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24th November 2015


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UK news

Smoking, drinking and drug use amongst young people in England (PDF)

Survey Consultation Findings | HSCIC, UK

Medications in Drug Treatment: Tackling the risks to children – one year on

Our research has revealed that far more children than previously thought are dying and being hospitalised after ingesting medications prescribed to treat their parents’ drug addiction | Adfam, UK

Tackling the issue of New Psychoactive Substances in prisons (PDF)

New figures released today (Tuesday 24th November 2015) by addiction charity RAPt (Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust) show an alarming seven fold increase in the number of people in prison asking for help with new psychoactive substances (NPS), also known as ‘legal highs’ or ‘spice’, compared to one year ago | RAPt, UK

Legal High Addiction Sees 'Alarming' Seven-Fold In Prison, Charity RAPt Warns

There has been an "alarming" seven-fold increase in the number of prisoners seeking help for addiction to legal highs in the last year, a charity has warned. A total of 622 sought help for addiction to New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) in April and September 2015, compared with only 87 in the same months in 2014, according to the Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust (RAPt) | Huffington Post, UK

European HIV-Hepatitis Testing Week materials

On this page you will find all of the testing week materials to support you with your activities if needed. If you wish for any of the materials or the testing week logos to be translated, please let us know and we may be able to help on a first come first served basis | European HIV-Hepatitis Testing Week, UK

Global Drug Survey 2016: take part

The Guardian is asking readers to share their experiences of legal and illegal drugs to ensure policy is not defined just by minority who need treatment | Guardian, UK

Exclusive: Eton College funds research into why young people take psychoactive 'legal highs'

Eton College is funding research into what motivates young people to take so-called “legal highs”, with the aim of improving its drug education strategies, TEScan reveal | TES, UK

Merseyside Annual DIP Report: Drug Testing (PDF)

The Annual Drug Interventions Programme (DIP) Report series aims to complement the existing monthly DIP reports that are produced at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) by providing an annual snapshot of the criminal justice data provided by Merseyside police and the treatment agencies for DIP across Merseyside. The reports link the identification of drug misusing offenders via the criminal justice process with the data from Public Health England’s (PHE) Criminal Justice data set for data entry tool (CJIT DET) in order to monitor the continuity of care process under the DIP process | DIP, UK

Drug-driving arrests increase 600% after law change

Roadside tests and a zero tolerance approach have seen the number of arrests for drug-driving increase by more than 600% in some police force areas - but how are the roadside tests actually carried out? | BBC, UK

Naloxone on prison-release saves lives in Scotland, but why not elsewhere?

The epidemiological hinterland to the decision by Scottish Ministers to fund a National Naloxone Policy (NNP) in Scotland from 1 January 2011 is sketched | SSA, UK

Uncovering the invisible world of chemsex parties

More and more gay men are taking in part in Chemsex parties; weekend long orgies of hard drugs and sex. i-D spoke to director William Fairman about his new documentary that uncovers this hidden world and the detrimental effects it can have upon people’s mental and physical health | I-D, UK

'Don't give money to beggars,' Newcastle shoppers warned

Almost all money given to beggars in Newcastle city centre is being spent on alcohol and drugs, a charity has warned. People begging in the city "can earn £200-300 a day" - with the vast majority going to people who are not actually homeless, Changing Lives said | BBC, UK

UK's top drug expert calls for debate about decriminalisation of drugs to begin in Scotland

A former senior UK government advisor on drugs policy has joined calls for a debate about the decriminalisation of controlled substances to begin in Scotland | Herald, UK

Christmas socialising could get you the sack

The dangers of drinking on a work night this Christmas | AOL, UK

Fourteen charged after drug searches in Fraserburgh and St Combs

Fourteen people have been charged over alleged drug-related offences in Fraserburgh and St Combs | BBC, UK

Police seize £1.6m of cannabis found in a lorry load of tea

Essex Police have seized cannabis with a street value of £1.6 million after it was found in a lorry load of tea | ITV, UK


