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Early Bird ending soon

This year RiTC6 is looking at what happens beyond recovery - past the treatment, the structured groups, the wellbeing activities, the building of recovery networks – into the 'now what' Click here to find out more.




Chemsex Training 

Chemsex training course

29th September 2016
10th November 2016

Location: St Martin of Tours, 318-320 St Paul’s Road, Islington, London N1 2LF

This one day Chemsex training course will be delivered 3 times this year and aims to give participants the confidence, knowledge and skills in order to deliver effective interventions and support for this subgroup.




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SSA Symposium 2016

Back to the future: Addiction and the scientific method.

10–11 November, York

Call for Papers, deadline: 30 June. Supported places 10 x £350 available, deadline: 15 July. Delegate poster deadline: 12 August

Book now for early-bird discount!



Aspire services





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





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Have a good holiday weekend. See you again next Tuesday.


THREE WEEKS LEFT TO RESPOND - Consultation on the draft update to the Clinical Guidelines

The working group updating 2007’s 'Drug misuse and dependence: UK guidelines on clinical management' has published its draft for consultation with stakeholders. The consultation runs until 15 September. The working group will review comments received and publish the final guidelines later in the year | NTA, UK


UK news

'Legal highs' removed from more than 300 shops since ban

More than 300 UK retailers are no longer selling so-called legal highs, three months after a ban was introduced, the Home Office has said [Harry Shapiro of DrugWise quoted] | BBC, UK

Ban on legal highs has 'significant effect' in Scotland

New legislation introduced three months ago banning so-called legal highs has had a significant effect, Police Scotland has said | BBC, UK

UK Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Drinking Guidelines (PDF)

These guidelines, produced by the 4 UK chief medical officers, provide the most up to date scientific information to help people make informed decisions about their own drinking. The guidelines have been tested through public consultation and market research to ensure the advice is as clear and useable as possible | DoH et al, UK

How to keep health risks from drinking alcohol to a low level Government response to the public consultation (PDF)

The new alcohol guidelines aim to help people make informed decisions about their own drinking but to do so they need to be able to understand the guidelines and what they might mean for their own drinking habits. The consultation asked whether people found the guidelines clear and easy to use. This document summarises the responses to the consultation and how the wording of the final guidelines has changed as a result | DoH et al, UK

Alcohol guidelines could encourage ladette behaviour, experts fear

N ew alcohol guidelines could give women the “false impression” they can drink at unsafe levels, by telling them they can drink as much as men, health officials have admitted | Telegraph, UK

Jeremy Corbyn would legalise cannabis for medicinal use

Jeremy Corbyn would decriminalise cannabis for medicinal purposes, but would not support legalising recreational drugs | Mirror, UK

Nitrous Oxide

The internet is full of misinformation about recreational drugs - both legal and illegal. Dr Suzi Gage, a psychologist interested in understanding associations between substance use and mental health, tackles one substance per episode - providing information about what we know - the harms, but also potential benefits of these substances | acast, UK

Persuasion and Healing: “A classic then, and remains one now”

That was the verdict of the British Journal of Psychiatry on Jerome Frank’s book Persuasion and Healing. First published in 1961 and in a third edition in 1991, this pioneering insight into the ‘meta’ ingredients shared by effective therapies retains contemporary relevance and is still widely referenced as the definitive text | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Sheffield Alcohol Research Group - Publications

Where published articles are not open access, links to pre-publication versions are provided as they become available | University of Sheffield, UK

Alcohol Education Trust

The following new resources are available free of charge from the Alcohol Education Trust | Mentor, UK

the loop: changing the way we rave

after the temporary closing of fabric, we chat to the drug-testers about how to prevent clubbing deaths | tmrw, UK

Murdoch’s papers conflicted over how to respond to UK cannabis policy vacuum

Two giants of British media – each part of the Murdoch stable – are finally taking cannabis seriously; but we’re a long way off a consensus | Volte Face, UK

“The War on Drugs is Targeted on People of Colour”

For two years now, the world has been watching as France is subjected to the most vicious jihadi attacks of any European country. From the murder of the staff of Charlie Hebdo, to the massacre of partying twenty-somethings at the Bataclan, to the driving of a truck into the crowds celebrating Bastille Day, the most obvious question is – why France? Why are such a disproportionate number of their own citizens behaving this way? | Volte Face, UK

Could Magic Mushrooms Bring About a Rural Raving Revival?

When it comes to narcotics, every generation has its preferred substances and settings. Back in the Victorian era people flocked to opium dens | Thump, UK

Why You Gurn When You Take MDMA

Gurning is an inescapable part of taking MDMA or ecstasy, whether you've been double-dropping since The Hacienda or you took your first Mitzi last weekend | VICE, UK

Jake Livermore: Hull midfielder says testing positive for cocaine saved career

Jake Livermore says his positive test for cocaine was the "get out of jail free card" he needed to start to come to terms with the death of his son | BBC, UK

The Guardian Charity Awards 2016 - enter your charity now

It’s free, easy and doesn’t take long to enter the Guardian Charity Awards | Guardian, UK


