Drug use info aims beyond 2000

Crew 2000, Edinburgh's safer drug use project, marks a new stage in its development this month when it hosts a major conference on recreational drug use policy. Meta '99 is attracting participants from all over Scotland, representing existing drugs agencies, MSPs, the police and policy makers. The conference is an attempt by Crew to share its groundbreaking ideas with the wider community in the hope that they will be replicated in other cities around Scotland.

Crew 2000 was formed in 1992 by a group of young people who were concerned about the effects of ecstasy and amphetamines when used recreationally, particularly as dance drugs. At the time, the only available drugs information and services were aimed at long-term and problematic heroin use. Crew's approach was a novel one, in that it did not preach to young people who were thinking of taking, or had started taking, illegal drugs. It simply aimed to provide non- judgmental, factual information.

Media hysteria surrounding events such as the tragic death of Leah Betts meant that clubbers

were not given the facts about drug use. Crew, which by 1994 had opened up a city centre shop on Cockburn Street in Edinburgh, was meanwhile able to provide people with the knowledge to inform their own drug


As the understanding of recreational drug use has evolved, so has Crew. Besides keeping a constant flow of updated information aimed at people who need it, it has developed outreach work on the streets of different parts of Edinburgh and is setting up a peer support service for stimulant users who are

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Full impact: a Crew 2000 flyer on 60!! (Liquid Ecstasy)

experiencing problems.

While Crew 2000 has grown from a local self-help group into an established agency with a national remit, the task now is to find ways of helping new groups of

young people to replicate its success. (Thom Dibdin)

3 Meta ’99 takes place at the Bongo Club, New Street, Edinburgh on Thu 28 Oct, Mam—4.30pm; call 0137 220 3404 for details. A club event takes place from 70pm at the same venue. Thom Dibdin is a freelance journalist specialising in drugs issues and is on the management committee of Crew 2000.

Edinburgh College of Art has announced a date for its first report on merger negotiations with Heriot-Watt University. The College's board of governors will discuss the progress of the talks on 7 December.

The decision to open discussions on the possible merger of the two institutions - taken after a thirteen-to- ten vote in favour at a governors'

Mo become one?: Edinburgh College of Art'

meeting on 11 October - has alarmed many in the art world. There are worries that in return for greater financial security, ECA will lose its independence and be prey to the aspirations of its Heriot-Watt overlord. For the last 30 years, ECA has enjoyed a close relationship with Heriot-Watt, and is currently affiliated to the university. However, financial

dinburgh rr srs u the art world

concerns have mounted over the last decade, coupled with criticism of ECA’s lack of educational adventurism. To a degree overshadowed by Glasgow School of Art, which commands an international profile and is the training ground of many of today’s most innovative artists, ECA has been accused of conservatism. Of late however, winds of change have rustled through its corridors. In particular, the establishment in 1997 of an Art and Design Research Department has brought in new staff of international standing and upped the college’s profile.

One needs only look to Dundee, where the 1996 merger between Duncan of Jordanstone Art College and Dundee University has been hailed as a success, for evidence that a similar union in Edinburgh could be of great benefit to ECA. (Susanna Beaumont)



Short and to the point BELLE AND SEBASTIAN'S Stuart Murdoch will be breaking his customary public silence to take part in the Scottish Socialist Party's debate 'Socialism 2000’ on Sat 6 and Sun 7 Nov at Glasgow Caledonian University. Murdoch's contribution comes as part of a workshop at 2pm on 7 Nov titled 'Do you have to sell out to succeed in the music industry?‘ Joining him will be his bandmate Chris Geddes, Francis McDonald (head of Shoeshine Records and ex Teenage Fanclub) and Douglas McIntyre (Creeping Bent Records). 'As well as being a political force fighting against poverty and exploitation, the SSP also wants to be a magnet for all radical forces in Scottish culture music, theatre and Iiterature,’ says the party's covener and MSP, Tommy Sheridan. Others taking part during the weekend include actor-director Peter Mullan and TV dramatist Peter McDougall. Further information on the ‘Socialism 2000' programme is available at or on 0131 557 0426. THE 1999 EDINBURGH TATTOO has been captured in all its glory on a 70- minute video cassette. Highlights include the Golden Eagles marching band, the Barbados Defence Force Band, re-enacted episodes from the history of the Argle 8: Sutherland Highlanders, and a performance by the Massed Pipes 8: Burns. The video is available from the Tattoo Office, 32-34 Market Street, Edinburgh, EH1 108, priced £14(+ p&p) for the PAL version and £17 for NTSC format. THE 21ST CELTIC Film and Television Festival heads to Aberystwyth in Wales between 5—8 April 2000, and is now launching a call for competition entries. Scottish film, television and radio producers are invited to submit work on any subject, but particularly on issues 'relevant and prominent in the Celtic nations and regions'. Included in the thirteen categories are two new awards - Best News Report and Best News Journalist (Radio). For an entry form, contact Aberystwyth 2000 Festival Office, Y Lanfa, Trefechan, Aberystwyth, SY23 1AS before the deadline of 30 Nov 1999. Social values: Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch

21 Oct—4 Nov 1999 THE [18125