Investigation: Drugs in Oxford

The discovery of cocaine traces in a number of locations across Oxford suggests that for some students at least, university is a time for experimentating with recreational drugs. How prevalent is drug use in Oxford University?C+ has analysed drug use across the university by surveying over six hundred students and using swab tests to sample locations across the city for traces of cocaine.Swab tests suggest that cocaine has been taken in several Oxford locations. Toilets in the Oxford Union, the Old Bodleian Library, the Radcliffe Camera, the Manor Road Building , the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, and the Oxford University Language centre, as reported on the front page.Students who answered the survey were asked about what drugs they had taken in the last year. The survey was distributed by email and social media and had received 650 responses at the time of writing.[mm-hide-text]%%IMG_ORIGINAL%%8901%%[/mm-hide-text]Use of alcohol is most common, with 94% of respondents claiming to have drunk recently. According to our survey, tobacco use is higher amongst the Oxford student population, at 54%, than in the UK as a whole.Among illegal drugs, the most common was cannabis: over a third of respondents (281) admitted to using marijuana or hashish. Over one in five students (22%) admitted to MDMA use.Strikingly, results suggest that cocaine use is relatively common, with 11% of respondents claiming to have taken the drug over the last year.The data gathered imply that a minority of students take a wider variety of narcotics. Eighteen of those surveyed said they had used heroin. An equally low number of students admitted to taking khat and crack over the past twelve months, whilst 5% of students said they had tried LSD. A relatively high number of respondents also claimed to have used nitrous oxide (15%). The drug has recently seen increased use among clubs in Europe, in the form of ‘laughing gas’.Significant numbers of students are also taking ‘magic mushrooms’, with 7% of respondents admitting to having ingested the psychedelic drug.When presented with the data, a spokesperson for Oxford University stated, “The survey is of concern, and while research demonstrates that most young people leave drugs and alcohol behind as they become clearer about who they are and what they want to achieve in life, the University and colleges advise and encourage those who are currently abusing any kind of substance to seek help.“We strongly advise students against taking any drugs that have not been prescribed to them as this could involve putting their health at risk. If students want help to address these matters, they will find a range of support available on many levels – college, university, Student Union, and the local NHS services. Information about this support is promoted to students by the University, the colleges and the Student Union.”[mm-hide-text]%%IMG_ORIGINAL%%8905%%[/mm-hide-text]According to the survey, there is relatively little evidence of ‘legal highs’, such as mephedrone, which have recently been the subject of debate in the media.When C+ spoke to forensic toxicology scientist Dr Simon Elliott of ROAR Forensics and David Nutt’s ‘DrugScience’ committee, he highlighted this as “particularly interesting”.Elliott commented, “Even if these featured in the 3% of ‘Other’ drugs, the suggested use would be proportionately low which is unexpected based on my forensic experience of current casework.” Elliott also drew attention to the risks of MDMA and amphetamines being cut with unknown drugs: “Users should be aware that such products may also contain other substances (potentially as a complete substitute for the expected contents). As such it is important that students have access to the necessary information to provide an objective view of drugs and drug harm, to help and educate where required.”9% of students also admitted to taking “other” drugs, not listed in the survey. The most popular response for this category was ketamine. A small minority of students said that they have used prescription drugs for recreational purposes.In the survey, C+ consulted respondents on their views about the extent of drug use in the university. Almost half of respondents (48%) feel drug use is “average” amongst the student body in Oxford. Only 31% believe usage is “rare”.[mm-hide-text]%%IMG_ORIGINAL%%8903%%[/mm-hide-text]However, others saw drug use as more widespread: just over 20% of the sample claimed that drug use in Oxford was either “common” or “ubiquitous”. Despite this, only 23% of respondents said they used drugs at least monthly. Nearly half of those surveyed claimed not to have taken recreational drugs at all in the past twelve months.Furthermore, the data suggests that only a small number of people have been drawn into drug culture since their arrival at Oxford. When asked about whether they had used drugs prior to university, around half of respondents answered “no” or “not applicable”.Charlotte Hendy, OUSU’s Vice-President for Welfare, told C+, “We encourage all students to be mindful of their health and wellbeing whilst at Oxford, and to avoid needle-sharing and other dangerous practices associated with drug use. Our Student Advice Service provides free, confidential advice to any student requiring it – just email [email protected]“OUSU is also partnering with the Lifeline Project, a drug and alcohol abuse charity. We are currently running a survey for all students, to ensure that the services OUSU and Lifeline provide is tailored to what students want and need. OUSU is looking to you to inform the direction we take with this partnership, to ensure that we provide you with the services you need.”A spokesperson for the Lifeline Project commented, “University students are in a unique social and economic position – receiving maintenance grants and loans in large amounts at precisely the same time that they are propelled into independent living, many for the first time away from home and family.They went on, “There is a strong social focus within student bodies in the UK on alcohol and increasingly, as the OUSU survey reveals, on illicit substances.”“Lifeline Project is pleased to be working with OUSU in supporting the pathway to the Recovery service in Oxford where students can receive information, counselling and interventions around alcohol and substance misuse.”Lifeline Oxfordshire is based on Marston Road in Cowley, and their partnership with OUSU was announced in Tom Rutland’s OUSU Presidential bulletin email earlier this week. read more

