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A third of Scottish drug related deaths are parents

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More than a third of Scottish drug-related deaths in 2013 were parents or parental figures, according to figures from ISD Scotland – affecting more...

Increase in drug related deaths for older Scots

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The proportion of drug-related deaths in Scotland among people aged 45 and above increased from 14 per cent in 2011 to 26 per cent...

Two in five homeless deaths now drug-related

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There were an estimated 726 deaths of homeless people in England and Wales registered during 2018, according to the latest figures from the Office...

Redressing the Balance: How to Reduce Drug-Related Deaths.

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By improving optimised OST and access to harm reduction, along with the upscaling of Naloxone provision, we can have an impact on drug related deaths.

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...

New campaign calls for national focus on preventing drug-related deaths

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A new initiative launched at the Scottish Drugs Forum (SDF)’s annual conference is calling for a national focus on preventing drug deaths, and reinforces the...

Scots drug-related deaths down from record highs

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The number of drug-related deaths in Scotland fell by 9 per cent last year, according to figures from the Scottish Government, with deaths among...

Scotland appoints minister to tackle record drug deaths

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Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has appointed a minister for drug policy to lead work on tackling the country’s record rates of drug-related deaths....

Drugs, Alcohol and Justice Cross-Party Parliamentary Group reports

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DDN regularly covers meetings of the Drugs, Alcohol and Justice Cross-Party Parliamentary Group. Here are links to some recent reports.

Another record high for Scots drug deaths

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Scotland recorded 1,264 drug-related deaths in 2019, according to the latest figures from National Records of Scotland. The figure represents a 6 per cent...

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...

More than 120 children slain in Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’

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More than 120 killings of children and young people were carried out in the Philippines between July 2016 and December 2019, according to a...

Drugs market has ‘never caused greater harm’, says Carol Black review

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The illegal drugs market ‘has long existed but has never caused greater harm to society than now’, according to the first phase of Professor...

Alcohol-related hospital admissions up 20 per cent in a decade

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Alcohol was the main reason for almost 360,000 hospital admissions in 2018-19, according to new figures from NHS Digital – a 6 per cent...

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...

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...

Parties set out drug and alcohol manifesto pledges

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The SNP is the latest political party to publish its manifesto, which repeats the party’s call for drug policy to be devolved so that...

UK drug policy failing, say MPs

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Drug policy in the UK is ‘clearly failing’ and requires radical change, says a report from the Health and Social Care Committee. With rates...

Scots drug death taskforce up and running

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The taskforce set up by the Scottish Government to try to address the country’s rising drug death rate will hold its first meeting later...

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...

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....

Hep C deaths down 16 per cent

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Deaths from hepatitis C related liver disease fell by 16 per cent between 2015 and 2017, from 380 to 319, according to the latest...

Alcohol-related hospital admissions up 15 per cent in ten years

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There were 338,000 hospital admissions in 2017-18 where the ‘main cause’ was a result of drinking alcohol, according to the latest figures from NHS...

Homeless deaths up by a quarter over five years

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There were almost 600 deaths of homeless people in England and Wales in 2017, according to ONS figures, an increase of 24 per cent...

Drugs, Alcohol and Justice Cross-Party Parliamentary Group.

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Good commissioning goes beyond purchasing, hears DDN. A robust discussion on commissioning was the focus of the year’s final meeting of the Drugs, Alcohol and...

‘Health approach’ for new Scots drugs strategy

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Scotland’s new drugs strategy will take a ‘health approach’ and address wider problems such as housing, mental health, family support and employment, the Scottish...

UN drug policy a ‘spectacular failure’, says IDPC

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The UN’s ten-year strategy to eradicate the international illegal drugs market has been a ‘spectacular failure of policy’, says a new report from the...

Prisoners dying ‘preventable deaths’ because of NPS, says ombudsman

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Prisoners are dying ‘preventable deaths – particularly as a result of the alarming levels of drug abuse in jails’, says the annual report of the...

