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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...

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...

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...

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’....

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...

Establish royal commission on drug policy, says select committee

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The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee has called for a royal commission on UK drug policy to be set up in its Drugs:...

Cultivating problem

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Twelve Afghan provinces are likely to show an increase in opium cultivation this year, according to UNODC’s Afghanistan opium risk assessment 2013, with cultivation...

Eastern Europe still bucking HIV trend

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There has been a 33 per cent reduction in HIV infections in adults and children worldwide since 2001 but ‘little change has occurred in...

A third of services report funding decrease

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More than a third (35 per cent) of drug and alcohol services reported a decrease in funding last year, according to a report from...

Put health warnings on all alcohol, say MPs

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Health warnings should be included on all alcohol labels, says the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Alcohol Misuse, to go alongside a new...

Only 4 per cent of global drug users with HIV receiving...

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Just 4 per cent of the worldwide total of drug users living with HIV are receiving antiretroviral therapy, according to Harm Reduction International’s (HRI)...

E-cigarettes ‘safer than smoking’

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E-cigarettes are around 95 per cent less harmful than tobacco and have the ‘potential to help smokers’ quit, according to a new expert independent...

Muted response to first ungass since 1990s

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The world needs global drug policies that ‘put people first’, UNODC executive director Yury Fedotov told the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on...

News focus

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Prescription for change? With addiction to prescription and over-the-counter drugs at epidemic proportions in the US, GPs here are being warned to take care when...

News focus

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What effect will payment by results have on the probation service? DDN hears reactions to the government’s controversial Transforming rehabilitation plans. ‘Radical reforms to the way...

Marcus Roberts takes the helm at DrugScope

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Marcus Roberts has been named as the new chief executive of DrugScope, taking over from Martin Barnes who steps down at the end of...

News in brief

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

News in brief

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UNDERCOVER SCANDAL An undercover ‘mystery shopper’ investigation carried out by Crisis revealed that homeless people seeking help from local authorities are being turned away to...

News in brief – May 2015

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Who's responsible? Responsible drinking messages in advertising are being used by the alcohol industry to promote their brands rather than help consumers ‘make sensible choices...

Local news from the substance misuse field

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Duchess of cambridge visits treatment programme The Duchess of Cambridge visited HMP Send this month to see a RAPt addiction service in action. The programme, based...

Blackpool sees second fatal anthrax case

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A person who injected heroin has died in hospital in Blackpool from anthrax infection, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has confirmed. The death comes...

Huge increase in alcohol-related liver disease in under 30s

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 The number of hospital admissions for alcohol-related liver disease in people under 30 has risen dramatically in the last decade, according to figures from...

News in brief

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Not foiled again The government has accepted the ACMD’s advice to allow for the provision of foil by treatment providers ‘subject to the strict condition...

Injecting young people a ‘blind spot’

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Injecting drug use among under-18s remains a global data ‘blind spot’, according to a report from Harm Reduction International (HRI). Young people who inject drugs...

News in brief

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Psychoactive survey A consultation on new psychoactive substances has been launched by the National Assembly for Wales’ health and social care committee, looking at issues...

Safer drinking

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Alcohol industry ‘can’t be trusted’ on safer drinking The drinks industry ‘can’t be trusted’ to promote safer drinking and is ‘undermining its own pledges’ to...

Harmful youth drinking falls, but inequalities persist

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The rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions among the under-18s has fallen by more than 40 per cent over the last decade, according to new...

Prison staff overwhelmed by NPS crisis

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Health staff at a large Nottinghamshire prison risk being ‘overwhelmed’ by the demands of treating people seriously affected by use of new psychoactive substances...

Turning Point responds to ‘race to the bottom’ claims

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Third sector treatment provider Turning Point has issued a statement in response to the Unite trade union’s claims that the charity is planning 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...

News in Brief

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Probation promises The government has launched an invitation to tender for organisations ‘looking to turn offenders’ lives around’ as part of its controversial ‘transforming rehabilitation’...

Government accepts ACMD’s ketamine recommendation

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

Foil rules for services come into force

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Legislation has come into force this month allowing services to provide aluminium foil ‘for the purpose of smoking drugs’, with a new briefing from...

Children more familiar with ‘beer than biscuits’

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Primary school children are more familiar with beer brands than leading makes of biscuits, crisps or ice cream, according to a new report from...

Expert group calls for focus on abstinence

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Substitute prescribing ‘not an end in itself’, says group chaired by Prof John Strang. Service users should not be ‘parked indefinitely’ on substitute medication and...

‘New era’ for European drug market

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Supply and demand of illicit drugs in Europe is entering an ‘important new era’, according to a report from the European Monitoring Centre for...

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...