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Drugs. Where to start? With spliff fast becoming as common as a cup of tea and a few lines alongside your pint in the pub being a weekend staple, the subject of drugs is a complicated and controversial one. A veritable minefield of opinion, experience, argument and fact. It seems futile and, quite frankly, a bit patronising, to preach the dangers of drugs here, since we have a government, a National Health Service (for the time being, anyway) and a multitude of drug rehabilitation units dedicated to doing just that, so what we have aimed to do in this issue of CALMzine is to present a broad range of articles presenting the many faces of the drugs debate, leaving you to make up your own minds. We’ve lit the touch paper and are now sitting in the safety of the CALM bunker, waiting for you lot to explode the drugs debate all over the damn place. So off you go – the debate is all yours… Mic Wright taps the spirit of Bill Hicks, Mary Chang brings us the science, Mister Mumbles invites you to take a peek into his surreal world of hipster lab rats and Chris Lancaster talks of the intrinsic link between music and drugs. We also talk to the folks at South Westminster Drug & Alcohol service about what to do if you’ve had enough and need help. Plus we have an interview with Leeds electro rockers, Officers, who have collaborated with synth legend Gary Numan on an exclusive track with all proceeds going to CALM. What top chaps they are. All this alongside our regular columns: Inner Life, Frazzled Daddy and Dear Josh, and introducing our new cartoonist Chris Sav with his brilliant Everyman illustrations. So whether you’re pro or anti drugs, the point is to get talking and where better to start than right here. Join us for the trip.

MANifesto ..................................................... 5. Needle and the Damage Done ..................... 6. Fashion ......................................................... 8. Inner Life ...................................................... 10. Mister Mumbles ........................................... 12. CALMzine interview: Officers ...................... 14. High Times .................................................... 17. Help Needed? ................................................ 20. Art Show: Nathan Bowen ............................. 22. CALM Competition ........................................ 25. Frazzled Daddy.............................................. 26. This is Your Brain on Drugs .......................... 30. The Rant ........................................................ 32. Dear Josh ..................................................... 34.

CREDITS Editor: Rachel Clare Creative Director/Original Design: Joey Graham Editorial Assistant: Lindsey Bezzina Cover Art: Nathan Bowen Distribution Manager: Dan Taylor CALM Charity Director: Jane Powell Contributors: Mister Mumbles, Matt Brown, Joshua Idehen, Majestic, Mic Wright, Rachel Clare, CSP, Mary Chang, Chris Lancaster, Chris Sav. Thanks to Topman for their support

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CALMzine is the first port of call for all your manspiration needs. We all have issues at the end of the day, so what do you want to talk about? Who do you want us to talk to? We want to hear from YOU. Email us your ideas and views at If you want the hard stuff, go to the CALM website: or follow us on twitter @CALMzine - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


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rugs have always been involved in the world of music. Through generations and across genres, there have always been various substances taken to keep awake the guys and girls who work the clubs and after hours circuit; a little something to help calm the nerves of stage fright or keep them from passing out due to the workload heaped on top of them by relentless record labels. In the 30’s and 40’s heroin was the drug of choice and many of the greatest artists of that time, including Billie Holiday, couldn’t escape it’s morphic grip throughout their whole lives. Long before Pete Doherty was picking out his first trilby, the likes of Charlie Parker were living hand to mouth to feed their monumental habits while also finding time to influence future generations of jazz musicians. He died early and from the doctors report they were amazed that he lasted as long as he did. With drugs in music, it’s really a case of ‘different strokes for different folks’. While a drug like heroin destroyed many a great man and woman and cut their careers drastically short, either by death or killing the talent and inspiration stone cold, for others it is a way of forming a barrier between reality so that the essence of creativity and the muse can be channelled more directly. Keith Richards spoke about this when discussing drug use during the making of ‘Exile on Main Street’. While everyone else was flagging, looking to call it a night and head home, Richards


would be playing variations of the same riff for the 1000th time to make sure it was exactly what he was hearing in his head, and on listening to the outcome it’s hard to argue with his game plan. Another example of drugs helping to push the creative aspects of an artist to almost breaking point would be folk overlord Bob Dylan during his meteoric run of 5 star work in 1965-66, where he managed to write and record ‘Bringing it all Back Home’, ‘Highway 61 Revisited’ and the groundbreaking ‘Blonde on Blonde’ (a double album no less). During this period Dylan survived on a diet of speed and marijuana to take the spiky edge off and keep his sanity on an even keel. Speed, or amphetamine sulphate, has been one of the cornerstones of the rock and roll underbelly ever since it’s conception in the early 50’s. Artists from Elvis Presley to Johnny Cash would regularly purchase over the counter ‘diet pills’ from their local friendly chemist and gulp down handfuls at a time to keep the party going. During their teenage initiation into the world of showbiz, the young Beatles were given the same pills by the waiters and barmen in the clubs of Hamburg to keep the flagging and tired group stomping and singing throughout their mammoth 4 hour sets, wired and frothing at the mouth. George Harrison later recalled these times: “ah those were the days”, he joked. - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


