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Seizures of cocaine at ‘record levels’ in Europe

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Europe is seeing record levels of seizures of cocaine, says the latest European drug report from EMCDDA. Availability of the drug is continuing to...

Cocaine and ecstasy driving increase in class A use

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Around 1.1m adults took a class A drug in the last year, according to the latest Home Office figures, 3 per cent up on...

Opiates and cocaine ‘bigger global health threat than ever’

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Record-high production levels for opiates and cocaine, coupled with expanding drug markets, mean the drugs are now a ‘bigger global threat to public health...

Crack Cocaine – Cracks in the mirror

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Could a recent growth in crack cocaine use indicate its move to social acceptability – and how should we respond? Kevin Flemen examines the...

UK among biggest consumers in ‘buoyant’ cocaine market

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Cocaine purity levels in Europe are at their highest for a decade, according to the latest EMCDDA annual report, with a ‘buoyant’ market and...

‘Unprecedented’ purity levels for heroin, cocaine and ecstasy

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Heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and MDMA are now being sold at ‘unprecedented’ levels of purity, according to the latest DrugWise survey of the UK’s...

‘More than 50’ cocaine cutting agents identified

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More than 50 cutting agents have been identified in cocaine, including some that can cause ‘serious medical harm’, according to a report from the...

Campaigners hail ‘monumental’ victory for US drug policy reform

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The divisive and controversial American presidential election has also seen Oregon become the first US state to vote in favour of decriminalising possession of...

Another record high for England and Wales drug deaths

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There were 4,393 deaths related to drug poisoning registered in England and Wales last year, according to the latest figures from the Office for...

Home secretary ‘minded to’ explicitly exempt poppers from Psychoactive Substances Act

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The home secretary, Priti Patel, has written to the ACMD seeking its advice on formally exempting alkyl nitrates – or ‘poppers’ – from the...

Doorstep Challenge

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Strong partnerships could overturn nimbyism and make supervised injecting facilities a reality, DDN reports. Read the full article in DDN Magazine A supervised injecting facility (SIF,...

Bill Nelles – Doctor Wars (part one)

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In the first part of his two part series 'Doctor Wars' Bill Nelles describes how the running battles between substance misuse clinicians in the...

June Letters and Comment

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Letters and comment from June DDN magazine

DDN Diary Dates

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  Information, updates, and links to events, conferences and services.   Be social, spread the word!   Learning Links to conferences, training providers, podcasts and other resources. Please click here to...

Coronavirus advice

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Information, advice, and useful resources on coronavirus for treatment services, service users, and people who use drugs. Please send us any information you or your...

Heroin Assisted Treatment – A helping hand

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Heroin Assisted Treatment (HAT) is showing dramatic progress in transforming lives. DDN reports. ‘Life was shit. I would rob Peter to pay Paul. I’d cry...

Northern Ireland records highest drug death total

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Northern Ireland has recorded its highest level of drug-related deaths, according to figures published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). There...

Hope after chaos

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It’s time to ‘get busy living’, says Tom. I had a good childhood and my parents provided all that I needed. My first years at...

Inside Out

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When delivering recovery services to prisoners, demonstrating impact is a complex but vital process, says Carwyn Gravell. Forward’s range of structured, abstinence-based treatment programmes (which...

Gambling Addiction Guide

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For many people gambling is an occasional, harmless pastime, but for others it can lead to financial ruin, relationship breakdown or even suicide. And...

Drug poisoning admissions continue to rise

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Last year saw more than 18,000 hospital admissions for poisoning by drug misuse in England, according to figures from NHS Digital, an increase of...

I’m Dudley and this is my story

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I’ve grown so much since I recovered. My children have a father, my grandchildren have a grandad, my dad has a son.

What a long strange trip it’s been

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When DDN launched way back in 2004 Tony Blair was prime minister, the NTA was just three years old, and the money was flowing...

Revolutionary new £7m rehab centre inspired by journey of recovery

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A man in recovery from alcohol and cocaine addiction is preparing to launch a £7m rehab and behavioural health centre – the only purpose-built facility of its kind in the UK.

‘Biggest ever’ drugs importation operation busted

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Thirteen men have been arrested as part of an investigation into what the National Crime Agency (NCA) is calling the largest UK drugs importation...

