About Us

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.

Today

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 : erinjomara@gmail.com

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…

Here is an article about us from the US press. 

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32 Comments

  1. Canuck

     /  September 18, 2017

    Just some insight from Vancouver. We were well known as a major point of entry for heroin both from Southeast Asia and Aghanistan via the large Iranian population here. We have always had overdoses on narcotics but nothing like the last 2 years. Heroin is now nonexistent and everything is fentanyl or worse yet Carfentanil and analogues, the latter of which say an entire kilogram seized. It used to be an over dose every few days, This is a city of two million people. Last year saw over 1000 fatal overdoses including 11 in one day. This year we are on track for probably 2000 or 0.1% of the total population. The problem is that the amounts that are fatal are way, way less than the amount of powder one purchases, it is almost all cutting agent but still powerful to sink even a hardcore addict. Doses are all over the map and police buys and seizures show this. It is sad that there is a community center in DEST (the saddest postal code in North America) that puts up pics of fatalities. Way too many to keep up for longer than a day or so but it really hits home when you see people that have been using for years dead. Safe injection sites are sparing a few lives but education and MUCH more treatment are badly needed.

    Reply
  2. Joe

     /  March 19, 2017

    i dont know how this works. Anyways i need advice on getting a diamorphine script. I am in cronic pain with middle back and sciatica. Been on meth felt suicidal stopped it. Now on subbies again and oxycontin which i injecting both. The benefit would be pain relief injecting habbit qulled and only taking one med. Have to see turning point doc / phsyciatrist on Tuesday. Going to ask him for one. But not sure whether to mention i am injecting subbies and oxys? Any tips advice please?

    Reply
    • Joe

       /  March 19, 2017

      obviously i am an addict as well as suffering chronic pain. I came across Erin while looking into diamorphine treatment. Thank you for your efforts Erin. Am i quite a lot of pain atm cant really be that articulate. Excuse the basic explanations. Thank you x

      Reply
      • @Joe, I wrote to Erin with basically the same question and she never replied, looking through all the previous comments I reckon she’s tired of answering the same old questions from so man people. This is depressing as she’s apparently one of the few people who have had first hand experience in getting a diamorphine script. I’ve tried methadone treatment many times over the years and each time it failed to help me and each time I just ended up using more gear on top of the juice. I’s a very bleak almost suicidal life now as an addict, I’m on 2 grams a day IV no.3 heroin and my health is seriously deteriorating and the only option I can see which would allow me a chance at getting my life back in order would be to have a diamorphine script. All the best, and I hope you have better fortune than I’ve had getting the elusive script, John