‘A third’ of HMP Birmingham prisoners using drugs

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Drug testing suggested that a third of prisoners in HMP Birmingham are using illicit drugs, according to a prison inspectors’ report, while one in...

Hep C deaths down 11 per cent in a year

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Deaths from hepatitis C-related end-stage liver disease fell by 11 per cent last year compared to 2016, according to new figures from Public Health...

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...

Scotland records highest ever drug deaths  

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Scotland has yet again recorded its highest ever number of drug-related deaths, at 934. The 2017 figure is 8 per cent up on the...

Scots signal drug policy shift

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Leading members of the Scottish Government have discussed a potential shift in policy ahead of the country’s new drug strategy, which is due to...

Older drinkers account for majority of 7,000-plus deaths

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Last year saw 7,327 ‘alcohol-specific’ deaths in the UK, according to the latest ONS figures, with the highest death rate in the 55-64 age...

Boost harm reduction to halt deaths, government urged

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The government needs to ensure that the provision of the ‘whole range’ of harm reduction initiatives is in place to address increasing rates of drug-related deaths,...

Scots drug death toll the highest yet

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Scotland has once again recorded its highest ever number of drug-related deaths, at 867. The 2016 figure is 23 per cent higher than the...

Responses to the new drug strategy

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A new drug strategy was released by the Home Office on 14 July – here are some responses and we will add more as...

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...

Eighties deprivation blamed for Scots drug deaths

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Rising rates of drug-related deaths in Scotland can be explained by the impact of political decisions and social deprivation in the 1980s, according to...

Delayed drug strategy promises ‘national recovery champion’

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The government’s long-awaited drug strategy has finally been published, and includes both a new ‘national recovery champion’ role and a cross-government drug strategy board...

Alcohol-related deaths more than 50 per cent higher in Scotland

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An average of 22 people per week died of an alcohol-related cause in Scotland in 2015, according to an NHS Health Scotland report, a...

Public health body backs festival drug testing

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The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has called for music festivals to provide drug safety testing facilities ‘as standard’, as the summer festival...

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...

Alcohol deaths up again

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There were 8,758 alcohol-related deaths in the UK in 2015, according the latest ONS figures, a slight increase from 8,697 the preceding year. The...

ACMD: safeguarding treatment vital to avoid more deaths

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Maintaining the ‘capacity and quality’ of treatment is essential to prevent more increases in opioid-related deaths, says a new report from the ACMD. The...

A name not a number: ‘Behind every drug-related death statistic is a life that...

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Behind every drug-related death statistic is a life that could have been saved. It’s our duty to do more, says Dr Judith Yates. I first...

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...

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...

UK drug policy reform

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Off track? Drug treatment is being derailed by the sector’s refusal to push for reform, says Ian Sherwood The distressing reality of drug dependence alters little...

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...

Drug-related in Scotland

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Scots record highest number of drug-related deaths ever   Scotland recorded 613 drug-related deaths last year, the highest figure ever, according to new statistics from National...

Scottish drug deaths

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Stark statistics Scotland has recorded its highest ever number of drug-related deaths. DDN looks at what’s behind this bleak trend, and what could be done to...

Substance-related bereavement

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A right to grieve How can support be improved for those bereaved through drug or alcohol-related deaths? A new set of guidelines offers advice for...

UK drug policy

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Get real The government’s drug policies are not grounded in reality, says law student Alice Gambell Reading the government’s annual review of its 2010 drugs strategy,...

Sharp rise in Scottish drug-related hospital admissions

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The rate of drug-related hospital stays in Scotland has increased from 41 per 100,000 population to 124 per 100,000 since 1996/97, according to new...

England and Wales see sharp rise in drug deaths

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Nearly, 2,000 drug misuse deaths were registered in England and Wales in 2013, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Male drug...

England and Wales see sharp rise in drug deaths

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Nearly, 2,000 drug misuse deaths were registered in England and Wales in 2013, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).  Male...

Legal high deaths ‘could’ top heroin deaths, says CSJ

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The rate of deaths linked to new psychoactive substances could be ‘higher than heroin’ within two years, according to a report from the Centre...