Inspired by possibility

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Neil was facing an uphill road back to a normal life after failed suicide attempts but broke out of his own hell with help from Turning Point's Rochdale and Oldham staff.

‘It’s like two different people going through a battle you can’t see’

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Why it’s so important families and friends don’t give up on their loved ones.

Drug-related deaths highest since records began

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Registrations of deaths relating to poisoning (overdose) in England and Wales have once again broken previous records, according to figures from the Office for...

Scotland’s drug death toll at record high

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Scotland has yet again recorded its highest ever number of drug-related fatalities, with 1,187 registered in 2018. The number, which was described as ‘shocking’ by...

A Tangled Web: drug purchasing on the darknet

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The ‘darknet’ online marketplace has experienced significant turbulence lately, affecting the availability of different drugs. Be ready for the impact, says Kevin Flemen.

The Recovery Street Film Festival – The bigger picture

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Junaid tells us how he became involved in making a film for the 2017 Recovery Street Film Festival. In 2015 I was using crack cocaine...

Media Savvy

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The news, and the skews, in the national media   Michael Gove is a man who invites a number of opinions, a great deal of them unflattering, even...

Your letters

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DDN welcomes your letters. Please email the editor or post them to DDN, Romney House, School Road, Ashford, Kent TN27 0LT From the letters page...

Scots record highest ever drug-related hospital admissions

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Scotland has seen a fourfold increase in drug-related hospital stays in the last 20 years, according to the latest figures from the Scottish NHS....

British ‘get drunk’ more regularly than other nationalities

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British people who drink get drunk more regularly than other nationalities, according to the latest Global drug survey. Respondents in the UK reported getting...

CZAR GAZING – Finding the right balance

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As deputy drug czar for the Blair government, Mike Trace oversaw the expansion of today’s drug and alcohol treatment system. In the fifth of...

CZAR GAZING – How do we get more for less?

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As deputy drug czar for the Blair government, Mike Trace oversaw the expansion of today’s drug and alcohol treatment system. In the fourth of...

Aggressive marketing and changing attitudes driving increased crack use

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Aggressive marketing by dealers and a change in attitudes towards the drug were among the reasons for increasing levels of crack cocaine use in...

Street Smart: integrated outreach

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The ISEU project is taking street outreach to the next level, says Peter Burleigh. Read the full article in DDN magazine I’ve been going into hostels,...

At the cutting edge

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DDN looks back at a year that saw cuts continue to bite, deaths continue to rise, ‘county lines’ become headline news – and a...

Government reverses controversial FOBT delay

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The government has abandoned its plans to delay the reduction in the maximum stake allowed on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs). The announcement that...

Numbers seeking treatment for crack up nearly 20 per cent

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There was an 18 per cent increase in the number of people seeking treatment for crack problems in 2017-18, according to the latest PHE...

Playing the long game

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Tony Adams’ glittering football career could not mask deep-seated problems that needed to be tackled. He shared his story at the NHSSMPA conference. ‘You don’t...

Record drug deaths for England and Wales

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England and Wales have once again recorded their highest ever number of drug-related deaths, according to the latest figures from the Office for National...

Puncturing the myths?

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Acupuncture is commonly used as a complementary therapy in the substance use field. But how effective is it, asks Natalie Davies. Read this article in...

Media Savvy

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The news, and the skews, in the national media   Whatever view of the cannabis issue is taken – and The Independent has always been open-minded and pragmatic...

Government slashes maximum stake for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

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The maximum stake that someone can gamble on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) is to be cut from £100 to £2, the government has...

Déjà vu

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While numbers of crack users may be on the increase, the basics of providing an effective service for them haven’t changed, says Danny Hames. I...

The Fear Inside

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A study of people who used heroin in prison gives vital clues on reaching out to this significant and vulnerable cohort. Lana Durjava shares...

PCCs lead the call for change

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It used to be that senior police, like politicians, would only speak out on drug policy from the safety of retire­ment. These days, however,...

Government to set up county lines ‘coordination centre’

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The government is to establish a £3.6m National County Lines Coordination Centre as part of its new Serious Violence Strategy. The strategy identifies ‘the changing...

