Black Poppy Publications is a non profit making voluntary organisation that creates and produces the drug user’s health and lifestyle magazine, Black Poppy. It began in 1998 with a small group of people, drug user’s, who wanted to produce a publication that would address some of the health and lifestyle issues that affect us on a daily basis. We wanted to delve into and tackle some of the other more ‘hidden’ influences on our lives such as discrimination in healthcare settings, social exclusion, stereotyping and often, an unbelievable ignorance about drugs, drug use and drug users. We were acutely aware of the shortage of drug user focussed information that really related to us and our lifestyle; the drugs we take, how we take them, the health problems we encounter, the trials of drug treatments and therapies, our relationships with partners and families, prison, harm reduction issues – not to mention the long and often frustrating road through drug & alcohol treatment.
Our Own Narrative
BP magazine wanted to provide a platform for people to be able to talk about their views and experiences – a narrative by us, for us – about our own community. We wanted to utilise the specialist knowledge and understanding we have of our communities and begin taking some control back, throwing off the shackles of peoples misconstrued preconceptions and redefining our own cultures.
People who use drugs must be seen as part of the solution, and not just framed as the problem. We must be a part of the decisions that affect our lives. We must be seen as a partner and driving force in creating the kind of changes that routinely improve the health, welfare and human rights of people who use drugs. We must not end up the treated, the talked about, the scapegoated, and feared. Badly informed and directed drug policies and strategies, ignorance, media brainwashing and stereotyping, medicalised and backward thinking drug treatment models and criminalisation of generations of people who use drugs, all conspire to decimate the health and welfare of millions of people across the world simply because of the substance they choose to put in their own bodies.
We believe it is crucial we step up to the challenge to work within our communities, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally to create safer and wiser drug strategies and policies for the future.
We produce a 40 page magazine that covers a wide range of topics – and we get it out as often as we can afford to. It is the UK’s best user produced magazine on drugs – what we’re using, what’s new, what we’re substituting, drug policy, drug law, drug history, our experiences, treatments, therapies, health, overdose prevention and old, new and emerging drug culture as well as news, views and contacts.
Subscribe to BP in bulk to your agency or as an individual – or donate to help keep our good work going.
Stay tuned as our blog, FaceBook and website gets revamped over the coming months at the end of 2010. Email us at : firstname.lastname@example.org
Remembering Chris Drouet: BP’s Co-Founder
Christopher Drouet died Nov 9th 2009 In West London. He was a co founder of Black Poppy Magazine with Erin O’Mara and will be remembered and forever missed. You can read an article that was written about Chris’s death and published in Drugscope Magazine and in Black Poppy (issue 14). Here is one of his infamous stories that he wrote for BP, which everyone loved reading, called Last Train to Woking…
- Half of us don’t want ex-addicts next door: ‘Junkie’ stigma is ruining their lives, says report (dailymail.co.uk)
- Coalition shelves plans for ‘abstinence-based’ drug strategy (guardian.co.uk)
- Gardai to launch investigation into ‘protected’ celebrity drug users (politics.ie)
- Give up drugs, new strategy urges (bbc.co.uk)
- Response: Criminalising drug users does not help society (guardian.co.uk)