Scots drug deaths fall

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The number of drug-related deaths in Scotland fell by 9 per cent last year, according to figures from the Scottish Government, with deaths among...

Legal high deaths ‘could’ top heroin deaths, says CSJ

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The rate of deaths linked to new psychoactive substances could be ‘higher than heroin’ within two years, according to a report from the Centre...

New psychoactive drug deaths double

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Deaths involving new psychoactive substances in England and Wales have almost doubled in a year, from 29 in 2011 to 52 in 2012, according...

Scots record second-highest number of drug deaths

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Scotland recorded its second-highest number of drug deaths in 2012, although the number of deaths in under-25s was down by a fifth, according to...

Three quarters of Scots drugs death victims ‘not on prescription’

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The majority of drug-related deaths in Scotland in 2011 were among people not in receipt of a substitute prescription, according to a new report...

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...

Is Scotland closer to a consensus on drug treatment?

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Scotland’s latest set of drug death statistics made for grim reading and triggered a war of words in parliament and the press. But could...

North West tops alcohol-related liver deaths table

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Rates of premature death from liver disease are higher in the North West than anywhere else in England and are also increasing at a...

Scots record highest ever drug deaths

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More drug-related deaths were registered in Scotland in 2011 than in any previous year, according to figures released by National Records for Scotland. There...

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...

Deprived areas bear brunt of public health cuts

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The Midlands and the North have seen England’s biggest cuts to public health budgets over the last six years, according to new analysis from...
Funding for residential drug treatment

Phoenix Chief Exec Karen Biggs calls for action on funding

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Ahead of the Government's 2020 Spending Review Phoenix Chief Exec Karen Biggs calls for action on funding

Enough Excuses

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Simply blaming an ageing cohort or pre-devolution economic policies for Scotland’s shameful levels of drug-related deaths won’t cut it anymore, say Barry Sheridan and...

Would you like to learn how to save a life?

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Peer distribution of naloxone is the best way to get the opioid overdose reversal drug where it’s needed.

Looking after people on Medication Assisted Treatment during the Coronavirus pandemic

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Mark Moody, Change Grow Live CEO explains the decisions they have taken in relation to Medication Assisted Treatment during the coronavirus outbreak.

Five charts that show why people leaving prison need naloxone

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People leaving prison are far more likely to die of a drug related cause. We know the overdose reversal drug naloxone saves lives, we...

Letters and comment

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We welcome your letters and comment. Please send your feedback to articles – as well as your thoughts on any aspect of your work or personal...

Life and death issues

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Drug-related deaths dominated the DDN conference’s Big Debate session, which gave delegates the chance to put their views across.   ‘When people talk about drug-related deaths it’s about numbers...

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...

DDN December 2016

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Welcome to our latest issue... This year has held more political turbulence than most of us can stomach. Alongside that, the ongoing onslaught on budgets...

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,...

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...

26th March issue

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There’s been an unwelcome chasm reopening between abstinence and maintenance in the last two years, Daren Garratt told the National Drug Treatment Conference last week – a...

Government pledges cash for rough sleeper substance support

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More than 40 areas will receive money from a £23m fund to provide rough sleepers in emergency accommodation with drug and alcohol support, the...

A fragile picture

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Commissioning is struggling under relentless rounds of cuts. DDN hears about the need to collaborate to keep clients moving forward. ‘There are many of us...
GHB

GHB should be reclassified, says ACMD

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GHB, GBL and related compound 1,4-BD should be reclassified as class B substances, the ACMD has stated in a letter to home secretary Priti...

Middlesbrough HAT pilot has ‘dramatic impact’

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The Middlesbrough heroin assisted treatment (HAT) pilot launched last year (DDN, November 2019, page 5) has had a ‘dramatic impact’, according to the programme’s...

DDN November 2020

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‘How can we change appalling statistics?’ Writing and reading about drug-related deaths is depressing for all of us – the inevitability year after year, when...

Getting Engaged

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With drug-related deaths once again hitting record levels, it’s never been more urgent to make sure we’re properly engaging with so-called ‘chaotic clients’.