Read More »

Frankenstein Exhibit Returns to Library Atrium for October

first_imgAn all-things-Frankenstein exhibit returns to the atrium outside the Ocean City Free Public Library for the month of October.WHAT: An all-new Frankenstein exhibit with portraits, cartoons and drawings of the world’s most famous monster will be shown through October. The display runs through Oct. 31.WHERE: In the atrium of the Ocean City Free Public Library’s main entrance, 17th Street and Simpson Avenue.WHAT ELSE: The collection has been compiled by Ron MacCloskey an actor, Groucho Marx impersonator and creator of the “Lucky Guess Game Show” featured at the library during First Night.A random drawing will decide the winner of a “Monsters of Filmland” painting.MacCloskey introduced the third annual exhibit on Thursday, Oct. 1, with Ocean City Fire Department Capt. Bill Martin volunteering as Frankenstein and with a themed cake served to attendees.This year on the 80th anniversary of “Bride of Frankenstein,” the library will be host to Frankenstein’s 80th Wedding Anniversary Party at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28. All are invited to attend the free event, which will feature Dracula, Wolfman, the Mummy, Zombie, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Hunchback. Student performers from Ocean City High School will be featured.Attendees can enter to win a painting originally created for the “Monsters of Filmland” magazine. Ron MacCloskey (left) and Bill Martin introduce the Frankenstein exhibit that will be on display throughout October in the atrium outside the Ocean City Free Public Library.last_img read more

Read More »

Conference examines immigration

first_imgTo begin the Church and Immigration Conference, Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini of the Diocese of Huehuetenango in Guatemala gave the keynote address Sunday night in McKenna Hall. Both University President Fr. John Jenkins and Bishop Eusebio Elizondo of the Archdiocese of Seattle introduced the speaker.In Jenkins’ remarks, he said the United States is in political gridlock when it comes to immigration reform, and while politicians are bickering, immigrants are dying.“We need to elevate the terms of the immigration debate onto a higher moral plane,” Jenkins said. “While we certainly recognize the right of a nation to regulate immigration, we must also recognize the economic realities that force people across borders to find the means to feed their families. We must also recognize the undeniable economic benefits that immigrants, both documented and undocumented, have brought to this nation.“We must recognize the history of immigration that has helped define our nation.”Elizondo, chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, said the Church’s obligation to care for immigrants began with Jesus himself.“The Church has been involved in the immigration issue since her founding, when the Lord Jesus Christ instructed all of us to welcome the stranger, and in these interfaces we see Christ himself,” Elizondo said.Elizondo said the USCCB is the largest refugee resettlement agency in the world, and has resettled more than one million refugees since 1975.“The Catholic voice continues to have impact in the public debate on immigration,” he said. “As a community, we are at the forefront of the moral arguments governing the immigration reform debate. We should be proud of our rich tradition of defending the migrant, both here in the United States and globally. This of course not only includes the bishops but all the faithful and many of you present.”Ramazzini said immigration crises throughout the world continue because people reduce immigrants to economic statistics.“The economic dimension of globalization places productivity and effectiveness as the values that orient all our human relationships,” he said. “This economic dimension promotes inequality and injustices. That is to say, the most important values of truth, justice, love and … human dignity and the rights of others are subjective to the world market. I say [it should be] the God market.”Ramazzini said a person is not just an economic factor.“The crisis of capitalism and also the crisis of socialism is to forget that God is the fundamental in the reality,” he said. “Pope Francis, in his apostolic exhortation, ‘The Joy of the Gospel,’ emphasized that the Church — and I dare to say that I believe Christianity today is in a profound crisis — is living a new idolatry of money, in that it is money that governs us.“We have created a world of inequality and this inequality is one of the causes of the migrants today.”Consumerism has created a “throw-away society” that does not value the inherent dignity of every person, Ramazzini said.“Being a Christian is to love God and our neighbor,” he said. “We know that. Because of this, we must promote a different globalization that emphasizes love for justice and a respect of human rights. … Even people who do not have documents are persons. Is it necessary to have a document in order to be a person? Can others be a hindrance in living as a human being?“If we truly live with a globalization as I mentioned, we will have the capacity to discover who is suffering, and we would then have the capacity of helping them.”Tags: Immigration Conferencelast_img read more

