles reveal more about an industry that offers nothing good to human decency.
What are your views on these killer drugs, I’d love to hear from you.
Designer death labels: the glamorous branding of deadly pills revealed
The Daily Record was given a first hand look by Europol at the equipment used by drug criminals to manufacture synthetic pills.
THE logos on the stamps include some of the world’s most famous and glamorous brands.
From Apple to Playboy and from Rolls-Royce to Nike, they are designed to make products look cool and desirable to the young.
But the brand names are bogus and the products they sell are deadly – like the “Green Rolexes” which have claimed 17 lives.
The Daily Record has been shown the equipment criminals use to manufacture synthetic drugs.
We were escorted into a high-security room in the bowels of law enforcement agency Europol in the Hague, Holland.
Inside were the components at the heart of a multi-billion pound industry.
The equipment had been seized by police during raids and is now used for training elite officers.
Making ecstasy – MDMA – is a complicated process involving chemical reactions, distillation and crystallization.
When MDMA powder has been produced, it is mixed with a binding agent, such as china clay or lactose.
It is then put in a press to make tablets, which the dealers stamp with their sinister logos.
The strength of each ecstasy tablet is determined by how much MDMA is added when the pill is created.
The deadly batches in Scotland are believed to contain one of two highly dangerous drugs, PMA and PMMA, either alone, or mixed with MDMA.
PMA and PMMA are stimulants, similar to amphetamine, known as speed. But their chemical structure makes them much more toxic.
Since 2007 there have been spates of PMA related deaths in Israel
But there have been few cases in Holland, where users can go to one of 30 drop-in labs to have their pills tested without fear of arrest.
Europol experts say most of the continent’s synthetic drugs are made in Holland and Belgium.
Other countries, such as Germany, Estonia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Poland, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, produce on a smaller scale.
Drugs for the EU market are also produced in west Africa and Russia.
Once the pills are in the UK, crime gangs use networks of couriers to move them around by road and rail.
The flow of synthetic drugs in the European Union is dominated by Dutch, Belgian, British, Lithuanian and Polish gangs, who work together in a bid to outwit the authorities.
The UN’s World Drug Report for 2013 said ecstasy use is increasing in Europe while declining globally.
The amount of ecstasy seized by police across Scotland has soared by more than 60 per cent, to 434 seizures in 2011/12.
Gordon Meldrum, former director general of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, said: “Our view on the increase is that many people who used ecstasy in the late 90s have now gone round the legal high circle.
“They have tried them and found they did not mimic the effects and have gone back to ecstasy.
“This is a significant turnaround and we are looking at why that is the case.”
David Liddell, director of the Scottish Drugs Forum, said: “Ecstasy use has increased in the past couple of years. The police seizures mirror what frontline services and users have been saying about its re-emergence.
“Fifteen years ago, ecstasy was the only drug around for recreational users.
“We’ve seen a move away from people just taking cocaine and ecstasy to people taking a whole range of different recreational drugs.”
Europol are the European Union’s law enforcement agency. They help police from the 27 member states work together to crack down on criminal.
They class international drug trafficking as one of the biggest threats to the security of the EU, along with terrorism and people-smuggling.
Europol are responsible for carrying out more than 13,500 cross–border investigations every year. They have arrested thousands of dangerous criminals, smashed hundreds of gangs and recovered millions of euros in dirty money.
© 2013 Daily Record | This article first appeared in the Daily Record on 12 July 2013.