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International Remembrance Day

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Demonstrators gather outside Parliament to mark International Remembrance Day This year’s International Remembrance Day was marked by a demonstration outside Parliament that saw speeches from Professor John Strang and others. The annual event is...

More than 120 children slain in Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’

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More than 120 killings of children and young people were carried out in the Philippines between July 2016 and December 2019, according to a...

Alcohol-related hospital admissions up 20 per cent in a decade

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Alcohol was the main reason for almost 360,000 hospital admissions in 2018-19, according to new figures from NHS Digital – a 6 per cent...

UN drug policy a ‘spectacular failure’, says IDPC

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The UN’s ten-year strategy to eradicate the international illegal drugs market has been a ‘spectacular failure of policy’, says a new report from 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...

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...

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...

Huge increase in ‘county lines’ activity, says NCA

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‘County lines’ drug dealing networks are continuing to expand with increasing exploitation of children and vulnerable adults, says a report from the National Crime...

Cannabis legalisation a mental health risk, says Rethink

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Moves to legalise cannabis risk ‘fuelling the nation’s mental health crisis’, the charity Rethink Mental Illness has warned. While it recognises the ‘strong arguments’ 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...

Government announces £3.2m emergency funds for rough sleepers

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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...

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...

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,...

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...

Extra 3p on beer would ‘raise £100m for alcohol treatment’

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Increasing alcohol duties by just 1 per cent would raise around £100m a year to invest in treatment services, according to a new briefing...

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...

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...

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...

News

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

A 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...

News in brief

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

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...

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...

Supreme Court finally clears the way for minimum pricing

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The UK Supreme Court has ‘unanimously’ dismissed the Scotch Whisky Association’s (SWA) appeal against last year’s ruling by Scottish judges in favour of minimum...

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...

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...

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...

A third of services report funding decrease

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

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...

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...

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...

Cocaine and ecstasy driving increase in class A use

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Around 1.1m adults took a class A drug in the last year, according to the latest Home Office figures, 3 per cent up on...

News in brief

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

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...

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...

Doctors warn on prescription addiction

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

Almost 30 countries now have some form of decriminalisation

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Twenty-nine countries – or 49 jurisdictions – worldwide have now adopted some form of decriminalisation for drug use or possession for personal use, according to...

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...

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...

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,...

‘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...

Obama commutes drug sentences before leaving office

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Barack Obama marked the end of his presidency by commuting the sentences of 330 prisoners, bringing the total number of commutations granted to more than...

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...

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...

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)....

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,...

All party group lobbies PHE for prescription drug helpline

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The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Prescribed Drug Dependence has set out its case for a national helpline for people struggling to withdraw...

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...

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...

NHS to open young persons’ gambling clinic

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The country’s first NHS gambling clinic for children is to open this year, NHS England has announced. The move is a response to ‘growing...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

A round-up of National News

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LONG-TERM TOLL Alcohol-related admission rates are falling for the under-40s but rising among over-65s, according to the latest local alcohol profiles from PHE, with the...

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 –...

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...

Naloxone news

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Martindale Pharma is notifying people in receipt of Prenoxad Injection kits, as well as those involved in their supply, of a temporary change in...

Naloxone provision ‘chronically inadequate’, says Release

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Levels of naloxone provision by local authorities are ‘chronically inadequate’ and ‘certainly not sufficient to prevent opioid deaths to any meaningful extent’, according to...

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...

Unions criticise services handover to third sector

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

Lib Dems make legal cannabis case

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

Local news from the substance misuse field

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

Drugs market has ‘never caused greater harm’, says Carol Black review

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The illegal drugs market ‘has long existed but has never caused greater harm to society than now’, according to the first phase of Professor...

MPs demand ‘urgent action’ on liver disease

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

Irish liver cancer rates up 300 per cent in two decades

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The number of primary liver cancers in Ireland increased by more than 300 per cent between 1994 and 2014, according to figures from the...

Three in five drinking ‘to cope’

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Almost 60 per cent of adults who drink are ‘doing so because it helps them to cope with the pressures of day-to-day life’, according...

Scotland’s drug death toll at record high

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Scotland has yet again recorded its highest ever number of drug-related fatalities, with 1,187 registered in 2018. The number, which was described as ‘shocking’ by...

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...

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...

Another record high for Scots drug deaths

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Scotland recorded 1,264 drug-related deaths in 2019, according to the latest figures from National Records of Scotland. The figure represents a 6 per cent...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

News in Brief

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

International study supports low UK alcohol guidelines

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The UK’s comparatively low threshold for recommended safe drinking levels has been supported by a major new study. As international low-risk drinking guidelines vary substantially,...

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...

Latin American states consider consequences of drug reform

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

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...

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...

‘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...

NHS England sets out ambitious plans to eradicate hep C

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England could be the first country to eliminate hepatitis C, according to plans announced by the NHS. The health service has called on the...

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...

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...

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...

Young adults seeking heroin or crack treatment at ‘all-time low’

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The number of young adults entering treatment for heroin or crack is at its lowest recorded level, according to figures released by the NTA. There...

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...

Rehabs ‘failing’ older drinkers

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Three quarters of residential alcohol treatment facilities are failing older adults because of ‘arbitrary age limits’, according to a report from Alcohol Research UK. More...