These facts aside, it would be ridiculous to suggest being in favour of artists abusing their minds or bodies and one should not for one single minute believe that hallucinogenic substances somehow open some hidden well of creativity within. John Lennon wrote ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ in spite of the influence of LSD rather than because of it. This seems to be the thing that most second-rate druggie rock stars miss. You have to be talented in the first place before you can use any outside influences for your artistic expression. This is the reason that a bona fide drug casualty like Syd Barrett would dose himself with LSD and Mandrex and wander off to Cambridge to live in his mother’s basement, yet on the other hand Jimi Hendrix would do the same thing and blow Cream off the stage with his abilities and natural talents. For some artists it only takes one moment of indulgence to throw the ship so far off course that there can be no turning back. The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson used marijuana as a way to channel his song writing inspiration, as well as using it to help calm his nerves and focus more intently on the ideas inside his head. He created the album ‘Pet Sounds’ while in this frame of mind. He later joined the generation freak out and heavily medicated himself with LSD before attempting his biggest concept, a musical “teenage symphony to God” and begun

working on the (until recently) ‘unfinished’ album ‘SMiLE’. While a small fraction of music and song ideas were wonderful, he couldn’t concentrate his thoughts enough to actually fit them all together in a rational arrangement. In his own words, the influence of acid ‘shattered his mind’ and he lost some of his peak years living as a virtual recluse, eating and abusing himself out of commission. Wilson, like contemporaries such as Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green and Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett, the intake of LSD awoke previously dormant aspects of schizophrenia which would trouble each of them for the rest of their lives. There have been many artists that took one trip too many and never made it back around the sun again. The rock and roll history book is littered with the names of dead young people that slipped from the road of their chosen career only to overdose in a dingy hotel room or the back seat of a car. Names such as Gram Parsons, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Bon Scott, Phil Lynott, Keith Moon, John Bonham and more recently Amy Winehouse, proving that for generation after generation, the world of drugs will always be attracted by a certain type of person. Unfortunately for us, although these are the people that have so much to offer artistically, they are also the ones that walk a daily tightrope between greatness and oblivion. - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58

7 - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


lthough unaware of it at the time, I was raised in a working-class environment rich with that particularly English form of psychic and emotional repression – the one that demands of its acolytes a simple life of stoical, silent suffering. Amongst friends and family, men and women alike, if you had a problem, you just dealt with it - quietly, quickly, and privately - and, with your white knottedhandkerchief sitting proudly on your head. Put it behind you and soldier on. Great! But by the age of 13 the way that I felt was so utterly unacceptable, I was beginning to panic. It was as if there’d been a fundamental failure in some vital component of my being. Life was becoming palpably more unbearable by the day and that’s when I made the first of several attempts at suicide. Thankfully, like all the others, it was bungled. It was in the wake of yet another thwarted attempt that I was first introduced to drugs. It was no big deal. Some kid at school brought in a spliff ’s worth of Red Leb one day. Four of us shared a boomerang-shaped spliff in some dog shit carpeted alley about a mile away from school. The moment I felt the warm glow of being stoned, I knew I’d found an antidote to the problem of ‘me’. For the first time in several years I actually felt ok. No, better than that. I felt how I imagined a human being should feel: confused and befuddled, but nevertheless relatively numb, happy and content.


Quite suddenly the bad feelings dissipated and the suicide attempts ceased. It was like a huge lacuna had been filled in my soul and for the next several years I had one hell of a time. As long as I took my ‘medication,’ I’d feel fine. As the 80’s reached their climax, Manchester became ‘Madchester’ and for the following few years it was even felt good to be a Mancunian, especially if you’d necked a couple of Doves and were having a conversion experience, en masse, in some vast empty warehouse somewhere on the outskirts of Blackburn. But then came the crash. When it came, it happened fast and hard. We’d been out to a club one night, when on the way home a mate suddenly pulled out a small zip-lock bag and started waving it in the air and gazing at it dreamily. “What’s that?” I asked. “Smack,” he replied excitedly. “Wanna try some?” Why not, I thought. So I did; and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it was very, very nice. Too nice. Too perfect a drug. Everything that was bad and rotten about me and the world immediately melted away. I felt like a figure in a Rembrandt portrait, emitting a brilliant, warm glow from somewhere deep within. Almost instantly I knew I’d tasted the forbidden fruit. A few months later and the club thing was a distant, fading memory. Instead, we’d go round to - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58

somebody’s parents’ house, stow away upstairs, and ‘socially’ smoke smack – a weekly occasion that fast became a daily occurrence, usually ending with a random scatter of half-conscious, pin-eyed, teenagers, scratching away at their faces. That went on for a while. I juggled my addiction with college and home-life, trying, desperately, to keep all the plates spinning together until simultaneously they all came crashing to the floor. Don Delillo thinks all conspiracies move, necessarily, deathwards; and in many ways, addiction is like that too, particularly when you pursue it to its logical conclusion, as so many of my amigos did.

Without going into the serendipitous reasons how my final attempt at suicide was foiled, all I can really say in terms of offering some sort of resolution is that, if I’d have succeeded, I’ve have been killing the wrong man. A month later I was in rehab. It was during my 6-month stay there that I was shown a pathway out of my ongoing dilemma, and one that offered me a life I never thought was possible. Looking back through the dusty lens of the past 16 years, not once have I come near to that dark, airless place I’d reached by the age of 22. I’d love to say that since then, I’ve been on a progressive, linear time-line towards self-realisation; but of course, that isn’t true - my life, after all, isn’t some feel-good film, but rather one characterised by the usual struggles, in my case Endogenous Depression and untreated ADD.


By late 1995 I’d almost reached that point myself. In March 1996 I booked into a hotel in central Manchester, with an envelope containing £2000. The idea: one final bender and then, like Jim Morrison, I’d simply overdose myself in the bath. As in my early teens, suicide had been reduced to a simple equation. I was in incredible pain; and, as a result of my addiction, others were too – my family especially. Without something radical happening, for all of us, things were only going to get worse. It was so obvious – if I were to remove myself completely, it would all be over. Sad, yes; but true. An end to all the suffering. I could see no other solution.

