Express & Star

Charity to deliver drink and drugs safety guide at Birmingham Pride

A charity has created the most up-to-date guide about the risks of drugs and alcohol in time for Birmingham Pride.

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David Kuczora and Tom Jenkins with their clubbers guide

Life+ will be handing out the clubbers' guide at the international LGBT+ event across Pride weekend which officially starts on Saturday, May 27.

Lockdown changed people's tastes and habits and the new guide reflects the dangers recently more popular drugs, like nitrous oxide, poses to users.

Tom Jenkins, co-founder of Life+, said: “Any major party event carries the risk of people misusing drugs and alcohol. We have worked for nearly a decade with the police, health authorities and national charities such as Terrence Higgins Trust to examine really important underlying issues.

“During the COVID-19 lockdown, the Night Time Economy was closed. Trends and tastes in how people use drugs and alcohol have changed massively. Now venues are back in business, it is vitally important to ensure that communications regarding public health are completely up-to-date. That’s why we have commissioned a brand new Clubber’s Guide in time for Pride.

“Particularly concerning is the increased use of ‘Laughing Gas’ – Nitrous Oxide. When footballer Cody Fisher was fatally stabbed to death on Boxing Day this year, the police found the club was full of empty canisters of NOX. It shows very clearly how habits of substance consumption change very quickly.

“That’s why have used the most relevant and correct information to distribute during Birmingham Pride. We know that despite with even the strongest warnings, people will always misuse drugs and alcohol. Our aim is to try to simply explain the physical effects that common club drugs have.

“There is no safe way to take drugs. But if you’re with a group of people partying, then there are some common sense things you can do to make sure that they are looked after.

“Quite simply, don’t leave a mate alone. It’s always best to call 999 and get an ambulance out straight away. Deaths often occur when people are afraid that they’ll get in trouble with the police because they’ve taken something illegal. Don’t worry about that. Think about saving your mate’s life.”