Read More »

New York governor says state will solicit another 1GW of offshore wind this year

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享offshoreWIND.biz:The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will issue its second solicitation for at least 1GW of offshore wind capacity in 2020, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo said in his State of the State Address.The second solicitation could potentially yield ”substantially more” than 1GW in new capacity, according to the 2020 State of the State.The second round will be designed to capture the rapidly falling costs of offshore wind energy, the address stated. No further details were shared.The announcement builds on New York’s goal to have 9GW of electricity from offshore wind by 2035.In its first offshore wind solicitation, NYSERDA selected Equinor’s 816MW Empire Wind and the 880MW Sunrise Wind, a project jointly developed by Ørsted and Eversource Energy.In early 2020, NYSERDA, Empire State Development (ESD), and New York Department of Transportation (DOT) will also initiate a competitive process to award USD 200 million in public investments to improve the port infrastructure that will be used for the local offshore wind sector.[Adnan Durakovic]More: New York to seek at least 1GW of new offshore wind capacity in 2020 New York governor says state will solicit another 1GW of offshore wind this yearlast_img read more

Read More »

Floating wind turbine off the French coast posts record production numbers in February

first_imgFloating wind turbine off the French coast posts record production numbers in February FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Offshorewind.biz:Floatgen, the first offshore wind turbine installed off the French coast, produced 923.2 MWh of electricity in February, setting a new monthly record.The 2MW Floatgen turbine achieved a capacity factor of 66.3% for the power production of 923.2 MWh last month, Ideol said.With a February time availability of 95,7%, Ideol added that its patented floating foundation again confirmed its readiness for commercial-scale deployments.To remind, Floatgen exceeded expectations when it produced a total of 2.2 GWh during the first half of 2019. The second half of last year saw the floating wind turbine already more than double its first-semester power production, reaching an annual total of 6 GWh.Floatgen, which consists of a Vestas V80 turbine mounted on the Damping Pool, started delivering electricity to the French grid in September 2018. The project is a joint venture of Ideol, Bouygues Travaux Publics, Centrale Nantes engineering school, RSK Group, Zabala, the University of Stuttgart, and Fraunhofer IWES.[Nadja Skopljak]More: Floatgen breaks record in Februarylast_img read more

Read More »

Major Blow to Shining Path: Two Top Leaders Killed in Peru

first_img The three Shining Path members were killed during a confrontation that took place in Llochegua, Ayacucho region. Two top military leaders of Shining Path were killed by the Peruvian Army during confrontations in the jungles of Peru on August 11, signifying a blow that destroys the leadership of this guerrilla group, President Ollanta Humala said. By Dialogo August 13, 2013 Drug trafficking gangs operate with the remnants of the Shining Path in that location, and use the area as a shelter after its founder Abimael Guzmán was captured in 1992 and sentenced to life in prison, which signified the disruption and defeat of the Shining Path in the mid 1990s. The Peruvian president also reported a third neutralized guerrilla: ‘Comrade Alfonso’, right-hand man of Alipio. This blow joins others suffered by the group in the past months. In February 2012, the Army captured Florindo Flores Hala, aka ‘Comrade Artemio’, Shining Path’s leader in the Alto Huallaga valley, in the country’s northwestern jungle area, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in June. “We believe that this operation has destroyed Shining Path’s leadership,” Humala added, explaining that according to intelligence they are identified as Alejandro Borda Casafranca, aka ‘Comrade Alipio’, and Marco Antonio Quispe Palomino, aka ‘Comrade Gabriel’, although DNA tests will be conducted to confirm these findings. ‘Comrade Gabriel’ is the youngest brother of Víctor Quispe Palomino, currently top leader of Shining Path in the Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers valley (VRAEM), a large jungle area covering the southeast and central jungles of the country, the main area of coca leaf cultivation used to produce cocaine. last_img read more