But it’s ok; what I went through embossed me in some way. When I think of that desperate, lonely young man, who at 22 had lost the will to live, I find it hard to join up the dots between the two people. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still a miserable, cynical, dour Northern tosser, only now I’m one who doesn’t need to medicate himself with pills, powders and potions; and, most importantly, one who feels no desire whatsoever to reduce himself to dust. - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58



Since withdrawing from the steely gaze of the public eye several decades ago, taking receipt of an urgent telegram in the dead of night has become an increasingly rare treat. So, when the scrawny young delivery urchin stood at the stoop of my modest abode hollering “Telegram for Mister Mumbles! Mister Mumbles, sir! Wake up!” I instantly knew something dreadfully important was afoot. Prying the telegram free from the grubby little claw still clasped around it, I unfurled the parchment and began to read. Mister Mumbles STOP I have procured the test subject STOP Hipster replete with skinny jeans, floppy fringe, bum fluffy moustache and penny specs as requested STOP Netted him on London Fields STOP I await further instructions STOP “At last!” I warbled, “Finally I shall discover what all the fuss is regarding these ‘recreational drugs’ I keep hearing youngsters rapping about!” And with that, I bounded over the delivery urchin’s prone body, hailed a black cab and sped off in the direction of my testing lab in Dalston. I arrived a little after midnight. Thankfully, my lab partner had already set the test subject at ease with a mug of brandy-laced Horlicks and a digestive biscuit. All that remained for me


to do was explain the purpose of the evening. Then we could get cracking. Incredibly, the young hipster grew progressively more animated as I listed the drugs we would be testing upon him in order to discover their effects so alien to an upstanding individual such as myself. And the fact that they were all free? Why, to him that was the icing on the hash cake – which ironically enough was the first item on the menu. What follows herein are my observational notes, ad verbatim:

MARIJUANA: Some minutes after ingestion, Subject politely requests we put on a Pink Floyd LP. We oblige and Subject nods gratefully. Subject seems very calm and placid. Subject later turns on the television and watches an episode of My Family, curiously howling with inexplicable laughter until he has to go the toilet. While there, Subject has a quasi-religious epiphany. Subject returns and spends some ten minutes explaining this epiphany to us before scoffing eight packets of Nice N Spicy NikNaks. One can only presume he has not eaten all day, the daft lad!

COCAINE: Subject snorts up a line and soon

after, commands us to play some “fucking dubstep” on the gramophone. Unfortunately, we have none. He begrudgingly settles for some Tina Turner. In between grinding his

teeth and swallowing a lot, Subject talks directly into our faces about the “sick beats” he’s been making on his laptop. Subject aggressively demands another line. We decline. We are very scared.

MDMA: To calm Subject, we administer a lump

of MDMA wrapped in a bit of cigarette paper. Subject peaks a short while later and wants to cuddle. Initially we are relieved by this change in mood. However, Subject has since taken his shirt off. We are alarmed by his advances and back away but Subject is adamant that we must cuddle him. Subject begins crying so we cuddle him. Subject tells us we are his best mates in the whole world. Subject is exceedingly sweaty. Subject begins licking our faces. As he does so, we regret ever letting Subject eat all those NikNaks.

CRACK: After distracting him with a glass of

water, Subject agrees to smoke some white crystals using an old mini Martell bottle and a bit of steel wool. This puts an end to the cuddles almost instantly. Subject becomes wary of my lab assistant and I, accusing us of being secret lemonade drinkers, and gammon farmers to boot. Subject looks very cross. Gladly, the effects of the crack wear off after about ten minutes. Subject returns to a relatively sane state and demands more drugs. They must taste very good, these drugs!

KETAMINE: Subject sucks up this stuff like a Henry the Hoover gone bonkers. Subject becomes very laconic in his actions, then ceases moving altogether. For a split-second we think Subject has expired. Then Subject messes his skinny jeans and we know he is okay. HEROIN: After rousing Subject with a slap to the chops, and give him a pair of my old slacks to wear. Then we intravenously inject a large dose of heroin into his arm. Subject is immediately sick all over his clean trews and has to be changed again.

LSD: The last drug on the menu is the hallucinogen, lysergic acid. Although we try our best to dispense it, Subject is incapable of even opening his mouth now. In the name of science, I volunteer to take the trip. I place the tab on my tongue and swallow it back with an enthusiastic gulp. Suddenly, I awoke with a start. Outside, a young delivery urchin’s high-pitched holler was demolishing the peace of the night like a teeny wrecking ball. “Telegram for Mister Mumbles! Mister Mumbles, sir! Wake up!” Instantly, I knew something importantly dreadful was afoot – and that principally, I really, really ought to stop taking acid. 13


f you haven’t heard of Officers, you soon will. Having released their debut album ‘On The Twelve Thrones’ at the end of 2011 and attracted some influential fans, the Leeds based electro rock quartet have been described as possessing “thunderous swagger” (Rock Sound) and producing music “soaking in dark, smouldering brilliance” (NME). But behind their musical darkness lurks an altogether more sensitive beast, as CALMzine’s Rachel Clare found out when she caught up with Jamie & Matt from the band during their recent UK tour… You’ve just released your debut album, worked with legendary producer Jagz Kooner and just toured the UK supporting synth pop godfather and new wave pioneer Gary Numan. Whatever happened to ‘starting small’…? JAMIE: Well, we’ve been extremely fortunate to work with some of the artists that we respect the most and we don’t take that for granted. But although it


might seem we have come out of nowhere, it’s the culmination of probably 10 years worth of work together for Matt and I. Where we are at the moment actually feels deserved and really comfortable for us and we just hope it continues to grow. How did the tour come about? approach you?

