Reports June 2018


Cannabis: Regulate it. Tax it. Support the NHS. Promote public health

Regulating and legalising cannabis is an idea whose time has come. The UK public supports it too: in recent polls 47% of people support selling cannabis in licensed shops.5 Regulation also has the support of a range of groups from across the political spectrum | Health Poverty Action, UK

Developing pathways for alcohol treatment

Guidance on referring alcohol dependent patients from hospital to specialist alcohol treatment in the hospital or in the community | PHE, UK

Ghana Strives for a More Humane Drug Policy (PDF)

Recently, the government of Ghana proposed the Narcotics Control Commission Bill of 2017 (NCC) to replace the current Narcotic Drugs (Control, Enforcement, and Sanctions) Law of 1990 (PNDCL 236) that criminalizes all drug-related activities including drug use, possession, trade, and production. NCC aims to decriminalise drug consumption in Ghana | GDPO, UK

Crypto-Market Enforcement - New Strategy and Tactics (PDF)

Between June and July 2017, two law enforcement actions targeted the cryptomarkets AlphaBay and Hansa Market, closed them, and arrested their operators, seizing millions of dollars in assets in the process. These operations, dubbed ‘Operation Bayonet’ (AlphaBay) and ‘Operation GraveSac’ (Hansa) saw a shift in the strategy and tactics that law enforcement agencies are using to target cryptomarket activity on the Tor network | GDPO, UK

Physicians’ progress to reverse the nation’s opioid epidemic (PDF)

American Medical Association Opioid Task Force 2018 Progress Report | AMA, USA

Community Experiences of Serious Organised Crime in Scotland (PDF)

This summary sets out key findings from a research project that aimed to explore the community experiences of serious organised crime (SOC) in Scotland | Scottish Government, UK

Physicians’ progress to reverse the nation’s opioid epidemic (PDF)

American Medical Association Opioid Task Force 2018 Progress Report | AMA, USA

European Drug Report 2018

What are the latest drug market trends and what are the factors driving them? What drugs are causing the most concern today? What are the most recent developments in drug prevention, treatment and policy? These, and other, questions will be explored by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) on 7 June in its annual overview of the European drug situation | EMCDDA, Portugal

Statistical Bulletin 2018

The annual Statistical Bulletin contains the most recent available data on the drug situation in Europe provided by the Member States. These datasets underpin the analysis presented in the European Drug Report | EMCDDA, Portugal


On this page you can access top-level overviews of the drug situation by country in all EMCDDA reporting countries*, covering drug supply, use and public health problems as well as drug policy and responses | EMCDDA, Portugal

Purity of cocaine in Europe at highest level in decade, report finds

Number of people seeking treatment for use of drug is on the rise, says EU study | Guardian, UK

HRB compares the Irish drug situation with the rest of Europe

In Ireland the number of people aged 15-64 reporting that they used illicit drugs in their lifetime has risen from two in 10 in 2002/3 to three in 10 in 2014/15. Cannabis remains the most commonly used illicit drug among this group, followed by MDMA and cocaine. A total of 9,227 cases presented for treatment in 2016 | HRB, Ireland

Fentanils and synthetic cannabinoids: driving greater complexity into the drug situation - update (PDF)

New psychoactive substances are a broad range of drugs that are not controlled by the 1961 and 1971 United Nations drug control conventions but may pose similar threats to public health. Many of them are traded as ‘legal’ replacements to established controlled drugs such as cannabis, heroin, cocaine and MDMA | EMCDDA, Portugal

New psychoactive substances in prison: Results from an EMCDDA trendspotter study (PDF)

This publication provides an overview of the latest information available on the use of new psychoactive substances (NPS) and related problems in European prisons based on a rapid information assessment | EMCDDA, Portugal

The misuse of benzodiazepines among high-risk opioid users in Europe - update

This paper describes the impact of benzodiazepines misuse on the health and treatment of high-risk opioid users | EMCDDA, Portugal

Drug consumption rooms: an overview of provision and evidence - update

Supervised drug consumption facilities, where illicit drugs can be used under the supervision of trained staff, have been operating in Europe for the last three decades | EMCDDA, Portugal

Most students think taking illegal drugs causes problems for users as well as society and want their universities to take a tougher stance

The Higher Education Policy Institute and the University of Buckingham have worked with YouthSight on a survey of attitudes towards drugs among full-time undergraduate students | Hepi, UK

An independent review of the provision of smoking cessation services in Wales

The review examined the range of smoking cessation services provided in Wales and approaches for future provision | Welsh Government, UK

The National Drug Related Deaths Database (Scotland) Report: analysis of Deaths occurring in 2015 and 2016 (PDF)

The National Drug-Related Deaths Database (NDRDD) was established to collect detailed information regarding the nature and circumstances of people who had a Drug-Related Death (DRD) in Scotland. This is the seventh report and covers the calendar years 2015 and 2016 with trend data from 2009 | ISD Scotland, UK

