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Spectrum Learn & Develop courses accredited by RCGP


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Course dates for 2019 online now

Spectrum Learn & Develop are now the sole provider of four existing RCGP (Royal College of General Practitioners) accredited courses in Substance Misuse and Associated Health (SMAH).


We have scheduled dates for SMAH courses until June 2019 in venues across England.


Visit our website for further info and to book online here>>>




Institute of Counselling Courses


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The Institute of Counselling is a well-established online/distance learning course provider since 1985. We offer courses academically credit rated at SCQF level 7 -9 (1st – 3rd year BA/BSc degree level) in Counselling, CBT, Addiction, Drugs and Alcohol Counselling, Coaching and Mentoring. We also offer degree programmes in partnership with the Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU).


You can enrol anytime through our website. For more information, please email us or telephone on 0044 141 204 2230.




The 6th International Conference on Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS)


8-9 April 2019, Maastricht University, Netherlands.


VI International Conference on Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) Invitation for presentation


Abstract submission is open until Saturday, 1st December 2018.


The main objectives are to share evidence-based information on NPS and latest trends of use; improve the understanding of clinical treatment and management of NPS use; explore policy and legislative responses to NPS; develop innovative prevention measures for vulnerable individuals; identify public health implications of NPS and explore motivations and socio-cultural factors underlying NPS use. Register here




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12th December 2018


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UK news

Drug health harms: national intelligence

Briefings on the health harms associated with drug use based on presentations and discussions at the meeting of the national intelligence network | PHE, UK

Preventable illness is factor in slower life expectancy increases

[Factors include] an increase in death rates from accidental poisoning, in particular, drug misuse - this led to mortality rates among younger adults making no contribution to changes in life expectancy trends between 2011 and 2016, in contrast to the small positive contributions seen previously | PHE, UK

Ex-minister Norman Lamb urges cannabis legalisation

A former health minister has called on MPs to legalise the possession and consumption of cannabis | BBC, UK

Barclays lets mobile banking users block gambling and drinking

Button in app could help customers struggling with addiction to limit spending | Guardian, UK

Four heroin addicts have been struck down with BOTULISM sparking fears a contaminated batch of drug has hit the UK

Health officials fear a contaminated batch of heroin is being sold on England's streets, MailOnline can reveal | Mail Online, UK

Drugs diversion pilot launches – West Berkshire

The scheme, which aims to reduce the harm caused by the use of drugs and drug related offences, allows offenders in possession of small quantities of illegal drugs an opportunity to be offered a tailored diversion route to address their use of drugs instead of facing prosecution | Thames Valley Police, UK

Homeless women entering dangerous and abusive relationships as form of protection, report finds

'The threat of assault and abuse pushes women outside of visible rough sleeping, meaning they are less likely to receive homeless support and more likely to end up in dangerous relationships' | Independent, UK

DCMS Committee launches new inquiry into the growth of ‘immersive and addictive technologies’

The inquiry will examine the development of immersive technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, and the potential impact these could have in the worlds of sport, entertainment and news. The inquiry will also look at how the addictive nature of some technologies can affect users’ engagement with gaming and social media, particularly amongst younger people |, UK

Drugs: Crime

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 5 November 2018 to Question 185472 on Drugs: crime, whether he has plans to gather specific information on children under 10 years of age involved in county lines | They work for you, UK

Ankur Desai sits in: The British Asian Drug of Choice- audio

With new tastes constantly changing can we say that booze and weed have had their day? | BBC, UK

Fenham Library alcohol and drug rehab unit opens

A revamped library has reopened that includes a controversial new drugs and alcohol rehabilitation centre | BBC, UK

Change Grow Live awarded share of innovation fund for three of our alcohol services

Three projects run by Change Grow Live, in partnership with local authorities, have been awarded a share of a new £4.5 million innovation fund to help improve the lives of children and adults impacted by alcohol, as was announced | CGL, UK

Prince William speaks out about scourge of drug 'spice' 

The Duke of Cambridge has spoken out against the scourge of the drug 'spice' after hearing about its devastating effect on the homeless | Telegraph, UK