      • Dear John,
        Im very sorry I havent responded to you before -re diamorphine scripts -it is i am afraid -a very complex and huge answer to try and rely to someone -there are so many variables -not least where you live in the UK or Europe. The fact is it took over 2 years of fighting so hard -using every single tool at my disposal -including going to MPs, members of parliament -even my mum collared her local MP -got him to come to her house and then gripped him in conversation for 2 hours until he understood the desperate situation we were all in -coz it is often just as difficult for family as it is for the opiate user themselves. I wrote letters upon letters -I hassled Drs at conferences whenever I saw them. Finally -it was simply by knowing someone who left their clinic -and their script of diamorph -that I lept on the “free” place they left behind. But that wasnt enough either. It was a chance meeting with their Dr at a conference -where I bailed him up in the hallway slightly drunk -(he was not me) and I begged him for an appointment just to talk. I rambled everything I had tried and how desperate I was for this chance -and then -like a hand from God himself -I got a letter to come in to talk. And I went in -with my mum -and I BEGGED the dr -I BEGGED them to take me on -to try me out -to give me a chance. And, she (by then it was a new dr) -she did. She wasnt even a real fan of diamorph -but having me as a patient as seeing my transformation -she is a complete fan and advocate of it now. I am always happy to say to people ‘hey look at me -I use diamorph every single day and you wouldnt even know I was on anything at all!” . Diamorph is not like china white no 4 heroin -it has been pharmaceutically prepared until every single metabolite of opium has been removed -codiene, thebaine, morphine -until you are left with just diamorphine -a very subtle, extremely soluable preparation -so gentle and removed of any side effects (except maybe constipation for some, and some respiratory depression which a tolerance removes more or less). So mild that they give it to babies as the only painkiller that is safe for just vulnerable systems. So I can go and have my ‘thing’, at my leisure, 3 times a day, and NOONE would ever know I took ANYTHING -even 2 minutes after Ive had it. Ive even done that with journalists to prove this point -I tell them after we have an interview -that I just had a fix 5 minutes before we met -and did they ever guess?? No! Of course not!Every heroin user knows what a tolerance does -it means that you dont really get stoned anymore -you just feel straight. Nevertheless -me having that abiity every day -completely stops me picking up the fone and buying more on top -it just dont happen at all -why would I? You take the desperation away -the fear and urgency that comes with trying to keep up supplies of an illegal substance -take that away and it becomes just like insulin or any other daily medicine. No mania, no panic, no fear or paranoia. Just a calm ordinary walk to the chemist and home. OK I have wanted to actually stop taking it -I think I can now -but the truth is -they have now made it so damn hard to get these scripts -that if I give it up -i will NEVER EVER get it back -that scares me. I am old enough to know that dependence can turn up in ones life again out of the blue -and the thought of having to trawl through the hell of methadone clinics -back onto a substance that never worked for me -stops me from doing the final jump. At least at present -though the jump is on the horizon -it just has to be set up so it is the last time I EVER do it -as I do not plan on returning to a script so it has to be the exact RIGHT TIME for me. That day/time is hard to arrange in a busy world /life! Anyway -all I can say in terms of helpful info is to ask for it -find out where it might be possible -as it IS possible in England in some areas -and fight fight fight and never give up till you have it. And dont bother if you are under 30yrs, or havent been on many other treatments etc. You will only be considered in UK if you have tried a whole host of things first. Fucked up -indeed it is. Why do we have to get to deaths door before we are offered a lifesaver?? Once again -my apologies John, hope this helps just a little. Respectfully, E.

  3. Richard Devereux

     /  September 22, 2016

    Hi, I have been using since the 80’s and now on methadone. I don’t want to have to go withdrawals coming off, done enough turkeys and they are nightmares. Is it possible to get diamorphine? I’m not comfortable with doing cold turkey again, getting too old to go through that hell. My local drugs service said people can’t get maintenance scripts now.

    Reply
  4. I’d appreciate any pointers on getting on a Diamorphine script in Dorset/Bournemouth. I’ve been struggling with gear for a long time, 4 years of methadone didn’t work I just used on top. Now I’m on 1500mg tramadol and 1000mg of pregabalin a day to hold me whilst waiting for the times I can afford gear. Constantly clucking, constantly desperate. constantly unhappy. They’ve recently tightened the requirements for getting on methadone in Bournemouth so that’s a dead end, and like I said it wasn’t a solution. Thanks for any help if you see this message! Kind regards, John.

    Reply
  5. Andrea Billsdon

     /  November 9, 2015

    URGENT !!!!
    I wondered if you could help – my friends been an addict for nearly 30 years .. He’s tried everything to no avail. I’ve been reading up on this and came across your story & website and thought by contacting you – you maybe able help him – could you please send me a contact number or contact me….. Any advise or anything would be gratefully appriciated because I’m nearly as desperate as he is.

    Thank you for your time

    Reply
  6. joe sterry

     /  July 3, 2015

    Hi ern its Joe not sure if you have my contact details if possible and you get a chance could you contact me?
    Joeserry@yahoo.com or 07751681564

    Cheers
    Joe

    Reply
  7. salina sappora

     /  March 22, 2015

    Hi erin, please could you get in touch with me, I’ve tried to find out about the diamorphine prescription and I’m getting no where, i would really appreciate it if you could get back to me, thank you.