Supervised humiliation?

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In the real world, methadone provision too often means diversion, using on top – and humiliating supervised consumption.

Treatment services risk being overwhelmed, warns royal college

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England’s addiction services are not equipped to deal with the ‘soaring numbers’ of people drinking at high risk levels during the pandemic, warns the...

Opening the Doors

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The efforts to get homeless people into emergency accommodation must not be wasted, as DDN reports. Homelessness has been long been regarded as complex, difficult,...

Northern Ireland to consult on minimum pricing

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Northern Ireland is to launch a ‘full consultation’ on minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol, its health minister Robin Swann has announced. The decision...

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,...

Doubling Down

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With World Hepatitis Day on 28 July, now is the time to redouble our efforts towards hepatitis C elimination, says Rachel Halford. World Hepatitis Day...

DDN June 2020

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‘We need to be proactive and responsive’ INNOVATIVE DEVELOPMENTS and impressive collaboration have characterised our sector’s response to the crisis (page 8). But what we...

In the Picture

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The parliamentary group discussion moved to Zoom for its first meeting since the crisis hit services.

Shared perspectives

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Having had to postpone his trip to the DDN conference, Bill Nelles reflects on the differences in drug policy between the UK and his...

Dame Carol Black Review – Next Steps

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Dame Black has spoken loud and clear. How policy makers respond will be crucial.

Matters of Life and Death

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Kevin Flemen confronts a topic we all need to talk about.

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...

A change of heart

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  When a ‘general in the war of drugs’ calls the campaign a complete failure, it’s time to listen. DDN reports from the GPs’ conference. ‘For...

A crucial conversation

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Change Grow Live’s National Naloxone Conversation event was a vital opportunity to keep up the momentum for widening access.

‘Loneliness epidemic’ pushing people towards alcohol

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More than one in ten people who experience loneliness are turning to alcohol to cope, according to a YouGov survey commissioned by Turning Point....

Addiction psychiatry facing oblivion, royal college warns

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Addiction psychiatry could be ‘wiped out in the next ten years’ without urgent action, warns a report from the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych)....

A glimpse of the future?

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Canada’s opioid crisis may be less reported than that in the US, but the effects have been devastating. Is this where we are headed,...

DDN February 2020

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‘Why can’t we reverse this shameful trend of DRDs? EACH YEAR the cross-party parliamentary group meets to review the ONS data on drug-related deaths, and...

We need to talk about diamorphine

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The new diamorphine programmes may not be the holy grail that some think, says Nick Goldstein. As I’m sure many of you have noticed, diamorphine...

Emergency measures

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Although Wales has largely escaped significant treatment budget cuts, drug deaths are still rising to alarming levels. Access, and evidence-based treatment, are key to...

No time to lose

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The ‘substantial upward trend’ in drug-related deaths was explored at the latest meeting of the Drugs, Alcohol and Justice Cross-Party Parliamentary Group, as DDN...

Homeless people dying of preventable substance problems

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At least 12,000 people experiencing homelessness went without drug and alcohol treatment in 2018, according to research by St Mungo’s – a year that...

More action needed to avert US-style fentanyl crisis, says ACMD

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Fentanyl and its analogues present a ‘significant ongoing risk’ to public health in the UK, according to an ACMD report, with more needing to...

Different perspectives

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We need to dig deep for inspiration and redouble our efforts against reactionary policies, heard this year’s HIT Hot Topics. DDN reports. Photography by...

Review of the year 2019

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Cash strapped Christmas Battered by Brexit, the public went to the polls yet again. In the treatment sector, meanwhile, more long-established facilities are forced to...

Heroin assisted treatment pilot launches in Glasgow

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Scotland’s first heroin-assisted treatment service has been launched in Glasgow, the city council has announced. The Enhanced Drug Treatment Service (EDTS) will treat people...

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...

It’s all about you

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Change Grow Live wants its new strategy to come from staff and service users, says Mark Moody.

