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Duterte crimes against humanity investigation moves a step closer

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The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) outgoing chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has formally requested an investigation into ‘the situation in the Philippines’, she has announced....

London gets first dedicated detox unit for homeless people 

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A new detox unit for homeless people will open in London next week, PHE has announced. Based at St Thomas’ Hospital in Lambeth, the...

COVID fails to dent ‘resilient’ European drug market

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The European drug market has ‘continued to adjust’ to disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic, says EMCDDA’s European drug report 2021: trends and developments. Traffickers in...

Time to end ‘tobacco epidemic’, government urged

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A report by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Smoking and Health has called on the government to make smoking ‘obsolete’ by 2030....

Scotland publishes new treatment standards

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Ten new standards for drug treatment have been published by the Scottish Government’s Drug Deaths Taskforce, with the aim of reinforcing ‘a rights-based approach...

MUP has had ‘lasting impact’ on drinking levels 

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Minimum unit pricing (MUP) is having a lasting impact in reducing alcohol consumption in ‘some of the heaviest drinking households’, according to new research...

Experts call for drug law reform

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‘One of the most important areas of social policy is still bound by legislation passed 50 years ago,’ Transform chief executive James Nicholls told...

New maps identify areas of need for gambling treatment

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A new series of interactive maps to identify local levels of demand for gambling treatment has been released by GambleAware. The maps show usage...

A quarter of adults worried about their post-lockdown drinking

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One in four adults in the UK are concerned about the potential impact of lockdown easing on their alcohol consumption, according to new research...

PHE launches new family support pack

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A new updated toolkit to support those helping families with parental drug and alcohol issues has been issued by PHE. Parents with alcohol and...

Drug checking services have long-term influence on behaviour

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Using drug checking services at festivals can permanently influence behaviour, according to a new study by the University of Liverpool. The study looked at...

Alcohol deaths highest for 20 years

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Deaths in England and Wales from alcohol-specific causes topped 7,400 last year, according to provisional data from ONS – almost 20 per cent higher...

Name change for SMMGP

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Substance Misuse Management in General Practice (SMMGP) is changing its name to Addiction Professionals, the organisation has announced. The grassroots GP network recently held...

Ireland to implement minimum pricing from next year

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The Republic of Ireland will introduce minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol from next January, according to health minister Frank Feighan. ‘MUP is a...

Problem drug use ‘not a personal failing’, says SDF manifesto

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Problem drug use is neither ‘a lifestyle choice nor a personal failure’, states a new manifesto published by the Scottish Drugs Forum (SDF). A...

Half of Scots drinking more during pandemic

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A survey by With You has revealed the ‘huge impact’ of COVID-19 on alcohol consumption in Scotland, with 49 per cent of respondents saying...

Change Grow Live launches country-wide homeless outreach initiative

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Eighteen new homelessness outreach services, employing 130 staff, have been launched across England by Change Grow Live. Alongside access to drug and alcohol treatment,...

Magic mushrooms may be as effective as antidepressants

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Psilocybin, the active compound in ‘magic mushrooms’, could be at least as effective in treating depression as a leading antidepressant medication, according to a...

Europe’s drug trade more violent than ever, says Europol

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The use of violence in the illegal drugs trade has ‘escalated notably in recent years’, according to Europol’s European Union serious and organised crime...

Drug control a health and human rights ‘disaster’, says IDPC

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The global drug control regime represents ‘a shocking health and human rights disaster’ according to a report from the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC)...

With You launches needle exchange search engine

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A new search engine for people to find information about needle and syringe services in their area has been launched by With You. Accessible...

Country-wide naloxone awareness campaign launches

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A national naloxone and overdose awareness campaign has been launched using posters of people who have been personally affected by overdose and now carry...

Prescribe exercise instead of pills for chronic pain, says NICE 

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People with chronic primary pain should be offered a range of treatments to help manage their condition, says new guidance from NICE, rather than...

Urgent funding needed for young people’s substance services, says RCPsych

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The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) is calling on the government to invest more than £40m in young people’s addiction services to ‘prevent lifelong...