Read More »

Economists advocate age-based approach to pension cuts

first_imgDutch pension funds should be able to reduce pensions based on the age of members rather than applying an equal percentage-based cut across all participants, two economists have argued.A number of underfunded Dutch pension funds could be forced to cut pension rights in the coming years, but Theo Nijman, professor for pensions and risk management at GAK Institute, and Lans Bovenberg, economist at Tilburg University, contended that age-dependent cuts would prevent “good luck and bad luck generations”.According to Nijman and Bovenberg – who are affilated with pensions think-tank Netspar – it would be fairer if rights discounts would be linked to expected pension income, or the time of additional work required to earn the same income.The large Dutch metal and engineering sector schemes PMT and PME are facing the prospect of rights cuts next year if their funding is still short of the required minimum of 104.3% at the end of 2019. Since the financial crisis, dozens of Dutch pension funds had to lower pension rights and benefits based on a percentage for all participants and pensioners.In an opinion piece for ESB, a Dutch publishing platform for economists, Nijman and Bovenberg also looked at the differences between the new pensions contract favoured by the social partners – a collectively accrued target pension – and individually accrued pensions with some risk-sharing, as currently being debated by the government.According to Nijman, the contracts were not very different, “as both variants were heading in the direction of a more individualised pension with the characteristics of personal assets, personal contribution and personal say”.The authors said that defining things in terms of assets would make the pensions system easier to explain, because benefits were an uncertain factor.“Clear-cut individual pension rights would avoid conflicts of interest,” Nijman said. “Young participants can see that their contributions are being invested, whereas it would be clear to older participants that the level of benefits depended on investment results.”He added that, in both pension contracts, the risk-sharing component of the contribution would be limited in order to prevent large parts being redistributed.Nijman and Bovenberg highlighted that an individual pensions system did not mean a personal say about the individual pension assets and paid-in premiums.“Pension funds could keep on sharing risks, continue investing in collective investment funds and keep on distributing their benefits through collective rules,” they said.last_img read more

Read More »

Petrobras cleared to sell idle LNG volumes

first_imgLNG World News Staff Image courtesy of PetrobrasBrazil’s state-owned energy giant Petrobras has been granted permission to offer idle liquefied natural gas volumes in the spot market. Citing the official government gazette, Reuters reports Petrobras has been allowed to sell 6.6 million cubic meters, given the export of these volumes would not cause a supply shortage in the domestic market.The company operated three LNG terminals that helped cover the growing demand for natural gas. However, over the last two years, Brazil was hit by a recession and the domestic production kept climbing, prompting the company to put its LNG terminals in Rio de Janeiro and Ceará for sale.In December last year, Petrobras has cancelled the Golar Spirit FSRU charter deal it had with Golar LNG Partners.Golar Spirit FSRU was deployed at Petrobras’ Pecem LNG terminal until July this year.last_img read more

Read More »

Woman, 89, ends life after struggling to cope with modern world

first_imgNZ Herald 7 April 2014An 89-year-old British woman has killed herself at the Dignitas assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland, in part because she had become fed up with the modern world of emails, TVs, computers and supermarket ready meals.Speaking in an interview before her death and asking only to be identified as Anne, the former art teacher and Royal Navy engineer said she had had enough of “swimming against the current” of the world.In her application to Dignitas she reportedly described her life as “full, with so many adventures and tremendous independence”, but had recently found her strength and health fading and feared the prospect of a prolonged period in hospital or a nursing home.Anne, from Sussex, was neither terminally ill nor seriously handicapped when she died, and beforehand spoke out in favour of people having the right to die in the UK.She told the Sunday Times: “They say adapt or die. At my age, I feel that I can’t adapt, because the new age is not an age that I grew up to understand. I see everything as cutting corners. All the old-fashioned ways of doing things have gone.”http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11233583last_img read more

Read More »