Did Numan

MATT: It was actually quite unexpected and happened the way tours used to happen - with a genuine respect between artists and mutual friends. We were doing a co-host with Eddy Temple Morris on XFM when we dropped a remix of one of Numan’s tunes. Eddy just casually mentioned on air that he thought Gary would also really like our sound, but some listeners and fans actually started a ‘Get it to Gary’ twitter trend going which was quite cool. So Eddy did get it to him, and Numan did love it - even bestowing us as his album of the year along with other a few other magazines. This rest as they say... - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58

How was life on the road? Was it all luxury tour buses and Jack Daniels? Any Spinal Tap moments? JAMIE: Matt and I are actually in a bit of an alcohol abstinence phase at the moment. We have both suffered with running to excess in the past and it’s something that hasn’t done either of us any favours, either socially, mentally or creatively. That’s not to say we aren’t enjoying a few ginger beers beforehand - it just means we can enjoy each night and remember what went on without too much paranoia! The JD was definitely flowing with the other guys. As for spinal tap moments we’ve met our fair share of Artie Fufkins over the years and every venue we get lost in. We’ve been lucky on the exploding drummer front mind you though. You have collaborated on a track with Numan and Stuart Semple in aid of CALM, which we are extremely excited about. What brought you to CALM? MATT: Eddy Temple Morris made us aware of the charity and the work that you do. Being both personally touched by mental health issues and suicide, we know how hugely important it is to raise awareness about responding to the high rate of suicide amongst young men in the UK. There is still a massive stigma attached to not talking publicly about these issues amongst men. We really want to strive to raise awareness of the charity and do anything that we can to help change that behaviour whether that’s between individuals, friends, media or the workplace. Everyone should be given the support to reach out before things get too much. Your music is pretty dark – do you find writing and performing a cathartic experience? JAMIE: Absolutely. For me the writing and recording aspect is often tinged with a more technical and controlled outlook on complementing and taking further what we have already put together. The mood of my playing and what I come up with is obviously dependent on how I’m feeling and relate to Matt’s lyrics - an experience that is hugely personal (and I imagine sometimes often emotionally draining) for him. Playing live is always the cathartic end.

OUR MUSICAL LISTENING SPECTRUM IS JUST SO LARGE THAT IT CAN COME FROM ANYWHERE. WE OBVIOUSLY HAVE OUR HEROES, BUT OUR EXPERIMENTAL MELT APPROACH OFTEN MAKES THEM QUITE INDISTINGUISHABLE The songs evolve, further and getting out the physical performance out alongside Matt is a hugely rewarding release of energy and emotion. Playing live gigs must be a huge high, whereas sitting on a tour bus can be pretty dull. How do you cope with the emotional ups and downs of being on the road? JAMIE: We’ve got a nice Hard Disc of classic TV shows and light hearted movies that keep us lifted and in comparison with your archetypal male we are all pretty aware of each others sensitivities and idiosyncrasies. There are always tense moments when living or working in close proximity with the same people for extended periods of times. But we pretty much make sure we look after each other. Matt and myself have a few nice relaxation apps to get us off to sleep after the huge adrenalin rushes. You’ll often find us listening to sounds of rain with a bit of nice ambient lighting to take the edge off while the others poke a bit of fun at our ‘hippiness’! Your music has something of The Jesus & Mary Chain, Humanzi and perhaps even a spot of the Marilyn Mansons about it. Who are your main musical influences? MATT: Our musical listening spectrum is just so large that it can come from anywhere. We obviously have our heroes, but our experimental melt approach often makes them quite indistinguishable or they are from places you wouldn’t expect. So you’ve toured with Gary Numan. Who’s next on your touring wish list? MATT: Gary Numan has been an absolute dream and it’s going to be hard to ever top it. Depeche Mode - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


Photo Credit - Anna Blue

or Nine Inch Nails would be another life ambition realised for us. We would love to get out and take our music further afield so a euro or world support tour would be pretty seminal. And what’s next for Officers? Any festivals coming up? JAMIE: We have a few European festival dates coming up. Germany and possibly Switzerland along with a European release of the album. We’d love to work some more with Numan and are planning some more special art and social collaborations with Stuart (Semple - acclaimed British Artist). We are already well underway with album number two which we hope to complete before the end of the year. Matt and I also want to start work on a score for an animation along with some possibilities for movie scores, which has always been one of our long-term ambitions. We are also looking for new artists to work with produce and release on our own new label, so it’s all pretty busy. All of us suffer anxieties at one time or another. What keeps you awake at night? JAMIE: We both suffer quite acutely with anxiety - mine is often from a fear of not being able to control everything, the unexpected and a highly


active imagination and mind. Something I’ve battled with since a really young age. Meditation and visualisation techniques are something we both try to employ for healthier living. We had a really interesting conversation with Chris from Numan’s original band during the tour regarding acupuncture and Chinese medicine, which he now practices in France. We both agreed that western medicine is highly reliant on prescription and these techniques are overlooked despite their effectiveness. Chris was giving everyone amazing alternative therapies on the tour and acupuncture is definitely something we’re now looking into to help our nighttime worries! If you could sum up your rule for living life in one sentence, what would it be? MATT: Just be true to yourself, your family and friends. Realise what’s important in the now, as it’s usually the closet thing to you. Focusing on the simplest pleasures are the most fulfilling and rewarding. Don’t work too hard or put unrealistic pressures on yourself, as the mind is a fragile thing. More than one sentence we know, but all important! Visit Officers website for the latest tour and album news: Or follow them on twitter: @OFFICERSMUSIC -- CALMzone CALMzone Helpline Helpline London: London: 0808 0808 8025858 8025858 Outside Outside london: london: 0800 0800 58 58 58 58 58 58

