News in brief

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 and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’s club drugs clinic. ‘The involvement and support of parents and families can make a big difference to someone’s health and how they deal with taking legal highs and club drugs,’ says Talking to your children about legal highs and club drugs: a parent’s handbook.

 Available at


TB capital

London has the highest TB rates of any western European capital, according to a report from Public Health England (PHE). Thirty-nine per cent of the 8,751 cases of TB reported in the UK in 2012 were in London, although UK rates have remain­ed ‘relatively stable’ since 2005. More than 7 per cent of cases had ‘at least one social risk factor’ such as problem drug or alcohol use, imprison­ment or a history of homeless­ness, says Tubercu­losis in the UK 2013 report. ‘TB remains a critical public health problem, particularly in parts of London and among people from vulnerable communities,’ said PHE’s medical director, Dr Paul Cosford.

 Report at


Styal-ish service

A new drug and alcohol recovery service has been launched by the Lifeline Project at women’s prison HMP Styal in Cheshire. The fully integrated programme will operate in partnership with Delphi Medical and Acorn Treatment and include ‘ambitious recovery outcomes relating to health and wellbeing, employment and self-esteem’.


Your very good health

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a report on alcohol and health in Europe, looking at consumption levels and harm as well as the effectiveness of recent policy developments. Meanwhile, nearly 40 per cent of ten to 17-year-olds who use social networking sites had seen images of their friends drunk, according to research from Drinkaware. ‘Children as young as ten are seeing drunkenness normalised,’ said Drinkaware’s marketing and communications director Anne Foster.

 Status report on alcohol and health in 35 European countries 2013 at


New release

Release has launched its new website, featuring a dedicated harm reduction section as well as enhanced policy and legal advice pages. ‘We’re really excited about the new website, which we believe is one of most comprehensive and informative sites in respect of drug information, harm reduction and legal issues faced by people who use drugs and their families,’ said executive director Niamh Eastwood. ‘The format is attractive and accessible and we hope people will sign up to the newsletter to keep up to date with Release’s work and developments in the field.’


Re:Cover your talent

Phoenix Future’s Re:Cover music project wants to hear from people who have been affected by drug or alcohol addiction – whether their own or someone else’s – and have ‘a passion for making music’. Those selected to take part will get an expenses-paid day in a studio with an industry mentor to record songs offering an insight into addiction, with the final versions posted online for a public vote. Winners will receive a prize package worth £1,500.

 Details at


Making connections

A report on homelessness and substance use has been launched by the London Drug and Alcohol Network (LDAN) and DrugScope. Statistics suggest that only a quarter of rough sleepers in central London do not have support needs relating to drugs, alcohol, mental health or a combination of the three, says Making connections to build recovery.

 Available at


Care cash

Voluntary sector funding to help ‘improve people’s health and wellbeing’ has been announced by care and support minister Norman Lamb. The Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development (IESD) fund will be awarded to organisations that can demonstrate a commitment to personalisation and choice of care, compassion and improving public health.

 Details at

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