Hit Hot Topics: The word on the streets

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The Word on the Streets This year’s Hit Hot Topics asked, how can we give harm reduction most impact on the frontline? DDN reports, pics...

Focus on Residential Treatment: Acer Unit

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Acer's inpatient detoxification and stabilisation service is for people who have a primary problem with: Opiate use, including methadone as well as heroin Stimulants...

Big rise in numbers seeking treatment for crack

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There has been a 23 per cent increase in the number of people seeking treatment for crack cocaine, from 2,980 to 3,657, according to...

Commissioning: What’s the Name of the Game?

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Has commissioning lost its way – or are there opportunities to be grasped? DDN reports. The commissioning structure needs an overhaul, according to the...

Just Be Yourself: support in the LGBT+ community

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Robert Mee grew up feeling that he didn’t belong and used alcohol and drugs to counter his loneliness. Now, as chief executive of a...

Lasting impressions

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Early trauma can have a devastating effect on children, leaving them more likely to misuse drugs and alcohol. We need to be ready to...

Ketamine use: advice from the experts on harm reduction

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The growing popularity of ketamine use is not matched by knowledge within treatment services. Sara Woods went to harm reductionists Mat Southwell and Amy...

The explosion that never happened

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At the end of the 1980s the threat of a crack epidemic in the UK loomed large as we scrambled to take heed of...

Highest number of drug deaths in quarter of a century

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Last year saw 3,744 drug poisoning deaths in England and Wales, according to the latest ONS figures – 2 per cent higher than the...

Sarah Newton MP comments on the new drug strategy

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The new drug strategy represents a 'balanced approach' to enforcement and support, says Sarah Newton, minister for crime, safeguarding and vulnerability. The shocking pictures of people using ‘spice’...

Height of ecstasy

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Summer brings the festivals – and a new young crowd experimenting with MDMA. Kevin Flemen gives the guide to staying safe ‘Who is Leah Betts?’...

A guide to fentanyl – Meet the fentanyls

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With a vast range of forms and potencies, the fentanyl family bring too many unknowns. Kevin Flemen gives an essential guide. Click here to read...

Overdose deaths up across Europe

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The total number of drug overdose deaths in Europe has risen for the third consecutive year, according to EMCDDA’s European drug report 2017. There...

Safe Corner

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What would persuade a city to accept a drug consumption room? Natalie Davies examines the argument. Glasgow could become the site of the UK’s first...

One Life Programme

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Supported by: Conference programme Thursday 23 February, Birmingham, The New Bingley Hall 9.00am - 10.00am - Registration Come early and join us for tea, coffee and refreshments before...

Tailored treatment needed for prescription drug misuse, says ACMD

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Prescription-only drugs are being widely diverted to supplement the use of illegal substances, according to a new report from the Advisory Council on the...

A participant’s view: Highlights from the GPs’ conference

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Lee Collingham shares his highlights from the GPs’ conference on managing drug and alcohol problems Dr Stephen Willott, clinical lead for alcohol and drug misuse...

Heroin deaths double in just four years

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The number of heroin-related deaths in England and Wales has doubled since 2012, from 579 to 1,201, according to the latest ONS figures. Last...

Heroin deaths double in just four years

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The number of heroin-related deaths in England and Wales has doubled since 2012, from 579 to 1,201, according to the latest ONS figures. Last...

‘A national tragedy’ – Record drug fatalities for Scotland

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Scotland has once again recorded its highest ever number of drug-related deaths, at 706 – almost two per day. The 2015 figures are 15 per...

The Third Way

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At a recent Volte Face/DDN event in London, Johann Hari interviewed Maia Szalavitz about her newly published thoughts on addiction. This is an extract from...

Record drug fatalities ‘a national tragedy’ for Scotland

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Scotland has once again recorded its highest ever number of drug-related deaths, at 706 – almost two per day. The 2015 figures are 15 per...

Behind Closed Doors

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Encouraging clients to talk about their childhood can help to release them from the long-suppressed trauma of abuse, as psychotherapist Elaine Rose explains Enduring adversity...

