Channel 4 to air ‘Drugs Live’

With higher levels of cocaine and amphetamine use than any other nation in the European Union, Britain has recently been deemed the drugs capital of Europe. So what actually happens when someone takes a drug or drinks alcohol – what are the effects on a human body?

Channel 4 today announces a radical new science series examining the claims and counterclaims made about the effects of recreational drugs by testing them on live television. Under strict medical supervision and in a controlled clinical environment, individuals will be filmed as they use different substances. Their physical and psychological effects will be monitored, as will their social interaction with others as the drugs enter their systems.

Recreational drugs were used by 2.8m adults in England alone from 2009 to 2010, yet their dangers are disputed, with opinion having been divided between government policy-makers and scientists. The last Government dismissed its own chief scientific advisor and another expert recently described the current classification of drugs as: ‘a very British farce’.

Specialist Factual Commissioning Editor David Glover says: “This subject is fraught with controversy and confusion – this series will provide viewers with unmediated access to a live drug trial. Viewers will be able to see for themselves the actual effects the drugs have in scientific detail. We will work closely with the leading research institutes from across the world. The aim is to bring new clarity to the facts of illegal drug use.”

Chief creative officer Jay Hunt said: “This is an incredibly bold live experiment on the impact these substances have on humans in a clinical environment.”

This four-part series, made by Renegade Pictures with Alan Hayling as executive producer, will examine the effects of individual drugs and explore how addictive they are and how they affect a range of behaviours.