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Accredited Training in New Psychoactive Substances

Our one day course examines the changes in the drug markets over the last decade, the new substances, methods of sale, and the tactics used by public services to respond to them. Includes details of the PSA. Available nationally from £55pp. Email: James Steer




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Alcohol Concern Blue Light Training: Working with change resistant drinkers

This one-day course is a vital contribution to the CPD of people working in alcohol services or who encounter people with alcohol problems in their work.

London 1st July or Manchester 5th July, £99+vat. Early bird rate available.

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The National Substance Misuse Conference - Breaking Down Barriers
Wednesday 21st September 2016, 9.30am – 4.30pm, Birmingham

This one day conference will be a unique opportunity to receive leading expert knowledge in these 4 key areas: Strategy & Treatment, NPS, Recovery and Policy.



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Policy, Practice and the People on the Front Line: are we getting it right...

Friday, 17 June 2016. Public Health England, Skipton House 80 London Road, London, SE1 6HL





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Adfam runs a free monthly peer support group, regular info/skills sessions and social trips and activities for older people (55+) in London whose loved ones use drugs or alcohol.


We cover all expenses and provide lunch. Find out more! Contact Rachael Evans:
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UK news

Guidance: Controlled drugs list

The list shows each drug’s respective classifications under both the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001. The list is not exhaustive and, in the event of a substance not being listed above, reference should also be made to the published Act and Regulations at, specifically Parts I, II, III and IV of Schedule 2 to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and in Schedules 1 to 5 to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 | Home Office, UK

Statutory guidance: Injunctions to prevent gang-related violence and drug dealing

Revised guidance on gang injunctions | Home Office, UK

Scottish Drug Misuse Database (PDF)

The Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland have released the annual Scottish Drug Misuse Database (SDMD) report, which presents the available information on individuals presenting for initial assessment at specialist drug treatment services in 2014/15 | ISD, UK [See also SDF summary.]

Suicide by young people in England (PDF)

Includes data on substance misuse | Manchester University, UK

Student suicides at their highest level since 2007, according to Office for National Statistics

“We found the risk rose sharply from mid-to-late teens, and the reasons appear to be complex. There are often family problems such as drug misuse or domestic violence and more recent stresses such as bullying or bereavement, leading to a ‘final straw’ factor such as an exam or relationship breakdown.” | Independent, UK

Legal highs ban unenforceable, claim pharmacologists, forensics experts and lawyers

Critics fear the new law will drive users into the clutches of criminal drug dealers, whom it won't be able to prosecute | Independent, UK

Illegal highs

Critics say banning “legal highs” will just force them underground | Economist, UK

How Legal Highs Changed During My 25 Years of Selling Them

I spoke to owner Donal O'Dwyer to get the inside story on the rise and fall of the much-maligned legal highs game, and how it got trashed by the very people set to benefit from the ban | VICE, UK

Straightforward drug information films from Global Drug Survey - video

Dr John Ramsey and Dr Alan Winstock talk about drugs and drug testing | Global Drug Survey, UK

'Cannavaping' could see e-cigarettes used to deliver medicinal cannabis

Vaping medicinal cannabis would be healthier than smoking the drug with tobacco, researchers claim, and allow regular microdoses not possible with pills | Guardian, UK

E-cigarettes CAN cause lung damage, warn Manchester scientists

A study by the University of Manchester carried out at Wythenshawe hospital says the vapour can cause similar conditions to traditional cigarettes | Manchester Evening News, UK

The truth about alcohol - BBC iPlayer

A&E doctor Javid Abdelmoneim is on a mission to find out the truth about alcohol | BBC, UK

The Drugs Wheel

Now updated to take the PSA into account | The Drugs Wheel, UK

Regulation of pleasure - free event

London. 13th July. At this half day symposium, experts in the fields of addiction, regulation, sociology, policymaking and consumption, shall come together to discuss, debate and seek common ground for sensible regulation of pleasure | RSM, UK

Nalmefene treatment for alcohol problems: prescribing patterns and influences - PhD opportunity

This research project aims to use a mixed methods approach to analyse nalmefene prescribing patterns in primary care in the UK: in terms of geographic variation, patient characteristics, dose, duration of treatment and compliance with licensing conditions; and compared with other drugs for alcohol dependence... | University of Stirling, UK

Erick Morillo opens up about ketamine addiction 

The DJ spoke to Pete Tong at IMS Ibiza | MixMag, UK

Finley Thomas: 'Murdered' toddler had drugs in his system

A 17-month-old boy had cocaine and cannabis in his system when he was murdered by his mother's boyfriend, a court has heard | BBC, UK

Police make first arrest after 'legal highs' ban comes into force

Detectives have made their first arrest under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, less than 24 hours after it came into force, putting a ban on so-called 'legal highs' | ITV, UK

£4,000 of legal highs handed in to police

More than £4,000 of so-called legal highs have been handed to police hours after a new law surrounding their supply came into force | ITV, UK

Police apologise after poppers seized in ‘legal high’ crackdown

Crawley Police has been forced to return poppers to a business after they were wrongly seized | Mid Sussex Times, UK

Tranquilliser drugs stolen from Blaenau Gwent vets

Staff at a vets practice in Blaenau Gwent have said they are concerned someone could die after £10,000 of controlled substances were stolen | BBC, UK


International news

Could cannabis damage DNA that is then passed down generations?