    Reply
  8. MiraCornelia

     /  December 30, 2014

    Hi Erin,

    I can see from the comments already posted that there is a lot of demand for knowledge on how to get diamorphine on the NHS. I hope you don’t mind but I would also like to know, as I understand from your history that you have been able to obtain diamorphine.

    My brother is currently in prison for possessing heroin and he has been a heroin addict for over 18 years. It’s torn our family apart and impoverished us as he has robbed us many times. He hasn’t responded to methadone positively and it seems that this is the only thing is currently on offer to him.

    I understand you must be busy (or fed up!) but *any* pointers on how to get diamorphine would be immensely appreciated – we are on our knees now.

    Thank you,
    MiraCornelia

    Reply
    • Ive sent you a personal email so you can ring me, ex

      Reply
      • salina sappora

         /  March 22, 2015

        Hi i also was trying to find out the diamorphine prescription, please could you get back to me, I would really appreciate it, thanks

  9. njnewman

     /  October 26, 2013

    I was on heroin for 17 years I have gave up and I have been to doctors drug councilor butci hear voices not bad but voices I have since found out I have ocd whivh makes me angry very uncomfortable around people even friends I have known for many years the only time it all stops is when I get weak and give vin but its crap and I cut my self because I wish I had never had it please help I have wanted to now if there is any way I could move to Switzerland but notvin eu please help thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Njnewman, Im emailing you directly ok? look out for my mail, warm regards, Erin

      Reply
      • Mr Nicholas j newman

         /  August 26, 2016

        Erin i wrote to you about 2 years ago since then I’ve been back on the gear big time I’ve been to rehab done so many Detox’s I’ve forgot but I’m 40 now and I need to sort it out I’ve seen a lot off people ask about diamorphine I now a lot off places don’t do it I’ve got a really good doctor but he says he has no licence to prescribe it I’ve been on heroin so long I think I need it in my life been on all sort off downers my hole life and all gear head cannot wait to get there diazpam or zopis tamzies and now even worse pregabs I lost a friend and you don’t find a lot off friends new him for 20 years.I’m a pill animal as I’ve been on them so long I need so many to get a buzz I had a stroke a few years ago because off to many diazpam now about a week ago I had eaten 60 yellows 48 zopis woke up on my bedroom floor had a stroke again I’ve been in this world so long I’m finding it hard to stay away all the people I now our on gear or crack or both I really need some help I have been to Harley Street in London years ago but we just got amps peach pelfoom dicarnoll just to get out off it I’ve been in and out off prison my hole life i could pay for my prescription if I have to I don’t mind I just think some off us need this drug it’s the only time I relax i started heroin when I was 18 and with time I’ve had off it works out 20 years or just over I can feel my body getting worse my back is naked as I’ve always leant forward while gouching i get pregabs for my back 120dfs as well 5 yellow diazpam a day im just so fed up with having to score I don’t mix with people very well find it hard to trust anyone but that’s drug world please can you get back to me about any diamorphine programs i no a lot off people ask but I gave 20 years off my life to this life if I could get a prescription or point me in right direction it would be really helpful someone said to me other day how many old drug addicts do you see none I now your busy can you please get back to asap thanks Nicky newman

  10. Hi Erin, it’s Rohan again. I was just checking to see if you had a chance to read my comment? Could you please email me ? I desperately need your help. I know you are busy and don’t mean to be pushy….Thanks !

    Reply
    • Hi im emailing you directly right now!! Im sorry for any delay – i think something went wrong somewhere and i emailed the wrong email! Duh! loook out for my mail – if again it dosent appear – do write back and ill give you a direct one thru here, warm regards, Erin

      Reply
  11. Hi again Erin, My first comment disappeared? I hope you still see it??
    Many thanks
    Rohan

    Reply
  12. Hi again Erin, could you please remove my name off the website…I wasn’t thinking.
    Thanks
    R

    Reply
  13. Hi Erin

    I read a story about you after googling and researching the thing that I need most. Wha a chic! Thank God I found out about you. No doubt you are a very busy girl, so I will be brief.

