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Drugs & Alcohol

The easiest way to deal with the problems which arise as a result of the consumption of drugs or alcohol is very simple; don’t take illegal drugs and don’t drink!

That is probably a little obvious and a little un-realistic….

 

Alcohol

Many people who travel enjoy a drink of alcohol and many enjoy the sociability that having a drink can provide; travel is meant to be fun…

The key is to understand a little about the differences in the strength of drinks in other countries and the additional risk that being ‘drunk’ puts you in.

Accidents happen; fact! More accidents happen when you are drunk.

Accidents are not always serious when you are in the UK; when far away from home in an unfamiliar location, accidents can quickly escalate and be magnified.

Our environment at home tends to be generally safe; there are safeguards in places which we take for granted and rules which provide a safety framework. In developing countries even crossing the road can be a daunting and ‘dangerous’ when you are sober; yet it is surprising how many travellers drive motorcycles on these road when drunk.

Our message is; it’s ok to have a drink if you want, it’s getting drunk that causes the problems. If you have a drink follow a few simple rules which don’t need to take away from the fun you are having:

 

  • Have a pre-planned route and method of getting back to where you are staying
  • Know what you are drinking
  • Look after each other (take it in turns for someone in your group who you trust to remain ‘sober’)
  • Never drink and drive / swim / climb
  • Don’t accept drinks from strangers

 

Illegal Drugs

In some parts of the world illegal drugs can seem to be freely available. Stories of decriminalisation or police turning a blind eye and the ‘purity’ of drugs being superior to those at home, are rife amongst ‘hostel gossip’.

These stories are spread by those who deal illegal drugs and drug users because it suits them to justify their trade or habit; they have no merit.

Let’s clear up a few facts:

 

  • Drugs are never ‘pure’, by their very nature they are almost all chemical compounds or chemically enhanced. Because they are illegal they are not produced in sterilised laboratories, but in unhygienic conditions using untested chemicals bought from illegal sources.
  • Drug dealers are never your ‘friend’ or ‘doing you a favour’; their motive is profit alone. They do not care about the consequences of their actions on you or the ‘quality’ of the product they sell you.
  • The strength of illegal drugs can be much greater and thus more dangerous when abroad.
  • Most drugs are illegal in every country around the world.
  • Police rarely turn a ‘blind-eye’ to anything. At their best they are fastidious in their role and believe visitors should be made an example of; at their worst they are corrupt and will demand significant bribes for even the smallest offences.
  • In many countries the punishment for drug possession can be considerable; the sentences for drug dealing (the quantity of drugs required for a charge of dealing can be very small) range from long prison terms to the death penalty.
  • Jails in foreign countries are very dangerous and very unpleasant places.
  • The foreign office can offer little in the way of help if you are charged with drug offences in a foreign country; you are subject to the laws of the country you are in.
  • As part of your trip are you planning to visit a rainforest or explore new cultures? Drug production has led to the destruction of large swaths of rainforest around the world and destroyed whole communities and the traditional way of life they used to enjoy…

 

Our message is clear, don’t take drugs, don’t hold onto drugs, don’t get involved with drugs by association with drug dealers or drug users and never carry anything you have not packed or inspected closely for yourself.

The world you encounter travelling will provide so many natural highs, without the need for them to chemically enhanced.