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

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Local authorities failing to provide sufficient naloxone

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

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,...

Home Office gives go-ahead for pilot drug-testing scheme

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The Home Office has granted the UK’s first official licence for a drug checking service. Anyone over the age of 18 can now take...

Welsh Government to press ahead with 50p minimum price

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The Welsh Government has committed to introducing a 50p minimum unit price for alcohol, following the results of a public consultation. ‘Ministers remain of...

Tougher rules to protect children from gambling ads

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

Government announces drugs and violence review

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

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...

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...

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

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

Alcohol focus for new NHS plan

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

Harm reduction worldwide has ‘stalled’, warns HRI

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

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...

‘Health approach’ for new Scots drugs strategy

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Scotland’s new drugs strategy will take a ‘health approach’ and address wider problems such as housing, mental health, family support and employment, the Scottish...

It’s time to get tested, urges PHE

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

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...

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...

All change for alcohol charities

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

Government reverses controversial FOBT delay

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The government has abandoned its plans to delay the reduction in the maximum stake allowed on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs). The announcement that...

Home Office stands firm on Glasgow consumption room

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The government has reiterated its opposition to the opening of a drugs consumption room (DCR) in Glasgow, following a letter to home secretary Sajid...

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...

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...

Cannabis becomes legal in Canada

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

Time to publish ‘evidence based’ alcohol strategy, government told

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A new government alcohol strategy needs to ‘lead the way internationally’ in reducing the damage caused by alcohol misuse, according to a document from...

Racial disparity in stop and search increasing, says report

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Black people are nine times more likely to be stopped and searched for drugs in England and Wales than white people, according to a...

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...

 England sees ‘sharp decline’ in youth drinking

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The last 15 years have seen a ‘sharp decline’ in drinking levels among young people in England, according to a new report from the...

One in 20 global deaths caused by alcohol, says WHO

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More than 3m people died as a result of harmful alcohol use in 2016, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), representing one in...

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...

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...

Have more alcohol-free days, drinkers urged

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A new campaign by Public Health England (PHE) and industry-funded Drinkaware is urging middle-aged drinkers to have more alcohol-free days, as ‘a way of...

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...

‘No safe level’ of alcohol consumption

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The health risks associated with drinking are ‘massive’ and there is no safe level of alcohol use, according to a major new study published...

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

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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...

‘A third’ of HMP Birmingham prisoners using drugs

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

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...

Hep C deaths down 11 per cent in a year

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Deaths from hepatitis C-related end-stage liver disease fell by 11 per cent last year compared to 2016, according to new figures from Public Health...

Record drug deaths for England and Wales

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England and Wales have once again recorded their highest ever number of drug-related deaths, according to the latest figures from the Office for National...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Home secretary announces medicinal cannabis review

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The government is to undertake a review of the medicinal use of cannabis, home secretary Sajid Javid has announced. The move follows headline stories...

UK among biggest consumers in ‘buoyant’ cocaine market

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Cocaine purity levels in Europe are at their highest for a decade, according to the latest EMCDDA annual report, with a ‘buoyant’ market and...

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...

Government slashes maximum stake for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

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

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...

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...

Alcohol treatment at crisis point, says report

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A cycle of disinvestment coupled with reduced capacity and staffing levels means that the alcohol treatment sector in England is in crisis, according to...