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Addicted to Recovery? New Directions 2015


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The 2015 New Directions in the Study of Alcohol Group annual conference takes place in London on 21 & 22nd May



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28th April 2015

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DS Daily saved!


Hall of fame: A big thank you to our Crowdfunding pledgers for helping us reach our Crowdfunding target! Crowdfunder is still running for a week here if you would still like to donate


SMMGP, John Rogerson - Australian Drug Foundation, Sarah Graham Solutions (Addiction Expert), TONIC, Mosaic Training, Galahad SMS Ltd, Centre for Drug Misuse Research, National Needle Exchange Forum, Judith Yates, VAD - Vereniging voor Alcohol- en andere Drugproblemen (Association for Alcohol and other Drug Problems association - Belgium), Andrew Preston, Kevin Flemen, Jack Hughes, Stepping Stones, Tim Brown, Kim Hager


Dima Abdulrahim, Sarah Galvani, Karen Pearse, Tom Lloyd, Adrian Jugdoyal, Greg Denham, Garrett McGovern, JCM Stannard, Becca Walker Associates, Tony Margetts, Katy Holloway, Alan Laurie, The Poison Garden, Niamh Eastwood, Mosaic Training, Max Daly, Luke Cousins, Susie Pascoe, Debbie Hastings, Keith Humphreys, Ian Joustra, Ataliad Drug Education, Monty Moncrieff, Chris Campbell, Stefano Casalotti, John Marsden, Alastair Roy, Mark Adley, Joo Matias, Fizz Annand Consultancy, Julian Cohen, Karen Duke, Debbie Lindsey, Annas Dixon, Charlie Lloyd, Re-Solv, Natasha P, Mike Trace, Richard Tamlyn, Ashley Gibson, Ed Holder, Paul Ciarlo, Gerry Stimson, Sue Pryce, David Bagott, Smita Jamdar, Lauren Garland, Charlie Bawow, Lee Vines, Marcus Roberts, Carol Marsh, Stephen Parkin, Justin Hoggans, Rhea J Warner, Darren Kingaby, Susanne MacGregor, Lydia Davenport, Alistair Sinclair, Mark Simpson, Mike Ashton, Eddie G, Amanda Thomson, Magdalena Harris, Redazril, BTJ Holden, Grateful supporter, Iain Gray, Dolly Archard, Andy Rawlins, Jo Neale, S G Miller, Dirk Hanson, Alex Stevens Kent, Dr Sally Marlow, Blaine S, Sam Thomas, Maddie O'Hare, Richard Ives, John Witton, Liz Hughes, Violeta-ainlie, Ltemp, Mike Linell, Andrew Brown, Daniel Brier, Brendan McGrath, Beth Watts, Asohlman, Linda Somerville, Paul Anders, Jane-Ward, Michael Wheatley, Laura Kemp, James Nicholls, Andrew MacDonald, Alex Boyt, Chem Sex Support Volunteers, 56 Dean Street, Andy Mills, James Steer, Claire Dean, Rupert Oldham-Reid, Oliver Standing, A Forensic Physician, Russell Webster, Sara McGrail, Nerys Anthony, Oliver Neubert, Monodream, A Public Servant, Adam Fox, Lisa Cordery, Michelle Sharples, Dr Vanessa Crawford.

Thank you to Mark Adley who has kindly offered to send out two of his limited edition Drug Wheel educational games to two lucky pledgers (postage free to UK addresses) who will be picked at random when the appeal ends in two weeks


UK news

How to build support: frontline tips for influencing politicians and policymakers

Last Wednesday, a number of participants in Voices from the Frontline traveled to the Multiple Needs Summit in London. Over the last few months, all of them have been involved in a conversation about what the next government should do to improve support for people with multiple needs | MEAM coalition, UK

Alcohol detox centre 'saves NHS millions'

The NHS could save £27m a year by changing the way it deals with alcoholic patients, new research seen by the Victoria Derbyshire programme suggests. We spent a week in a unit which is pioneering a different approach | BBC, UK

Inside an NHS alcohol detox service - video

The NHS could save £27m a year by changing the way it deals with alcoholic patients, new research seen by the Victoria Derbyshire programme suggests | BBC, UK

Do heavily substance-using teenagers need family therapy?

Conventional wisdom is that typically multiply troubled, heavily substance-using teenagers need intervention with their families and across their social environment. That message from US research led by a family programme’s developers has been questioned by an independent Dutch study | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Cannabis use could implant false memories, scientists warn

Long-term use can disrupt the ways that the brain understands reality | Independent, UK

Substance use disorders, psychiatric disorders, and mortality after release from prison: a nationwide longitudinal cohort study

[Open access] High mortality rates have been reported in people released from prison compared with the general population. However, few studies have investigated potential risk factors associated with these high rates, especially psychiatric determinants. We aimed to investigate the association between psychiatric disorders and mortality in people released from prison in Sweden | Lancet, UK

4,4′-DMAR: Chemistry, Pharmacology and Toxicology of a New Synthetic Stimulant of Abuse

[Open access] In recent years, the spread of new psychoactive substances has dramatically increased in term of availability of both number of compounds and chemical families. In November 2012, 4,4′-Dimethylaminorex (4,4′-DMAR), a novel synthetic stimulant, was first detected in the Netherlands. Between June 2013 and June 2014, thirty-one deaths associated with the consumption of this new drug have been registered across Europe. In this MiniReview, we have summarized the chemical, pharmacological and toxicological information about this new legal high | BCPT, UK

