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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....

Scots look to ban TV alcohol ads before 9pm

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The Scottish Government’s new alcohol strategy includes a range of plans to tighten marketing regulations. The Scots will ‘press the UK Government to protect...

Correct methadone dosage vital for people being treated for TB

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Methadone dose optimisation is vital when treating people on opioid substitution programmes for tuberculosis (TB) and other conditions, according to new research. Researchers at Aston...

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...

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,...

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...

Time for a compulsory tax on the gambling industry, say academics

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A new compulsory levy should be placed on the gambling industry to support people with gambling problems, according to a report published in the...

Scots widen availability of naloxone

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The Scottish Government has widened the availability of naloxone as part of a package of support for people affected by drug use during the...

Media Savvy: the news, and the skews, in the national media

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The media’s treatment of the troubled families programme, whose evaluation has recently been made public, cannot have cheered David Cameron in his last week...

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...

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,...

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:...

‘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...

Harm reduction worldwide has ‘stalled’, warns HRI

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The number of countries providing harm reduction initiatives has stalled in the last two years, according to Harm Reduction International’s (HRI) Global state of...

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,...

A million have quit smoking since lockdown

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More than a million people in the UK have stopped smoking since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to research by ASH and...

Government urged to overhaul drinks marketing regulation

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The government needs to undertake a ‘thorough review’ of the way alcohol marketing is currently regulated, according to a report from the charity formed...

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...

We’ll introduce mandatory alcohol labelling, says Labour

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Alcohol labelling that includes up-to-date drinking guidelines and nutritional information would be mandatory under a Labour government, according to shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth....

Social media creating unprecedented alcohol marketing opportunities

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The explosion in social media use among young people has created ‘unprecedented’ opportunities for alcohol marketers, says a report from the University of Bath...

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...

Media Savvy September 2016

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Cheers, Theresa. The PM is already showing the sort of common sense her predecessor frequently lacked. The slapdown for top doc Dame Sally Davies...

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 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...

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...

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...

Tougher rules to protect children from gambling ads

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New standards to protect children from ‘irresponsible’ gambling adverts have been published by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP). The new guidelines prohibit online...

Aggressive marketing and changing attitudes driving increased crack use

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Aggressive marketing by dealers and a change in attitudes towards the drug were among the reasons for increasing levels of crack cocaine use in...

Heavy drinking set to cost NHS £17bn over next five years

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Alcohol harm will cost the NHS £17bn over the next five years unless current trends are reversed, according to a report from the Foundation...

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...

Record number of drug-related mental health admissions

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There were 82,135 hospital admissions with a primary or secondary diagnosis of drug-related mental and behavioural disorders in 2016-17, according to figures from NHS...

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...

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...

Victor Adebowale to leave Turning Point after two decades

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Turning Point chief executive Lord Victor Adebowale has announced that he will be standing down after almost 20 years in the role. Lord Victor,...

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...

‘Biggest ever’ drugs importation operation busted

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Thirteen men have been arrested as part of an investigation into what the National Crime Agency (NCA) is calling the largest UK drugs importation...

Ground-breaking recovery research focuses on families

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‘What does recovery from addiction look like for families?’ is the subject of a ground-breaking research project from Adfam and Sheffield Hallam University’s Helena...

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...

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...

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...

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...

US administration to use ‘all appropriate authority’ in response to opioid...

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The US president, Donald Trump, has instructed his administration to use ‘all appropriate emergency and other authorities’ to respond to the country’s opioid crisis....

Heroin deaths double in just four years

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The number of heroin-related deaths in England and Wales has doubled since 2012, from 579 to 1,201, according to the latest ONS figures. Last...

Homeless deaths up by a quarter over five years

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There were almost 600 deaths of homeless people in England and Wales in 2017, according to ONS figures, an increase of 24 per cent...

Scots drug death taskforce up and running

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The taskforce set up by the Scottish Government to try to address the country’s rising drug death rate will hold its first meeting later...

Welsh Government moves to introduce minimum pricing

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A new Welsh Government bill aims to establish a minimum unit price for alcohol, and make it an offence for alcohol to be supplied...

