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About Mat Southwell

Mat Southwell is a drugs professional and drug user activist who has responded to and engaged with drugs at a number of different levels, including as a professional head of NHS drug services. He seeks to help bridge understanding and support alliance-based working in the drugs and HIV sectors, and is currently both a partner in Coact, an international technical support agency, and an organiser with Respect, a hard drug user group in the UK.

Articles by Mat Southwell

This week’s front page editor

Rosemary Bechler is a mainsite editor of openDemocracy

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Ketamine: Living in dreams, managing the realities

Ketamine is often perceived as a novelty drug which seems to have emerged out of nowhere with a catastrophic set of health and social consequences. Instead of repeating the mistake of further criminalising its users, the Government is urged to take a more enlightened approach to the growing ketamine crisis.

Was Margaret Thatcher right about drugs?

Following a drug policy conference held in the House of Lords last week, prominent figures, including the former head of MI5, called on the UK Government to consider legalising drugs. Current policy creates misery and criminalises individuals and communities. Mat Southwell calls for a return to the evidence-based strategies of the eighties and outlines seven policy interventions that could have a profound impact

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