After a breakdown, birdwatching brought me friendship, escape and a new love of nature

A childhood hobby gave me time to reflect, refocus and find myself again, following years of drug and alcohol abuse A decade ago, aged 22 and off my face on class A drugs and alcohol almost every day, I would never have seen myself where I am today and definitely wouldnt have dreamed that Bird Therapy that birds are consistent in a way that people rarely are and I stand by this. Too often, we are let down by those we believe care about us, but I know that if I look out of my kitchen window, my garden bird community will still be there. I also know that during spring, our returning breeding birds will travel across desert and …

‘I’ve seen terrible, terrible violence’: cocaine and meth fuel crime and chaos in Fiji

The Pacific island nation best known as a holiday destination is grappling with a growing drug problem In the early hours of a Saturday morning in the city of Nadi, on the west coast of Fijis main island, Isaiah* is sitting in a Burger King drinking Fanta through a straw and explaining how he became a drug dealer. He started five years ago, aged 13, selling cigarettes and marijuana. Now he sells cocaine and methamphetamines. My family were selling drugs in Suva, he says. They said there would be a time when me and my cousins would take over. We start training, training, training. Isaiah inhabits Fijis underbelly, far removed from the tourist trail of white sand beaches dotted with …

I know antidepressant withdrawal symptoms are real. Why didnt doctors? | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

Like many, Ive experienced severe side-effects from withdrawal, says Guardian columnist Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett Its something of a relief to see before you, written down in black and white, what you have known to be true for a long time: in this case, that antidepressant withdrawal symptoms arent, well, all in your head. In a significant shift in position, the Royal College of Psychiatrists now accepts that it has Lancet Psychiatry paper co-authored by David Taylor, the director of pharmacy and pathology at the Maudsley Hospital in London, who has himself experienced withdrawal, describing it in a recent 7.3 million people in 2017-8 were given a prescription, 70,000 of whom were under 18. These pills are often prescribed in consultations …