Scots drug death toll the highest yet

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Scotland has once again recorded its highest ever number of drug-related deaths, at 867. The 2016 figure is 23 per cent higher than the...

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 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...

Public health body backs festival drug testing

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The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has called for music festivals to provide drug safety testing facilities ‘as standard’, as the summer festival...

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...

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...

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...

Government launches prescription drug review

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Public Health England (PHE) is to launch an independent review into the ‘growing problem’ of prescription drug dependency, the government has announced. Dependence-forming drugs such...

First national guidance on tackling street drinking issued

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The first national guidance on tackling street drinking has been launched by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs). Written by Alcohol Concern...

News in brief

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Methamphetamine use grips Asia Pacific Amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) – a category that includes amphetamine, methamphetamine, methcathinone and ‘ecstasy group substances’ – were the primary drug...

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:...

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 round-up of national news: November 2016

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OPIUM UP Afghan opium production has soared by 43 per cent compared to 2015 levels, according to UNODC’s latest Afghanistan opium survey. The increase –...

FDAP moves apprenticeships a step closer

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The next step has been taken towards developing a Drug and Alcohol Worker Apprenticeship to ensure greater competency and consistency across the sector. The Federation...

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...

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...

Urgent action needed to address lockdown ‘time bomb’, warns Adfam

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People coping with a loved one’s drug use, drinking or gambling have been hard hit by the COVID-19 lockdown, according to a new survey...

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...

Pharmacists allowed to dispense methadone without prescription

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Pharmacists are to be allowed to give out methadone, buprenorphine and other medicines containing controlled substances such as opioids or barbiturates without a prescription...

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...

Poor commissioning practices hitting smaller charities

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The survival of smaller charities is being threatened by ‘shockingly complicated and inappropriate’ commissioning and contracting processes on the part of central and local...

New campaign calls for national focus on preventing drug-related deaths

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A new initiative launched at the Scottish Drugs Forum (SDF)’s annual conference is calling for a national focus on preventing drug deaths, and reinforces the...

Government announces drugs and violence review

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The government has appointed Professor Dame Carol Black to lead a wide-ranging review into ‘the ways in which drugs are fuelling serious violence’. Professor...

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...

England and Wales should introduce minimum pricing, say Lords

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England and Wales should follow suit if minimum unit pricing is introduced in Scotland and proves ‘effective in cutting down excessive drinking’, says a...

Frontline staff worn down by alcohol-fuelled behaviour

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Alcohol-related behaviour is having a severe impact on the ability of emergency services staff to do their jobs, according to a report from the...

‘A third’ of HMP Birmingham prisoners using drugs

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Drug testing suggested that a third of prisoners in HMP Birmingham are using illicit drugs, according to a prison inspectors’ report, while one in...

Numbers seeking treatment for crack up nearly 20 per cent

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There was an 18 per cent increase in the number of people seeking treatment for crack problems in 2017-18, according to the latest PHE...

Heroin assisted treatment pilot launches in Glasgow

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Scotland’s first heroin-assisted treatment service has been launched in Glasgow, the city council has announced. The Enhanced Drug Treatment Service (EDTS) will treat people...

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)....

Government expands ‘evidence-based’ drugs education

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Public Health England (PHE) has announced a new three-year contract for Mentor UK to expand its ADEPIS education programme to more schools and community...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

Smoking rates hit record low

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The proportion of adults in England who smoke has fallen to just over 15 per cent, according to a report from NHS Digital, ONS...

Trump declares opioid crisis ‘a public health emergency’

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US president Donald Trump has declared the country’s opioid crisis a ‘nationwide public health emergency’ and said that he is ‘mobilising his entire administration’...

Government denies imminent end to rough sleeper funding

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The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has denied claims that it will no longer be funding the scheme to provide emergency accommodation...

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...

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)...

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...

Government unveils ‘landmark’ prison and courts bill

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The government has published its prison and courts bill, which it says will pave the way for the ‘biggest overhaul of prisons in a...

It’s time to get tested, urges PHE

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Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England have launched a nationwide exercise to identify and treat people who have previously been diagnosed with hepatitis...

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...

London rough sleepers housed in hotels

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More than 1,000 homeless people in London are now self-isolating in hotels and other locations during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the mayor’s office....

