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2nd March 2015


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Obituary: Jasper Woodcock 1925-2015

Jasper Woodcock OBE was the Director of the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence (ISDD now DrugScope) from the late sixties through to 1995 | DrugScope, UK


UK news

Public Health England invests £10million in drug and alcohol recovery services

Public Health England (PHE) has announced the successful applicants for £10 million of capital funding for services that are helping people in England with drug or alcohol problems to recover from their addiction. Over 50 projects across England, in partnership with local authorities, will receive grants from PHE | PHE, UK

Drugs and driving: the law

Latest Government information |, UK

New drug-driving law: Which substances are limited and what are the consequences?

Nine prescription drugs have been set limits for drivers | Independent, UK

Drug-drive changes and "drugalysers" come into force

New regulations aimed at stopping people driving while on drugs have come into force in England and Wales | BBC, UK

Manchester police will not charge suspects under new drug-drive law

Forces says delay is temporary until they satisfy themselves that legal and procedural issues involved can withstand legal scrutiny | Guardian, UK

Start a conversation about policy on multiple needs - toolkit

Later this year, the UK will elect new leaders. Whatever their politics, we want to make sure that multiple needs is high on their agenda. Today we’re publishing a toolkit to help you start a conversation in your service, organisation or community | MEAM, UK

Naloxone: A life-saving medicine ready for community use

LDAN news looks at the Naloxone Action Group England campaign for wider availability of naloxone, an antidote to opioid overdoses | LDAN, UK

SMMGP Free learn: Naloxone saves lives

When you have completed this e-learning module, you will Understand drug related deaths and risks, and how to recognise the signs and symptoms of an overdose... | SMMGP, UK

'Legal highs' - the expert's view

The drug advice charity FRANK defines 'legal highs' as containing chemical substances "which produce similar effects to illegal drugs like cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy". ITV News Anglia presenter Jonathan Wills spoke to Jeremy Sare from the Angelus foundation, which educates on the risks of using 'legal highs' | ITV, UK

LGBT Narrative For London: Exploring LGBT experiences of service provision - survey

The survey is being carried out to examine the common and specific ongoing needs and challenges faced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities across the 32 boroughs of the Greater London Area | London Friend at al, UK

Novel psychoactive substances of interest for psychiatry (PDF)

Novel psychoactive substances include synthetic cannabinoids, cathinone derivatives, psychedelic phenethylamines... Users are typically attracted by these substances due to their intense psychoactive effects and likely lack of detection in routine drug screenings. This paper aims at providing psychiatrists with updated knowledge of the clinical pharmacology and psychopathological consequences of the use of these substances | World Psychiatry, UK

Six students hospitalised after taking 'legal highs'

Six students at a school in Luton were taken to hospital after they became "very unwell". Police said they had taken legal highs | ITV, UK

City chiefs may ban methadone handouts in heart of Dundee

City chiefs are set to meet health professionals and other agencies to decide whether chemists should be stopped from dispensing the heroin substitute in the main streets of Dundee | Evening Telegraph, UK

Smoking in King's Lynn - Nicky Prive, BBC Radio

A new report shows that in parts of King's Lynn, half of all people are smokers | BBC Radio iPlayer, UK

Smoking ban, ‘Hinterland’ and Clare Grogan - BBC Radio

Talking about the proposed smoking ban extension to outdoor public spaces | BBC Radio iPlayer, UK



International news

Ketamine control plan condemned as potential disaster for world's rural poor

Repeated Chinese attempts to tighten controls on drug described as ‘David and Goliath struggle’ between poor and rich countries | Guardian, UK

Girl's fight to treat rare form of epilepsy may lead Idaho to approve marijuana oil

Family has some legislative backers and an upcoming hearing, as Idaho joins a larger movement to loosen laws and allow the use of marijuana extract oil | Guardian, UK

Why Iceland banned beer

A century ago, Iceland banned all alcoholic drinks. Within a decade, red wine had been legalised, followed by spirits in the 1930s. But full-strength beer remained off-limits until 1 March 1989. Megan Lane asks why it took so long for the amber nectar to come in from the Icelandic cold | BBC, UK

Uruguay bids farewell to Jose Mujica, its pauper president

Whatever your own particular "shade" of politics, it's impossible not to be impressed or beguiled by Jose "Pepe" Mujica | BBC, UK

Mexico president hails capture of drug lord Servando 'La Tuta' Gomez

Mexican police have captured the country's most wanted drug lord, Servando "La Tuta" Gomez | BBC, UK

EMCDDA hosts Euro-DEN meeting and promotes guidelines: ‘When to call the emergency services for unwell recreational drug users’

The recreational drug scene has evolved rapidly over the last decade, with new psychoactive substances (NPS) posing additional challenges. However, at present, there is no robust pan-European system in place for capturing data from hospital emergency services on the acute toxicity (harms) associated with the use of both ‘established drugs’ and NPS | EMCDDA, Portugal

Women 'nearly twice as likely to see regular cannabis use as risky'

Rearchers at Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University have identified nonwhite, low-income women aged over 50 as most likely to perceive regularly using cannabis as a risky activity, with women nearly twice as likely to perceive a risk compared with men | MNT, USA

New research shows adult alcohol consumption puts kids in harm's way

Parents who think their drinking doesn't have an impact on their children are probably fooling themselves. According to experts, every family, regardless of social class, should take a long, hard look at their drinking habits | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

Steroid seizures on track for rise

Seizures of steroids and other image enhancing drugs are on track for a significant rise this year, adding weight to the idea steroid use is on the increase | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Legal highs and 'love' in Lincoln

The cathedral city has just become the first place in the UK to ban the use of psychoactive substances in public | Guardian, UK

Drugs Live: why I wanted to get stoned on TV

Channel 4’s experiment into the effects of cannabis aims to research the differences between ingesting hashish and skunk in a controlled environment | Guardian, UK

Is a smoking ban in UK parks and outdoor spaces a good idea?

Ara Darzi and Oliver P Keown want a ban to help smokers quit and to protect children from seeing people lighting up. But, argues Simon Chapman, there is no scientific justification for such a draconian attack on basic freedoms | BMJ Blogs, UK

What Families Can Do When Their Loved One is in Rehab

Coming into residential treatment represents a massive change in the life of someone who is struggling with addiction. Contact between patients and their families during the first week of treatment is discouraged. This gives the family a breathing space and the patient a chance to settle down emotionally | Castle Craig, UK

Marijuana may be legal, but it's still taboo in Washington DC

Sixty-five percent of DC residents voted for marijuana to be legalised. But will any of them admit to liking it, or using it, or growing it? No | Guardian, UK

Indonesia's Executions: Drugs Diplomacy in a Diplomatic Crisis?

All diplomatic efforts earlier this month to save Brazilian and Dutch citizens from execution in Indonesia failed. Both were executed by firing squad | Huffington Post, USA

What Flying Was Like Before the Smoke Cleared

Ifyou think the air travel experience generally stinks now, consider what it was like before smoking was banned on domestic flights 25 years ago | NY Times, USA

Teens are being used as guinea pigs in the synthetic drugs market. And police can't keep up

The low volume, high frequency internet drugs market makes it hard for police to target. And even harder for teenagers to know what they’re taking | Guardian CIF, UK