MDMA back in vogue as NPS numbers continue to rise

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The declining levels of MDMA use in Europe since the early to mid 2000s have been reversed, according EMCDDA’s annual drug report, with nine...

Damp Squib?

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You wait nearly 20 years for an UNGASS on global drug policy and then... well, not much. See below for the sector’s reactions to...

‘No slowdown’ in new psychoactive substances, says EMCDDA

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There are ‘no signs of a slowdown’ in the develop­ment and discovery of new psychoactive substances (NPS), according to the European Monitoring Centre for...

Hit Hot Topics

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Stigma, misunder­standing and a lack of communication cloud our policy and practice on drugs, said speakers at HIT Hot Topics. DDN reports on their ideas for...

News in brief

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Bill blasted An early day motion on the Psychoactive Substances Bill has been tabled by Paul Flynn MP. ‘This House regrets the depth of scientific...

Alcohol and drugs in the news

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Media savvy The news and views from the national media Laws against smoking have irreversibly shifted attitudes. The same drive is needed for alcohol consumption. The...

Drug poisoning deaths hit highest level ever

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Last year saw England and Wales register the highest number of drug poisoning deaths since records began more than two decades ago, according to...

Drug poisoning deaths highest ever

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Drug poisoning deaths hit highest level ever Last year saw England and Wales register the highest number of drug poisoning deaths since records began more...

National news from the substance misuse field

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A round-up of national news – September 2015 Black books The government has reignited the debate over whether benefit entitlement should be linked to accepting treatment, with...

Diverted methadone

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Kill or cure? Is it time for us to reappraise our relationship with the ‘life-saving’ drug methadone? Dave Marteau discusses the evidence Since the early 1970s,...

New psychoactive substances in Europe

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Two new substances a week identified in Europe New psychoactive substances (NPS) are now being detected in Europe at a rate of two per week,...

New psychoactive substances detected

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Two new substances a week identified in Europe New psychoactive substances (NPS) are now being detected in Europe at a rate of two per week,...

Meeting the needs of anabolic steroid users

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A growing problem  Users of anabolic steroids are now the biggest client group in many needle and syringe programmes. David Gilliver talks to Jim McVeigh...

Harm reduction at music festivals

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The song remains the same Music festivals may go hand in hand with drug culture, but we can be loud and clear on harm reduction,...

Media savvy

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The news and views from the national media Substance misuse policy is, of course, a subject of passionate debate at all points on the political...

No hiding place

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Efforts to stop drugs from being smuggled into prisons are failing – so why aren’t we tackling prisoners’ drug use through universal testing, argues...

News in brief

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Cocaine cutting agents More than 50 different cutting agents have been identified in cocaine, including some that can cause ‘serious medical harm’, according to an...

Drug use in prisons

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No hiding place Efforts to stop drugs from being smuggled into prisons are failing – so why aren’t we tackling prisoners’ drug use through...

LGBT drug support

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User friendly London Friend chief executive Monty Moncrieff talks to David Gilliver about the treatment needs of the LGBT community and the challenge posed by...

News from the substance misuse field

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News in brief A round-up of national news from the substance misuse field Special measures The Portman Group is instructing off-licences, supermarkets, convenience stores and other retailers not...

Letters and comment from the drug and alcohol sector

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The DDN letters and comments page, where you can have your say about the drug and alcohol sector. To be included in the next magazine,...

In mind and body

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This year’s HIT Hot Topics conference delved into neuroscience to challenge our perceptions of drugs and drug taking. Max Daly reports  The fervour around crack...

Media savvy

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Who's been saying what? The state can only do so much. Most of us aren’t alcoholics. We just drink too much. With every drink, we make...

My, how you’ve changed!

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What has the past decade meant to you and your role? What have been the most significant changes to the sector? And what will...

Media savvy

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Who’s been saying what..? DDN’s round-up of what’s being said in the national papers  The economic commoditisation of human pain is dangerously close to victim-blaming. Such...

News in brief

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Ageist agenda Better knowledge is needed of what works in the identification, treatment and prevention of drug problems in older people, according to a report...

Loaded dice?

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The estimated 450,000 people in the UK with a gambling problem are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to getting access to treatment....

Is anyone in?

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Decent long-term housing has been identified as one of the biggest deter­min­ants of recovery, so how can we address a critical lack of provision?...

