In honour of Talk to Frank’s sinister new reefer madness ad campaign we thought we’d run this again as a reminder of Franks ineptness.
Government website talktofrank.com is riddled with inaccuracies, inconsistancies and contradictions the void can exclusively reveal today.
The site, set up in a blaze of publicity, aims to be a user friendly guide to drugs aimed at young people. However with some parts of the website pure comedy, and others at times dangerously inaccurate it seems young people may not be getting the ‘harm minimisation’ advice they need.
The site contains an a-z of commonly used drugs as well as a limited amount of reports and a freephone/e-mail service whereby users can ask questions in confidence.
Starting with cannabis, Frank does do the decent thing and warns users off soapbar saying
“The most unpure Cannabis is called ‘soap bar’. It’s contaminated with all sorts of things. This makes it cheaper but it’s a false economy really as it is often harder to get stoned. Some users hate it so much they object to smoking it.”
A full ten points so far, however Frank then goes on to say “There is a minimal risk of physical dependence.”
err – says who? well says Frank I guess. Neatly sidestepping the issue of skunk in the A – Z guide, on another page outlining the unproven dangers to mental health caused by cannabis use Frank says “the strongest type of cannabis (is) called sinsemilla (or ‘skunk’)”
Wrong again Frank, and frankly you should know better ‘cos on the a-z you say that sensemilla is “bud grown in the absence of male plants and has no seeds” which is actually correct whereas skunk is generally a hybrid of different strains of Cannabis (Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa ).
On to mushies where Frank once again makes a hash of things by lumping Fly Agaric (amanita muscaria)and Liberty Caps (Psylocybin) into the same category, the catch all “Magic Mushrooms”.
Incorrectly claiming that both types of mushrooms fall into the Class A range of illegal drugs (Fly Agaric is not covered by any legislation) it also gives the impression that these are similiar drugs of similiar strengths.
Again though Frank contradicts himself in a report on the recent legislation criminalising psylocibin stating “No. Fly agaric mushrooms do not contain psilocin and they are not controlled drugs.”
On the A-Z Frank lists the dangers of fly agaric as
“Both mushrooms can make you feel sick, tired and disoriented.
Amanita’s can make you nervous, twitchy and cold.”
However in the report mentioned above Frank says “these mushrooms are very poisonous.”
So what are the kids supposed to think, well the void would point them to recovery.org.uk’s info
“Fly Agaric is poisonous as well as being hallucinogenic. Its toxicity is mainly due to the presence of mycoatropine which causes disorders of mental activity. The content of another poisonous agent, muscarine, is relatively small. Permanent physical damage or even death can be caused by eating them.”
Basically kids, Fly Agaric is a heavy psychedelic, not recommended at all for first time psychedelic users and should always be taken in a safe space, with somebody who is not on the drug who can help if necessary.
This shit is not recreational, and should be used as much as possible in a ritualistic setting to gain insights into the mind, personality and the ether.
Frank ignores the much recommended idiom of ‘set and setting’ when using psychedelics, the void recommends first time users read this.
We would also question the wisdom of even telling the kids about this stuff without at least providing a link to a mushroom identification guide, as both Fly Agaric and Psylocybin (Liberty Caps) look very similiar to some highly poisonous species. Harm reduction anyone … not for Frank who goes on to make a similiar mistake with Tranquillisers.
Once again lumping all drugs together, even though Frank ackowledges that ‘There are hundreds of different tranquillisers around’ he then goes on to describe the effects of Benzodiazepines (valium, librium, temazepam etc) as if they applied to all tranquillisers.
Frank ignores the less widely used, but far stronger barbiturates even though according to recovery.org.uk “Barbiturate overdose is a factor in nearly one-third of all reported drug-related deaths. These include suicides and accidental drug poisonings.”
Frank then says that “Tranquillisers can only be prescribed by a pharmacist. They are controlled under Class C of the misuse of drugs act.”
What you on Frank? barbiturates are a Class B drug.
