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Regular drinkers consuming more during lockdown

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Almost 20 per cent of daily drinkers are consuming more alcohol during the coronavirus lockdown, according to research commissioned by Alcohol Change UK. However,...

London rough sleepers housed in hotels

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

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...

‘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...

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....

Categorise people dependent on drugs as high-risk population, government urged

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People who are dependent on drugs – including alcohol – should be categorised as a high-risk population for COVID-19, says a submission from Release and...

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,...

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...

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’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...

Sales of low-alcohol beers up 30 per cent

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Sales of no-alcohol and low-alcohol – or ‘nolo’ – beers have increased by 30 per cent since 2016, according to a report from the...

Disappointment for campaigners looking for alcohol duty increase

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Duty rates for for beer, cider and spirits have been frozen in the 2020 budget, disappointing health campaigners who had been urging the government...

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

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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,...

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...

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...

‘Loneliness epidemic’ pushing people towards alcohol

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More than one in ten people who experience loneliness are turning to alcohol to cope, according to a YouGov survey commissioned by Turning Point....

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)....

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...

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...

Have your say on alcohol harm

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A new Commission on Alcohol Harm has been launched with a call for written evidence. The commission has been established in the absence of...

Homeless people dying of preventable substance problems

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At least 12,000 people experiencing homelessness went without drug and alcohol treatment in 2018, according to research by St Mungo’s – a year that...

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),...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

More action needed to avert US-style fentanyl crisis, says ACMD

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Fentanyl and its analogues present a ‘significant ongoing risk’ to public health in the UK, according to an ACMD report, with more needing to...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

Heroin assisted treatment pilot launches in Glasgow

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

Parties set out drug and alcohol manifesto pledges

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

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...

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...

UK drug policy failing, say MPs

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Drug policy in the UK is ‘clearly failing’ and requires radical change, says a report from the Health and Social Care Committee. With rates...

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...

‘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...

SNP votes to back decriminalisation 

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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...

Middlesbrough launches heroin-assisted treatment programme

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A pilot heroin-assisted treatment (HAT) programme is being launched in Middlesbrough, the local police and crime commissioner (PCC) has announced. The programme will concentrate...

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...

Nearly 100,000 could be unaware they have hep C

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Up to two thirds of the estimated 143,000 people in the UK living with a chronic hepatitis C infection may be unaware they have...

Millions being prescribed potentially addictive drugs

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

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...

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...

More research needed on medicinal cannabis, says NICE

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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)....

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...

World Hepatitis Day 2019 DDN Round Up

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

‘Biased’ classification fuelling drug problem, says Global Commission

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Biased historical classification of psychoactive substances has been a significant contribution to the world drug problem, according to a new report from the Global...

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...

We’ll introduce mandatory alcohol labelling, says Labour

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

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...

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...

Addiction Awareness Week: Sixty per cent of Britons know someone with...

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Sixty per cent of British people know someone with an addiction problem, according to a YouGov survey commissioned by Action on Addiction and published...

Seizures of cocaine at ‘record levels’ in Europe

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Europe is seeing record levels of seizures of cocaine, says the latest European drug report from EMCDDA. Availability of the drug is continuing to...