Thin Lines, White Lies

Photography exhibition

20 Soho Square, London

11 November


This exhibition held by the charity Drugscope aimed to raise
awareness about the damage that drugs can cause, writes Mark

The photographs on display spanned the last four decades and mostly
documented periods where celebrities fell from grace through drug
use. Many of these images are well known, such as Daniella
Westbrook with her missing septum and Mick Jagger and Marianne
Faithfull leaving court in 1969. Other lesser-known photographs
were of anonymous drug misuse and drug treatments.

While seeking to raise awareness in the public and the media
Drugscope also sought to raise funds – and auctioned the
photographs to do so. Judging by the location and attendees this
event was aimed at the bright young things who work in the

There will be those who will criticise Drugscope for an exhibition
that could be seen to glamorise drug use. However, considering the
public’s fascination with celebrity, Drugscope seems to be trying
to engage the public on their terms to further the debate on

Throughout the evening, waiting staff eagerly topped up invited
guests’ glasses with free alcohol – arguably a drug that causes
damage to more lives in this country than illegal drugs.

A further contradiction is that the glossiness of the event and the
brochures did not quite reflect the gritty reality of drug misuse.
Even so it was an engaging and thought-provoking exhibition
highlighting drug misuse and contradictions in anachronistic drugs

Mark Drinkwater is a community worker in

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