Skirting past ketamine, where Frank incorrectly states that “Legally produced ketamine comes in liquid form which is injected. The illegally produced version usually comes as a grainy white powder which is snorted or bought as a tablet.”
well, close but no cigar here, almost all ketamine is pharmaceutically produced, and even illegally produced ketamine will come as a liquid form if you by in bulk, it’s then ‘cooked’ down to the powder for ease of use and supply.
Perhaps we’re nitpicking, but Frank excels when it comes to opiates. Ignoring the fact that street opium is becoming more and more popular, Frank chooses not to supply any info, instead concentrating on it’s more insiduous cousin heroin. Go to the link for opium in his A-Z and you’ll be taken straight to a page on heroin.
Frank is stringent in warnings of the dangers of heroin stating:
“Deaths from overdose occur. But the risk increases after a period off the drug because the body’s tolerance for the drug goes down.
Excessive doses can lead to coma and even death from respiratory failure.
If heroin is taken with other drugs, including alcohol, overdose is much more likely.
Other downers such as benzodiazepine tranquillisers are also associated with heroin overdose deaths.
There’s a risk of death due to inhaling vomit as heroin stops the body’s cough reflex working properly.”
However look what he says about the risks of methadone use
“With high doses the sedation takes over and users feel sleepy. Too much and you can fall into a coma or stop breathing completely.”
and that’s it in terms of the dangers of methadone overdose. In 2003 Methdone was directly responsible for 83 deaths and was a factor in a further 264. With total deaths from opiates running at about a thousand a year, one would of thought that with a significant percentage involving methadone then Frank would be only too keen to hammer home the risks.
But oh no, not Frank, wouldn’t do to upset the drug companies after all would it.
On crack Frank talks of physical dependance (unproven) and when it comes to ectasy spouts guff like:
“E’s can contain toxic other chemicals like MPTP, a drug known to cause irreversible Parkinson’s disease. It’s highly unlikely that many E’s have MPTP in them. But the point is that taking E is a gamble.”
whatever you say Frank…
Finally it seems that’s Frank pretty choosy about what gets to be listed in his A-Z, including relatively hard to find (sadly) drugs like PMA, 2CB and 2-CT-7, but ignores the far more commonly used DOB, DMT, salvia, peyote and mescalin (type any of these drugs into Frank’s search engine and it just ignores you).
So don’t talk to Frank if these are your drug of choice, as Frank won’t know what you’re talking about.
On a lighter note, Frank comes up with some inspiring suggestions for ‘getting high naturally’ (as if smoking a herb that grows the world over is somehow unnatural).
Coming on like a bumbling middle aged vicar Frank advises the yoof to … Get More Exercise … Eat Better … and Listen to More Music. Well done Frank for that helpful advice, according to Frank ‘One third (of young people questioned) said they get their best high from doing well at college or work’ with a paltry 3% claiming that drugs gave them the best buzz.
So there you go, the kids have spoken.
the void applauds any attempt to provide drugs information to young people in a way they can understand. However with recent figures showing that despite massively increased government spending drug related deaths remain as high as ever the wisdom of current government strategy has to be called into question.
And frankly, publishing inaccurate and misleading information on government backed websites is foolhardy and ignorant on one level …
… and downright irresponsible on another, with mistakes on the site that could conceivably lead to fatalities.
With several leading MP’s known former drug users, perhaps it’s time for Hughes, Huhne and Cameron amongst others to get their heads together and help to tell young people the truth about drug use and misuse.
In the meantime we sugest that young people experimenting with drugs make release, drugscope and recovery.org.uk their first point of call if they want accurate and comprehensive information about the pleasures and pitfalls of illegal drugs.
However the void would like to recommend the comedy flash animation on Frank’s front page, watch dancing ecstasy man descend into a drugs hell before your eyes – hours of fun (well maybe 5 minutes) for bored stoners.
We haven’t finished with Frank yet, watch this space…
meanwhile why not give him a call and let him know what you think