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23rd September 2014

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Why not join us on twitter and on Facebook for updates throughout the day?


Survey seeking your experiences of stigma and drug and alcohol problems - closing date 28th September

Do you have personal experience of drug and alcohol problems, either personally or as a relative, and live in England? Stigma has a big impact on people who have problems with substance misuse and on their families. To promote change a coalition of organisations are seeking funding for a project to support local action. We want to hear about your experiences, as well as about any positive changes in attitudes and behaviours. If you - or people who you work with - would like to take part in the survey, it will only take about 10 to 15 minutes | Action on Addiction, Adfam, Alcohol Concern and DrugScope with support from former staff of the UK Drug Policy Commission, UK


UK news

The Forgotten People: Drug Problems in Later Life (PDF)

[Press Release.] The issue of drug misuse in older people is being systematically ignored according to a report published by the Big Lottery Fund today. The scoping study indicates that while the number of older people with drug problems in the UK is on the rise they fail to get the same attention as young people | University of Bedfordshire – Substance Misuse and Ageing Research Team (SMART), Big Lottery Fund, UK

Correspondence: Letter to ACMD requesting advice on opioid substitution therapy

Norman Baker writes to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs for information on opioid substitution therapy, an effective time period for the therapy and its risks and benefits | Home Office and The Rt Hon Norman Baker MP, UK

Substance misuse support for families

Funding announced to provide services to families affected by drugs and alcohol | Scottish Government, UK

Ed Miliband: tax on tobacco giants will boost NHS

Labour leader will tell sceptical voters in speech to Labour party conference that he can bring the country back together | Guardian, UK

Second chance salads: the urban farms that help disadvantaged people find a future – video

Severn Project was created in 2010 by Steve Glover as a social enterprise producing and supplying salad throughout south-west England and beyond. We meet some of the staff on its urban waste-ground farms: workers from socially excluded groups, former addicts, offenders and mentally ill people who are helped to reclaim their lives through the simple work of farming | Guardian, UK

European Harm Reduction Network - member survey

The European Harm Reduction Network (EUROHRN) was created in 2010 by ten organisations based in different EU Member States, with a shared interest in advocating for and sharing knowledge on harm reduction within Europe. Current funding will come to an end in December 2014. Discussions have started at the level of network coordinator and Steering Committee on the sustainability of the network and future network governance | EURO HRN, UK

10 things about drugs and alcohol you may have missed

Including a call for the NHS and social services to address stigma issues, some of the key statistics from the Chief Medical Officer for England's report, European data on drugs and people who go to prison, drink driving offences in Great Britain, a comparison between drink driving and drug driving in those who use substances, football and alcohol offences and the recovery rate of those using IAPT services | Andrew Brown, UK

Laughing gas alert as revellers taken to hospital after bad reaction to 'legal high'

Police say anyone who may have inhaled nitrous oxide should get medical advice | Manchester Evening News, UK

Legal high sensor to combat new drugs

Scientists at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) have created a hand-held sensor to rapidly detect legal highs because current drug tests do not recognise these new chemicals | Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Alcohol Impact scheme offers Manchester students alternative to booze in bid to tackle Freshers' Week antics

A new scheme is targeting students’ boozy nights out on Freshers' Week by offering non-alcoholic alternatives – with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) leading the way | Mancunian Matters, UK

Loughborough pilot scheme to breathalyse pub-goers

It is not unusual for motorists to be breathalysed by the police but in Loughborough partygoers are being asked to take the same test and if they fail they will not be allowed in to pubs and clubs | BBC, UK

Gardener sends photo of 'weed' to BBC show – which turns out to be cannabis

Presenters of Radio Devon’s The Potting Shed identify 5ft bush with a ‘sickly sweet pong’, but police decide not to take action | Guardian, UK

Watch as TV news anchor declares 'F*** it, I quit' in live resignation over cannabis laws

A US news reporter last night resigned her post live on air with a shrug of her shoulders and the declaration: "F*** it, I quit" | London Evening Standard, UK


International news

Seattle to refund marijuana tickets given by officer who finds law 'silly'

Police to investigate solitary officer who wrote 80% of recent tickets, and city prosecutor announces some 100 tickets will be dropped | Guardian, UK

Here’s what the economic crisis did for illegal cigarettes in Ireland

Finance Minister Michael Noonan, has published a 10-year overview by Revenue. The figures reveal that the trade in illicit and non-duty paid tobacco boomed as smokers, faced with falling incomes, rapidly rising unemployment and steadily increasing prices, turned to illegal sources to feed their habit | Journal, Ireland

Are loose alcohol-sale laws turning Irish diners into a nation of ‘handbag drinkers’?

Restaurateurs want a shake up of liquor pricing… and immediate action to fix a chef-shortage “crisis” | Journal, Ireland

Minister James Reilly calls for cigarette price hike

Former Health Minister James Reilly has called for another increase in excise duty on cigarettes in the upcoming budget | Independent, Ireland


Comment, blogs and opinion

Alcohol is by far the most dangerous 'date rape drug'

Studies suggest public fears about drink spiking are unjustified and that products claiming to detect it are of dubious value | Guardian Blog, UK

Spice, Kryptonite, Black Mamba – legal high marketing

That the market for ‘legal highs’, or more accurately, new psychoactive substances (NPS) has grown there is no doubt. What’s also growing, in terms of sophistication and technique, is the marketing of these products | Recovery Review Blog, UK

Frank's story

I have been meaning to do something about my drinking for 37 years now. I do believe that 2014 will be the year that I finally bid farewell to my lifelong trusted companion, who’s name is Alcohol (in case you hadn’t figured that out) and move on. Why now you may ask? I don’t know why now but for the first time in my life I have goals | Blenheim CDP, UK