Scottish Affairs Committee calls for decriminalisation

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The Scottish Affairs Committee has become the latest group of MPs to call for an overhaul of the UK’s drug laws, saying that the...

SNP votes to back decriminalisation 

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The Scottish National Party (SNP) has given ‘overwhelming support’ for the devolution of drug laws to Scotland to allow decriminalisation of drug possession. Delegates at...

Middlesbrough launches heroin-assisted treatment programme

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A pilot heroin-assisted treatment (HAT) programme is being launched in Middlesbrough, the local police and crime commissioner (PCC) has announced. The programme will concentrate...

The power of naloxone

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As soon as Harbour Housing introduced naloxone a life was saved. A decade on they are looking back on one of their best decisions

Your letters

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Your letters and comment from DDN magazine and our social media channels

DDN Magazine September 2019

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Harm reduction is not the preserve of one community September is a glorious opportunity to celebrate recovery month and we’re delighted to hear about the...

Agents of change

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We urgently need to become activists once more, argues Nick Wilson in his contribution to The Vision Project. Read the full article in DDN Magazine The...

Nearly 100,000 could be unaware they have hep C

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Up to two thirds of the estimated 143,000 people in the UK living with a chronic hepatitis C infection may be unaware they have...

Case dismissed

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Why are recommendations to improve custody-community transitions being routinely ignored when so many lives are at stake? DDN reports. As drug-related death rates continue to...

Media Savvy

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The news, and the skews, in the national media   Media Savvy The news, and the skews, in the national media. The increase in drug-related deaths hasn’t suddenly happened, deaths...

Services failing vulnerable people with alcohol problems

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Vulnerable adults’ alcohol use is frequently being ‘missed or poorly managed’, says a report from Alcohol Change UK. Mismanaging severe alcohol problems among people...

CZAR GAZING – A hopeful sign

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Concluding his theme of how to rejuvenate the sector, Mike Trace sees opportunity in the appointment of the recovery champion. Read it in DDN Magazine  Central...

Time to investigate Duterte for crimes against humanity, says Amnesty

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The UN Human Rights Council should immediately open an investigation into Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’, states a report from Amnesty International. The Philippine president’s...

Addiction Awareness Week: Sixty per cent of Britons know someone with addiction issues

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Sixty per cent of British people know someone with an addiction problem, according to a YouGov survey commissioned by Action on Addiction and published...

Rising tide

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The ‘tough on drugs’ approach is impractical, outdated and costly in every sense, according to a meeting of the APPG for Drug Policy Reform. Considering...

CZAR GAZING – How do we harness political support?

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How do we harness political support when priorities lie elsewhere? In the sixth of his series of articles, former deputy drug czar Mike Trace...

A space to grow

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We are failing to reach women, connect with them and provide a safe environment in treatment, hears DDN. Read the full article in DDN here Drug-related...

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...

DDN March 2019

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Speakers at the DDN conference embraced the theme ‘Keep on Moving’. What came out very strongly was that we need to take others along...

Local authorities failing to provide sufficient naloxone

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The amounts of naloxone being provided by local councils and prisons are ‘extremely limited’, warns a new report from Release. While all but three...

Welsh Government to press ahead with 50p minimum price

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The Welsh Government has committed to introducing a 50p minimum unit price for alcohol, following the results of a public consultation. ‘Ministers remain of...

CZAR GAZING – So how are we doing?

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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 second of...

Becoming visible: homelessness

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Homelessness may be a complex issue but we know how to make a difference, heard delegates at a conference that brought together academics and...

So, how are we doing?

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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 second of...

December 2018

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‘How difficult, when stigma adds to the pain’ It’s harder than usual at this time of year for any of us who have lost loved...

Harm reduction worldwide has ‘stalled’, warns HRI

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The number of countries providing harm reduction initiatives has stalled in the last two years, according to Harm Reduction International’s (HRI) Global state of...

Driving Change

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The theme of this year’s Hit Hot Topics conference was ‘The Road Ahead’. As each speaker began to explore the theme, it became obvious...

Final destination?

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‘The road to recovery – political destination or patient journey?’ was the theme of this year’s RCGP and SMMGP primary care conference. DDN reports. ‘None...

