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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...

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’....

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...

Scots pass ‘landmark’ alcohol minimum pricing bill

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The Alcohol Minimum Pricing Bill has been passed by the Scottish Parliament, 18 months after the previous Alcohol etc (Scotland) Bill had its provisions...

Internet drives ‘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...

News in brief

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Care consultation The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is carrying out a consultation to get feedback on its plans ‘to help ensure that people receive...

Government launches ‘legal high’ review

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The government is to review the laws relating to new psychoactive substances, the Home Office has announced, in a bid to ‘clamp down on...

Council alcohol funding fears

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Local authority areas with a high level of alcohol-related harm are the least likely to expect increased funding to tackle the problem, according to...

ACMD rejects time-limited substitution treatments

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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...

Local news – May 2015

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Veterans’ service advances to South West A new treatment service for military veterans with drug and alcohol problems is being expanded into the south...

Time for a ‘fresh approach’ to policy, says UKDPC

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There should be a wholesale review of both the Misuse of Drugs Act and the drugs classification system, according to a report from the...

Media Savvy… Who’s been saying what?

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In a rare outbreak of common sense, ministers are axing plans for a minimum alcohol price. The hardest-up and responsible drinkers would have been...

News in brief

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Talk it over A guide for parents on how to talk to their children about club drugs has been published by Adfam, the Angelus Foundation...

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...

Put health warnings on all alcohol labels, 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...

More than half of 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...

Drug-driving arrests

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Monthly drug-driving arrests top 400 More than 400 people a month are being arrested for drug driving in England and Wales, according to the Institute...

Services continue to feel cuts pain  

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Nearly 60 per cent of residential treatment services have reported a decrease in funding to the Recovery Partnership’s latest State of the sector report,...

Alcohol treatment figures encouraging, says NTA

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The situation regarding alcohol treatment in England is improving, claims a new report from the NTA. While alcohol has long been seen as a...

European drug scene in a ‘state of flux’

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New threats are continuing to challenge Europe’s established models of drug policy and practice, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug...

Government announces tougher powers to seize cutting agents

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Plans to strengthen powers to seize substances used as ‘cutting agents’ for illegal drugs have been announced by the Home Office. Under the plans,...

No apparent link between ‘toughness’ of drug laws and use, says...

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There is ‘no apparent correlation’ between the toughness of a country’s approach to drugs and levels of use, according to a Home Office study...

News in brief

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Cocaine cutting agents More than 50 different cutting agents have been identified in cocaine, including some that can cause ‘serious medical harm’, according to an...

News

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Recovery Academy to offer ongoing support A new peer-led community centre is opening in Leeds, to offer ongoing support to those recovering from alcohol and...

A grand new website!

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Welcome to our new website! We're very excited that we can now share DDN with you in a more dynamic, interactive format. When we set...

On the margins – news focus

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Little specialised support exists for women who use drugs and are involved in prostitution, says a new report from DrugScope. ‘I’ve been raped, I’ve been beaten...

News in brief

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Green future Transform has launched a new publication on regulating legal markets for non-medical use of cannabis. How to regulate cannabis: a practical guide looks...

Time to change direction on drugs

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The pursuit of a ‘militarised and enforcement-led’ global drugs strategy has resulted in ‘enormous negative outcomes and collateral damage’, according to a report from...

‘Toughness’ of drug laws no deterrent, says Home Office

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There is ‘no apparent correlation’ between the toughness of a country’s approach to drugs and levels of use, according to a Home Office study...

New policies needed to tackle harmful drinking

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Get tough on alcohol, OECD urges governments Governments need to introduce more effective policies to tackle harmful drinking, according to a new report from the...

Medications in drug treatment: tackling the risks to children

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OST and children: lessons still ‘not heeded’, says Adfam More children than previously thought are dying or being hospitalised after ingesting opioid substitution therapy (OST)...

Budget cuts could reverse falling drug use rates among young people

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Ongoing budget cuts and restructuring in the public sector are putting young people’s services at risk and could threaten progress in reducing levels of...

Brighton to consider ‘consumption rooms’

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The provision of drug consumption rooms will be considered in a meeting of Brighton and Hove’s Safe in the City partnership board at the...

Equal in the eyes of the law?

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A new report from Release and LSE says police stop and search policy is exacerbating racial inequality in the criminal justice system. Black people are...

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 new report...

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...

News from the substance misuse field

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News in brief A round-up of national news from the substance misuse field Drug driving regulations The government’s drug driving regulations have come into force, making it illegal...

National news from the substance misuse field

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News in brief A round-up of national news – July 2015 Report it A new campaign to raise awareness of LGBT hate crime, and urge people to...

‘No slowdown’ in new psychoactive substances, says EMCDDA

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There are ‘no signs of a slowdown’ in the develop­ment and discovery of new psychoactive substances (NPS), according to the European Monitoring Centre for...

