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22nd December 2014

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UK news

Druglink - November/December 2014

The November/December issue now available - the last issue of  Druglink in the current ‘magazine’ format. Parts One and Two of our timeline representing decades of reporting on the key issues in Druglink are free to download. Watch out in the New Year for New Druglink which will be a website to be launched in January. The aim is to continue with the traditionally high level of quality in-depth reporting which has earned Druglink its reputation over the years – but now in a far more accessible and shareable format. We will be publicising this across all our platforms including DrugScope Daily | DrugScope, UK

UK Focal Point on Drugs report

Each of the first 10 chapters begins with an Introduction describing the main features of the topic under consideration within the UK. This may include information about the main legislative and organisational frameworks, sources of data and definitions used, the broad picture shown by the data and recent trends. The remainder of each chapter is concerned with New Developments and Trends | NTA, UK

Responsibility Deal: Monitoring the number of units of alcohol sold - Second interim report, 2013 data (PDF)

The previous interim monitoring report covered the first year of the Responsibility Deal Pledge and estimated that 253m units had been removed from the market between 2011 and 2012. This second report incorporates new data and gives a more accurate estimate of changes in the number of units of alcohol in the market since 2011 | Public and International Health Directorate; DH International, EU Business and Public Health Delivery; Health Improvement Analytical Team, UK

‘Black Friday of Booze’: people encouraged to sign up for Dry January as alcohol sales increase by 114% to hit their annual peak

Friday 19 December is dubbed ‘the Black Friday of Booze’, as the Christmas party season reaches its peak with an influx of revellers in pubs, bars and restaurants creating high demand across the emergency services. However, a spike in sign-ups to Dry January is also predicted | Alcohol Concern, UK

Press release: PHE encourages people to sign up to Dry January

This New Year, take a month off drinking and see the benefits to your waistline, wallet and general health | PHE, UK

Latest additions to the Effectiveness Bank 19 December 2014

Hepatitis C demands multi-pronged, pincer-action strategies. Does Scotland’s alcohol treatment system really have so much more capacity than the English? Perhaps one reason why the Home Office found ‘tough’ policies unrelated to drug use or harm is that prison obstructs effective rehabilitation | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Girls in the Criminal Justice System (PDF)

The aim of the inspection was to assess how effective youth offending services and secure establishments are in helping to stop girls offending and in reducing the risk of harm girls present to other people. We were particularly interested to find out whether these services were helping to make girls less vulnerable. The inspection also explored whether alcohol misuse was a factor in girl’s offending | Justice Inspectorate, UK

Policy: Reducing reoffending and improving rehabilitation

As part of their local integrated offender management work, many local areas in England and Wales provide interventions designed to identify and work with drug-misusing offenders as early as possible in their initial contact with the criminal justice system | Home Office, UK

Drivers face roadside drug test in Christmas crackdown

New ‘drugalyser’ kits will allow police to test samples of saliva instantly to detect for illegal narcotics and legal highs | Guardian, UK

LSD sweets: Police issue warning over drug-laced sweets

Drug dealers may be selling sweets laced with LSD across Greater Manchester, the National Crime Agency has warned | BBC, UK


International news

Inside a Lebanese marijuana factory

Lebanese farmers are making a living out of harvesting marijuana, after the government turned its focus to stopping Syrian militant groups gaining strength in the country | Telegraph, UK

Cannabis: Nebraska and Oklahoma sue Colorado

Heartland states challenge legalisation of cannabis in Colorado as pot backlash intensifies | Telegraph, UK

NSW cannabis trial: terminally ill adults and children with epilepsy to take part

The NSW government says if it cannot source medical-grade cannabis from overseas, it may grow it in Australia | Guardian, UK

Number of teens seeking help for drugs up

Treatment for the abuse of heroin, cannabis and legal tranquillisers has increased in the South-East – with a jump in the number of teenagers seeking help | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Man’s organs started dying after he took headshop drug

A man’s internal organs started dying after he took headshop drug mephe-drone, an inquest has heard | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Drug that reduces the urge to drink alcohol to be available from HSE

The drug is aimed at people who drink the equivalent of half a bottle of wine or three pints every day | Journal, Ireland

Customs seize 120,000 ‘Superman’ ecstasy tablets

Gardaí and Customs have dealt another blow to criminal gangs eager to earn millions from the Christmas black market | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Alcohol blackouts common in UK teens

About a third of 15-year-olds in the UK have blacked out due to alcohol, a new survey indicates - and the rate rises to nearly three-quarters by the time they reach 19, researchers found | Reuters, USA

Is there a better way to treat substance use in adolescents with co-occurring mental health disorders?

The majority (55-74%) of adolescents entering substance use treatment also have psychiatric disorders, such as depression, ADHD and trauma-related problems. Unfortunately, these youth face poorer treatment outcomes (e.g., relapse), and their mental health issues are often not directly addressed. Furthermore, few studies exist to guide those clinicians who would like to use integrated care to treat adolescent with co-occurring disorders | Science Daily, USA

Painkiller Addiction

Dangers of Abusing Painkillers and Addiction Treatment Options | Fix, USA

New drink-drive limits catch dozens of drivers

Dozens of drivers across New Zealand have already fallen foul of the lower drink-driving limit, with some being busted on their way to work after a big night out |, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

10 (more) things about alcohol and other drugs you might have missed - late December edition

Andrew Brown of DrugScope provides a final set of slides for the year with 10 more things he saw about alcohol and other drugs and which I thought were interesting | DrugScope Blog, UK

New drugs: new policy landscapes

A selection of podcasts are available from our first seminar held at the university of Kent on Tuesday 16th December | New Drug Seminars, UK

"People just dismiss me": the leading policeman challenging the War on Drugs

The Chief Constable of Durham, Mike Barton, breaks the taboo on drugs | New Statesman, UK

Chemsex is driving a challenge for drug treatment services

Ten years is a long time in drug treatment. In Antidote – London Friend’s specialist service for lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender people (LGBT) – some changes have been quite astonishing | Guardian Witness, UK

Infographic: A Guide to Using Marijuana Edibles

Marijuana edibles are the talk of the town. Here are some facts you should you know before chowing down | Talking Drugs Blog, UK

A Great Plains Border War, Over Cannabis

Nebraska and Oklahoma have sued Colorado over marijuana, saying their neighbor is not doing enough to contain the evil weed within its borders | Ny Times, USA