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...

Minimum pricing fails to make Queen’s Speech

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

Alcohol deaths up again

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There were 8,758 alcohol-related deaths in the UK in 2015, according the latest ONS figures, a slight increase from 8,697 the preceding year. The...

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...

Government launches second phase of Carol Black review

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The second part of Professor Dame Carol Black’s independent review into illegal drug use in England has now been launched, the government has announced....

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...

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...

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...

County lines gangs recruiting ever-younger children

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Children as young as seven are being exploited by county lines drug gangs, according to a new report from The Children’s Society. While those...

Introduce cigarette-style labelling for alcohol, says public health body

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It should be ‘mandatory’ to include the government’s low-risk drinking guidelines of 14 units per week on alcohol labels, says the Royal Society for...

Government speeds up access to cannabis-based medicines

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Import restrictions on cannabis-based products for medicinal use have been revised to ensure that people with conditions such as multiple sclerosis or serious forms...

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...

Drink limits: more ‘clarity’ but controversy continues

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The government has published the final version of its revised alcohol guidelines, stating that both men should and women should drink no more than...

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...

‘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...

SMMGP launches substance misuse training scheme

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SMMGP has launched an updated website and ‘premium membership’ CPD scheme, which offers additional high quality professional development including regular clinical and policy updates,...

Time to stop criminalising drug users, says global commission

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A new report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy has called for an end to the criminalisation of drug use and possession. Among...

Let’s talk about sex work

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A new guide to the legal framework around sex work has been published by Release. As well as setting out the criminal offences related...

Prison safety under threat from rising NPS use

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The rise in NPS use in prisons has had a serious impact on safety, with increasing rates of violence and self-harm, says the annual...

Duterte temporarily suspends his ‘war on drugs’

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Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has announced a temporary suspension of his violent ‘war on drugs’ while he addresses the problem of police corruption. He told...

A third of relationships affected by substance use ‘break down’

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Thirty three per cent of relationships affected by drug or alcohol problems will eventually break down, according to research by the charity OnePlusOne in...

Heroin deaths double in just four years

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The number of heroin-related deaths in England and Wales has doubled since 2012, from 579 to 1,201, according to the latest ONS figures. Last...

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...

Eighties deprivation blamed for Scots drug deaths

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Rising rates of drug-related deaths in Scotland can be explained by the impact of political decisions and social deprivation in the 1980s, according to...

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...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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)...

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...

Substance-related bereavement

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Don’t worsen substance-related bereavement, professionals urged A new set of good practice guidelines to support people who have lost a family member or friend through...

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...

Millions being prescribed potentially addictive drugs

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Millions of people in England are being prescribed potentially addictive medications, according to the findings of a major review by Public Health England (PHE).  Announced...

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...

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...

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...

Leeds peer support launched for people with hepatitis C

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A new peer-led group has been launched in Leeds to support people with hepatitis C. Staff from Forward Leeds are aiming to help clients gain support...

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...

World Hepatitis Day 2019 DDN Round Up

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World Hepatitis Day (WHD) is held each year on 28 July to raise awareness of viral hepatitis read our round up of what is happening and how you can get involved.

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...

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...

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...

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...

Even moderate drinking can have ‘negative impact’ on children

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Nearly a fifth of children have experienced embarrassment as a result of their parents’ drinking, according to a report from the Institute of Alcohol...

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...

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...

Local authorities failing to provide sufficient naloxone

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The amounts of naloxone being provided by local councils and prisons are ‘extremely limited’, warns a new report from Release. While all but three...

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...

Lib Dems promise legal cannabis market

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The Liberal Democrats have made a manifesto commitment to decriminalise the possession of illegal drugs for personal use and introduce a ‘legal, regulated’ market...

Nearly 2m drinkers should be sent for liver scans, says NICE

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People drinking at potentially harmful levels should be sent for scans to detect early liver disease, according to new draft guidance from the National...

Don’t release prisoners on a Friday, urges ACMD

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The UK’s prison services should take steps to avoid releasing prisoners with complex needs on Friday afternoons, says a new report from the Advisory...

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,...

Government slashes maximum stake for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

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The maximum stake that someone can gamble on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) is to be cut from £100 to £2, the government has...

