Sharing spliffs, snorters and drugs – how much of difference has COVID made?
Some drugs were just made for sharing. Cannabis and cocaine perhaps most of all. From the ritual of skinning up or chopping up and passing the joint or tray, the preparation and shared consumption is more than just part of the culture of using drugs, it’s an intimate act that articulates trust and being part of a shared community. Sharing drugs is seen as a nice thing to do. It implies generosity, friendship and mutual understanding. Conversely not sharing your drugs is sometimes frowned upon……come on mate, pass the spliff! While the sharing of straws/tubes for cocaine has been recognised as a risk for the transmission of hepatitis C for many years, and the advice to use your own is very sensible, I think most people have never considered sharing a spliff, a straw or even handing your baggie to a mate as a serious health risk! Cue COVID…
Our COVID Special Edition survey suggested that without much prompting a lot of people were already applying personal protective behaviours to their drug use, and even drug purchases. And at least for cocaine, the chances that you have been out partying with lots of other people over the last year with the chance to share your drugs might already be low. But we suspect that at least some people will have continued to use cannabis and cocaine with other people. What we want to know, is how? Have your sharing behaviours changed? Have you refused a spliff someone has passed you? Have you refused to share your baggie with another person because you don’t want them touching your drugs? Have you said no to cocaine racked up by another person? What have you seen other people do?
So, we are interested in sharing and we’d love you to share 20-30 minutes of your time with us and take part in this year’s Global Drug Survey. Anonymous, confidential and kind of important, really.
Prof Adam R Winstock
Consultant Psychiatrist and Addiction Medicine Specialist