"Smoking cannabis can alter a person's DNA, causing mutations that expose a user to serious illnesses," the Mail Online reports | NHS Choices: Behind the Headlines, UK

Marijuana legalisation reduces adolescent problems with the drug, study finds

The number of American adolescents with marijuana-related issues is declining, a new survey has found as more US states legalise the drug | Independent, UK

Ohio lawmakers approve medical marijuana use

A tightly regulated medical marijuana bill lands on the desk of Governor John Kasich | Independent, UK

World's first cannabis gym where you can get fit and high to open in San Francisco

Founders say that cannabis is good for 'focus and recovery' | Independent, UK

Toronto police raid and shut down dozens of marijuana dispensaries

About 45 of Canadian city’s 83 unlicensed dispensaries targeted for alleged recreational sales in latest local crackdown amid federal plans to legalize drug | Guardian, UK

Fourteen suspects charged over alleged $200m meth haul

Police find 200kg of methylamphetamine in West Australian suburbs, which was allegedly imported on a fishing boat | Guardian, UK

€1.50 test kit can check if your drink has been spiked

The head of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre is backing the use of a novel product that will be available in pubs soon | Irish Examiner, Ireland

13-year-olds selling prescription drugs on street

The Government has been put under pressure to change the laws around the illegal sale of prescription drugs on the street in the wake of the most recent gangland murder | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Researchers emphasize need to rethink tobacco control strategies

The tobacco product landscape has changed significantly with the introduction of alternatives that are much less harmful than traditional cigarettes | News Medical, USA

This tiny implant is about to take on America’s heroin epidemic

The FDA just approved an implantable device designed to help heroin addicts kick their habit | Tech Insider, USA

Party on(line): The link between social media, alcohol use

One of the undeniable powers of social media is its ability to influence people and their behaviors. This is especially true, a study finds, when it comes to alcohol use. Researchers found that when participants in a study were exposed to ads touting beer, as opposed to those selling bottled water, they were more inclined to consider drinking alcohol | Science Daily, USA

1.2 million U.S. college students boozing on average day

When they're not hitting the books, many U.S. college students are hitting the bars or getting high, a new SAMSHA government report shows | Medival Xpress, USA

Young people embrace text message reminders to help curb binge drinking

Public health researchers with Melbourne's Burnet Institute have been trialling the use of personalised mobile phone messages to help young Australians to curb their binge drinking | ABC news, Australia

Child abuse leaves mysterious physical scars in adulthood: psychiatrist

The scars of child abuse linger in the bodies of victims long after they've grown up, manifesting in physical symptoms that hint at their trauma, an Australian psychiatrist says | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Everything you need to know about the legal high ban

New laws to introduce a blanket ban on the sale, production, distribution and supply of legal highs have now come into force across the UK. The Psychoactive Substances Act attempts to close a loophole that has allowed legal high manufacturers to flourish by banning all psychoactive substances | Conversation, UK

The Psychoactive Substances Act Means to Benefit Public Health, But Street Dealers and Organised Criminals Will Benefit Most

How do you solve a problem caused by banning drugs? You ban more drugs, of course. That's the logic behind the government's widely criticised Psychoactive Substances Act, which comes into force | Huffington Post Blog, UK

Legal high ban: my son's drug addiction has cost me £250,000

My son will be 31 this year. He has been a drug addict since the age of 14 | Telegraph, UK

10 Nights Out That Don’t Involve Alcohol

So, you’ve decided to change your drinking and, you’ve pretty much resigned yourself to spending weekend nights at home, hiding away from the call of after-work-drinks, and shuffling quickly past your local, am I right? Wrong! | Blenheim Blog, UK

Addiction on the Railways

Network Rail have a policy for dealing with drug and alcohol use among its employees that could be quoted as a good model, but the way it is implemented is unsatisfactory | Castle Carig Blog, UK

Overdose prevention following prison release in Scotland

The transition from prison back into the community can be a precarious time for opioid users whose tolerance has likely reduced during their imprisonment. Research indicates there is a three to eight-fold increased risk of drug-related death in the two weeks following prison release, with an increased risk of death continuing until the fourth week | Brave New World Blog, UK

We need drug laws that put people first

To make sure your morning coffee or those delicious chocolate truffles that lift your spirit won’t get you into trouble, the Act’s sponsors – at the eleventh hour – specified that the banned substances should be qualitatively identical to substances controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act. That’s a relief | Virgin Blog, UK

Viewpoint: FDA E-Cigarette Regulations Aren’t Just Wrong—They’re Dangerous

On May 5, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its long-awaited regulations on electronic cigarettes and vaping products | BU School of Public Heath, USA

History as a Resource for Understanding Drugs Today

Tess pointed to the utility of history in understanding opiate addiction in the United States today. She discussed the pharmaceutical companies’ role in this story, as the industry downplayed the addictiveness of opiates and encouraged their widespread use for profit in the medical community throughout the 1980s and 90s | Points: Blog of the alcohol and drugs history society, USA

Actions speak louder than words: How to include people who use drugs in decisions that affect them

I have had the privilege to work with various peer-run organizations of people who use drugs for many years now. As a National Programs Manager at the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS), every harm reduction related project I work on first starts with creating a countrywide steering committee that includes people with lived experience of drug use to guide the project and ensure its relevance | Matters of Substance Blog, Canada