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The Changing Landscape of Social Work: Current Issues in Policy and Practice for Social Workers specialising in Substance Use

BASW’s Special Interest Group in Alcohol and Other Drugs is hosting a conference

on Wednesday 16th September in London. The event will provide delegates with an update of key changes in relation to social work practice and education and encourage discussion on its relevance to social workers in specialist substance use practice




Drugs and Alcohol Today


Drugs and Alcohol Today: 3rd Sept. London


£30 / free to attend - covering all drug & alcohol services including Naloxone, Hep C, ‘legal highs’, supporting families, bereavement, domestic violence, ex-offenders





Rawfest Festival


RAW FEST: 14 - 16th August 2015


A 3-day clean living, drug and alcohol free, creative, innovative, wellness and healing festival in the New Forest. A time to relax, explore, have fun in a safe and loving environmentnt



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DS Daily

28th July 2015


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World Hepatits Day: 28th July 2015


UK news

Naloxone – preliminary advice from the working group updating Drug Misuse and Dependence: UK Guidelines on Clinical Management

The working group updating the 2007 national clinical guidelines on drug treatment has published some preliminary advice on naloxone before addressing its supply and use more fully in the published update next year. The advice covers naloxone dosing in overdose situations, take-home naloxone products that can be supplied and training that should be provided, now and following legislation  to make naloxone more widely available from October 2015 onwards | PHE, UK

Precursor chemical licensing

The effective control of chemicals used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances is an important tool in combating drug trafficking. These chemicals, known as ‘precursors’, also have legitimate commercial uses as they are legally used in a wide variety of industrial processes and consumer products, such as medicines, flavourings and fragrances | Home Office, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to assess the mood-altering capacity of legal high substances available in the UK | They work for you, UK

Drugs: Crime

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to require the Director of Public Prosecutions to produce guidance as to the circumstances under which possession of a psychoactive substance amounts to a possible offence of supplying or offering to supply under clause 5 of the Psychoactive Substances Bill | They work for you, UK

Laughing gas 'not just a bit of fun' - video

A teenager in London died at the weekend, after suffering a cardiac arrest | BBC, UK

Charities to launch hepatitis C testing campaign

Hepatitis charities are calling on Scots who think they may have been exposed to the virus to get tested as part of a new national campaign | BBC, UK

Hepatitis: Drugs

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what processes are in place to ensure that people living with Hepatitis C will be able to access new National Institute for Health and Care Excellence approved treatments from 31 July 2015 | They work for you, UK

Annual report from the sentinel surveillance study of blood borne virus testing in England: data for January to December 2014 (PDF)

This report provides summary data for individuals who were first reported to the sentinel surveillance programme during 2014. Sections 1 to 7 describes testing and demographic information for individuals tested by venepuncture for hepatitis A to E, HIV, and HTLV | PHE, UK

Mayor extends sobriety tag pilot, following 91 per cent success rate

A scheme to tackle alcohol-related crime through the use of compulsory electronic ankle tags has proved such a success it is being extended, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced.  The one year ‘sobriety tag’ trial kept 91 per cent of offenders sober and is to be continued, with proposals for a capital-wide roll-out |, UK

'Sobriety tag' scheme to be extended for six months

A pilot scheme in south London in which offenders wear ankle tags that monitor alcohol levels is to be extended for a further six months | BBC, UK

British children are more likely to drink

A leading charity is warning parents to look out for the signs of youth drinking as those abusing alcohol are becoming younger and drinking more. Although statistics suggest fewer young people are experimenting with drink - those that do are starting at an earlier age and drinking more heavily - risking their health and safety | ITV, UK

Is alcohol consumption in older adults associated with poor self-rated health? Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (PDF)

Increases in alcohol related mortality and morbidity have been reported among older people in England over the last decade. There is, however, evidence that drinking is protective for some health conditions. The validity of this evidence has been questioned due to residual confounding and selection bias. The aim of this study is to clarify which drinking profiles and other demographic characteristics are associated with poor self-rated health | Biomed Central, UK

Bobbi Kristina Brown: How a parent's drug addiction can affect a child

Bobbi Kristina Brown has tragically died aged 22, three years after her late mother Whitney Houston passed away. Radhika Sanghani explores the impact a parent's death linked to drug addiction can have on their children | Telegraph, UK