International news

Alcohol far more disruptive than ice in emergency departments – study

One in eight patients in peak times in Australian and New Zealand hospitals there because of alcohol, Australasian College for Emergency Medicine finds | Guardian, UK

Bill Shorten: number of Australians who smoke is too high – video

The leader of the Australian Labor party, Bill Shorten, reiterates his party’s proposal to raise the excise on cigarettes by 12.5% annually if elected. The change would see a packet of cigarettes increase in price by about $10 over the next five years. Shorten says the number of Australians who smoke is putting a strain on the country’s health system and says voters face a ‘stark choice’ between his Labor party and the prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberals | Guardian, UK

15 die in Russia from drinking illegal alcohol

Russian investigators say 15 people have died in the past two weeks from drinking illegally produced alcoholic beverages, including five in a Siberian town who drank fake American whiskey | Daily Mail, UK

Ireland’s first supervised drug injection centre could launch in Dublin in 2016

Ireland's first medically supervised injection centre for drug addicts could be opened in Dublin by the end of next year, according to the country’s Minister for Drugs | Irish Post, Ireland

Drug drivers face road ban for first time

Drivers will be checked for illegal drugs at the roadside as well as alcohol for the first time as gardaí take delivery of 150 testing machines early next year | Independent, Ireland

Male and female drinking patterns becoming more alike in the US

In the United States, and throughout the world, men drink more alcohol than women.  But a recent analysis by scientists at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, indicates that longstanding differences between men and women in alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms might be narrowing in the United States | NIH, USA

Study finds adults aged 50-59 now largest age group in opioid treatment programs

Recent years have seen a change in drug use patterns, especially for older adults, with an increase in their admission to substance abuse treatment and increased injection drug use among those over the age of 50. Yet, there has been little research regarding the epidemiology, health status, and functional impairments in the aging population of adults accessing opioid treatment | Medical Xpress, USA

High Design Safe Spaces for Heroin Addicts

Supervised injection facilities are controversial government-provided spaces where addicts can use safely | Daily Beast, USA

Alcohol sending hundreds of thousands into hospital each year: ACEM study

Alcohol is sending hundreds of thousands of people to emergency departments each year, far outranking the scourge of ice, research on Australian and New Zealand hospitals has found | Age, Australia

Sniffer dogs, drug testing under review

Do sniffer dogs at music festivals spook revellers into hurriedly swallowing multiple pills they have stashed in their pockets? | Age, Australia

Significant drop in the number of high school students who smoke attributed to plain packaging

The plain packaging of cigarettes is being credited for a significant drop in the number of high school students who smoke | abc news, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Merging alcohol giants threaten global health

Alcohol has comparable health risks to tobacco but none of its pariah status | BMJ editorial, UK

CBT plus taper may help reduce short-term benzodiazepine use

Benzodiazepines (drugs like Diazepam, Oxazepam, Lorazepam) are often prescribed for insomnia, anxiety, epileptic seizures, muscles relaxants and sedation. They work by slowing down the central nervous system, and should only be used as a short term intervention (less than 4 weeks). Prolonged use can lead to tolerance, and dependency | Mental Elf, UK

Prevent: Radicalisation, the Role of Criminal gangs and the War on Drugs

Back in August I wrote an article for CLEAR entitled "The Real Dark Side Of Prohibition" (Read it here). It focused on the way prohibition encourages people to  into secretive lifestyles | CLEAR Blog, UK

Cut Sentences for Low-Level Drug Crimes

Making a real dent in the federal prison population will require broader reforms than what Congress is currently considerin | NY Times editorial, USA

‘You don’t put diesel in a Ferrari’: how politicians answer the drugs question

Responses by politicians to questions about their personal drug use are usually either evasive or upfront. Now, Tory MP Johnny Mercer has blown the game wide open | Guardian Shortcuts, UK