How Britain's 18th-century teetotal movement expressed its message through song

For 100 years or more, Britain’s temperance movement held sway. Godfrey Holmes explains how it used pulpits, badges, flyers, T-shirts – and a memorable playlist urging listeners to ban the bottle | Indeependent, UK

Smoking ‘no handicap for sportsmen’ - archive, 1963

2 December 1963: Consultant neurologist says smoking has little effect on the performance of athletes | Guardian archive, UK


International news

Global State of Harm Reduction 2018

The 2018 Global State of Harm Reduction is the sixth edition of this report, and the most comprehensive ever thanks to a coordinated effort of over 100 harm reduction practitioners, academics, advocates and activists from around the world | HRI, UK

World Conference on Tobacco or Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what initiatives the NHS has undertaken as a result of the March 2018 World Conference on Tobacco or Health | They work for you, UK

Russia Is Punishing People for Helping Drug Users

Moscow's only harm reduction NGO has been given a potentially devastating fine for doing the work it's meant to do | VICE, UK

Cycles for cigarettes: city gives bikes to children if a relative quits

The bicycles are given to children in the Turkish border city of Kilis if they also maintain strong grades and promise to ride for an hour a day | Guardian, UK

A tax hike on alcohol is the obesity fix Australians need to swallow

The national health impact could be substantial, preventing more than 190,000 cases of diabetes and 16,000 cases of cancer | Guardian, UK

At least 15 chemsex drug overdoses in Irish hospitals as over 100 seek detox treatment

Over 100 people have attended hospital for GHB detoxification programmes | Journal, Ireland

Decline Stalls: 58 Million Americans Still Exposed to Secondhand Smoke

An estimated 58 million American nonsmokers (1 in 4) were still exposed to secondhand smoke from burning tobacco products such as cigarettes during 2013–2014, according to new data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) | CDC, USA

Meth playing bigger role in US drug overdose crisis

The number of fatal overdoses involving meth more than tripled between 2011 and 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday. The percentage of overdose deaths involving meth grew from less than 5 percent to nearly 11 percent | Medical Xpress, USA

Does smoking marijuana cause teen behavior problems or vice versa?

As dozens of states move toward legalizing marijuana—for both medical and recreational purposes—scientists and parents have asked what the impact might be on children. Will more teens use pot? Will doing so cause behavioral problems? Will they develop a substance-use disorder? | Medical Xpress, USA

Fears About Kratom Use During Pregnancy Are Overblown

Like people in general, pregnant people use non-prescribed drugs for many reasons. Opioids and stimulants are increasingly popular, as well as marijuana | Filter Magazine, USA

Drinking before sex: Are people with Borderline Personality Disorder more at risk?

Drinking alcohol before sex increases a person’s likelihood of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as HIV. People who have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) have difficulty regulating their emotions, maintaining their interpersonal relationships, and have an unstable self-image | BASIS, USA

Campaigner achieved victory over safe injecting rooms trials

Ann Symonds saved lives and changed lives. She saved them by fighting, losing, then fighting again to provide safe injecting rooms for drug users at Kings Cross | SMH, Australia

Too many young people vaping: respiratory specialist

Cinnamon, apple, unicorn milk - their names sound innocuous, but a respiratory specialist is warning of the dangerous toxins lurking in e-cigarettes | RNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

I’m Worried About Our Community

I’m worried about my community, I really am. This year (and a few previous ones) has been a hard one for many of us. We’ve lost some important members of the harm reduction community, and in the UK and the US political will at the government level to be proactive in promoting harm reduction interventions has been lacking | Nigel Brunsdon, UK

Update on the conscious clubbing collaboration

The original post was about alcohol-free events that involve music and dancing, often described as ‘sober raves’ or ‘conscious-clubbing’ events. At conscious-clubbing events, the experiences are enjoyed without alcohol and other drugs | EUSPR, UK

Readers discuss the use of ketamine to treat depression | NYTimes, USA

Authority in Storytelling: Comedy Central’s “Drunk History,” Intoxication, and the Historian’s Craft

Today’s post comes from contributing editor Bob Beach, a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Albany, SUNY. Today he examines Comedy Central’s popular program Drunk History, and explores the role non-authoritative, even inebriated, history can play in getting students to question accuracy, opinion, and historical perspective | Points blog, USA