POTHEADS ARE NOT STARTING WARS. POTHEADS OFTEN STRUGGLE TO START THE CAR It’s a cliché to pull Bill Hicks out of the rhetorical arsenal these days. Every bloke and his bad columnist mates quote the killer rant on marketing men (“Seriously, kill yourselves.”). But I am nothing if not a man to harness clichés so here’s Bill on drugs stories and the media: “You never see a positive drug story on the news. They always have the same LSD story. You’ve all seen it: ‘Today a young man on acid thought he could fly…jumped out of a building…what tragedy!’ What a dick. He’s an idiot. If he thought he could fly, why didn’t he take off from the ground first? Check it out? You don’t see geese lined up to catch elevators to fly south…he’s an idiot. He’s dead. Good! We lost a moron.” Wouldn’t you like to see a positive LSD story on the news? To base your decision on information rather than scare tactics and superstition? “Today, a young man on acid realised that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream and

we’re the imagination of ourselves. Here’s Tom with the weather.” Now that’s funny but it’s also true – the Venn diagram of lasting comedy at work. You don’t see positive drugs stories on the news in the UK and you never will. The prurient pushing of an agenda that says if you take drugs even once you’ll be on the fast track to dying in the toilets of a terrible club or diving Trainspottingstyle through a toilet bowl to recover a heroin suppository.

YOU DON’T SEE POSITIVE DRUGS STORIES ON THE NEWS IN THE UK AND YOU NEVER WILL. - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


Drugs are not an entirely negative influence on culture. People who take ecstasy rather than drink are less aggressive. Potheads are not starting wars. Potheads often struggle to start the car. Amphetamines helped us win World War II by keeping soldiers pepped up and ready to go. The difference between illegal drugs and nicotine and alcohol is a system for effective taxation. That is it.

fact. And to quote Bill, one more time, saying we’re losing the war against drugs “implies there’s a war being fought and the people on drugs are winning it”. Simply telling children in a South Park style that “drugs are baaaaad” is an incredibly ineffectual strategy. Smart kids immediately ask: “Then why do people do it?” A 2008 study by Geoffrey P Hunt & Kristin Evans of the Institute for Scientific Analysis in Alameda, California puts the issue into pretty stark relief. From their abstract: “Although legal and illegal drugs throughout history have given pleasure to those who consume them, research in the drug field has ignored this central and fundamental feature. The absence of any discussion of pleasure is striking when one considers the contemporary literature on ecstasy and the dance scene. Pleasure is still missing within much of this drug discourse.”

If you truly believe that drugs are entirely negative, I’ll hand you over to Bill again: “If you don’t believe drugs have good things for us, do me a favour: go home tonight, take all your albums…and burn them. ‘Cause you know what? The musicians that made all that great music that’s enhanced your lives through the years were reeeeeeal high on drugs. The Beatles were so high they let Ringo sing a few tunes.” Entire genres of music exist thanks to the mind-expanding possibilities of certain chemicals. Drugs have brought us amazing novels, revelatory films, stunning artworks. It is not fair or right to say drugs have been more damaging to celebrities than drink or even money. Look to Oliver Reed and George Best as examples of what that gloriously legal booze can do. There is no ‘war on drugs’. It is a war on people governments cannot tax. That is the simple


Pleasure. That’s the key. A lot of people take drugs, have a good time and then go about their day. It’s wrong to forget that many require help to free themselves from the yolk of chemicals that have enslaved them but the same goes for alcohol, which we are not looking to prohibit any time soon.

THE MUSICIANS THAT MADE ALL THAT GREAT MUSIC THAT’S ENHANCED YOUR LIVES THROUGH THE YEARS WERE REEEEEEAL HIGH ON DRUGS. Another paper by O’Malle & Valverde (2004) makes the point strongly: “Government discourses about drugs and alcohol end to remain silent about pleasure as a motive for consumption and raise instead visions of - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58

consumption characterised by compulsion, pain and pathology”. By failing to take into account the fact that many people of all ages take drugs to enjoy the risks and the experience, governments and health agencies come over as clueless. Raising the spectre of Zammo slumped in the Grange Hill toilets doesn’t chime all that easily with kids who have taken pills and danced like mad things to brilliant tunes. Drugs killing people isn’t their every day experience. We need to refashion the narrative of drugs education to accept that people take drugs and have a great time on them while also explaining that to have a good time doesn’t require drugs and that taking drugs comes with some pretty significant short and long term risks. You can’t stop kids from experimenting but you can supply them with a good hypothesis to start with.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ILLEGAL DRUGS AND NICOTINE AND ALCOHOL IS A SYSTEM FOR EFFECTIVE TAXATION. THAT IS IT. he’s right, of course. “I know this is not a very popular idea. You don’t hear it often any more but it’s the truth. I have taken drugs before and I had a real good time. Sorry. Didn’t murder anybody, didn’t rape anybody, didn’t rob anybody, didn’t beat anybody, didn’t lose one job. Laughed my ass off and went about my day. Sorry. Now, where’s my commercial?”


Since I’ve leant on Bill so much for this article that I will leave him with the last word. And - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58



“JUST OVER TWO THIRDS OF THOSE CURRENTLY IN TREATMENT WITH US ARE MALE” With drugs and alcohol becoming a worryingly ubiquitous part of an average night out for many people in the UK, it comes as no surprise that numbers of individuals seeking help from dedicated substance misuse clinics are on the rise. But where do you go for help if you need it? And what can you expect when you get there? CALMzine spoke to Des Kirby from the South Westminster Drug and Alcohol Service to find out…

their substance misuse, but can also offer treatment on issues like physical and emotional abuse, eating disorders, gambling, mental health etc. We also offer group programmes, including men only groups that discuss topics such as health, relationships & family and anger management and a variety of different therapies from music workshops and arts & creativity programmes to basic IT skills training and military fitness sports sessions.