News Focus

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Do emerging drug use trends in parts of London’s gay scene risk creating a new health crisis? - DDN reports on the National Aids Trust’s...

Recovery focus for updated ‘Orange Book’

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The government has published the updated version of its Drug misuse and dependence: UK guidelines on clinical management, usually referred to as the Orange...

Scottish off-sales down almost 4 per cent since MUP

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The volume of off-trade alcohol sales in Scotland dropped by 3.6 per cent in the year following the introduction of minimum unit pricing (MUP),...

Government’s coronavirus advice on protecting rough sleepers ‘inadequate’, says Crisis

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The government’s new COVID-19 guidance for hostels or day centres for people rough sleeping is inadequate and fails to include measures that would allow...

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...

Parties set out drug and alcohol manifesto pledges

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The SNP is the latest political party to publish its manifesto, which repeats the party’s call for drug policy to be devolved so that...

PHE: alcohol treatment ‘performing well overall’

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The treatment system for alcohol dependence among adults in England is ‘performing well overall’, with increasing numbers of people accessing and completing treatment, according...

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...

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’....

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’,...

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...

Migrants will not be charged for most drug and alcohol services,...

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Updated government guidance on implementing health charging regulations for overseas visitors has clarified the position on drug and alcohol services. These can be considered...

Proportion of prisoners developing drug problem doubles in five years

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The proportion of prisoners who say they have developed a drug problem while in custody has doubled to almost 15 per cent since 2013-14,...

All change for alcohol charities

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A new alcohol charity has been launched following the merger of Alcohol Concern with Alcohol Research UK (DDN, April 2017, page 5). Alcohol Change...

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...

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 from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Male drug...

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...

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...

Proposed Glasgow consumption room moves a step closer

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A report to be presented to the Glasgow City Integration Joint Board later this month will identify potential sites for what could be the...

Regulated cannabis market would generate ‘£1bn’ in tax

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Introducing a legalised, regulated cannabis market in the UK would generate ‘at least £1bn in tax income, if not more’, according to a report...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Drop ‘politically motivated’ charges against drug war critic, Duterte told

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Human Rights Watch (HRW) is calling on authorities in the Philippines to immediately drop ‘politically motivated’ charges against senator Leila de Lima, ‘one of...

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...

A quarter of drinkers consuming more during lockdown

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More than a quarter of people who have ever drunk alcohol think they have been drinking more during lockdown, according to research commissioned by...

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...

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...

Alcohol focus for new NHS plan

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Alcohol care teams will offer support to alcohol-dependent patients in more hospitals, as part of the new NHS long-term plan. The teams will be...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Drug policy reform calls gather momentum

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Last month saw demonstrations in 100 cities as part of the Support. Don’t Punish campaign for ‘moreeffective and humane’ approaches to drug policy, according to campaign...

North Wales PCC calls for introduction of consumption rooms

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The police and crime commissioner for North Wales, Arfon Jones, has used his annual report to call for the establishment of a pilot drug...

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...

A round-up of national news: December 2016

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WORRYING PREDICTIONS Alcohol is expected to cause around 135,000 cancer deaths over the next 20 years, costing the NHS an estimated £2bn, according to a...

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...

Step up testing to meet hep C target, say MPs

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‘Significantly greater’ numbers of people need to be tested, diagnosed and treated in order to eliminate hepatitis C, according to a report from the...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

FDAP members offered support and development by SMMGP

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SMMGP has reassured members of the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals (FDAP) that they will be fully supported throughout their takeover of the...

‘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...

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...

News in brief

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Deadly drinking  Vodka consumption is one of the main reasons why a quarter of Russian men die before the age of 55, according to a...

ACMD: safeguarding treatment vital to avoid more deaths

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Maintaining the ‘capacity and quality’ of treatment is essential to prevent more increases in opioid-related deaths, says a new report from the ACMD. The...

Scottish courts uphold minimum pricing plans

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A legal challenge from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and others against the Scottish Government’s plans to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol has...

Highest number of drug deaths in quarter of a century

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Last year saw 3,744 drug poisoning deaths in England and Wales, according to the latest ONS figures – 2 per cent higher than the...