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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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27th November 2014

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UK news

News story: So-called ‘legal’ highs linked to deaths to be banned in UK

Two so-called ‘legal’ highs linked to deaths across Europe are set to be banned, the government announced today | Home Office and The Rt Hon Lynne Featherstone MP, UK

Correspondence: Letter to ACMD regarding advice on MT-45 and 4,4'-DMAR

Crime prevention minister writes to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to accept their recommendation to control these two drugs as Class A drugs | Home Office, UK

Addressing liver disease in the UK: a blueprint for attaining excellence in health care and reducing premature mortality from lifestyle issues of excess consumption of alcohol, obesity, and viral hepatitis

Liver disease in the UK stands out as the one glaring exception to the vast improvements made during the past 30 years in health and life expectancy for chronic disorders such as stroke, heart disease, and many cancers | Lancet, UK

UK liver disease crisis

Infographic | Lancet, UK

Early detection of liver disease by GPs 'non-existent'

Early detection of liver disease by GPs in the UK is "virtually non-existent", leading medical experts warn | BBC, UK

Alcohol is far more deadly than cannabis, former minister Norman Baker says

Alcohol is a much greater threat to people’s health than cannabis, former Home Office minister Norman Baker has warned, saying its dangers are being underplayed | Independent, UK

Infographic: How many young people are being stopped and searched uk

We sent out Freedom of Information Requests to police forces across England and Wales and calculated that 142,121 young people under the age of 18 were stopped and searched last year (April '13 to March '14) and less than 11% of them led to an arrest. The Metropolitan Police in London carried out almost 39% of these | Y-Stop, UK

Prison-based treatment: problems and promising solutions

From 1999, this review remains a uniquely authoritative account both of the biggest obstacles to mounting drug treatment programmes in prisons, and of the most promising solutions. Much is relevant also to community sentences | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

How do criminal justice contexts affect treatment organisations?

On-line course asks how working in criminal justice and allied contexts affects treatment organisations, and how this affects their relationships with and impacts on ‘clients’ coerced through their doors | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Illegal magazine for drug users on sale in London

A magazine which allows drug users to make money to fund their habit has gone on sale in Hoxton, east London | BBC, UK

Father of Scots drug mule warns of smuggling consequences

The father of convicted drug smuggler Melissa Reid has spoken of the devastating effect her crime has had on his family, in a new video warning of the consequences of drug crime abroad | Herald, UK

Two British men die 'snorting white heroin' in Amsterdam

Two British tourists have died in Amsterdam after reportedly snorting white heroin which police believe they mistook for cocaine | BBC, UK

Huge cocaine haul found in furniture in County Tyrone

Police have discovered one of the biggest amounts of cocaine ever found in Northern Ireland in a delivery of furniture | BBC, UK


International news

Ferguson: Did prosecutors focus unduly on marijuana?

Could marijuana really have contributed to the deadly confrontation between Michael Brown and Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson? | BBC, UK

Ghana's NPP calls for inquiry after London cocaine bust

Ghana's opposition has called for a parliamentary inquiry into allegations that a suspected cocaine trafficker had access to the presidential lounge at the country's main airport | BBC, UK

Pill to help cut down on alcohol use goes on sale

A pill that helps people cut down on alcohol will be available to people in Britain who drink half a bottle of wine or three pints a night or more. Experts say the drug reduces the urge to drink and can be prescribed alongside counselling support | Irish Independent, Ireland

Teens with a history of TBI are nearly 4 times more likely to have used crystal meth

Ontario students between Grades 9 and 12 who said they had a traumatic brain injury in their lifetime, also reported drug use rates two to four times higher than peers with no history of TBI, according to research published today in The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation | EurekAlert, USA

Big illicit drug seizures don't lead to less crime or drug use, study finds

Large-scale seizures of heroin, cocaine and amphetamines by police do not reduce the number of overdoses or arrests for possession and use of the drugs, according to the largest Australian study ever conducted into the area | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Guest Blog: If I had my way, the next government would…

This is a guest post by Rupert Oldham-Reid, Senior Researcher at the Centre for Social Justice, and reflects some of the ideas that he presented at this year's DrugScope Conference | DrugScope Blog, UK

Global Drug Survey 2015: why you should tell us what you take

Help us in this scientific research to find out the world’s drug consumption patterns. See what we learned from last year’s study and what we hope to find out in this one | Guardian Data Blog, UK

Interactive Map: Drug Offences and the Death Penalty

Of the 58 countries in the world that still have the death penalty in place, over half have made it applicable to people who have committed, for the most part, non-violent drug crimes | Talking Drugs, UK

The tide is turning in favour of e-cigarettes

I recently attended the E-Cigarette Summit at the Royal Society in London on 13 November 2014, which aimed to offer the opportunity for debate around the use of e-cigarettes. I am a locum pharmacist and stop smoking adviser, and in my role I come across many patients who are smokers | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Proof of Concept Study Shows Great Promise for Second Generation Electronic Cigarettes

Riccardo Polosa and colleagues have just published a six month pilot study, in which 50 smokers who were not interested in quitting were provided with a second generation electronic cigarette (personal vaporizer) | Tobacco Analysis Blog, UK

Drug surveillance operations an abject failure

It's time to look critically at how we deal with illicit drugs. If we continue to exaggerate the impact of superficially tough and expensive responses, it will only ensure continued failure, write Nicholas Cowdery and Alex Wodak | Age, Australia

The twilight state of the Psychoactive Substances Act

Even as it was making its way to the statutes, New Zealand’s Psychoactive Substances Bill was the talk of the drug reform world. It was seen as a bold, visionary bid to deal with the proliferation of new drugs that fell outside existing laws and address the harms of an unregulated market | Public Address, New Zealand



And finally...

Colombian vets begin Escobar hippo sterilisations

Vets in Colombia have started sterilising hippos descended from animals shipped to a private zoo set up by the infamous drug baron Pablo Escobar | BBC, UK