Q: How many people visit your clinic every week? A: In total we average approximately 45-50 people accessing our service on a daily basis. We currently have just under 400 people in treatment, with just over two thirds of those currently in treatment with us being male.

Q: There are a lot of recreational drug users who wouldn’t admit to having a problem, or at least think that their drug use wouldn’t be classed as ‘abuse’. How would you define ‘substance abuse’?

Q: What services do you provide, apart from basic treatment for substance abuse? A: Everyone who accesses our service receives a key worker who will work with them throughout their treatment. Clients meet with their key worker regularly for one to one support about their substance misuse, as well as looking at the other factors of their life that has been effected by their use; for example health, housing, employment, debt etc. Their key worker will also work closely in finding the most suitable rehab that will not only look at

A: Our definition of substance abuse is anyone whose lifestyle has been diminished or changed either physically or emotionally because of the substance(s) they are taking. For example if someone walks through our doors and says that his drinking one glass of wine a night is causing problems we will work with that person. Q: At what point do most of your visitors come to you for help? A: Most people walk through our doors when things in their life start to go wrong because of their drinking or drug use. Some are referred in by part-

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ners or family members, in which case a high percentage do not see their use as an issue and have only come to appease their family. Q: When someone visits you for the first time, what can they expect from a clinic such as yours? A: We are an open access service so someone can walk in any time Mon-Sat 12.00pm – 5.00pm and will be seen by one of workers. They will be given a brief induction about our service and the assessment process will begin, or if the client is not ready for the formal part of the process then an appointment can be made for a later date. We aim to be as welcoming and inviting as possible so our greeting and reception of clients is done by the staff team, so someone will be seen straight away Q: How long is the rehabilitation process and what does it involve? A: Residential rehab can last from three to nine months. If necessary before rehab some may have to go a detox which is usually 14 days support at the end of drinking or drug/substitute medication use. People have to be physically clean of drugs and alcohol before being admitted to a rehab Q: Is it a confidential service? Would it appear on medical records etc? A:. We are a free, confidential service but if someone is going to residential rehab (which is means tested in terms of cost) then it is more than likely that their GP will be notified. If this is the case then it will be on their medical records. Q: Do you offer support to family members of substance abusers and addicts?

A: We work with family members and friends, offering telephone support or appointments to see a worker to discuss what they were going through during the chaos of the partner/family member’s use. We will not break the clients confidentiality during those meetings or talk about their treatment program unless consent has been granted Q: At CALM we endeavour to get men talking, to us and to each other, and to spread the message that it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. How do you think we can get this across to the young male population of London who may be struggling with substance addiction? A: At South Westminster Drug and Alcohol Service we will go to colleges, youth and community centres etc to talk about and explain what our services offers and provides as we are aware of the stigma many have about accessing services like ours. Also, being an open access service anyone can just walk in and get all the information provided in our packs. We see each person as an individual, and the care package agreed by that individual and their key worker, though it will have components similar to others, will be unique to that person. If you need help, we are here to do just that. If you would like help and advice concerning drug and alcohol misuse, please go to to find a clinic near you, or contact your GP for drug and alcohol services in your local area. Alternatively, call the CALM Helpline and we can advise you on your next steps. - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58



Our cover artist, Nathan Bowen, is a street artist who transforms old wasted street spaces into new colourful and creative spaces. He calls this ‘After Lives’, an art movement that gives the streets invention and a creative re-birth by producing artwork on building sites and derelict walls. He studied at Saint Martins School of art and it was there he learnt how to experiment with art using different mediums and materials. He is also known for his unique, fast and dynamic approach to art, who uses the streets as his gallery. Any Apprentice fans out there will recognise him from the ‘street art’ episode in the latest series. He is an active supporter of CALM and an all round top bloke. To find out more about Nathan go to:

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FRAZZLED DADDY A voice from the coalface of fatherhood By Matt Brown

I know that this issue is a drugs special but I’ve been a dad for nearly seven years and to be honest the only drug I use with any regularity these days is Night Nurse. It’s funny how your life pans out. Honestly, if my kids knew that I wrote a column offering help and advice on parenting matters they would laugh themselves to death. “What?” I can hear them say in their sweet childish voices. “Him? Are you crazy? That guy’s a total loser. You’d be better off getting some advice on ‘harmonious families’ from Ryan Giggs.” However, being 6 and 3, they don’t read CALMzine so their fragile, innocent credulity won’t be stretched to breaking point just yet. The thing about being a parent is that there are good days and bad days, good moments and bad moments. If you’re anything like me you’ll dwell far more on the bad moments than the good and end up feeling like you’re the worst father that ever walked the planet. That’s why it’s always good to get a bit of perspective from someone else, perhaps even take a bit of help or some kind words when their offered. That’s one of the reasons I was so interested to see recently that the Government are offering vouchers for parenting classes. Now I know that David Cameron and Nick Clegg look more like a tiny child has crudely drawn some eyes and a mouth on each side of a particularly diseased scrotal sack but on this I thought I would hear them out. The idea is you get vouchers to go to classes where you can share your experiences and learn from others. On the surface this seems like

quite a good idea. However, it’s not the big things in life that screw you up, it’s those little problems that blindside you when you’re minding your own business on a quiet Tuesday afternoon. Let me give you a personal example. When I was a kid I didn’t have a say in the football team I supported. My family are from Salford and the North West and everyone supported Manchester United ergo I support Manchester United. It doesn’t matter that I was born in Leicester, lived in Sheffield and went to school near Cardiff because I HAD to support Manchester United. To be fair though they’ve been an easy team to support, apart from the 92-94 green and yellow away kit but lest said soonest mended as far as that is concerned, I think. A little while ago, when my eldest son was just three years old, my wife though it would be hilar-i-ous to get him to support Liverpool. Now, I wouldn’t call myself a die-hard fan by any stretch but supporting MUFC has shaped my life. I have a fascination with the number 7, a love of men called Bryan and, and I’m not proud of this, a freakish, knee-jerk hatred of Liverpool FC. Is there a parenting class in the world that could help you through this minefield? Probably not. For the record the way to deal with this is to create a Santa Claus character called ‘the football fairy’ who one day, while your kid is out, decks their room in as much Man United tat as you can get your hands on. If all else fails remember that kids can be bought really, really easily. @FRAZZLEDDADDY