Coordinated effort needed to eliminate hepatitis C

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An ‘urgent, coordinated’ effort is needed to increase testing and treatment for hepatitis C in order to ensure the elimination of the disease in...

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,...

Euro drug scene in ‘state of flux’

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Drugs behind ‘huge increase’ in prison violence

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A ‘huge increase’ in violence across the prison estate has taken place in the last five years, according to the latest annual report from...

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...

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...

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...

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:...

Health groups call for ‘radical steps’ on alcohol

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

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...

Minimum pricing being implemented ‘effectively’

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Minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol is being implemented effectively in Scotland, according to a report from NHS Health Scotland. Levels of compliance among...

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 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...

Trump administration to step up ‘war on drugs’

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The US administration under President Donald Trump has signalled that it intends to intensify the ‘war on drugs’, with a return to 1980s-style prevention...

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...

Number of over-40s in opiate treatment triples in a decade

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The number of people aged over 40 in treatment for opiate use has tripled in little over a decade, according to a report from...

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...

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...

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...

Better collaboration needed to tackle county lines properly

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Efforts to tackle the activities of county lines drug gangs are being hampered by lack of a ‘fully integrated, national response’, according to a...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Family members urged to share their experiences

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A major new national survey on the impact of addiction and recovery on family members has been launched by Adfam and Sheffield Hallam University,...

Media Savvy… Who’s been saying what?

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

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...

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’....

Opiates and cocaine ‘bigger global health threat than ever’

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Record-high production levels for opiates and cocaine, coupled with expanding drug markets, mean the drugs are now a ‘bigger global threat to public health...

NPS penalties for prisoners

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

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...

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’,...

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...

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...

Home secretary ‘minded to’ explicitly exempt poppers from Psychoactive Substances Act

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The home secretary, Priti Patel, has written to the ACMD seeking its advice on formally exempting alkyl nitrates – or ‘poppers’ – from the...

News in brief

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

Time to change direction on drugs policy, say economists

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

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...

Tobacco plan aims for ‘smoke-free generation’

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The government has published its new tobacco control plan, outlining that its vision is ‘nothing less than to create a smoke-free generation’. Earlier this...

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...

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,...

‘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...

Local authorities unprepared for hep C responsibility

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

Government 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...

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...

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...

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...

Campaigners call for urgent reform in sixth annual day of action

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The sixth Support. Don’t Punish global day of action is taking place on 26 June. Last year saw events in more than 200 cities...

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...

News in brief

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

Media language enabling discrimination, says Global Commission

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Negative portrayals in the media and politics are reinforcing the perception that drug use is ‘immoral’ and people who use drugs are a threat...

ACMD rejects time-limited substitution therapy

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

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...

Glamourised ‘lifestyle’ promotions must be banned, says Alcohol Concern

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Alcohol advertising that promotes ‘lifestyle’ images of drinkers or scenes that glamourise drinking should be banned, according to a report from Alcohol Concern. The...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Media savvy, October 2016

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The lawful pharmaceutical industry in the United States is the most insidious, vile and addiction-provoking monster of its type on the planet. Until it...

New alcohol strategy needed ‘urgently’

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A new UK-wide alcohol strategy is now ‘required urgently’, according to a report from the Commission on Alcohol Harm. It should be evidence-based and...

Glasgow considers case for UK’s first consumption room

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Glasgow could become the site of the UK’s first consumption room, after the Glasgow City Joint Integration Board officially approved the development of a...

Take alcohol ads off the streets, Scottish Government urged

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Alcohol advertising should be removed from streets, parks and public transport, according to a new report from Alcohol Focus Scotland. The document also wants...

Children and alcohol

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Children more familiar with ‘beer than biscuits’ Primary school children are more familiar with beer brands than leading makes of biscuits, crisps or ice cream,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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

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

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...

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...

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...

Heroin deaths continue to fall

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The number of deaths related to heroin and morphine fell from 41 per cent of total drug-related deaths in 2010 to 32 per cent...

Drug services see reduction in frontline staff

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

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...

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...

Budget cuts spell more pain for services

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Local authorities have been forced to reduce planned public health spending on services including drug and alcohol treatment by £85m as a result of...

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)...

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)....

Substance service staff prioritised in vaccination rollout

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People working in community-based addiction services will be given high priority in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations to healthcare staff, NHS England has confirmed. A...

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...

County Concerns

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The Home Office has produced a series of posters to help staff working in social housing identify potential victims of county lines activity and...

Local news from the substance misuse field

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

National Crime Agency issues fentanyl warning

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The National Crime Agency (NCA) has taken the ‘unusual step’ of warning drug users to be vigilant following the detection of powerful synthetic opioid...

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...

Drug poisoning admissions continue to rise

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Last year saw more than 18,000 hospital admissions for poisoning by drug misuse in England, according to figures from NHS Digital, an increase of...

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...

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,...

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...

‘A national tragedy’ – Record drug fatalities for Scotland

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Scotland has once again recorded its highest ever number of drug-related deaths, at 706 – almost two per day. The 2015 figures are 15 per...

‘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...

Safer drinking

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

News in brief – May 2015

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