International news

Illegal drugs are changing the basis of the food chain in rivers

‘As society continues to grapple with aging wastewater infrastructure and escalating pharmaceutical and illicit drug use, we need to consider collateral damages to our freshwater resources’ | Independent, UK

Stanford removes 'victim-blaming' online material on women and alcohol

University in limelight over Brock Turner sexual assault case pulls part of a webpage amid criticism that it promoted rape culture | Guardian, UK

Philippines drugs war: The woman who kills dealers for a living

The Philippines is in the midst of a brutal war on drugs sanctioned by the controversial President Rodrigo Duterte, which has seen almost 2,000 killings in a matter of weeks. The BBC's Jonathan Head explores the country's dark underbelly of dealers and assassins through the story of one woman trapped in a chilling predicament | BBC, UK

Prize-winning pot: top marijuana plants debut at Oregon state fair

Cannabis advocates call it a monumental step in removing the stigma around a product they believe should be considered the same as any other crop | Guardian, UK

FactCheck: Are there fewer gardaí dealing with a growing drugs problem?

Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe recently made some alarming claims on this issue. FactCheck puts them under scrutiny | Journal, Ireland

Seattle’s Potential Solution for Heroin Epidemic: Places for Legal Drug Use

A city task force endorsed the idea of safe consumption facilities, which would allow addicts to take drugs without fear of being arrested | NYTimes, USA

We are all 'wired' for addiction, says researcher

Drug addicts and non-addicts may have more in common than ever thought, according to a researcher at Texas A&M University who found that to some degree, everyone's brain is "wired" to become addicted Science Daily, USA

'Unprecedented' overdose epidemic from fentanyl in US

Painkillers containing illegally made fentanyl, a synthetic drug up to 100 times more potent than morphine, are responsible for a surge in overdose deaths in the United States, health authorities said Thursday | Medical Xpress, USA

Researchers find new role for cannabinoids in vision

A multidisciplinary team including researchers from the Montreal Neurological Institute has improved our understanding of how cannabinoids, the active agent in marijuana, affect vision in vertebrates | Medical Xpress, USA

Smokers with newly discovered genetic markers have higher lung cancer risk

University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers have discovered new genetic markers associated with a fast rate of nicotine metabolism, which potentially leads smokers to smoke more, thereby increasing their risk for lung cancer | Medical Xpress, USA

Canada lags behind in adopting safer drug for opioid addiction treatment

Many provinces are making it easier for doctors to treat patients addicted to opioids with a safer but more expensive pharmaceutical therapy, an area where Canada is a laggard internationally | Globe and Mail, Canada

100,000 overdose deaths per year: “shameful”

Each year at least 100,000 people die of accidental overdose. That’s the equivalent of a large sporting crowd and more people than attend the Super Bowl or the World Cup Final. There are no front pages, no fanfare and no crisis meetings of governments. These people are remembered by their families and friends, but their lives and deaths are largely invisible to the broader community | Pennington Institute, Australia

Trial of cannabis withdrawal spray Sativex popular with middle-aged pothead dads

New father Tristin Jones*, 35, has smoked marijuana for so long that it was the only way he felt normal | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

Kiwis in world's largest study into clinical antidepressant use of 'club drug' ketamine

Kiwi patients are taking part in the largest ever clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of 'club drug' ketamine in the treatment of depression |, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Fabric closure: Sadiq Khan must back drug safety tests for clubbers

Just one tweet. That is all the support iconic London nightclub Fabric has received so far from London Mayor Sadiq Khan since its sudden closure and suspension earlier this month, pending a review of its licence by Islington Council |, UK

New psychoactive substances: driving greater complexity into the drug problem

New psychoactive substances both disrupt and support how the illicit drug market functions, driving greater complexity into the drug problem. Whichever regulatory approaches are pursued, early-warning systems should play a central role in protecting public health by detecting and prioritizing signals of harms and communicating this risk effectively | Addiction commentary, UK

Guest blog: Common experiences of youth in cross-cultural prevention settings

Ian Macdonald is a PSHE and healthy policy specialist who has been working with Mentor as a consultant in order to support UK educators to deliver effective, evidence-based alcohol and drug education to young people. Ian recently led two sessions with groups of young people visiting the UK from Egypt, and reflects on his experience | Mentor Blog, UK

New Study Shows Dramatic Reduction in Toxicant and Carcinogen Levels in Smokers Who Switch to E-Cigarettes

A new study out of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute has demonstrated that smokers who switch to e-cigarettes experience an immediate and drastic reduction in their levels of carcinogens and toxins | Tobacco Analysis Blog, UK

Ice in schools: 'My son is a drug addict ... that does not make him any less of a person'

Schools should support students caught up in drugs, not expel them, says a Melbourne mother whose son dealt ice. She shared this account anonymously | Age comment, Australia

The Rejection Of Drug Testing Is A Hard Pill To Swallow

In their efforts to defend the 'just say no' approach to pill testing, government officials often highlight what they believe is a major problem | Huffington Post Blog, Australia

Lockout law decision shaping as Mike Baird's toughest test yet

Deputy Premier Troy Grant called a meeting of stakeholders in the lockout law debate on Tuesday, a week before the anticipated delivery to government of former high court judge Ian Callinan's review of the contentious regime | Age comment, Australia