A Petition Has Forced British MPs to Consider Cannabis Legalisation

In excellent news for the salted snacks industry, a petition to legalise cannabis in the UK on Parliament's website has garnered over 150,000 signatures, which makes it very likely that it will be debated in the House of Commons | VICE, UK

Lord Sewel resigns from House of Lords after drug claims

Lord Sewel has resigned from the House of Lords after being filmed allegedly taking drugs with prostitutes | BBC, UK

Rolling Stoned: Keith Richards admits he still likes a 'morning joint'

The Rolling Stone says he smokes an 'early morning joint' regularly | Telegraph, UK

'Breaking Bad' drugs gang jailed

A 78-year-old man who plotted to set up a crystal meth production line likened to the TV series Breaking Bad has been jailed for 18 years | BBC, UK

Three arrested after Facebook group raid cannabis field – only to find it is hemp

Police have arrested three people after a Facebook post detailed the location of a field packed full of wild-growing cannabis – which turned out to be hemp | Independent, UK

High on the menu: cannabis spaghetti features at Italian foodfest

Any Italian will tell you: pasta is healthy and makes you feel good. But what about spaghetti made from cannabis? | Reuters, UK

Best invention ever? The 'cigarette' that lets you inhale caffeine

A new vapour tool eliminates the need for drinking your morning coffee | Telegraph, UK


International news

Booze around the world

The world may be getting warmer, but it is not getting much wetter. It quaffed 249 billion litres of alcoholic drinks in 2014, a modest increase of 1 billion over the preceding year | Economist, UK

Californian city to get 'marijuana innovation zone'

Growing the green stuff in Arcata, bike-friendly Jakarta and Auckland’s ancient underground waterway feature in this week’s best city stories | Guardian, UK

Cannabis use on rise but there's no plans to turn 'blind eye' to it

Home cultivation of cannabis, which is becoming increasingly popular, can still result in growers receiving a 14-year prison sentence with no plans to decrease the seriousness of the offence | Independent, Ireland

Cigarettes smuggling 'the new cocaine trade'; 'paltry ' fines blamed

The sale of illegal cigarettes has been labelled "the new cocaine" trade in Ireland | Irish Examiner, Ireland

WHO calls for urgent action to curb hepatitis

On World Hepatitis Day (28 July) WHO highlights the urgent need for countries to enhance action to prevent viral hepatitis infection and to ensure that people who have been infected are diagnosed and offered treatment | WHO, Switzerland

On the front lines of the heroin epidemic, offering a lifesaving treatment

Deaths from opioid overdose are at an all-time high across the United States, and Birmingham has been hit particularly hard. In the past four years, heroin overdose deaths in Jefferson County and surrounding areas rose from 12 individuals to 137. But a team of UAB researchers is taking action to respond | Medical Xpress, USA

John Oliver's eye-opening, haunting segment on mandatory minimum sentences for drugs

Last Week Tonight's John Oliver on Sunday slammed mandatory minimum sentences that can place people in prison for decades or even life for nonviolent offenses | Vox, USA

Woman on Reddit Sends Naloxone in Mail for Free

An obscure opiate forum has been the source of one person's mission to save lives, no questions asked | Fix, USA

Medical marijuana one step closer in Queensland

Medical marijuana is one step closer in Queensland after New South Wales announced its first adult trials with the drug will begin next year | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The truth about hepatitis C is shocking: we can and must act

I regularly meet incredible people who have beaten addiction. People who can finally say with conviction that they have regained control of their lives. Their success is down to grit and determination but also, and in no small measure, the support of compassionate professionals and appropriate medication | Addaction Blog, UK

This Is Why So Many Young Brits Are Taking So Much LSD and Ecstasy

Not many young British people have acid to thank for their first narcotic experience. One of the original counter-culture drugs of the 1960s and 70s, for a while it seemed that – in this modern age of myriad highs and limited downtime – LSD was going the way of the dodo | VICE, UK

The Death of 'M': Opiates & Overdose

It was only four days after my opiate overdose training and Naloxone/Narcan certification that I found out 'M' had died of an overdose. I didn't know her on a personal level, yet the news of her death weighed heavily on me | Talking Drugs Blog, UK

Mother calls for legalisation after daughter's ecstasy death - video

Anne Marie Cockburn says she doesn't want other youngsters to die like her daughter Martha Fernback, 15 | Channel 4, UK