Doctors warn on prescription drug addiction

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A consensus statement has been issued by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) cautioning against the long-term...

News in brief

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Mixed results The overall performance of the drug and alcohol Payment by Results (PbR) pilots has been ‘mixed’ so far, according to a report from...

UN drug statement ‘an embarrassment’, say harm reduction groups

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The joint ministerial statement issued at the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna represents a capitulation to hardline states, according to...

‘No let up’ on legal highs, says government

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The government has initiated a range of measures as part of its stated aim to tackle new psychoactive substances (NPS). Along with the banning...

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...

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...

News in brief

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Gambling on health. There is a ‘great deal in common’ between alcohol and gambling problems, as well as the way they can be treated and...

Homepage News Tab

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Read our round-up of what's happening across the UK International Overdose Awareness Day The 31st August 2016 marks International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD), a global event held...

‘Golden triangle’ opium production up 22 per cent

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Opium production in the ‘Golden Triangle’ of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos rose by 22 per cent in 2013, according to the United Nations Office...

Stop and search reform pledged

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Police stop and search powers are to be overhauled, home secretary Theresa May has announced, with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act code of...

Label calories on drinks, says health body

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Calorie labelling should be introduced for alcoholic drinks, according to the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH). More than 80 per cent of the...

NPS to be subject to ‘landmark’ blanket ban

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The government is to introduce a blanket ban on ‘legal highs’, as announced in last month’s Queen’s Speech. The Psychoactive Substances Bill will ‘prohibit...

‘Laughable’ alcohol responsibility deal has worsened nation’s health, says charity

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The government’s controversial public health responsibility deal for alcohol has pursued initiatives ‘known to have limited efficacy’ while obstructing more meaningful action, according to...

Scots consider methadone evidence

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The Scottish Government has commissioned an independent expert group to ‘objectively consider the evidence’ supporting the role of opiate replacement therapy in treating problematic...

Minimum pricing still on the cards

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Alcohol minimum unit pricing is ‘not dead and buried’, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Misuse, Tracey Crouch MP, told Alcohol Concern’s...

PHE ‘does not recognise’ picture painted in think tank report

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Public Health England (PHE) has issued a statement that it does not recognise the portrait of a treatment system ‘unambitious for recovery’ in the...

More support needed for older people with drug and alcohol problems

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Improved support is needed for older people with drug and alcohol issues, says a new report from DrugScope. While the focus of policy and...

News in brief

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South west strategy A pilot programme to help tackle hep C in the South West has been launched by Addaction Cornwall in partnership with the...

Local news from the substance misuse field

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Festival-goers offered harm reduction advice Swanswell team members were on hand to provide drug and alcohol advice at the Download Festival in Leicestershire last month. Working...

‘Put people first,’ Fedotov tells UNGASS

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The world needs global drug policies that ‘put people first’, UNODC executive director Yury Fedotov told the opening session of the UN General Assembly...

Alcohol services ‘improving’

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The situation regarding alcohol treatment in England is improving, claims a new report from the NTA. While alcohol has long been seen as a...

Minimum pricing fails to make Queen’s Speech

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Plans to introduce minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol were absent from last month’s Queen’s Speech, which set out the government’s legislative programme for...

New HIV risks as injecting patterns change

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More people are injecting new psychoactive drugs, amphetamine-type substances and anabolic steroids, according to a report from Public Health England (PHE). In England and...

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...

NICE pill for heavy drinkers

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A drug that helps to reduce the craving for alcohol in heavy drinkers has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care...

Fedotov calls for ‘evidence-based’ practices

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Evidence-based practices are the best means of preventing and treating drug misuse, said UNODC chief executive Yury Fedotov in his closing message to the...

Minimum pricing ‘could breach EU law’

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The Scottish Government’s plans to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol could potentially breach EU free trade laws, according to an initial ruling by...

Media savvy

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The new law to ban legal highs will fail because proving psychoactivity requires expensive testing of the substances in specialised laboratories, and there is...

Homelessness report slammed

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Homelessness charities have criticised the government’s new report into preventing homelessness, in the light of ongoing welfare reforms.  While Making every contact count sets out...

News Focus

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The Francis report: What about drug and alcohol services? The Francis report into the Mid Staffs NHS Trust dominated the headlines and reignited the debate...

Minimum pricing ‘will not be taken forward’

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Minimum unit pricing will ‘not be taken forward at this moment’, the government has announced in a statement on the outcome of its alcohol...

West Africa ‘should decriminalise’ low-level drug offences

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West Africa should consider decriminalising low-level and non-violent drug offences, according to a report from the West Africa Commission on Drugs. The drug trade in the region...

Alcohol industry ‘can’t be trusted’ on responsible drinking

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The drinks industry ‘can’t be trusted’ to promote responsible drinking and is ‘undermining its own pledges’ to encourage safer use of alcohol, according to...

