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...

Legal cannabis tax could be worth £1bn

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A ‘root and branch’ reform of UK cannabis policy is ‘long overdue’, says a new report from Volteface and free market think tank the...

Big rise in numbers seeking treatment for crack

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There has been a 23 per cent increase in the number of people seeking treatment for crack cocaine, from 2,980 to 3,657, according to...

Time to investigate Duterte for crimes against humanity, says Amnesty

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The UN Human Rights Council should immediately open an investigation into Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’, states a report from Amnesty International. The Philippine president’s...

Hep C deaths down 16 per cent

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Deaths from hepatitis C related liver disease fell by 16 per cent between 2015 and 2017, from 380 to 319, according to the latest...

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...

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...

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...

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...

FDAP members’ interests and accreditation safe with SMMGP

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It's business as usual for FDAP members, the organisation's outgoing chief executive has confirmed. In a statement on 19 January that the professional body for substance...

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...

Young drug and alcohol consumption continues to fall

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Illegal drug use among secondary school pupils remains significantly lower than a decade ago, according to new figures from the government’s Health and Social...

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...

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...

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...

Relax laws on e-cigarettes, urge MPs

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Regulations on the licensing, prescribing and advertising of e-cigarettes need to be relaxed, says a report from Parliament’s cross-party Science and Technology Committee. Despite...

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...

Drug-related in Scotland

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Scots record highest number of drug-related deaths ever   Scotland recorded 613 drug-related deaths last year, the highest figure ever, according to new statistics from National...

Half of people with gambling disorders have not accessed support

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Just under half of people with a gambling disorder have not accessed treatment or support, according to a study by GambleAware. Of those scoring...

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...

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...

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...

Investigate Duterte for ‘crimes against humanity’, says Amnesty

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) must ‘urgently’ open an investigation into crimes against humanity committed during Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’, says...

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...

Disadvantaged young ‘a public health time bomb’

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

Please Mr President

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Mad Men star Jon Hamm is one of more than 175 American entertainment figures, civil rights leaders, business leaders, academics and others who have...

Deaths in prison hit record levels

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Last year saw a record 354 deaths in prison custody, according to figures from the Ministry of Justice – an increase of nearly 100...

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...

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...

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...

Health groups demand ‘radical steps’ on alcohol

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

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...

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...

Substance misuse staff eligible for testing

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People working in drug and alcohol treatment are among those now eligible for coronavirus testing if they develop symptoms, the government has announced. While testing...

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...

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),...

National News, September 2016

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END THE KILLINGS UNODC executive director Yury Fedotov has condemned the ‘apparent endorsement of extrajudicial killing’ of suspected drug offenders in the Philippines by president...

Scottish off-sales down 5 per cent in year after MUP

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Sales of alcohol from supermarkets and off-licences in Scotland fell between 4 and 5 per cent in the year after minimum unit pricing (MUP)...

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....

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...

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...

Children of treatment staff can continue to attend school, PHE confirms

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Drug and alcohol treatment staff are included in the government definition of key workers whose children can still attend school during the coronavirus outbreak,...

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...

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:...

Gambling firms suspend TV ads during lockdown

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British betting firms will voluntarily remove their TV and radio advertising during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has announced. Existing advertising...

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...

‘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...

News in brief

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Big spenders Drug users in the US spend an estimated $100bn annually on cocaine, marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine, according to a White House-commissioned report from...

PHE alcohol adviser resigns over industry partnership

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  The co-chair of Public Health England’s (PHE) alcohol leadership board has resigned over the agency’s partnership with industry-funded Drinkaware for its new ‘Drink Free...

‘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...

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...

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...

Trump calls for death penalty for drug dealers

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US president Donald Trump has said that his Department of Justice intends to seek the death penalty against drug traffickers ‘where appropriate under current...

Decriminalise possession to ease prison crisis, say Lib Dems

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The Liberal Democrats have called for the possession of drugs for personal use to be decriminalised as a way of easing the overcrowding problem...

HPA confirms sixth anthrax case

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

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...

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...

Drug-related deaths highest since records began

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Registrations of deaths relating to poisoning (overdose) in England and Wales have once again broken previous records, according to figures from the Office for...

