Session, Dance Drugs and Legal Highs – continued
Today’s session on Dance Drugs and Legal Highs did a great job in challenging entrenched practice in the field with regards to SUI and prohibition. K Day revolutionised the way professionals view Service User Involvement, by bringing together 130 Ket users, professionals and academics to discuss and share expertise at an event hosted by HIT. The NTA (the UK’s National Treatment Agency which monitors and regulates drug treatment) turned a blind eye to the event and despite being invited , they blanked it purposefully. This confirms their narrrow view of SUI and a disregard for keeping up to date with developments in drug culture. Fifty of the users were from the Bristol Drug Project, and travelled down by coach from Bristol, providing a chill out massage space.
The event was a complete success, with a strong representation from squatters, travellers and those who have chosen to live on the fringes of society were present at the event, and all came to share their knowledge and ground level experience of Ket use. Small discussion groups were set up with professionals and academics present and there was a mutual respect, which broke down the barriers usually present between these groups, with all regarding each other as experts, despite their backgrounds. All social barriers were broken down, it was “ one expert talking to another”, demonstrating that both PHD’s and drug users have invaluable knowledge and expertise to contribute to the field.
The event led to a Face Book page being set up, which can be tapped into by anyone using Ket, or with an interest in Ketamine. The site regularly posts up dated information and developments about Ketamine. The session also highlighted some recent research on health implications relating to long term and heavy Ketamine use, which we strongly recommend you read. Speaking to people after K Day, the general consensus was that the information sharing model should be adopted nationally if services expect to remain up to date and at the forefront of cutting edge issues. Who better to do this than the users themselves.