Local news from the substance misuse field

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Live LSD drug trials take place Research has taken place that saw the world’s first live brain scans of individuals taking LSD. A group of scientists,...

Local news from the substance misuse field

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‘LOCK, STOCK’ STAR GIVES BOOST TO RAPT DAY PROGRAMMES Jason Flemyng, star of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, lent his support to Alcohol Awareness...

Ex-drug users in battle for business title

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This week will see the grand final of business awards for budding entrepreneurs from marginalised backgrounds, with four businesses competing in a live showdown...

News in brief

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Policy shift The Obama administration has published its 2013 national drug control strategy, which includes a commitment to reform the country’s criminal justice system through...

Cannabis legalisation could see use rise but potency fall

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It is likely that overall cannabis consumption would rise ‘significantly’ if the drug were legalised and prices dropped as a result, according to a...

News in brief

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Voicing concerns Public Health England (PHE) has not yet ‘found its voice’, developed a clear set of priorities or demonstrated that it is sufficiently independent...

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...

Psychoactive Substances Bill

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Psychoactive Substances Bill must be re-worded, warns ACMD The Psychoactive Substances Bill should be re-worded to ensure the legislation is effective, enforceable and does not...

News in brief

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A QUIET DRINK Much of the UK’s alcohol consumption is ‘moderate and social’, according to the latest study by the University of Sheffield’s alcohol research...

Doctors warn on prescription addiction

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A consensus statement has been issued by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) cautioning against the long-term...

Latin American states consider consequences of drug reform

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Tackling the drug problem requires a ‘multifaceted’ and flexible approach, as well as a conviction to ‘maintain unity in the midst of diversity’, according...

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...

OST: more needs to be done to protect children

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The safeguarding of children is not being sufficiently prioritised by professionals making decisions about drug treatment medications, says a new report from Adfam. Improved...

‘Millions’ of children exposed to World Cup alcohol marketing

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Viewers of the key World Cup broadcasts this summer saw one example of alcohol marketing for every minute of playing time, according to a...

‘More than 50’ cocaine cutting agents identified

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More than 50 cutting agents have been identified in cocaine, including some that can cause ‘serious medical harm’, according to a report from the...

National news from the substance misuse field

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A round-up of national news – October 2015 Emergency inquiry An inquiry into the impact of alcohol-related incidents on the emergency services has been launched by the...

Fatal anthrax case in England confirmed

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The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has confirmed that an injecting drug user with an anthrax infection has died in hospital in Blackpool. The case...

Local authorities unprepared for hep C responsibility

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Local authorities are ‘not ready to take responsibility’ for hepatitis C, according to an audit of English commissioners and local councils by The Hepatitis...

Government consults on proposals for new drug-driving offences

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The government has published plans to make it easier to prosecute people who drive under the influence of drugs. A new offence of  ‘driving...

Government launches ‘legal high’ review

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The government is to review the laws relating to new psychoactive substances, the Home Office has announced, in a bid to ‘clamp down on...

PHE: Increase hep C treatment or face liver cancer time bomb

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England will see 1,650 annual cases of hepatitis C-related end-stage liver disease and cancer by 2035 if the current low levels of treatment are maintained, according to Public Health...

Government backs plain tobacco packaging

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

National news from the substance misuse field

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News in brief – June 2015   Support. Don't Punish  The Support. Don’t Punish campaign will be holding its third global day of action on 26 June, to coincide...

Europe: ‘new era’ of declining heroin use and complex stimulant market

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Europe could be moving into a ‘new era’ in which heroin will play a ‘less central role’ in the continent’s drug problem, according the...

Alcohol minimum unit pricing still on the cards

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Minimum unit pricing (MUP) is ‘not dead and buried’, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Misuse, Tracey Crouch MP, told Alcohol Concern’s...

Cannabis legalisation could see use rise but potency fall

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It is likely that overall cannabis consumption would rise ‘significantly’ if the drug were legalised and prices dropped as a result, according to a...

Improved support needed for older people

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Improved support is needed for older people with drug and alcohol issues, says a new report from DrugScope. While the focus of policy and...

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...

Lib Dems would ‘adopt Portugal approach’

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The Liberal Democrats’ manifesto will ‘contain the most far-reaching drug reform policies ever put forward by a major political party ahead of an election’,...

News in brief

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Sound investment Every pound spent on family support services in the drug and alcohol sector saves the public purse £4.70 in NHS and criminal justice...

Euro drug scene in ‘state of flux’

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New threats are continuing to challenge Europe’s established models of drug policy and practice, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug...

New injecting patterns fuel HIV risks

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More people are injecting new psychoactive drugs, amphetamine-type substances and anabolic steroids, according to a report from Public Health England (PHE). In England and Wales,...

