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UK news

The international evidence on the prevention of drug and alcohol use Summary and examples of implementation in England (PDF)

The briefing provides a summary of the United Nations Office of Drug Control’s International Standards on Drug Use Prevention and gives examples of relevant guidelines, programmes and interventions currently available in England. These examples will help those who commission, develop and implement prevention strategies and interventions to translate the standards into the English operating landscape. The briefing also aims to support local authority commissioners to develop their prevention strategies and implement them in line with evidence | PHE, UK

Norman Lamb: more than half of Tory ministers have taken drugs

Lib Dem leadership candidate attacks ‘pathetic’ drug laws and says majority of government ministers will ‘almost certainly’ have taken drugs in their youth | Guardian, UK

EU centre supports drug consumption rooms

The European Union’s drug misuse monitoring centre says the evidence contradicts concerns that facilities where drug users can more safely use illegal drugs might counterproductively encourage drug use, delay treatment entry, or aggravate problems arising from local drug markets; instead both users and the community benefit | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

New Sheffield Project - Drink Wise, Age Well

Drink Wise, Age Well launches its new 5 year project with the aim of reducing alcohol related harm in the over 50 population | Sheffield Alcohol Support Service, UK

Watch: BBC doc explores chemsex on the London gay scene

A new BBC documentary is delving into the world of ‘chemsex’ on the London gay scene | Attitude, UK

Chemsex - BBC iPlayer

Crystal Meth, GHB/GBL and Mephedrone form what some health workers call an 'un-holy trinity' of drugs that together can heighten arousal and strip away inhibitions | BBC iPlayer, UK

'Chemsex' drug: 'I felt so ashamed'

A trend for drug-fuelled sex parties has emerged in parts of London's gay scene. One of the drugs being taken is GHB | BBC, UK

Parkinson’s and depression drugs can alter moral judgment, study shows

Trial showed healthy people given a Parkinson’s drug became more selfish, while people given a serotonin-boosting drug were more protective of others | Guardian, UK

 

International news

Why Afghanistan's neighbours fear drugs influx

Could increased fighting in northern Afghanistan lead to an influx of drugs transiting through Tajikistan and Central Asia to Russia and Europe? That is the worry of senior officials in the region | BBC, UK

A new high

As violence surges in Afghanistan, so too does the country’s opium business. Last year was the deadliest year ever for non-combatants, with nearly 3,700 killed | Economist, UK

Colombia says rise in coca cultivation shows why it was right to stop spraying

A new UN study showing a steep rise in the cultivation of the leaf used to make cocaine offers fresh support to Colombia’s recent decision to end the aerial spraying of drug crops with herbicides, government officials said on Thursday | Guardian, UK

Heroin heroine: Sara Adey's story

Lateline takes you inside a housing estate in inner Sydney to meet a woman who has saved seven neighbours from drug overdose in the past year | abc.net.au, Australia

 

Blogs, comment and opinion

Why addiction treatment is in need of a fix

Who cares what happens to drug addicts? Perhaps we all should. As well as social problems including family breakdown, homelessness and unemployment, drug use is linked to crime costing the state and individuals an estimated £13.3bn a year in the UK. Because we are citizens and taxpayers, drugs impact us all | Conversation, UK

Charles Kennedy Remembered

Throughout the media coverage of Charles Kennedy's untimely death, many people referred to his alcoholism. Alongside the tributes, has been a discussion about the illness of addiction | Castle Craig Blog, UK

Amy Winehouse said no when I asked her to go to rehab – the song she wrote about it turned her into a star, but five years later she was dead

Watching Amy in her early shows was like watching someone in another world. She'd hit a lyric or a melody and her eyes would roll back, her whole body would be so into it; you'd just look at her and know she was gone. The sad thing is that at that point she was only getting high from her music | Independent, UK

Better parked than dead

There was a familiar and tragic story in the news on the 14th June, about six heroin-related deaths in Nottinghamshire1. Events like this are generally reported the same way, with some public official, or police spokesperson claiming that a “bad batch” or “extra strong” dose of the drug killed the unfortunate users | Leap, UK

The psychedelic drug that could explain our belief in life after death

Scientists have discovered DMT, the Class A hallucinogenic, naturally occurs in the body, and may contain a clue to what happens when we die and why people see fairies | Little atoms, UK

Forced rehabilitation of drug users in Indonesia not a solution

Earlier this year, Indonesia executed 14 people, including Bali Nine duo Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, for drug offences. President Joko Widodo portrayed the executions as the ultimate weapon in an expansive “war on drugs” deployed to protect the country’s young generation from an  alleged “national drug emergency” | Conversation, UK

It's time to accept that alcoholism is not a disease

It's that time of the year again - the sun had finally decided to show its face while the sound of lawnmowers and the heady scent of neighbouring barbecues compete for our attention as the country gets ready to bask in the hottest week of the year | Independent comment, Ireland