Nurses at risk from synthetic cannabinoid use in prisons

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The widespread use of synthetic cannabinoids like ‘spice’ in UK prisons is risking the health of nurses and other staff, according to the Royal...

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...

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...

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)...

Scottish Affairs Committee calls for decriminalisation

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The Scottish Affairs Committee has become the latest group of MPs to call for an overhaul of the UK’s drug laws, saying that the...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Improve cooperation to tackle criminal justice system’s health inequalities

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The mortality rate for prisoners is 50 per cent higher than for the general population, according to a new report from the Revolving Doors...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Overdose deaths up across Europe

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The total number of drug overdose deaths in Europe has risen for the third consecutive year, according to EMCDDA’s European drug report 2017. There...

Prisoners dying ‘preventable deaths’ because of NPS, says ombudsman

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Prisoners are dying ‘preventable deaths – particularly as a result of the alarming levels of drug abuse in jails’, says the annual report of the...

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...

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...

North South Charity Merger

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Health and social care charity Humankind and London-based alcohol and drug charity Blenheim CDP have announced they are intending to merge in April 2019...

Addiction psychiatry facing oblivion, royal college warns

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Addiction psychiatry could be ‘wiped out in the next ten years’ without urgent action, warns a report from the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych)....

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...

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...

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...

More than half test positive in community hep C pilot

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A pilot project offering hepatitis C testing in pharmacies with needle exchange facilities has been hailed a success, with more than 50 per cent...

Coronavirus guidance issued for providers and commissioners

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New guidance for commissioners and treatment providers during the COVID-19 outbreak has been issued by Public Health England (PHE) and the Department for Health...

Northern Ireland records highest drug death total

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Northern Ireland has recorded its highest level of drug-related deaths, according to figures published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). There...

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...

We’ll get through this, pledge activists

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A comprehensive advice sheet for people who use drugs during the coronavirus outbreak has been prepared by EuroNPUD, INPUD and Respect Drug User Rights....

‘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...

Sell e-cigarettes in hospitals, says PHE report

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Vaping poses ‘only a small fraction’ of the risks of smoking, and NHS trusts should ensure that e-cigarettes and nicotine replacement therapies are available...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Shutting up shop

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The crisis in funding has dominated the sector for years, but with many big names now closing their doors the situation for residential facilities...

Alcohol industry ‘misrepresenting’ cancer evidence

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The drinks industry is misrepresenting the evidence about alcohol-related cancer risks, according to research by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and...

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...

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,...

Betway hit with record £11m fine for failing ‘VIP’ customers

0
Online gambling company Betway will have to pay £11.6m for failings relating to a number of high-spending customers as well as its money-laundering responsibilities,...

Tailored treatment needed for prescription drug misuse, says ACMD

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Prescription-only drugs are being widely diverted to supplement the use of illegal substances, according to a new report from the Advisory Council on the...

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...

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,...

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...

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 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...

Cautious welcome for increase in public health grant

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The public health grant 2020-21 has been set at £3.279bn, the government has announced – an increase of £145m on the 2019-20 figure. Health...

Scotland records highest ever drug deaths  

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Scotland has yet again recorded its highest ever number of drug-related deaths, at 934. The 2017 figure is 8 per cent up on the...

Campaigners call for total alcohol advertising ban

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Existing regulations are failing to protect young people from exposure to alcohol advertising and the ‘subsequent drinking’ it leads to, according to a collection...

Plain tobacco packaging

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

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...

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...

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...

Nine out of ten councils now provide take-home naloxone

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Take-home naloxone has been made available by 90 per cent of English local authorities, according to a report from the Local Government Association (LGA)....

Impose £2 online slot machine limit, says cross-party report

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There is ‘no justification’ for online slot machine style games to have staking levels above £2, says a report from the Gambling Related Harm...

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...

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...

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...

Minimum pricing law passed in Wales

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The National Assembly for Wales has approved the introduction of minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol. Approval of the Public Health (Minimum Price for...

More support for children of alcohol-dependent parents

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The government has pledged to increase support for children living with alcohol-dependent parents. The plans include faster identification of at-risk children – including those...

