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27th February 2015


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UK news

Policy paper: Drug strategy annual review: 2014 to 2015

The third annual review of the drug strategy, 'A Balanced Approach', updates progress on the 3 strands of the strategy since since December 2013 | Home Office, UK

Way forward to tackle NPS

A range of measures to tackle the scourge of so-called ‘legal highs’ have been unveiled by the independent group set up to explore the issue in Scotland | Scottish Government, UK

Call for new laws to tackle legal highs

New legislation may be needed to tackle the problem of so-called legal highs, a report has said | BBC, UK

Minister backs new laws to tackle so-called Legal Highs

Legal affairs minister Paul Wheelhouse has backed new legislation to tackle the problem of so-called legal highs | Herald, UK

Alcohol Health Alliance: 'our NHS can’t afford for alcohol to get any cheaper'

The Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA) is urging the Chancellor to reinstate the alcohol duty escalator in this year’s budget, so as to allow the alcohol industry to make a fairer contribution to the harm caused | IAS, UK

Media Briefing: Standardised "Plain" Packaging, EU Regulation process ends on 2nd March

Monday 2nd March marks the end of the “stand still” period following the notification to the European Commission of the draft regulations | ASH, UK

A Mapping of Global Prevention Materials: Celebrating Good Practice and Identifying Significant Gaps

As a leading drug prevention organisation Mentor International strives to apply and share our knowledge internationally so that the benefits of effective drug prevention policy and practice become visible worldwide | Prevention hub, UK

Mayor's response to the London Health Commission (PDF)

Includes information on smoking and alcohol | GLA, UK

Call for New York-style ban on smoking in public in UK

Leading surgeon and former health minister Lord Darzi says it would help denormalise smoking and ultimately lead to fewer people using cigarettes | Guardian, UK

Call for ban on selling 'addictive' energy drinks to children

Action on Sugar research finds that some drinks contain up to 20 teaspoons of sugar – more than three times the maximum an adult should consume in a day | Guardian, UK

Smokers Are More Likely To Suffer From Anxiety And Depression

If you're looking for another reason to quit, here it is: Cigarettes may be a sign of mental health problems | Huffington Post, UK

Shopping vouchers 'most effective' way to help pregnant women stop smoking

One-fifth kicked the habit before giving birth when receiving financial incentives in a Cambridge university study, more than twice the rate using traditional services | Guardian, UK

Six pupils at Luton school became 'unwell' after taking legal highs

Six pupils at a school in Luton needed hospital treatment after taking legal highs, police have confirmed | ITV, UK

New Women's Group launched

WAGS, Women’s Action Group, has been set up by Addaction North Somerset, the drugs and alcohol charity based in the Boulevard, Weston, and is also open to friends and family of people suffering with addiction | Addaction, UK

Clarke Carlisle launches mental health charity

Former footballer Clarke Carlisle, who recently revealed he had attempted suicide, has launched a mental health charity. His wife Gemma announced the creation of the Clarke Carlisle Foundation for Dual Diagnosis in a tweet on Wednesday | BBC, UK

Protesters rally ahead of Cardiff budget cuts meeting

About 100 people have gathered outside City Hall in Cardiff on Thursday ahead of a council budget meeting | BBC, UK

Eleven held in drugs raids linked to three Liverpool clubs

Eleven men have been arrested in a series of raids linked to suspected drug dealing in Liverpool nightclubs | BBC, UK

Gypsies given £1m grant 'turned camp into cannabis factory'

Police raid three-acre traveller site in Merthyr Tyfdil, south Wales, reveals well-organised operation capable of producing £250k of cannabis a year | Telegraph, UK


International news

Ireland Takes Steps Toward First Drug Consumption Room

Momentum is growing toward Ireland's first ever medically supervised injecting center (MSIC) being put in place in what would be a vital addition to harm reduction services in the country | Talking Drugs, UK

Ireland passes tobacco plain packaging law

Ireland has became the first European Union member state to pass a law introducing mandatory plain packaging for tobacco products, prompting the tobacco industry to threaten legal action | Sky News, UK

Casualties of war: How the war on drugs is harming the world's poorest (PDF)

Health Poverty Action has launched a report calling for the global development sector to rethink its approach to the failing War on Drugs.The report emphasises how drugs policy is very much a development issue | Health Poverty Action, UK

Cannabis in the US: It is now legal to smoke weed in Washington DC

Up to two ounces will be allowed per person over the age of 21 | Independent, UK

US authorities discover 'drugs tunnel' running from Arizona to Mexico

Tunnel had electric lighting, makeshift ventilation and a hydraulic lift | Independent, UK

Failing global war on drugs disastrous for low-income farmers, claims study

Hardline drug policies exploit farmers and have negative implications for environment, healthcare and women’s rights, says report | Guardian, UK

Competencies for Canada’s Substance Abuse Workforce (PDF)

The Technical Competencies Guide to Working with First Nations Clients provides a First Nations context for the updated Technical Competencies in the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse’s (CCSA) Competencies for Canada’s Substance Abuse Workforce 1 and reflects cultural principles derived from Indigenous knowledge | CCSA, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Diane Goslar found Dry January really easy! Why? Because she is a recovering alcoholic and is dry all year round. Here’s Diane’s story… 

“Dry January” was an exceptionally easy month for me. Why? Because several people weren’t drinking alcohol last month. You see, I can’t drink alcohol again – ever- and this is hugely difficult when living in a society where alcohol is not only the norm, but so highly valued and prevalent | Alcohol Concern Blog, UK

The future of evidence-based prevention

We are very pleased to see the Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service (ADEPIS) mentioned in two key strategic documents this week: TheAdvisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) report on the prevention of alcohol and drug dependence, and the Home Office third annual review of the Drug Strategy 2010 | Mentor-ADEPIS, UK

If we get the decision on e-cigarettes wrong it could cost many lives

North East Ukip Euro MP Jonathan Arnott argues that if e-cigarettes are banned it could cost us very dear | Journal, UK