The realms of possibility

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Sunny Dhadley talks to David Gilliver about peer mentoring, raising awareness and the importance of seizing the moment ‘Anything’s possible if you make the most...

Media savvy

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Who’s been saying what..? DDN’s round-up of what’s being said in the national papers    When laws are widely flouted they cease to be laws and instead...

Getting a fix on figures

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Just how closely linked are drug misuse and acquisitive crime statistics? ‘Drinking sensibly, never doing drugs – is this the age of the young puritan?’...

Young drug and alcohol consumption continues to fall

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Illegal drug use among secondary school pupils remains significantly lower than a decade ago, according to new figures from the government’s Health and Social...

Media Savvy

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Who’s been saying what..? DDN’s round-up of what’s being said in the national papers I’m wholly on the side of senior nurses who, at their annual...

Primary position

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‘I do believe that the best care for people who use drugs and alcohol is in their own GP surgeries where possible,’ says Dr Judith...

West Africa ‘should decriminalise’ low-level drug offences

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West Africa should consider decriminalising low-level and non-violent drug offences, according to a report from the West Africa Commission on Drugs. The drug trade in the region...

Danish lessons

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Denmark’s initiatives to tackle drug-related deaths could give valuable pointers to reshaping drug policy in the UK, says Blaine Stothard As part of his programme of international...

News in brief

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City services Drug and/or alcohol prevention work with staff and businesses in the City of London has been of ‘limited scope and unknown efficacy’, according...

Letters

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The DDN letters page, where you can have your say. The next issue of DDN will be out on 2 June — make sure you...

Government announces tougher powers to seize cutting agents

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Plans to strengthen powers to seize substances used as ‘cutting agents’ for illegal drugs have been announced by the Home Office. Under the plans,...

News in brief

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Big spenders Drug users in the US spend an estimated $100bn annually on cocaine, marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine, according to a White House-commissioned report from...

The whole detox

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Studying homeopathy led Tracy Woodward Gagetta to explore an innovative titration system for drug detoxification, as she explains  After training and working in the fields...

Letters

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The DDN letters page, where you can have your say. The next issue of DDN will be out on 5 May — make sure you...

Media savvy

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Who’s been saying what..? DDN’s round-up of what’s being said in the national papers The choice we have to make now is how we do things...

Government accepts ACMD’s ketamine recommendation

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Ketamine is to be upgraded to a class B drug, crime prevention minister Norman Baker has confirmed. Baker has written to Advisory Council on...

Government accepts ACMD’s ketamine recommendation

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Ketamine is to be upgraded to a class B drug, crime prevention minister Norman Baker has confirmed. Baker has written to Advisory Council on...

Fewer young people in treatment

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Just over 20,000 under-18s received help for drug and alcohol problems in 2012-13, according to figures from Public Health England (PHE), down more than...

Open market

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How easy is it to have any drug you want delivered to your door with no questions asked? This and other issues raised at...

Expert opinion

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Analytical chemist Dr John Ramsey of TIC TAC is the media’s go-to man for an authoritative voice on new psychoactive substances. He talks to DDN's David...

Letters

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The DDN letters page, where you can have your say. Please send letters and comments to claire@cjwellings.com to be included in the magazine.       Losing the plot • ‘Personally I don’t think...

Media savvy

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Who’s been saying what..? DDN’s round-up of what’s being said in the national papers The victims of the war on drugs in Britain are predominantly the...

Getting real

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The ‘dream drug’ ketamine can bring its users face to face with some stark realities that aren’t readily understood by health professionals. Mat...

Soapbox

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The big question Is drug prohibition helping or hindering recovery, asks Neil McKeganey Professor Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England, recently joined a growing chorus...

Healthy exchange

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DDN reports from the 2013 NNEF annual meeting in Bournemouth, which has become a keenly anticipated fixture for information and ideas.  Keeping harm reduction at the heart of...

Soapbox

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DDN’s monthly column offering a platform for a range of diverse views The big question Is drug prohibition helping or hindering recovery, asks Neil McKeganey Professor...

Media Savvy

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Who’s been saying what…? As the world’s drug habit shows, governments are failing in their quest to monitor every London window box and Andean hillside...