West Midlands PCC proposes consumption rooms and prescribed heroin

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A range of proposed harm reduction measures to cut drug-related crime and deaths, and reduce costs to public services, has been set out by...

Vulnerable young choose high profile brands

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

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...

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...

Services failing vulnerable people with alcohol problems

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Vulnerable adults’ alcohol use is frequently being ‘missed or poorly managed’, says a report from Alcohol Change UK. Mismanaging severe alcohol problems among people...

Government must ‘create a national strategy’ for children of alcoholics

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The government needs to develop a national strategy for the children of alcoholics alongside properly funded local support, says the first ever manifesto for...

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...

Boost harm reduction to halt deaths, government urged

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The government needs to ensure that the provision of the ‘whole range’ of harm reduction initiatives is in place to address increasing rates of drug-related deaths,...

‘Aspirational’ treatment standards published by WHO and UNODC

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A revised edition of the International standards for the treatment of drug use disorders has been published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and...

Leeds launches ‘Like My Limit’ alcohol campaign

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Forward Leeds is among local services launching initiatives for Alcohol Awareness Week, 14-20 November. Their Like My Limit campaign aims to reach 17,000 dependent...

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...

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...

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...

‘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...

Two in five homeless deaths now drug-related

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There were an estimated 726 deaths of homeless people in England and Wales registered during 2018, according to the latest figures from the Office...

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...

Treatment threatened by constant re-procurement, warns ACMD

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The quality of treatment for heroin users is being threatened by diminishing funds and ‘disruptive re-procurement processes’, according to a new report from the...

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...

Almost 70 per cent of 20-year-olds gamble

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Sixty eight per cent of 20-year-olds had participated in gambling in the last year, according to a study by GambleAware. While this fell slightly...

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...

New helpline for prisoners released during pandemic

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A new free-phone helpline has opened for men and women in the North East who are being released from prison during the coronavirus crisis. The...

CQC voices ‘serious concerns’ over residential detox

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Clients undergoing medically supervised withdrawal in residential settings are being ‘put at risk’ by poor quality care, according to a briefing from the Care...

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

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On drugs, like so many people on drugs, Britain is predictable, embarrassing and stuck in the past. Occasionally some bold public figure will admit...

FDAP closes and transfers functions to SMMGP

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The Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals (FDAP) is to close at the end of this month, it has been announced. In a statement...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Alcohol industry would lose £13bn if drinkers stuck to guidelines

0
Drinkers consuming more than the government’s low-risk guideline of 14 units a week make up a quarter of the population but provide 68 per...

News in brief

0
Methamphetamine use grips Asia Pacific Amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) – a category that includes amphetamine, methamphetamine, methcathinone and ‘ecstasy group substances’ – were the primary drug...

SNP votes to back decriminalisation 

0
The Scottish National Party (SNP) has given ‘overwhelming support’ for the devolution of drug laws to Scotland to allow decriminalisation of drug possession. Delegates at...

Alcohol minimum unit pricing still on the cards

0
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 becomes legal in Canada

0
Adults in Canada are now able to legally buy and possess up to 30g of dried cannabis or its equivalent from authorised retailers across...

More research needed on medicinal cannabis, says NICE

0
More research is needed on cannabis-based medicinal products before they can be widely prescribed, says the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)....

Harmful youth drinking falls, but inequalities persist

0
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...

Scots drug-related deaths down from record highs

0
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...

Injecting young people a ‘blind spot’

0
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...

Government announces tougher powers to seize cutting agents

0
Plans to strengthen powers to seize substances used as ‘cutting agents’ for illegal drugs have been announced by the Home Office. Under the plans,...

300m drug users world-wide by ‘end of century’

0
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...

ACMD rejects time-limited substitution treatments

0
Time limits on heroin substitution treatment such as methadone would ‘not benefit’ drug users’ recovery and would increase the possibility of relapse, according to...

National news from the substance misuse field

0
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...

First national guidance on tackling street drinking issued

0
The first national guidance on tackling street drinking has been launched by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs). Written by Alcohol Concern...

Health groups call for ‘radical steps’ on alcohol

0
A minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol should be introduced for ‘all alcohol sales’ along with prohibition of ‘all alcohol advertising and...

