Recreational drugs and mental health problems; two things many people have experience with separately, though some together. I am part of the latter group. For the past few years, I’ve been using MDMA, smoking weed, and taking 40mg of Citalopram a day to manage my depression.
As is the case when any underground activity enters the public consciousness, a stream of sensationalist media is sure to emerge in response. 2016’s moral panic of choice has been over chemsex; the use of certain drugs to facilitate and enhance sex for gay and bisexual men. Chemsex has been the subject of a number of headlines and thinkpieces recently, following a number of deaths where chemsex is thought to have been directly implicated, and comes after the release of the documentary Chemsex for Vice, involving harrowing testimonials from those involved in the scene. What is needed most though, amongst the horror stories and fearmongering, is open and honest information about chemsex, and how to partake in it safely and responsibly.
Type 1 diabetes is an incurable autoimmune disease, occurring when the body attacks part of the pancreas and its insulin-producing cells. Insulin regulates the amount of sugar in the blood, so if these cells are destroyed, the body can no longer produce insulin. This results in a dangerously high sugar level, which, if left untreated, leads to a life-threatening complication called diabetic ketoacidosis (or DKA). Because I have type 1 diabetes, my pancreas produces absolutely no insulin, so I must administer my own through daily injections.
Guðni Jóhannesson, the President of Iceland (not the shop one) has launched a whirlwind of controversy after he claimed he would like to ban pineapple on pizza. The comments, made at an informal Q&A at an Icelandic secondary school, prompted international backlash, and the President – who holds a largely ceremonial role – had to clarify that he did not have, and did not want to have, the power to ban the “delicacy”. Banning Hawaiian pizza would be a serious overstep of the President’s power, and potentially threaten the Icelandic political system as a whole – yet, isn’t it worth it?
While shopping for groceries in Co-op, a sign greeted me at the vegetable section: “Sorry. There’s currently a shortage of lettuce, spinach, broccoli, peppers & tomatoes, and we may run out.” While I had heard something about a lack of courgettes, apparently a bunch of vegetables had been hit by the “flooding in Spain” – the south-eastern part of Spain, supplying 80% of Europe’s fresh produce during the winter months has suffered the heaviest rainfall in 30 years – and “bad weather throughout Europe” – low temperatures in Italy resulted in that country having to import vegetables rather than their normal export – that had resulted in the Co-op having to apologise for these vegetables being out of stock.
The anxiety hits as you await a response, knowing they have looked and read your message. The frustration becomes overwhelming. You’re still waiting for a response. Four hours later, you check and find they were online 8 minutes ago – are they purposely ignoring you?
Despite the fact that the bands which meant a great deal to myself and many others back in the day continue to age, the effect they had on us lingers. Fall Out Boy’s ‘Infinity on High’ is ten this year, and their impact – and that of similar bands – on young people cannot be underestimated. For teenagers who were finding it hard to fit in, these bands were there for them, with numerous band members having similar stories from their youth. It’s an obvious boost to fragile confidence to think that if your favourite band members overcame similar obstacles, then you could too.