Black people six times more likely to be stopped and searched for drugs

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                     Black people are stopped and searched for drugs at 6.3 times the rate of white people, according to a new report from Release and...

Government consults on proposals for new drug-driving offences

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The government has published plans to make it easier to prosecute people who drive under the influence of drugs. A new offence of  ‘driving...

Harm Reduction International Conference

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This year's Harm Reduction International Conference in Lithuania brought together delegates from across the globe to discuss the need to provide sufficient political and...

UN highlights ‘alarming’ rise in new drugs

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New psychoactive drugs are proliferating at an ‘unprecedented’ rate and pose ‘unforeseen public health challenges’, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and...

UN highlights ‘alarming’ rise in new drugs

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New psychoactive drugs are proliferating at an ‘unprecedented’ rate and pose ‘unforeseen public health challenges’, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and...

Euro drug scene in ‘state of flux’

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New threats are continuing to challenge Europe’s established models of drug policy and practice, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug...

European drug scene in a ‘state of flux’

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New threats are continuing to challenge Europe’s established models of drug policy and practice, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug...

Psychoactive challenge

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Knowing enough about each novel psychoactive compound that emerges in time to help clients can feel like an impossible task. Kevin Flemen gives a...

Brighton considers ‘consumption rooms’

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The provision of drug consumption rooms is being considered by Brighton and Hove’s Safe in the City partnership and health and wellbeing board.  The proposal...

Brighton to consider ‘consumption rooms’

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The provision of drug consumption rooms will be considered in a meeting of Brighton and Hove’s Safe in the City partnership board at the...

Nothing to declare

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In the second part of his personal story, Mark Dempster leaves for London, takes tips from a terrorist and heads towards the ‘big time’.  It didn’t take me long...

Inner Strength

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Kaleidoscope’s recent conference stimulated valuable debate on how women affected by drug and alcohol issues could be better supported in the community. Sarah Orrell...

Please Mr President

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Mad Men star Jon Hamm is one of more than 175 American entertainment figures, civil rights leaders, business leaders, academics and others who have...

Heroin deaths continue to fall

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The number of deaths related to heroin and morphine fell from 41 per cent of total drug-related deaths in 2010 to 32 per cent...

Heroin deaths continue to fall

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The number of deaths related to heroin and morphine fell from 41 per cent of total drug-related deaths in 2010 to 32 per cent...

Fewer heroin and crack users, says NTA

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The number of heroin and crack cocaine users in England has fallen below 300,000 for the first time, according to figures issued by the...

Having a ball

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Sheffield service users had a chance to celebrate their sobriety in fine style this Christmas, ending the year on a genuine high. Olivia Adams...

Life’s what you make of it

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DDN hears from four winning entrepreneurs – whose success was made even more remarkable by their challenging journeys overcoming addiction. At a glitzy ceremony in...

Survival strategies

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  Annette Dale-Perera talks to David Gilliver about the challenges facing NHS treatment providers, and how the sector should be responding to a new era Annette...

Media Savvy

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Who's been saying what..? It is true that the cost in lives wrecked and lost through drugs is huge, not to mention the money spent...

Adapt and thrive

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Drugscope's recent conference focused on how the sector could deliver high quality services in uncertain times. DDN reports. The drug and alcohol treatment sector was...

Europe: ‘new era’ of declining heroin use and complex stimulant market

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Europe could be moving into a ‘new era’ in which heroin will play a ‘less central role’ in the continent’s drug problem, according the...

Family Matters- Stigma sticks

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Listening to families can help them overcome stigma, says Joss Smith   Families are often hidden from policy discussions around drugs and alcohol and stigma is...

Young adults seeking heroin or crack treatment at ‘all-time low’

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The number of young adults entering treatment for heroin or crack is at its lowest recorded level, according to figures released by the NTA. There...

It’s where you’re at…

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Harm reduction should be about ‘meeting people where they’re at’, according to the recent HIT Hot topics conference. Jamie Bridge reports.     Last month HIT hosted...

300m drug users world-wide by ‘end of century’

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Opium production in Afghanistan has ‘rebounded’ to its previously high levels, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) 2012 world...