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Doing Drugs for Fun, Channel 5 review - why the cocaine trade is no laughing matter | reviews, news & interviews

Doing Drugs for Fun, Channel 5 review - why the cocaine trade is no laughing matter

Doing Drugs for Fun, Channel 5 review - why the cocaine trade is no laughing matter

Blissfully ignorant Brits collide with crushing home truths in Colombia

Recreational druggies visit Colombia

Monday night’s first episode of this three-part series was a bit ordinary, as it introduced its cast of British recreational cocaine users and explained why their habit may be ill-advised. We learned that the British take more drugs than any other nation in Europe, the cocaine you buy on the street has probably been cut with lactose and caffeine and, according to a professor of Addictive Behaviour Science, cocaine plunders the brain’s dopamine reserves and causes violent heart palpitations (cocaine and heart attacks often go together). Then the volunteers flew to Medellín in Colombia, home town of Pablo Escobar (pictured below) and drug cartels, and the going got more interesting.

The first reaction of our amateur coke-heads on finding themselves in South America was to go partying – “have a few beers, meet some ladies, see what happens,” as chirpy Mancunian Louis put it. But the plan was to demonstrate that there’s a bit more to the drugs trade than hoovering up a few lines on a Friday night, and in episode two the visitors collided with some crushing home truths about the cocaine industry’s trail of devastation.

Their gaucheness and ignorance was increasingly embarrassing. Amber (a ditsy PR agent from London) dissolved in tears when she met Luz, a former businesswoman forced out of her home by the drug gangs. Troi (a supermarket worker from Cornwall) and Chanel (a makeup artist from Bristol) visited Pedro, a coca plant farmer. They were horrified to learn that turning coca leaves into cocaine involves soaking it in gasoline and battery acid. Pedro’s crop earns him 50p per gram, but sells in Britain for up to £100 per gram.

For Chanel, even more shocking was her meeting with a female cartel assassin, who introduced herself as “The Devil”. She recounted how she chopped up her last victim, stuffed him in a bag and threw it in the river. She’s killed pregnant women, as well as her cousin. “I like getting paid to kill,” she said.

I wondered if she was an actress paid to say all this, but I think not. A stunned Chanel gave a little speech about how The Devil’s terrible life would be completely different if there weren’t any drug cartels. Well quite, but what are our dozy Brits willing to do about it? For a start, they could listen to Pedro’s advice. “Taking cocaine is really stupid, I would never take this drug,” he said.

She recounted how she chopped up her last victim, stuffed him in a bag and threw it in the river


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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