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Published November 24, 2022 Updated November 24, 2022

Think smoking heroin is safe?

“Think smoking heroin is safe?” harm minimisation playing cards.

United Kingdom Faye Bardrick Health Safety Add to Collection

This undated pack was produced by the Hounslow Drug and Alcohol Action Team to promote harm minimisation and to reduce drug related deaths. The design and layout was by Faye Bardrick and the harm minimization messages, found on all 52 cards, were written by Simon Gunn and John Mosley. There are 3 extra information cards.

“Think smoking heroin is safe?” playing cards produced by the Hounslow Drug and Alcohol Action Team “Think smoking heroin is safe?” playing cards produced by the Hounslow Drug and Alcohol Action Team

Above: “Think smoking heroin is safe?” playing cards produced by the Hounslow Drug and Alcohol Action Team.

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By Peter Burnett

Member since July 27, 2022

I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.

Russian Playing Cards

Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.

Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.


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