Please check this page regularly to keep up to date with drug alerts, news, and for information on any upcoming events we will be attending.
Deaths linked to Xanax
There has been recent media coverage of the risks associated with using Xanax (the brand name for the benzodiazepine medication, alprazolam).
Please note that these figures refer to deaths related to Xanax rather than deaths by Xanax overdose (i.e. Xanax may be one of several drugs used in a death by overdose, or may have contributed to mental health problems that led to self-harm or suicide).
- If you are a regular user of Xanax (or any other benzodiazepine, such as Valium) please seek medical advice, particularly if you are planning to reduce or stop.
- Where possible, avoid mixing it with other drugs/alcohol as the effects can be dangerous and unpredictable.
- If you are struggling with your emotional health, please be aware that Xanax use is likely to contribute to any feelings of low mood or anxiety you may be having. Seek support from your GP or mental health service, and if you feel unable to keep yourself safe please remember that you are within your rights to access emergency treatment via 999 or A&E. You may also wish to consider speaking to the Samaritans.
Information for Cocaine and Crack users:
What is it?
Most current commercial preparations of Levamisole are intended for veterinary use as a dewormer in cattle, pigs, and sheep. Its also used by aquarists as an effective treatment for Camallanus roundworm infestations in freshwater tropical fish.
What is the potential harm?
One of the more serious side effects of levamisole is agranulocytosis, or the depletion of the white blood cells. In particular, neutrophils appear to be affected the most.
There have also been reports of levamisole induced necrosis syndrome in which erythematous painful papules can appear almost anywhere on skin.
This adverse effect has been observed in several cocaine users in the South Gloucestershire area. It appears some people are more susceptible to it than others, but the mechanism behind this is unclear.
Why is it used?
- Something about the chemical structure of levamisole retains the iridescent fish-scale sheen of pure cocaine, according to a chemist with ties to the cocaine trade, giving cocaine cut with levamisole the same appearance as pure cocaine.
- Levamisole is a bulking agent for crack. The process of making crack involves “washing” cocaine and filtering out impurities and cutting agents. Levamisole slips through this process, meaning you can produce more volume of crack with less pure cocaine.
- Levamisole passes the “bleach test,” a simple street test used to detect impurities in cocaine.
- Levasmisole also adds a ‘speedy’ effect to cocaine – making it appear to be better quality.
We are now working in partnership with the University of the West of England to offer an on-campus support service for students who are experiencing issues with drug and/or alcohol use.
El, our UWE Drug and Alcohol Practitioner, is based with the Wellbeing Team on Frenchay Campus. However, you don’t need to be working with Wellbeing to access support.
Although we are working jointly with the university, our confidentiality policy still stands – you do not need to worry about information being shared with the university without your consent, unless it is essential to do so to protect you or someone else from serious harm.
Please check this section for upcoming events that DHI and the SPACED Team will be attending.