Photo by Gareth Fuller
A group of young people trying to tackle our generation's problems
We are a team of students investigating the root causes for recreational benzodiazepine usage amongst people aged 18-25.
We wish to create a space for those affected to vocalise their experiences (both positive and negative), to evaluate NGO outreach, and the role that education plays.
The recreational (over)usage of benzodiazepines is prevalent amongst young people across the UK.
Our main objective?
To understand and evaluate the lived experiences and motivations for non-medical use of benzodiazepines in the UK's young adult population.
The research sector typically struggles to recruit participants of this age and on this topic, and so our platform seeks to meet that need. We hope that these testimonies will provide evidence for policy reforms, and to generate ideas as to how best to support young people.
Share your story with us here.
"The cancellation of GCSE and A-Level exams, as well as increased unemployment and housing prices has led to feelings of hopelessness and uncertainty, leading to a concerning rise in BZD consumption." – BHSCP
Who are we?
We are a group of students from King's College London, Imperial College London, University of Manchester, and the University of Sussex. Although from a widely multi-cultural background, we each share the desire to improve the growing problem of drug addiction amongst young people. Several of our members are part of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) organisation, which firmly aligns with our vision.
Estimates from a survey conducted by The Bridge Project suggests that over 250,000 patients are being prescribed BZDs far beyond the recommended treatment duration, presenting a serious public health problem in the UK. – James Davis et al.
29.3% of those having taken BZD under appropriate instruction have also misused the same drug. – Kapil et al.
Share your story with us here.
Understand young people's motivations for recreational benzo consumption
Testimonies that are sent in will be published on our website. From these we will create a final report, blog posts, harm reduction leaflets, and content for our social media channels.
Connect with NGOs and charities
Since starting this project, we have formed partnerships with stakeholders and organisations and we want to continue doing so. Knowledge sharing is crucial to improving local services and emerging issues. We also want to build social media relationships to help grow each others' accounts and share information.
Media presence to highlight the issue
Our social media team shares harm reduction and policy-related information on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. So far our posts have generated nearly 20,000 views from around the world, which demonstrates a demand for harm reduction content.
We are also planning to host an event at King's College London, held in collaboration with relevant NGOs.
Harm reduction flyers will be distributed with succinct information about safe benzo consumption alongside mental health support channels. This is in the hope of distributing it to universities and colleges, to reduce students building a dependency.
For more information, click here.
Pictured are just a few members on our team!