NPS penalties for prisoners

0
Grayling announces tough NPS penalties for prisoners People found smuggling or using new psychoactive substances (NPS) in prison will face a new range of punitive...

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

0
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 announces £3.2m emergency funds for rough sleepers

0
Emergency funding totalling £3.2m to help rough sleepers to self-isolate has been announced by communities secretary Robert Jenrick. Homelessness organisations have been highly critical...

Organisations working with offenders at increasing financial risk

0
Voluntary sector organisations working with offenders continue to be dogged by financial uncertainty, according to the latest State of the sector report from Clinks....

Call for new drugs policy organisation

0
A new drug policy body with responsibility for collecting and sharing evidence should be established in order to ‘improve drug policy knowledge and evaluation’,...

News 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...

Cannabis legalisation could see use rise but potency fall

0
It is likely that overall cannabis consumption would rise ‘significantly’ if the drug were legalised and prices dropped as a result, according to a...

Activists out in force for fifth Support Don’t Punish day of...

0
Thousands of people once again took to the streets to call for an end to the war on drugs as part of the Support...

E-cigarettes ‘safer than smoking’

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

News in brief

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A round up of news from the field. Heavy toll Two million patients a year are presenting to hospital emergency departments with alcohol-related illness or injury,...

Gambling on credit cards to be banned from April

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Gambling businesses will no longer be allowed to let customers use credit cards to gamble, the Gambling Commission has announced. The ban will apply...

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...

Alcohol-related hospital admissions up 15 per cent in ten years

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There were 338,000 hospital admissions in 2017-18 where the ‘main cause’ was a result of drinking alcohol, according to the latest figures from NHS...

New strategy to tackle ‘gambling harms’

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A NEW THREE-YEAR STRATEGY TO REDUCE GAMBLING HARMS has been launched by the Gambling Commission, the government has announced. The strategy will bring together...

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...

Advice on the hepatitis B vaccine shortage

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Some of you will be aware that there is currently a shortage of hepatitis B vaccine, likely to continue until early next year. In...

PHE to produce ‘orange book’ for alcohol treatment

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Public Health England (PHE) is working to produce the first UK-wide set of clinical guidelines for alcohol treatment, the agency has announced. While the...

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...

Increase focus on older people, royal college urges

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Services should increase their focus on older people because of the sheer number of ‘baby boomers’ needing help for substance misuse issues, says a...

‘Resilient’ organised crime groups adapting to pandemic conditions

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‘Active and resilient’ organised crime groups have been successfully adapting their drug trafficking routes, transportation models and concealment methods during the COVID-19 pandemic, according...

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....

CGL and Sova announce full merger

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Change Grow Live (CGL) and its subsidiary Sova are to fully merge, the charities have announced. The merger will mean integration of the infrastructure,...

Drugs trade driving huge increase in modern slavery cases

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The exploitation of young people by drug dealers is contributing to a significant increase in the number of ‘modern slavery’ cases, according to a...

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...

Politicians and charities call for ‘immediate’ minimum pricing

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More than 100 MPs, police commissioners, charities and health organisations have called for minimum pricing to be implemented in England ‘immediately’. ‘Lives will be lost...

Better joined up working needed between treatment and child sexual abuse...

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Around six per cent of young people seeking alcohol or drug treatment report having been the victims of sexual exploitation, according to a PHE-commissioned...

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 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...

Lack of harm reduction services impeding HIV progress, warns UNAIDS

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Around 99 per cent of people who inject drugs live in countries that are failing to provide adequate harm reduction services, says a new...

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...

‘Unprecedented’ purity levels for heroin, cocaine and ecstasy

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Heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and MDMA are now being sold at ‘unprecedented’ levels of purity, according to the latest DrugWise survey of the UK’s...

Time to ban all gambling ads, say MPs

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The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Gambling Related Harm has called for a ban on all gambling advertising as well as a complete...

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...

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...

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)...

Sustained budget cuts having severe impact on treatment system

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The treatment sector’s ability to absorb funding cuts through efficiency savings and service redesign has been ‘exhausted’, according to the latest State of the...

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...