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DDN June 2018

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‘There was no suggestion of being silenced’ We could be about to see a big upsurge in crack use – but are we ready for...

DDN May 2018

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‘It’s a mismatch between prison and complex needs’ We need a new dialogue and thinking, says police and crime commissioner David Jamieson, talking about his recommendations...

‘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...

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,...

Harm reduction in Belfast

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Belfast’s injecting drugs crisis has prompted a call for action – to bring a drug consumption room to the city as quickly as possible....

Making pathways for commissioning

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Commissioners are on a mission to do things better. But how can they take on board the many complex health issues with less money...

DDN March 2018

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'Where there's a will, things can happen' How do we get connected? With healthcare, with peers, colleagues, commissioners, policymakers, politicians? It’s a question that goes...

Brief encounter: what happened to alcohol brief interventions?

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Alcohol brief interventions promised a way of improving the nation’s public health – so what happened to this ambitious initiative? Mike Ashton looks back...

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...

The right focus

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An effective review of commissioning will need input and inspir­a­tion from everyone involved – practitioners, commissioners, and especially those using services. DDN reports. There have...

Alcohol strategy is ripe for refreshment

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Time is of the essence in overhauling the alcohol strategy, says the Drugs, Alcohol and Justice APPG. DDN reports. ‘We were asked by government, “what...

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,...

DDN February 2018

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  'Service users must stay at the heart of commissioning' Disinvestment and the fragmentation of services continue to dominate dialogue and debate. Yet according to Collective...

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...

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...

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...

New drugs minister pledges support

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Addaction redoubles commitment to tackling stigma We are determined to deal with the scourge that is stigma,’ said Lord Carlile at Addaction’s 50th birthday event...

More questions than answers

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As he prepares to leave the substance problems field, George Allan poses a few questions and fires some parting shots. Has the recovery movement been...

The iCAAD Knowledge Hub

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Stay with it Tenacity is vital when it comes to working with troubled young people, Addaction’s Sam Dixon tells DDN. When Sam Dixon from Addaction’s YZUP...

Domestic violence: Stopping the hurt

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Perpetrators of domestic violence are being helped to challenge and change their behaviour, as Phil Price explains. For all the evidence linking domestic violence with...

Take part in the Global Drug Survey

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Global Drug Survey 2018 – the latest version of the world’s largest drug survey – has just been launched. Prof Adam Winstock asks for your...

Media Savvy

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The news, and the skews, in the national media Imposing piffling tariffs only targets the poor and looks like the paternalistic meddling of a bourgeois...

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....

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...

Drug misuse is a health issue

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Taking part in a recent political debate, Andrew Horne noticed a keen appetite for policy change. At a political debate in Inverclyde, led by MP...

Alcohol Awareness Week

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Family focus Alcohol Awareness Week 2017 shines a spotlight on alcohol and families, sending the message that support is always available. DDN reports. Alcohol Concern has partnered...

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...

Strategy for Survival

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Challenging times mean smaller organisations must embrace new ways of thinking, says Caroline Cole. We operate in difficult financial times, and for charities delivering addiction...

DDN November 2017

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‘It’s unsurprising that staff are feeling demotivated’ A commissioner said to me this week, ‘We need to know what the evidence is, see good practice,...

Being human

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Russell Brand says recovery is about finding connection in an alienating culture. DDN meets the man bold enough to rewrite the 12 steps for...

One Love

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The best way to tackle the stigma of gender stereotyping is with an open heart. DDN talks to Beck Gee-Cohen. ‘I was pretty functional when...

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...

Help at hand

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The new UKAN website at www.ukan.network lets you tap into expertise when you need it. Pardeep Grewal explains. Sometimes we want to ask a question,...

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...

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?’...

Battle lines

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For many ex-service personnel the transition to civilian life can be a struggle, and it’s all too tempting to turn to the bottle to...

Market forces

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Drug-related deaths: A strong message from Addaction’s Mortality Matters conference was that treatment services need to put competition to one side and challenge the conditions...

Knowledge exchange

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Drug-related deaths: NHS Trusts from across England came together to mark a vital new initiative in tackling drug-related deaths, as Danny Hames reports. For a number...

DDN June 2017

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‘Most drug-related deaths are of people not in treatment’ By the end of this week the next government will have been chosen – and who knows,...

Slow on the draw

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Why are smokers reluctant to exchange the risks of cigarettes for the health benefits of e-cigs, asks Neil McKeganey. E-cigarettes have been characterised by Public...

On a mission to cure hep C

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Curing hepatitis C has become a reality and makes sense for the public purse as well as public health. So let’s get on with...

Vote of confidence

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As Phoenix Futures launches its new strategy, with the strapline ‘The charity that is confident about recovery’, DDN hears about the ideas behind it...

A different pain

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James Elander shares his new research on painkiller addiction and how to spot the warning signs. Addiction to prescribed pain relief is a serious and...

The emperor’s new clothes

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Pockets of good practice throughout the country should not mask the fact that the ‘recovery agenda’ is failing, says Howard King. Since the end of...

On borrowed time

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The delayed drug strategy – and lack of plan for an alcohol strategy – is pulling the lifeline from a sector in crisis, hears...

DDN May 2017

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‘Who can offer the political leadership the sector needs?' Hogwash and purdah – it’s election season again and where is the long-awaited drug strategy? The...

Stuck in the system

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New treatment for hepatitis C has opened up massive opportunity for all-round health gains that we are just not taking, hears DDN. We need to...

Under pressure

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The celebrity craze for stress pills is even reaching schoolchildren – should we be concerned? Kevin Flemen looks at the risks and availability of...

More choice, more options

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New versions of drugs are constantly being developed and trialled, including injections of naltrexone and buprenorphine that can last up to six months, as...

Springboard to success

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RAPt’s apprenticeship programme is helping people to use their experience of addiction to get back into work, as Nathan Motherwell explains. Since 2013 RAPt have...

Creating a future

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Prison can be an opportunity to change deep-rooted behav­iour and begin to flourish, say the team at Addaction tell DDN. ‘I have learnt that the crime...

Prison perspectives

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A first-person account of nearly a decade at the frontline of prison substance misuse services. Last year I resigned from my position as a service...

DDN April 2017

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‘We need to understand the risks of Xanax and the culture behind it’ It’s never easy to weigh up the level of drug risk based...

DDN March 2017

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‘One of the strongest messages was a simple one: isolation kills’  We had to make drug-related deaths the focus of this year’s conference. The room...

A moment to reflect

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Addaction started 50 years ago with a desperate mother writing to the paper about her son’s addiction. Much has changed but the charity’s purpose grows...

Adjusting the focus

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Change, grow, live’s executive director of health and social care, Mark Moody, tells DDN about the organisation’s change of name and what it signifies. ‘I...

Making choice real

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How can we improve the range of options available to bring more people into services, asks DDN. The options that exist for drug treatment surely...

By hook or by crook

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We’re not reaching people with problematic cannabis use says Lizzie McCulloch, whose report Black sheep offers a new approach to policy and treatment. Cannabis is...

Across the great divide

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Contemplating a landscape of change and fear, HIT Hot Topics speakers called for solidarity. DDN reports. ‘When we meet someone, we ask what music they...

DDN February 2017

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Welcome to our latest issue! ‘The situation requires a real shake-up in the way we engage’ ‘We begin to categorise and stigmatise without even realising it,’ said...