General Report of Activities 2017 – Key achievements and governance: a year in review

The General Report of Activities is an annual publication providing a detailed progress report of the EMCDDA’s activities over a 12-month period. It catalogues the Centre’s achievements in each area of its annual work programme. The report is a useful information source for all those seeking comprehensive information on the Centre and its work | EMCDDA, Portugal

Desperate for a Fix: Using shop theft and a Second Chance Programme to get tough on the causes of prolific drug-addicted offending

Police recorded shop theft topped 385,000 offences last year, but the true figure, based on Home Office assumptions, is closer to 38 million offences | Centre for Social Justice, UK

Alcohol Marketing Regulation Report 2017 (PDF)

The report includes the five rulings made by the Independent Complaints Panel, analysis of the enquiries to our Advisory Service, our training offers as well as information about communicating alcohol and health related information, and a brief summary of the issues included in the current Code Review | Portman Group, UK

Tackling alcohol-related anti-social behaviour through Civil Injunctions and Criminal Behaviour Orders: A missed opportunity? (PDF)

The Government estimates that alcohol misuse costs the criminal justice system £11bn every year, though this is liable to be lower than the actual cost.1 People with alcohol problems emerging from the criminal justice system may also place a burden on other health, housing and social care services | Alcohol Concern and Alcohol Research UK, UK

Annual alcohol poll (PDF)

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education’s (FARE) Annual alcohol poll: Attitudes and behaviours (the Poll) assesses Australians’ attitudes towards alcohol, alcohol consumption behaviours, awareness and experiences of alcohol harm, and perspectives on various alcohol policies. In 2018, the Poll was carried out by YouGov Galaxy for the ninth consecutive year | FARE, Australia

MESAS monitoring report 2018

The Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland's Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) monitoring report 2018 brings together the latest available data on key alcohol indicators in Scotland. Supporting datasets and infographics that summarise the findings are available | NHS Health Scotland, UK

Better to Ask Forgiveness Than Permission: Spain’s Sub-national Approach to Drug Policy (PDF)

In recent years, the international debate on drug policy reform has intensified, and with it has come a productive exchange of information between academics, activists and advocates on the diverse models and approaches in different countries | GDPO, UK

UNODC technical consultation on family therapy for adolescents with drug use disorders

Adolescence is a critical window of vulnerability for the onset of substance use disorders, and the family environment can be both a protective and a risk factor. Communities and families affected by drug use disorders all around the world are facing grave challenges as they often find themselves without appropriate support and without access to evidence-based drug use disorder treatment | UNODC, Austria

Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services in Australia 2016–17

In 2016–17, 836 publicly-funded alcohol and other drug treatment services provided just over 200,000 treatment episodes to an estimated 127,000 clients. The top four drugs that led clients to seek treatment were alcohol (32% of all treatment episodes), amphetamines (26%), cannabis (22%) and heroin (5%) | AIHW, Australia

Alcohol in the Shadow Economy Unregulated, Untaxed, and Potentially Toxic (PDF)

The report, which uses data from 26 countries compiled by Euromonitor, also found that the majority of alcohol consumed is illicit in five out of seven African countries | IARD, UK

Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms 

In a new study by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction and the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, it is estimated that the overall cost of substance use in Canada was $38.4 billion in 2014. That amounts to approximately $1,100 for every Canadian regardless of age | CCSA, Canada

Scottish Drug Misuse Database: Overview of Initial Assessments for Specialist Drug Treatment 2016/17 (PDF)

In 2016/17, initial assessments for specialist drug treatment relating to 11,721 individuals were recorded on the Scottish Drug Misuse Database. Drug services are increasingly dealing with an older population; the percentage of individuals assessed for specialist drug treatment who were aged 35 and over increased from 29% in 2006/07 to 51% in 2016/17. Heroin was the most common substance people reported needing help with, although reported use of heroin has decreased over time | ISD Scotland, UK

Innovation in Medicine 2018: Providing smoking cessation for patients in hospitals will save lives and money

A major new report released by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) calls for a radical change in the way the NHS treats smoking, by providing opt-out cessation services as a routine component of all hospital care | RCP, UK

Why are drug-related deaths among women increasing in Scotland? A scoping of possible explanations (PDF)

This report draws on routine data, published research, conversations with professional stakeholders, and interviews with women with lived experience of problem drug use to examine potential explanations for this phenomenon, and to identify priority areas for future work | Scottish Government, UK

Innovation in Medicine 2018: Providing smoking cessation for patients in hospitals will save lives and money

A major new report released by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) calls for a radical change in the way the NHS treats smoking, by providing opt-out cessation services as a routine component of all hospital care | RCP, UK

Children living in families facing adversity can struggle to access support

[From 30th May] Our report helps professionals understand and support young people whose parents are affected by domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental health problems | NSPCC, UK







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