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Everyman by chris sav

next issue of calmzine out august 2012 we b Go to for features, opinion, forums and competitions to keep you busy until the next issue of CALMzine. Plus find out how you can get involved with the Campaign Against Living Miserably. 28 - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


.. .

needs you

Would you like to write for CALMzine? Do you have a photographic eye? We want great writers, interviewers, bloggers, tweeters, artists and photographers for CALMzine and the CALM website. What’s your obsession, your passion? Music, sports, arts, gadgets, fashion, comedy, gaming – or something further out of the box? Can you write about it, picture it, tweet it? Can you conduct a gripping interview? We’d love to hear from you, and in no time your work could be on our website and in these very pages.

Get in touch with Rachel at: 29


n the Beatles Anthology documentary in 1995, George Harrison explained how he’d put some LSD under a microscope and was surprised by what he saw: “it looked like all this old rope. I thought, well, I’m not putting that in my brain anymore.” While most drug users wouldn’t bat an eye at the molecular appearance of an illicit substance, what struck me most about this statement is how it illustrates how little people who use drugs actually know about them and exactly what they’re doing to your body when you take them. The truth will probably shock you or at least make you give more thought the next time you’re aching for a high. “Uppers” such as cocaine, ecstasy, MDMA and amphetamines, are pharmacologically known as stimulants. They affect your nervous system, your body’s signaling network centralised in the brain. Your nervous system is made up of pathways that are bridged by receptors - think of them acting like gates that open and close to send signals. The gates open and close, depending on the presence of neurotransmitters - chemicals that allow the signal to continue down its intended pathway. In

normal situations when you’re happy, natural levels of neurotransmitters arrive at receptors and cause downstream effects that reinforce this happiness. (For example, eating chocolate has been linked to increases of a neurotransmitter called serotonin in the brain, which may explain why some of us shove chocolate in our faces when we’re feeling down.) But when a person takes uppers, the presence of the drug causes these gates to collect more of these ‘happy’ neurotransmitters and more signals are sent. You might not think this is such a bad idea: who wouldn’t want to be happy all the time? The problem lies in your body being stressed. If you have ever felt overwhelmed with too much work, you can relate to this: your body is trying to compensate for missing neurotransmitters not being where they should be and wondering why the heck the network isn’t working properly. In cases of chronic cocaine use, brain cells may be permanently altered in response to the unusual flood of neurotransmitters, and users are likely to experience lethargy, insomnia or oversleeping, and depression with thoughts of suicide when they come down. Blues Day Tuesday is never a

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ALCOHOL HAS LINKS TO BRAIN SHRINKAGE, SIGNIFICANT BRAIN LESIONS, LEARNING AND MEMORY PROBLEMS, AND DEMENTIA, NOT TO MENTION SEVEN TYPES OF CANCER INCLUDING BREAST, LIVER, AND MOUTH VARIETIES. pretty thing. Plus Ecstasy and MDMA haven’t been in wide spread recreational use long enough to get any hard and fast facts about their long-term effects on the body and brain. I guess we just have to wait and see. Then there’s the other side of the coin. “Downers”, including alcohol, barbiturates, marijuana and opiates like heroin, morphine and methadone, do exactly that. They bring everything down a notch, chill you out, make you sleep. We all know Morphine is an anaesthetic, after all. The best part of having your wisdom teeth out, right? But this all sounds a bit strange; why would want to take something that is purposely inhibiting your normal reactions, and moreover, causing you to act, and look, like someone you’re not? We’re all familiar with acute alcohol intoxication causing slurred speech, clumsiness, delayed reflexes and bad decision-making: that’s the alcohol affecting your brain. However, studies of excessive drinking suggest alcohol has links to brain shrinkage, significant brain lesions, learning and memory problems, and dementia, not to mention seven types of cancer including breast, liver, and mouth varieties. Pretty sobering stuff.

too much use of these drugs can cause a permanent turning off of these certain receptors in your brain. We would be remiss to not discuss the most commonly used drug in the UK after alcohol. Although marijuana has long been associated with relatively harmless stoner qualities, such as eating Pepperamis at 4 in the morning, laughing inanely at Total Wipeout or enjoying the music of Afroman, smoking cannabis, particularly ‘skunk’, can lead to psychological disorders like anxiety, paranoia and psychosis. Ketamine is another drug that is rising in popularity amongst young clubbers at a frightening rate. Dubbed as ‘the new ecstasy’ it is, in fact, as an anaesthesic. In 2008 the British Urological Institute wrote a letter to the British Medical Journal to bring to light the more severe side effects of ketamine. Doctors were seeing in young patients early onset incontinence, blood in urine, bladder infection and bladder damage so terrible the only solution is to remove the bladder altogether. No one wants to be pissing into a bag from the age of 25. Recreational drug use, including alcohol, is an intrinsic part of society in the UK and is something the government, health services and drug charities are attempting to tackle, but what is clear is that it is a issue that is a long way from being solved. What is important, however, whether you are a 5 pints down the pub kind of a person or a 5 pills and some valium to ease the comedown drug user, is to know what it is doing to your body, and allowing you to make an educated decision about your choices.