    Living in Australia, I am soon to move to the UK. I have lived in London previously and can’t wait to get back, but my sister lives in Glasgow. We of course would ideally like to be in the same city. With the diamorphine colored glasses on, I wonder if you could point me in the right direction of determining if the holy grail of opiate addiction treatment s available in Scotland too or just England and Wales? And a few other questions that I just can’t seem to find the answers to any where else.

    I am a long term dependent user ( over 20 years) and have decided that my life is worth more than living to my dealer’s and my crappy methadone time table. I have to give The UK and the possibilities it offers a go, before things go completely south.

    Am a university educated, health professional with a very good job, that I don’t get to enjoy because other people get all my money. Could you please email me so I can ask you a couple of questions about what I am soon to encounter when arriving in the UK?

    I would be most appreciative.

    Many thanks
    R

    Reply
  14. Hi this question was for erin, Erin like you I’m from Australia and I have been on countless programs with methadone which dont work they give me terrible hot flushes and I end up jumping off it cause I cant take that and it agrevates my ocd I was put on oxy contin oraly for awhile this helped but they were only interested in getting me off it as soon as I started I have been using since I was 15 it is appart of my life I have detoxed over 15 times and twice in rehab nothing works I want to move to the u.k to seek treatment but dont know how to go about it if you could email me I know you must be very bizzy but I dont know what else to do 😦 Im currently studying drug and alcohol work right now while trying to cope with the done side effects they offered me bupe it didnt hold me and the nerves in my teeth played up my dr looked it up and it turned out to be a rare side effect I feel like the most unluckiest person on earth if I dont get some help soon I dont know what to do, I have a girlfriend who is willing to move anywhere with me I just need to know from someone like you is it possible. thanks for your time.

    Reply
  15. Kester Muller

     /  November 8, 2012

    Hi Black Poppy,

    Sorry to leave an admin question on your blog, but I’m working for Drugscope and have been trying to send you Druglink magazine – I keep getting copies sent back.

    If you still want it (you’re down to receive gratis copies), send a valid postal address to kesterm@drugscope.org.uk

    Reply
  16. Hi Black Poppy,
    From FLACK magazine in Cambridge. http://www.flackcambridge.org.uk/FLACKmagazine/FLACK_home.html
    Me and a friend watched a video here at the office featuring an interview given by a member of your team. We are looking at some of the issues regarding the health risks for users with a view to producing an article. I’d just like to say how much just having/hearing the testimonials and sharing the information has been here and to say thank you. Keep up the good work. o x

    Reply
    • Hi!
      Well -what a strange coincidence -I JUST saw your magazine on the TV last night and that you got some funding to continue -thats fantastic news! We would be very happy to offer an info or help re your research or article on harm reduction, we have a ton of great info and decades of knowledge on the subject as well! Thanks for saying thanks -Im sure you know with your own magazine on homelessness -that people who have experienced it themselves have a certain extra something when it comes to sharing information -and giving advice. Your so right -it really does mean a lot to share it -just when people think it is time or lives wasted – how wrong they are! These are valuable, privileged insights into issues (as a colleague once said) – that people have paid a very high price to be able to share with others. It is valuable indeed. thanks again -If you are interested you can follow us on twitter to get in touch or send us your email. I am often in Cambridge -it would be great to come and see you guys sometime? Congratulations on your funding – thats brilliant news!!

      Reply
  17. This is Shane from Memoires of a Heroinhead site and I want to write for free. I refuse money or bags in payment. Though my arms can be twisted…

    We’ve a mutual friend in Tony O’neill who’ll vouch for my words (I think???)… you’ll see he’s one of the regular commenters over on mine, and if he’s having a big enough crisis he’ll even lie and say things like my words are hypnotic. Of course they’re not… though they can put people to sleep.