Homelessness ‘substantially’ increases BBV risk for people who inject drugs

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Homelessness and unstable housing are associated with a ‘substantial’ increase in acquisition risk for both HIV and hepatitis C among people who inject drugs,...

Smokers need social care ten years earlier

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Smokers in England will need help with everyday tasks including ‘dressing, walking across a room and using the toilet’ ten years earlier on average,...

Alcohol duty freeze ‘a huge blow for health’

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All alcohol duties are to be frozen for the second year running, the chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced in his much-anticipated budget, with no...

‘Bold policies’ needed to tackle drug deaths crisis, says royal college

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Bold policies such as decriminalisation and consumption rooms are needed to help reduce Scotland’s record rates of drug-related deaths, says a new report from...

Lockdown had little effect on drug supply

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The first COVID-19 lockdown made little difference to people’s ability to find drugs or suppliers, according to Release. However, supply shortages did lead to...

Parents ‘twice as likely’ to be drinking more heavily since lockdown

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Parents are twice as likely to be drinking more often since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to research by alcohol charity Balance....

More health service reform on the way

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The government has published a new white paper setting out planned reforms to health and social care services. Integration and innovation: working together to...

A third of 17-year-olds have tried cannabis

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More than 30 per cent of young people have tried cannabis at least once by the age of 17, according to research by UCL’s...

Provisional figures show 16 per cent increase in alcohol deaths

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Provisional data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the first three quarters of 2020 show 5,460 deaths related to alcohol-specific causes, up...

Fall in drug-related hospital admissions

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Hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of drug-related mental and behavioural disorders have fallen by 5 per cent, according to new figures from NHS...

Scotland allocates £250m to tackling drug deaths ‘national disgrace’ 

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The Scottish Government has pledged £250m to tackling its record high rates of drug-related deaths, with £50m to be allocated annually for the next...

Government pledges £80 million for treatment services

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The government has announced an £80m investment in drug treatment services across England. The money will partly be used to increase the number of...

Young people’s drug use could be 20 per cent higher than...

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Official estimates of lifetime drug use among young people could be as much as 20 per cent lower than the reality, according to a...

Substance service staff prioritised in vaccination rollout

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People working in community-based addiction services will be given high priority in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations to healthcare staff, NHS England has confirmed. A...

Face-to-face contact with older service users essential, study finds

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Face-to-face contact with older adults receiving alcohol treatment is crucial, according to a survey commissioned by We Are With You. Services moving online or over...

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....

Boost for BBV testing among London’s homeless population

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More than 1,000 people who had previously been sleeping rough were tested for blood-borne viruses between May and August this year, according to 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...

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...

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...

Government launches wide ranging gambling review

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The government has launched a review to ensure that gambling laws are ‘fit for the digital age’, covering areas such as advertising and promotion,...

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...

More than half of over 50s drinking at risky levels

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More than 50 per cent of over 50s are drinking at levels that ‘could cause health problems now or in the future’, according to...

A week’s units ‘for the price of a coffee’

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Drinkers in England can consume their entire weekly guideline amount of alcohol for the price of a coffee, according to new research from the...

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...

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...

CAP consults on tightening gambling ad codes

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The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has launched a public consultation on strengthening the UK Advertising Codes related to gambling. In particular, the CAP...

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...

Government announces £12m winter payments for rough sleepers

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Local authorities will receive £10m in cold weather payments to help keep rough sleepers safe over the winter, the government has announced, with an...

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...

New alcohol strategy needed ‘urgently’

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A new UK-wide alcohol strategy is now ‘required urgently’, according to a report from the Commission on Alcohol Harm. It should be evidence-based and...

Government to scrap PHE

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The government is to abolish Public Health England (PHE), it has announced. A new organisation, The National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP), will instead...

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...

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...

Tayside achieves world first in effectively eliminating hep C

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NHS Tayside in Scotland has become the first region in the world to effectively eliminate hepatitis C, with 90 per cent of patients diagnosed...

Government to consult on calorie labelling for alcohol

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The government will launch a consultation on plans to provide calorie labelling for alcohol, it has announced. The consultation, which will be launched before...