Local authorities ‘not recognising impact’ of alcohol

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The impact of alcohol is not being recognised and prioritised by local authorities, according to a report from Alcohol Concern. The document looks at...

Value for money?

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As DDN went to press, a major Commons debate on the UK drug laws was taking place, the first for 40 years. The debate...

‘Worsening financial situation’ leads to closure of DrugScope

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DrugScope trustees have taken the decision to close the organisation, based on its ‘worsening financial situation’. Founded 15 years ago from a merger between...

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...

Heavy cannabis use can cause lasting cognitive problems in young

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Persistent cannabis use is associated with ‘neuropsychological decline’ among those whose use began in adolescence, says a new study.  The findings are ‘suggestive of a...

News in brief

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Council call London’s drug and sexual health services are failing to respond appropriately to gay men’s drug use, according to NAT (National Aids Trust). The...

PMA in ecstasy tablets warning

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Drugs agencies have reacted with concern to the number of recent deaths thought to involve PMA, which can be present in ecstasy tablets or...

Upgrade ketamine to class B, urges ACMD

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Ketamine should be upgraded from a class C to class B drug, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has recommended. The recommendation...

News in Brief

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Agonisisng Statistics Almost 18m people died ‘in unnecessary pain’ in 2012 as a result of inadequate access to painkillers like morphine, says the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance, with...

News from the substance misuse field

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News in brief A round-up of national news from the substance misuse field Special measures The Portman Group is instructing off-licences, supermarkets, convenience stores and other retailers not...

OECD urges governments to get tough on alcohol

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Governments need to introduce more effective policies to tackle harmful drinking, according to a new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development...

Public health directors voice cuts concerns

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More than 70 per cent of directors of public health say that drug and alcohol services in their area are likely to be reduced...

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...

Target ‘enablers’ of teen drinking, says think tank

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People who buy alcohol on behalf of underage drinkers should face penalties including community service, shop bans or ‘social shaming’, according to a report...

Put calories on drinks labels, says public health body

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Calorie labelling should be introduced for alcoholic drinks, according to the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH). More than 80 per cent of the...

New government must help those with multiple needs

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The incoming government should launch a national programme of improved and coordinated support for those with multiple and complex needs, according to charity the...

Minimum pricing ‘could breach EU law’

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The Scottish Government’s plans to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol could potentially breach EU free trade laws, according to an initial ruling by...

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...

Local authorities unready for hep C responsibility

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Local authorities are ‘not ready to take responsibility’ for hepatitis C, according to an audit of English commission­ers and local councils by the Hepatitis...

Government bans below-cost alcohol sales

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Legislation banning the sale of below-cost alcohol is to come into force in April, subject to Parliamentary approval, the government has announced. The Home Office...

Consultation

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CQC consults on new inspection regime The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is holding a consultation on its planned changes to the way substance misuse services...

New psychoactive substances detected

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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,...

Public health directors voice cuts concerns

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More than 70 per cent of directors of public health say that drug and alcohol services in their area are likely to be reduced...

Committee calls for royal commission on drug policy

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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:...

Brighton considers ‘consumption rooms’

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The provision of drug consumption rooms is being considered by Brighton and Hove’s Safe in the City partnership and health and wellbeing board.  The proposal...

Government announces new drug powers as Baker replaces Browne

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

Scottish alcohol-related deaths fall nearly 40 per cent in a decade

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Alcohol-related death rates in Scotland fell by 37 per cent – from 39.5 to 24.8 per 100,000 population – in the ten years to...

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...

ACMD highlights prevention knowledge gap

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More needs to be done to ‘identify and understand the best approaches to substance abuse prevention’, according to a briefing paper from the Advisory...

Psychoactive Substances Bil

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Psychoactive Substances Bill must be re-worded, warns ACMD The Psychoactive Substances Bill should be re-worded to ensure the legislation is effective, enforceable and does not...

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...

Health groups call for ‘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...

Alcohol dependency prescriptions up three quarters in a decade

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Prescriptions to treat alcohol dependency have risen by 73 per cent in a decade, according to figures from the Health and Social Care Information...

Afghanistan sees record opium crop

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Afghanistan’s opium poppy cultivation rose by 36 per cent this year, a record high, according to the UN, while opium produc­tion was up almost...

Time to change direction on drugs policy, say economists

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The pursuit of a ‘militarised and enforcement-led’ global drugs strategy has resulted in ‘enormous negative outcomes and collateral damage’, according to a new report...

Half of those living with hep C unaware

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Around half of people living with hepatitis C infections are unaware that they have the virus, according to a new Public Health England (PHE)...

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...

National news from the substance misuse field

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BRIEF BRIEFING ‘Decisive’ coordinated action is needed to ensure a future for alcohol brief interventions, according to a report from the Alcohol Academy and Alcohol...

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...