Beyond the gate

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Prisons have a unique opportunity to introduce a life-saving naloxone strategy, so is the message getting through? DDN reports. Naloxone saves lives, and for people...

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...

CZAR GAZING – The golden years

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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 first of...

Home Office stands firm on Glasgow consumption room

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The government has reiterated its opposition to the opening of a drugs consumption room (DCR) in Glasgow, following a letter to home secretary Sajid...

Treatment crisis

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Action is needed now to stop the spiralling costs of buprenorphine, says Roz Gittins. We want to offer high quality, safe, cost-effective services to as...

‘Never forget kindness in a results-driven age’

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Never under-estimate the power of kindness and a safe space. The SWOP project featured in our cover story showcases the best kind of outreach...

State of the sector: Time to talk

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When the going gets tough, is it time to get round the table, asks DDN. Read the full article in October's DDN Magazine A couple of...

Time to publish ‘evidence based’ alcohol strategy, government told

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A new government alcohol strategy needs to ‘lead the way internationally’ in reducing the damage caused by alcohol misuse, according to a document from...

In safer hands?

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When should the Mental Capacity Act be used to make decisions on behalf of vulnerable people? Mike Ward unpicks a complicated issue. Read the full...

Height of awareness: peer-to-peer overdose prevention

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Peer-to-peer naloxone initiatives are proving an effective way to tackle overdose risk. Lee Collingham describes how SCUF are grasping the opportunity in Nottingham. Read the...

‘No safe level’ of alcohol consumption

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The health risks associated with drinking are ‘massive’ and there is no safe level of alcohol use, according to a major new study published...

International Remembrance Day

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Demonstrators gather outside Parliament to mark International Remembrance Day This year’s International Remembrance Day was marked by a demonstration outside Parliament that saw speeches from Professor John Strang and others. The annual event is...

High risk strategy

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Failure to provide naloxone at the point of release for most prisoners is putting lives at risk, says John Jolly. Read this article in DDN Those...

DDN July/August 2018

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‘Partnerships have brought a culture change’ Tackling stigma is always a challenge, so we were interested to hear of Double Impact’s strategy to connect with...

Minimum pricing law passed in Wales

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The National Assembly for Wales has approved the introduction of minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol. Approval of the Public Health (Minimum Price for...

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...

Straight to the point – NNEF conference

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The National Needle Exchange Forum focused on some vital harm reduction issues, as DDN reports. Photography by Nigel Brunsdon. Read the full article in May...

Media Savvy

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The news, and the skews, in the national media. The history of prohibition proves it fuels gangsterism and forces up potency, from moonshine replacing beer...

Royal College of Physicians comes out for decriminalisation

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In what is being seen as a landmark move, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has issued a statement backing drug decriminalisation. After a...

‘All or nothing’ – are 12-steps right for everyone?

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The 12-step fellowships are a life-saver for some – but for others, the concept of total surrender can do more harm than good. Alex...

How treatment services need to adapt to survive

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If treatment is to survive it needs to make a more convincing case and reach out to new groups, argues Paul North. Seven years ago...

DDN April 2018

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‘With yet more evidence, can we justify standing still?’ How far do you have to go to show that something’s a good idea, it’s cost...

One size fits nobody

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With much anecdotal evidence that people are losing their OST of choice, a meeting was held at the DDN conference to ask, ‘are you...

Vital Links

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The group of NHS providers, NHSSMPA, is looking at new ways to make sure service users stay connected with essential skilled healthcare. ‘Nostalgia isn’t what...

The Heart of the Matter

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Can we meet six basic challenges to repair a fragmented treatment system, asks Paul Hayes. Brexit continues to dominate mainstream debate. But far more important...

Commissioning for change

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An independent expert faculty has been set up to consider a vital new approach to commissioning. Mark Gilman, Paul Musgrave, Niamh Cullen, Terry Pearson...

West Midlands PCC proposes consumption rooms and prescribed heroin

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A range of proposed harm reduction measures to cut drug-related crime and deaths, and reduce costs to public services, has been set out by...

