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NNEF Meeting – 5th December 

The National Needle Exchange Forum (NNEF) 2014 All Day Meeting will be held in High Wycombe. It is free to attend, and is targeted at needle exchange workers, people who use drugs and advocates across the country.




No return to the streets conference

11 December 2014 | London 

Homeless Link is hosting this national conference that will explore new responses to reducing rough sleeping and supporting move on, alongside innovative practice in a residential setting



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21st November 2014

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UK news

DrugScope response to Local Welfare Provision in 2015/16: A consultation document (PDF)

This response draws on DrugScope’s engagement with its members and people who use their services. Primarily, it draws upon DrugScope’s State of the Sector 2014 questionnaire, the results of which will be published in early 2015 | DrugScope, UK

New psychoactive substances: A toolkit for substance misuse commissioners (PDF)

Over the past few years, there has been increasing concern from local areas about these substances, often misleadingly referred to as ‘legal highs’. The NPS toolkit has been produced to meet demand from local authorities, and was developed in consultation with substance misuse commissioners and other professionals working in the drug prevention and treatment sector. Press release | PHE, UK

Professionals’ Survey for Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Taskforce (PDF)

The Taskforce has heard about the problems that children and young people face in getting the right support for their mental health needs. We now want suggestions from frontline professionals of feasible solutions and practical steps that government, the NHS, voluntary organisations, local authorities and individual providers could take to improve children and young people’s mental health outcomes | DoH, UK

Free events:

CYP Mental Health Taskforce Professionals' Engagement (South West)
CYP Mental Health Taskforce Professionals' Engagement (North East)

Minister accuses government advisers of colluding in addiction

Government advisers uncover evidence that rather than being ‘parked’ on methadone, patients leave too soon to fully benefit. Their report released on 6 November unambiguously countered concerns in the UK government over methadone maintenance, but within days a minister had accused them of “providing cover for perpetuating drug addiction” | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Restricted syringe/needle supply can’t stop infection

The apparently risk-generating record of Vancouver’s needle and syringe programme in the 1990s seemed to justify antipathy to such programmes, but this review of 15 years of research in the city concludes the problem was not supplying sterile injecting equipment, but failing to supply enough | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

University bans students from using laughing gas in halls of residence

Manchester Metropolitan University has warned students living in university accommodation that they face disciplinary action if they are found with the legal high | Manchester Evening News, UK

Warehouse Project death: Nick Bonnie died from ecstasy overdose

A coroner has described illegal drug manufacturers as "a heinous blot on our civilisation" at the inquest into the death of a clubber in Manchester | BBC, UK

Ballymena drugs treatment centre: Protesters hold meeting

More than 100 people, including health professionals, have attended a protest meeting over the closure of a Ballymena drugs treatment centre | BBC, UK



International news

Mexico missing students: Capital sees mass protests

Relatives of 43 missing Mexican students have led mass protests in the capital demanding action from the government to find them | BBC, UK

Medical marijuana: Tasmania rejects call for immediate decriminalisation

An interim parliamentary report calls for immediate decriminalisation of medicinal cannabis, but government says no | Guardian, UK

Warning on low-cost alcohol as publicans call for minimum prices

Almost half of the alcohol sold in Ireland is being sold at "close to or below cost price", publicans have claimed | Independent, Ireland

More and more men are receiving treatment for steroid abuse

They’re all men and many of them are more aggressive because of it | Journal, Ireland

E-cigarettes significantly reduce tobacco cravings

Electronic cigarettes offer smokers a realistic way to kick their tobacco smoking addiction. In a new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, scientists at KU Leuven report that e-cigarettes successfully reduced cravings for tobacco cigarettes, with only minimal side effects | Medical Xpress, USA

Here’s How Many People Are Using Drugs In The U.S. Right Now

The online magazine has created this interactive chart of drug use in America, providing users with a real-time look at both legal and illegal drug consumption based on federal data averages | Buzz Feed, USA

The Impact of Substance Use Disorders on Hospital Use (PDF)

This report is the first to examine hospital use by substance (e.g., alcohol, opioids, cannabis and solvents) | CCSA, Canada



Blogs, comment and opinion

Bob Marley’s legacy is going up in cannabis smoke

The king of reggae’s majestic music has long battled the ‘bong beats’ tag but now he will be best known as a standard-bearer for dopeheads worldwide | Guardian CIF, UK

'Vape' may be word of the year, but is 2014 the year stoners tried too hard?

Futuristic smoke sticks seem cool now, but will they last? Will they ever be healthy? Can we land one on the moon?! | Guardian CIF, UK

Doctor’s corner: The biggest problem with a zero tolerance approach to drug use

Alcohol is a drug. We have guidelines on its use aimed at reducing the long-term risk of health harms. So why not have guidelines for drugs? | Journal, Ireland

Teaching points: preparing for addiction in American life

I have long held academic interests in oral history and drug history—though I suppose around here the latter should go without saying. I also enjoy teaching, so I was thrilled to learn that in spring 2015 I will be co-teaching a course titled “Addiction in American Life” through the University of Florida’s Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP) | Points Blog, USA

Drug Ed for Parents – It’s about relationships, not facts, stats and scare tactics

Parenting is a lot like being on a road trip. It can be fun to experience new places with our growing child, but it can also be challenging. It doesn’t help that we live in a society that emphasizes the hazards and highlights stories of youth in serious trouble. News flash – young people in BC today are doing pretty well (see Adolescent Health Survey 2013). | Matters of Substance, Canada