BMJ tobacco podcasts

A selection of four free podcasts. Tobacco Control aims to study the nature and consequences of tobacco use worldwide; tobacco's effects on population health, the economy, the environment, and society; efforts to prevent and control the global tobacco epidemic through population level education and policy changes; the ethical dimensions of tobacco control policies; and the activities of the tobacco industry and its allies | BMJ, UK

Election 2015: Cannabis reform party launches manifesto

The Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol party has launched its manifesto, calling for a review of UK drugs policy | BBC, UK

Free event - Monday June 29th, Liverpool John Moores University - Seminar 3: Psychopharmacology, identity, and human enhancement

The third event in our seminar series focuses on psychopharmacology, identity and human enhancement. The seminar will ask questions about how psychopharmacology adds to our understanding of, and response to, difficult policy questions, as well as exploring novel methodologies for the investigation of user behaviours.  Although the day will include sessions on both NPS and enhancement drugs, we will focus on the former as a general theme, and the latter in more detail | New Drug Seminars, UK

Wakefield 'major cannabis farm' found by police

A "major cannabis farm" has been found in disused buildings in Wakefield city centre, said West Yorkshire Police | BBC, UK

HMP Altcourse: 'Cherry picker' removes drugs from jail roof

Prison staff had to use a "cherry picker" crane to remove packages of drugs and mobile phones which had become trapped on the roof | BBC, UK

Foreign criminal can stay in Britain because he is an alcoholic

A persistent offender from Libya cannot be deported because he would face severe punishment for drinking in his homeland, immigration court rules | Telegraph, UK



International news

Bali Nine: Indonesia condemned over death penalty

France and Australia have condemned the death penalty as executions for three of their nationals loom in Indonesia | BBC, UK

Indonesian Judges Were Ordered to Give Australians the Death Penalty, Claims Lawyer

As the executions of Australian drug smugglers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan appear to draw close in Indonesia, their original defense lawyer has claimed that the judges on the case asked for bribes in exchange for sparing the pair, but they were eventually directed by Jakarta to impose death sentences | VICE News, UK

Silk Road linked to six drug overdose deaths

Six people who died from overdoses bought drugs via the online Silk Road marketplace, claims the US government | BBC, UK

Kansas medical marijuana activist fights to be with son as officials feud over law

Marijuana remains banned in the deep-red state – even though 60% of residents back some form of legalization and Wichita has decriminalized the drug | Guardian, UK

South Korea: Alcohol advert ban for young celebrities

Young celebrities could soon be banned from advertising alcohol in South Korea, as figures show more people than ever are drinking, it's been reported | BBC, UK

Colombian authorities call for end to glyphosate aerial spraying of coca crops

Herbicide is used in US-funded efforts against cocaine production but World Health Organisation has deemed it a probable carcinogen | Guardian, UK

HSE agrees policy; will not partner with Alcohol Industry on public health information

The HSE has announced its new policy on alcohol-related education and communications programmes, which formally separates HSE public health advice from partnership with the alcohol industry. The HSE will be working with the recently formed Alcohol Health Alliance, joining the Royal College of Physicians, Alcohol Action Ireland,, the Alcohol Forum and other partners to support evidence-based approaches to reducing alcohol harm in Ireland | HSE, Ireland

Why The CDC Has It Wrong About The Rise In Teen Vaping

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced soaring rates of e-cigarette use among teens. The number of middle and high school students using electronic cigarettes tripled between 2013 and 2014, according to a government survey of 22,000 schoolchildren. Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC Director, called this trend “shocking” and “alarming.” | Forbes, USA

Heroin use spikes among whites who abuse prescription painkillers

Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health looked at the frequency of nonmedical prescription opioid use and the risk of heroin-related behaviors and found that past-year heroin use rose among individuals taking opioids like oxycontin and these increases varied by race and ethnicity | EurekAlert, USA

Your adolescent brain on alcohol: Changes last into adulthood

Repeated alcohol exposure during adolescence results in long-lasting changes in the region of the brain that controls learning and memory, according to a research team at Duke Medicine that used a rodent model as a surrogate for humans | EurekAlert, USA

New drug czar offers hope to addicts

The mandatory sentencing laws that swept this country during the 1970s and 80s filled the prisons to bursting with low level drug offenders | NY Times, USA



Blogs, comment and opinion

What Are Recreational Drugs Doing to Our Mental Health?

Drugs can fuck with your brain. That's why people use them. They take you down, they push you up and they send you sideways. Whether it's a relaxing spliff after work, a Friday night piss-up, a pill to enhance a club night or a line that will transport you into an alien space world, psychoactive substances offer earth's citizens temporary escape from their everyday lives | VICE, UK

Should I buy prescription drugs over the internet?

Eloise Aimee Parry died after taking diet pills bought online. Is is always a risk to circumvent your doctor, or is there a safe way to buy medicine without a prescription? | Guardian, UK

Ladies, you might want to swap the bourbon for a bong

It felt serendipitous that I was in Denver when I read that there’s been a steep rise in women’s binge drinking across the United States. Because it struck me that if women smoked pot – now legal in Colorado – with the same gusto with which they seem to imbibe alcohol, perhaps we’d be in better shape | Guardian, UK

When Drug Cartels Steal From the State

As Mexico rejoices over the spectacular headlines in media outlets from all over the world announcing the capture of "El Gafe", top leader of the Cartel del Golfo (CDG), we should be applauding less and worrying more. The capture of Jose Hernandez corroborates one of our worst fears: The Mexican State is perhaps the biggest breeder of top cartel leaders today | Huffington Post Blog, USA

School drug tests: Costly, ineffective, and more common than you think

Twenty-thousand dollars could do a lot for a typical cash-strapped school district. You could renovate a classroom, or hire a part-time teacher's aide, or buy some computers or a whole bunch of text books | Washington Post Blog, USA