A moral imperative

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One year on, an alliance of 13 NHS trusts is gaining momentum in addressing the failings of the sector and developing more effective pathways...

Free to breathe

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Should e-cigarettes be provided free to smokers who cannot or will not quit, asks Neil McKeganey. While smoking rates have steadily declined in recent years,...

Naloxone provision ‘chronically inadequate’, says Release

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Levels of naloxone provision by local authorities are ‘chronically inadequate’ and ‘certainly not sufficient to prevent opioid deaths to any meaningful extent’, according to...

Harm reduction on a knife edge

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Disinvestment in harm reduction is hurting services and failing clients, say those struggling to maintain life-saving provision. DDN reports. ‘A couple of weeks ago I...

Investigate Duterte for ‘crimes against humanity’, says Amnesty

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) must ‘urgently’ open an investigation into crimes against humanity committed during Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’, says...

Commissioning is risking lives, say GPs

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Poor commissioning practice is putting patients’ lives at stake, declared the GPs’ conference. ‘Only recommission services if they are ineffective, dangerous or wasteful – not...

Review of the year

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Hanging on in there Another year of tightened purse strings and record drug deaths for a weary and beleaguered sector, compounded by the shock closure...

There’s something in the heroin

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Claire Gilbert, Tony Margetts, Gilda Nunez, Bryony Sedgwick and Tim Allison describe their response to the emergence of fentanyl and carfentanil in their local...

DDN December 2017

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'Disinvestment in harm reduction is deeply damaging' As 2017 draws to a close we look back at a year of diminishing budgets and record drug-related deaths....

Rehabs ‘failing’ older drinkers

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Three quarters of residential alcohol treatment facilities are failing older adults because of ‘arbitrary age limits’, according to a report from Alcohol Research UK. More...

Keeping older users in treatment

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Playing for Keeps With Scotland experiencing ever-higher numbers of drug deaths, its government is developing a strategy to keep vulnerable older users in treatment. DDN...

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...

Welsh Government moves to introduce minimum pricing

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A new Welsh Government bill aims to establish a minimum unit price for alcohol, and make it an offence for alcohol to be supplied...

Release mounts powerful anniversary exhibition

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Release is marking its 50th anniversary with a pop-up exhibition showing the impact of drug policies on communities worldwide. The Museum of Drug Policy...

Hep C: An end in sight?

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Despite its prevalence, hepatitis C has long been under-prioritised by health services. But could new drugs and a new commitment from the NHS mean...

Risks of pregabalin and gabapentin

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Death rates have risen dramatically for prescription drugs pregabalin and gabapentin. Let’s be aware of the risks, says Clare Kingsbury-Bell. Drug-related deaths linked to pregabalin...

A different way

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Stopping the rise of drug-related deaths needs an innovative approach – such as paying drug users to stop using, says Neil McKeganey. The recent report...

At breaking point

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Chronic lack of investment is gambling with lives, agreed members of the Drugs, Alcohol and Justice Cross-Party Parliamentary Group. Read their Charter for Change. ‘The current...

North Wales PCC calls for introduction of consumption rooms

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The police and crime commissioner for North Wales, Arfon Jones, has used his annual report to call for the establishment of a pilot drug...

Liver disease stats map out stark inequalities

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People in Blackpool are almost eight times more likely to die prematurely from liver disease than those in South Norfolk, according to new figures...

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...

ACMD issues stark warning on funding cuts

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Funding cuts are the ‘single biggest threat’ to treatment recovery outcomes, according to the government’s own advisors, the ACMD. Maintaining funding levels for treatment is ‘essential’ for preventing drug-related deaths and crime, states Commissioning...

Be overdose aware

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Yesterday (31 August) marked International Overdose Awareness Day, a global event designed to spread the message that ‘the tragedy of overdose death is preventable’,...

Nine out of ten councils now provide take-home naloxone

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Take-home naloxone has been made available by 90 per cent of English local authorities, according to a report from the Local Government Association (LGA)....