Cocaine availability in Edinburgh and the Lothians has increased over the last three months, according to anecdotal evidence collected by the Crew 2000 drug protect. This represents an increase not only in the type of drugs used recreationally, but also in the number of young people experimenting With substances.

The information emerged immediately before a study, published by the Institute for the Study of Drugs Dependency, which showed that young clubbers in London are turning to cocaine in the belief that it gives them more control over their narcotic experience than the traditional dance drugs of choice, ecstasy and amphetamines. However Scottish reports indicate that north of the border use is additional to, rather than in replacement of, other drugs.

’The inCrease in heroin use in Lothian over the last year or so has opened up the possibilities of other drugs being sold,’ according to Mike Cadger, Proiect Co-ordinator of Crew 2000. 'Dealers are entrepreneurs and cocaine is JUSI another market opportunity for them. In the same way they are not selling heroin as 'smack’ but as ’brown' which sounds much softer, so it takes on a different type of aura to the one it had in the early 80s.’

As a harm reduction agency, Crew 2000 uses peer education and adVice to provide guidelines for young people on how to minimise risk in drug use. It started in the early 90s after the realisation by a group of young clubbers that there was no information available in the area of recreational drug taking.

Although Crew 2000 believes it is fulfilling a positive role in helping combat drug problems and addiction, there

Edinburgh clubbers become chrlie’ angels

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Between the lines: coke use on the up

continues to be a high turnover of young people using drugs. Difficulties arise from the fact that each successrve generation requires its own information otherwrse the message Will be lost in what Cadger terms a consciousness deficit’

Because of Crew 2000's volunteer—led approach, it is able to prowde credible information in a manner which is, itself, credible to its target audience. The agency is also in a posnion to listen to what young people are saying and respond immediately to changing trends in recreational drug use. (Thom Dibdin)

a The Crew 2000 shop giving confidential advice and information on drugs and safer sex is at 32 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh. Open Mon—Sat (not Thu) 2-5p/Tl, Thu 4—8pm. Phone 0737 220 3404. As a result of his writing on recreational drug use, Thom ledlll is on the manage/newt committee of Crew 2000.

Stars asked for party favours

Irvine Welsh: never mind the ballots

suggesting that the spokesman for the chemical generation would bankroll Williamson’s campaign based on the pair's friendship. When Welsh refuted this claim, front page headlines described it as an attack on party leader Tommy Sheridan This moved the irate author to issue a statement saying that he had never spoken to the Evening News, and that the stories

Journalism' The paper laid some blame at Sheridan's door for his failure to return telephone calls

Williamson told The List doesn't want to be seen as SuppOrting any political party. But that doesn't mean he's anti-SSP'

The newspaper published a st0ry '

amounted to ‘nothing more than a 1 stitch-up and a malicious piece of .


The past two decades have seen many an MP or JOurnalist complain about the rise of the cm of personality' within politics the practice of concentrating on colourful indiViduals rather than issues of policy The process took a showbiz turn when successive Westminster governments sought to align themselves with various celebrities, culminating in Tony Blair’s QUickly ridiculed 'Cool Britannia' posturing. Now, in the run up to elections for the Scottish Parliament, politicos north of the border are

experiencing the phenomenon first hand.

Scottish Socialist Party candidate for Edinburgh Central, KeVin Williamson, has seen the positive and negative aspects of celebrity by association in recent weeks. Peter Mullan, star of My Name Is Joe, greatly enhanced the party's public profile by pledging his support, but then Williamson became involved in a war of words With Edinburgh’s Evening News over the affiliations or otherWise of novelist IrVIne Welsh.

And what of the whole celeb endorsement idea iii the week that Sean Connery established a London address because only as a UK resident can he contribute to SNP funds?

'I think in the case of Peter Mullan and [former Celtic: and Hibs star] Jackie McNamara, they have a history of trade unionism and Support for left wing causes,’ says Williamson ’That's - not the same thing as Oasis gomg to Downing Street for champagne'

(Rob Fraser)


The Scottish Inquisition

Questions you don ’t expect. This

issue: Alison Forsyth, Director, BAFTA Scotland.

Tabloid or Broadsheet? Broadsheet, but tab|0ids are fun. We need both.

First arts related job? Press officer for Glasgow Mayfest.

Career highlight?

You're only as good as your last show so, the BAFTA Scotland New Talent Awards.

Name a work of art you cannot live without . . .

Babette’s Feast, Macbeth, Nessun Dorma, anything by Leonard Cohen or Dickens, and Peter Nardini's painting The Flying Squad, cos it's mine.

. . . and a law you're proud to have broken?

For some reason the words Poll Tax Spring to mind.

You're about to be exiled - how would you spend your last night? At a party With bagpipes, dancing, friends and whisky.

Glasgow: City of Architecture 8: Design but which building would you like destroyed?

The one over the M8 which used to be a bridge to nowhere and is now an office block. I preferred the bridge to nowhere!

What motion would you make as an MSP?

Stop putting corkage charges on wine in hotels.

Top Scot of the new Millennium? I think that’s gomg to Donald Dewar, isn't it.7

What should be in the Millennium dome?

Human'achievements and everything we like, from ice cream to pyramids.

How do you see Scotland's future? l'm Optimistic; We Scots have always been cultured, great Europeans, great travellers, adventurers and inventors We have a lot to offer the world (Compiled by Rob Fraser)

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Zl Jan—r1 Feb 1999 THE lIST 25