WWALT: Say Why To Drugs

On my playlist this week is a podcast from the Distraction Pieces Network, supported by Spoken Word poet and Hip-Hop artist Scroobius Pip. Firstly one of the things I love about podcasts from Pip’s network is that a lot of proceeds go towards his charity around Speech Development, however I digress…

The podcast is a factual exploration by Dr Suzi Gage, often joined by Scroobius Pip based on the different recreational drugs. Dr Gage is a psychologist interested in understanding associations between substance use and mental health, and they tackle one substance per episode with no spin and no judgement, just the information.

What do I like about it?

It does exactly what it says on the tin: No spin, no judgement and it looks at both sides of every argument. This can be so difficult to do as your pre-existing opinions, rumours you have heard or “facts” you have read can often lead you down one path or another. However the hosts don’t let this happen, they address the rumours from both sides with no particular opinion.

They also look at more than just the drug, but also the structure of arguments on both sides how the rumours have come about and what risks could come about as well as benefits.

A real skill in this podcast is the natural conversation, it doesn’t sound like facts are being read from a print out of online. Dr Gage has clearly done her research and understood the facts before bringing them to the podcast.

What could make it better?

Explorations of different views or scientific looks at things always benefits from more views on the subject, this podcast simply brings the views or research of just two people. Documentaries make use of different clips, sounds and more production for a reason, and this podcast could benefit from additional production to build up a bigger scope of each drug. However, the simplicity also is part of the charm.

Who could take inspiration from this podcast?

Anyone who is bringing some background research to the table for their podcast and doesn’t want to sound like they are reading from Wikipedia can take a lesson from Dr Gage’s approach and Scroobius Pip’s anecdotes, both are done so very well.