Depressants can temporarily lower your guard and any social inhibitions you have, but as the class name suggests, they can depress normal functions in your body. Just like stimulants, depressants also affect your body by disturbing normal receptors and signal sending in the brain. For example, heroin grabs on to certain receptors that usually signal pain, so the receptors that are normally busy collecting and sending messages to the body saying “don’t bang that nail into your forehead, that hurts” is blocked, and so your natural reaction to pain is affected. Some laboratory studies of opiate use in rats indicate that - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58


THE RANT By Mic Wright

During Piers Morgan’s time as editor and chief arsehole at The Daily Mirror, the paper published a front page that featured Rupert Murdoch decked out with devil horns. Even Rupes himself had to admit, during his evidence at the Leveson enquiry, that it was a pretty brilliant image but the thing is that it wrests on an idea that is fundamentally flawed. Rupert Murdoch is evil, right? We all know that. Well, no. Rupert Murdoch is like anyone’s ignorant, opinionated grandfather if they just happened to have a few billion dollars and an empire at their disposal. He’s not Emperor Palpatine and Rebekah Brookes was not a ginger Darth Vader. In fact, without Rupert Murdoch, the British press would very likely be a hell of a lot smaller today as the power of the print unions, who he went head-to-head with over Wapping, would have continued to make the industry even more unprofitable than it currently is. In truth, the word ‘evil’ is bandied around far too readily. Hannah Arendt’s classic Eichmann In Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil made it very clear that evil acts are often perpetrated by ordinary people who become committed to an evil ideology. Is Murdoch’s ideology evil? There are certainly arguments for that. When he questioned why a bullied journalist didn’t just leave, you saw the immorality of Murdoch writ large. But ultimately, Murdoch is very far down the scale of evil in this world. As he sat being questioned at Leveson, Anders Behring Breivik, the mass murderer who killed 77 people in two attacks, was on trial in Oslo. Call Murdoch many things but he is not ‘evil’ as we understand it in its most brutal and extreme form. For all the negatives his presence in the world has brought us, he has also kept The Times and Sunday Times alive, fostered The Simpsons through an exceptionally long lifespan for a TV show and provided the cash for Fox Spotlight to put out some of the best alternative flicks of the 20th and 21st century. Is Murdoch’s presence in the world a net positive or a net negative? I’d plump for the former…just.

Do you have something you want to rant about? Send 300 words to 32 - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58

Our entirely unprofessional agony uncle offers his entirely unprofessional advice… Q. I’ve heard that drinking tea made from ground rhino bollock is a good alternative to Viagara. Is this true?! Brian, Southwark J: You want to castrate a Bull Rhino just so you can add a few more minutes to your bungabunga time? As my Mom would say, ‘Wow’. I asked Uncle Google and he was as speechless on the matter as I am. I’m pretty sure a trip to the local clinic for a stronger dose Viagara would be a safer/easier/ godwhatareyouthinkingman bet, but if you do personally harvest Rhino jewels for tea I’m pretty sure you’ll be so adrenaline pumped you’ll be hard for days, bruv. Q. Hypothetically speaking, is wearing ladies knickers to work under my construction worker overalls acceptable behaviour? Asking for a friend... Tim, Barnet J: Tell ‘Friend’ he can wear pink cotton wool knitted superman pants if he wants, it ain’t nobody else’s hoohoo. Whatever keeps a man’s crotch happy and gets him through the day with the job done and no one hurt is a fine idea. I wouldn’t recommend the builder’s-butt-crack maneouvre, though. Might make lunch time conversations... odd Q. I’ve recently fallen in love with an amazing girl. She’s beautiful, funny, intelligent and super hot in bed. The problem is she thinks Katy Perry is good and Russell Howard is funny. They are both clearly utter horseshit. What do i do?? Ben, Clapton J: Duuuuuuude, my fiancée watches trash television. I’m talking Tesco Value stuff like Desperate Mafia Housewives of Epping, or what not. I know how you feel. All I can say is: God made irony so we can find a way to love things we hate. Everything is good when irony is involved. Trust me. Now I can listen to a whole Rick Ross song and totally not burn down a hospital for baby sneezing pandas. Q. I’m bored in my desk bound accountancy job and was wondering whether dropping a tab of acid before work would be a good way to liven up the working day? Simon, Shepherds Bush J: NO DUDE. NO. NO. NO. IT IS NOT. DUDE IT IS NOT A GOOD WAY. DEFINITELY BAD. There’s a recession. A RECESSION, BRUV. One moment you’re cc’ing your way through an hour’s worth of correspondence emails, NEXT THING YOU’RE EATING A COLLEAGUE’S FACE OFF AND GROWLING AT ARMED POLICE. Alternatively, wear women’s underwear. It’s new, and new is exciting, new can be fun and DOESN’T INVOLVE FACELESS COLLEAGUES. Ask Tim’s friend.

Do you have a question for JOSH Email us on

NOTE: Josh is not a qualified expert. He’s just a joker. However if you do want to know some more about him, go to If you need professional advice, call the london CALMzone helpline on 0808 802 5858. Outside london call: 0800 585858 Free, confidential & anonymous. Or text CALM1 to 07537 404717. We don’t charge, though your network might. Open 5pm-midnight, Sat/Sun/Mon/Tues - CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 8025858 Outside london: 0800 58 58 58

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Calmzine - The Drugs Issue  

THE DRUGS ISSUE - men's lifestyle magazine brought to you by CALMzine - Campaign Against Living Miserably.

Calmzine - The Drugs Issue  

THE DRUGS ISSUE - men's lifestyle magazine brought to you by CALMzine - Campaign Against Living Miserably.