    Chuck us a mail back, and if not, You keep well and healthy and on the offensive…

    All My Thoughts & Respect, Shane.

    Oh, and it’s an honour to be on your sidebar…

    Reply
    • Heya!
      Thanks for the comment, and nice to cyber-meet you! Cool, yes its great to meet another fellow ‘traveler’ – i have read some of your blog (and listened to a few songs too!) and it was a good read. We would be very interested in you writing something for the mag, you certainly do good personal insights, i really liked your current one about the drought (24th jan), especcially the neat way you tied it up at the end talking about change. You have some really admiring readers, when you see all those comments together, thats really something aye. Good on you for producing such perceptive and insightful works on drug use. it isnt easy to write about the depths of despair one can reach when strung out on a limb, nor to read, but you do it un-apologetically, which is so important – especialy to be ‘authentic’ and so it makes it a worthwhile read as well. not that i should be judging whats a worthwhile read or not, but i reckon i know a good read, and it has to tick a fair few boxes to do that. so yeh, itd be great to hear from you! Next issue we are running a ‘theme’ on, for the first time, ‘recovery’. you know, stories about how people got their shit together, whether thats getting off drugs or just discovering moderation. but actually, a good detox story could be useful, an experience of going through a detox, whether at home or in rehab/detox/hosi etc. what drugs you used to get thru it, what was helpful and what was hard etc. it dosent matter whether it was succesful really, tho being on recovery issue, a ‘successful’ detox could give people some ideas as to how they might tackle things. usually we dont delve into this subject much only thats it is so in the news, drug strategy, goernment and services lately that i thought it important to have our own words on the subject, instead of everyone elses all the time. anyway,theres time yet, 4 weeks, sooner the better of course, and would need to be about 1500 words max (sorry its not a lot of space but the contents are pretty set at the mo). Anyway, wanted to touch base, and throw something out trhere, itd be great to have your input, and BP is a great mag with great readers! look forward to hearing from you in any case, whatever you decide.
      all the very best, and thanks for the words,
      Erin

      Reply
  18. Hello Erin,
    i really like “Black Poppy”,
    years ago i used some Material from your Magazine.

    Good Work you and your Friends done already!

    Regards

    Reply
    • Hi! Well I really LOVE ur site, its got loads of interesting things on it to read, very unusual, which I love! I’m so glad u like our magazine also. U mite want to buy our current issue? Do u work in the drugs field? Perhaps we have met? Ur name looks familiar actually…anyway, I’m so glad I found ur blog, and I’ve linked it on mine if that’s ok. By any chance, do u have any articles on the ‘pleasure sensations’ or excitement etc that occur from the planning and preparation involved in buying drugs? My friend is doing an article and has had trouble finding any info, I have directed him to ur site but just thought is ask as well.
      Thanked again and thanks for ur nice comment!

      Reply
      • matthew

         /  June 14, 2013

        Hello there Erin.

        I am in need of your advice in regard to securing a diamorhine script, I hope you don’t mind..

        I have been wrighting to mps doctors and genuinely am pissed off with the system that isn’t helping me the way I want them to.
        I am currently prescribed morphine mxl by a doctor that has the licence to prescribe diamorphine. She is scared of overdose so she went to a meeting with 8 other people that work in treatment and all have said no so she won’t prescribe.. I have been trying for at least 2years to get on a script but now don’t know where to turn.

        Could I please have a chat with you so I can think what im gonna do next.

        Thankyou Erin, really appreciate and help or advice.

        Regards.
        Matthew

We try and reply as soon as we can but please understand it might take anywhere from 1 day to 1 month, but we will always try our best. Mark URGENT if you require a fast reply. Thanks for your understanding!

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