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Going Public

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The UK’s public health bodies have added their voices to the call for decriminalisation. Reports advocating the decriminalisation of drugs come along fairly regularly these...

Reforming zeal

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The Queen’s Speech saw the government announce a major shake-up of the prison system. DDN hears from a former governor about what sort of...

Public health bodies call for decriminalisation of drugs

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A report from the UK’s two major public health organisations has called for the personal possession of all illegal drugs to be decriminalised. Published by...

National News July/August 2016

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INTERVENTIONS UP There were nearly 100,000 alcohol brief interventions carried out in Scotland in 2015-16, according to official figures – 59 per cent more than...

News in brief

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Coca review A report commissioned by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform is calling for a review of the illegal status of the...

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...

Public health bodies call for decriminalisation of drugs

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A report from the UK’s two major public health organisations has called for the personal possession of all illegal drugs to be decriminalised. Published by...

‘New pledges’ announced as part of alcohol deal

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A set of new pledges has been announced by the government as part of its ‘responsibility deal’ with the alcohol industry. They include an...

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...

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...

Government to opt out of EU directive on new drugs

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The UK government will opt out of the European Commission’s proposals for a directive and other regulation on new psychoactive substances, it has announced. The...

US signals softer stance on drug sentencing for non-violent offenders

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The US administration has indicated a softening of its stance on drug sentencing, with proposals to abolish mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders....

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...

Ireland considers consumption rooms and decriminalisation for personal use

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The Government of Ireland is considering the introduction of drug consumption rooms, as well as decriminalising small amounts of drugs for personal use. The announcement...

Government announces new drug powers as Baker replaces Browne

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The government is creating new powers to seize chemicals suspected of being used as cutting agents for illegal drugs, as part of its Serious...

Local news from the substance misuse field

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Cornwall service users celebrate life skills Service users in Cornwall have successfully completed a new accredited course, ‘life skills in action’. The course, designed by Cornwall...

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...

Local news from the substance misuse field

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DDN takes a look at local news from the substance misuse field across the country Notts awards honour spirit of recovery The first Spirit of Recovery...

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...

Drug services see reduction in frontline staff

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More than half (53 per cent) of respondents to DrugScope’s latest State of the sector survey have reported a reduction in the number of...

CMO toughens alcohol guidelines

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Men should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, according to strict new guidelines from the chief medical officer. The previous...

Government to consider benefit sanctions for refusing treatment

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The government has re-ignited the debate over whether benefit entitlement should be linked to accepting treatment, with the publication of a new review by...

Doctors: e-cigarettes ‘no gateway’ to smoking

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  E-cigarettes are much safer than smoking, do not result in the normalisation of smoking and do not act as a gateway to smoking, says...

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...

Local news

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Anti-overdose scheme sees success More than 500 people have been trained to administer naloxone by Addaction’s Recovery Partnership, preventing heroin overdoses in Coventry and Warwickshire. ‘Naloxone...

NICE calls for more needle exchange support for steroid users

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Needle and syringe programmes need to do more to support people who use image and performance-enhancing drugs, according to NICE (the National Institute for...

Black people six times more likely to be stopped and searched...

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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 unveils major prison reforms

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The government has announced sweeping reforms of the prison system as part of the Queen’s Speech, including the establishment of six autonomous ‘reform prisons’....

Scots hit treatment targets early

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Ninety per cent of people in Scotland who start treatment for a drug or alcohol problem are waiting three weeks or less, according to...

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...

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...

Shake up at Drinkaware over industry links

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Alcohol education charity Drinkaware has announced ‘radical’ changes to its governance arrangements and a number of new appointments, following an independent audit of its...

Funding fears for harm reduction

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International provision of harm reduction services is under threat from a funding crisis and lack of political will, according to a report from Harm...

Plain tobacco packaging

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Government backs plain tobacco packaging The government has announced that it backs the public health case for introducing standardised packaging of tobacco, with MPs set...

Monthly drug-driving arrests top 400

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More than 400 people a month are being arrested for drug driving in England and Wales, according to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM)....

News in brief

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POPPING OUT   The implementation of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, which was due to come into force last week, has been temporarily postponed by the...

HPA confirms sixth anthrax case

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A sixth UK case in the ongoing anthrax outbreak has been confirmed by the Health Protection Agency (HPA). ‘A person who injected heroin has...

Vulnerable young choose high profile brands

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Heavily advertised brands and cheap, strong alcohol are the drinks most consumed by vulnerable young people involved with treatment services, according to an Alcohol...

Hepatitis C ‘grossly under-prioritised’, warns charity

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Just 3 per cent of people infected with hepatitis C are treated each year, despite it being curable, says a new report from the...

MPs demand ‘urgent action’ on liver disease

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The government, NHS and Public Health England (PHE) need to take ‘urgent action’ to address the growing problem of liver disease, according to a...

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...

Government announces roll out of family drug and alcohol courts

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The Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) scheme is to be extended, the government has announced. Currently operating in London, Buckinghamshire and Gloucestershire, the...

Benefit sanctions for refusing treatment

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Government to consider benefit sanctions for refusing treatment The government has reignited the debate over whether benefit entitlement should be linked to accepting treatment, with...

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...

Unions criticise services handover to third sector

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Public service union Unison and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have criticised plans for Manchester’s drug services to be handed over from the...

Health groups demand ‘radical steps’ on alcohol

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A minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol should be introduced for ‘all alcohol sales’ along with prohibition of ‘all alcohol advertising and...

News in brief

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HIV action A new three-year HIV prevention programme has been backed by the leaders of all 33 London boroughs, with more than £3m allocated to...

News in brief

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Lengthy process The Scottish Government’s plans to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol have been referred to the EU’s Court of Justice in the...

ACMD rejects time-limited substitution therapy

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Time limits on heroin substitution treatment such as methadone would ‘not benefit’ drug users’ recovery and would increase the possibility of relapse, according to...

Charities welcome home HIV self-testing

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The first legally approved home HIV self-testing kits have gone on sale in the UK. The kits are able to detect antibodies in small...

Local news from the substance misuse field

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Addiction charity wins excellence awards Phoenix Futures has been awarded two UK excellence awards for leadership and customer satisfaction by the British Quality Foundation (BQF). The...

Fifth anthrax case for UK

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An injecting drug user in Oxford has been diagnosed with an anthrax infection, according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA). The patient is said...

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...

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...

NPS penalties for prisoners

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Grayling announces tough NPS penalties for prisoners People found smuggling or using new psychoactive substances (NPS) in prison will face a new range of punitive...

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,...

Lib Dems make legal cannabis case

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A report setting out what a regulated cannabis market in the UK could look like has been published by the Liberal Democrats. The document...

Call for new drugs policy organisation

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A new drug policy body with responsibility for collecting and sharing evidence should be established in order to ‘improve drug policy knowledge and evaluation’,...

News Focus

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Keeping it in the Family How can workers be best equipped to identify and address parental alcohol misuse? DDN reports from Alcohol Concern's recent conference.  Up...

Disadvantaged young ‘a public health time bomb’

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The UK’s high level of young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) – particularly the long-term unemployed – constitutes a ‘public health...