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Drug information just a txt message away (NZ)

  1. ~lostgurl~
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Drug information just a txt message away
    By AIMEE NICHOLLS, AUT journalism student
    Wednesday, 20 September 2006


    Tamaki and Districts Times

    MORE than 10,000 text messages were sent on the first night of the new ‘Get the Msg’ anti-drug campaign.

    “We didn’t anticipate this response,” says the New Zealand Drug Foundation’s executive director, Ross Bell.

    “We thought we would be sending 10,000 texts a month. It’s overwhelming.”

    The service, launched on September 1, offers free, text-based drug information to all 021 mobile users.

    People can text the name of a recreational drug, whether scientific, street or slang, to DRUG (3784) and receive a message back informing what it is, its effects and what the come down is like for users.

    “Texting was the obvious way to do it,” says Mr Bell. “It’s such a large part of New Zealand society.”

    The service is run by the NZ Drug Foundation, Run the Red mobile enablers and supported by the Vodafone Graduates Project.

    Information on 17 substances is recorded in the system database, including alcohol and tobacco and more than 400 terms are recognised.

    Mr Bell says the database is flexible and can be updated and changed constantly.

    He hopes the service will allow people to make their own informed decisions to say no to drugs, or at least provide information so they know what to expect and use safely.

    St John Ambulance events operation manager Adam Johnston says the service will be positive because people still use recreational drugs, no matter what.

    “We welcome something like this. It’s useful to the public and to our staff,” says Mr Johnston.

    The service means ambulance staff will no longer have to carry outdated encyclopaedias with them, he says.

    “And ambulances are at the bottom of the cliff. An initiative like this is a rung in the ladder at the top. Hopefully it will help people use in a safe manner and prevent overdoses.

    “But I guess we will see when the next dance party comes along.”

    New Zealand is the second country to trial such a service. A similar Vodafone supported service was launched in Ireland five months ago. Get the Msg is undergoing a four-month trial in New Zealand.

    If all goes well Mr Bell hopes it will be expanded to other mobile networks.

    “It’s such a simple thing to do and hopefully it will help a lot of people,” he says.

    http://www.times.co.nz/cms/news/2006/09/art100013261.php

Comments

  1. SPWIM
    "He hopes the service will allow people to make their own informed decisions to say no to drugs, or at least provide information so they know what to expect and use safely"

    So even if they know what to expect and use safely, the decision to use drugs was uninformed? What a load of shit.
  2. Paracelsus
    Disinformation on demand. Welcome to the on demand era.

    Just imagine how much information one can receive about a drug in a text message: "CRANK means methamphetamine. It is a harmful and addicting stimulant. More than ... deaths are linked to it each year. It is synthesized clandestinely using toxic compounds." or at least something similar.

    Thousands of drug-users have access to very detailed and informative drug encyclopaedias, and ambulances don't? I seriously doubt that these messages include ambulance information like how to treat somebody who has a bad trip or has OD-ed on something.

    To get more information about the quality of this service, New-Zealanders on this forum could post messages from this service here. Just so we can see what kind of disinformation they have to offer now.

    .
  3. ~lostgurl~
    Might be an idea to use a pre-pay phone rather than contract...... cause they gotta be keeping a list of all the numbers/people requesting this info.... for research purposes only of course :snort:
  4. TrialByFire
    "MORE than 10,000 text messages were sent on the first night of the new ‘Get the Msg’ anti-drug campaign.

    “We didn’t anticipate this response,” says the New Zealand Drug Foundation’s executive director, Ross Bell.

    “We thought we would be sending 10,000 texts a month. It’s overwhelming.”


    Anyone else find it humorous that people continue to believe drug usage is only done by a small portion of the population at large?
  5. SPWIM
    It depends where you live and what you consider drug usage. For me, drug usage is everything including alcohol, tobacco and coffee. If you mean illegal substances then it depends on the region in which you're living. Certain drugs are illegal in different parts of the world and certain drugs are more popular in different parts of the world and even different parts of countries and cities.

    I'm not sure about NZ but I'm sure the number of peope who choose to use illegal drugs in the UK is a significant minority.
  6. TrialByFire
    I'd include alcohol and coffee as well, but yeah I get your point about the illegal usage. I just thought it was a little funny that the guy was surprised at the response. SWIM lives in Austin, TX and tells me the amount of illegal usage of some stuff is a pretty regular occurrence.
  7. ~lostgurl~
    SWIM convinced me to text "P" the slang term for methamphetamine to 3784. this what replied a second later:

    "Amphetamine Stimulant Speeds up nervous system Feel alert & powerful Long term use can lead to psychosis Risk from needle sharing"

    ok, now SWIM wants me to text GHB:

    "GHB Sedative Produces states of euphoria High risk of overdose High doses can lead to confusion, convulsions seizures coma"

    After seeing the documentry here on Salvia even I'm pretty keen to see what they have to say on this:

    "Salvia Hallucinogen Herb from the mint family User experiences loss of physical coordination, altered visions & realiies"

    Any requests?
  8. darawk
    That info doesn't look too outrageously inaccurate. I'd like to see what they have to say about the psychedelics, LSD, psilocybin, etc..
  9. ~lostgurl~
    LSD:

    "LSD Hallucinogen Causes distorted perceptions of reality Unpredictable effects flashbacks tremors panic loss of control of emotions"
  10. darawk
    That's fairly reasonable. At least they aren't spouting crap about it collecting in your spine and breaking chromosomes. They are over-stating the risks somewhat I think, but at least those are all *real* risks of LSD use.
  11. ~lostgurl~
    I suppose there is only limited space in a text message..... if they had more room.........
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