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Brain Days


The brain and addiction - an exciting one day workshop


Monday December 4th Leamington Spa


An exciting and dynamic, thought provoking one day workshop exploring the wonders of the addictive brain. What works, what doesn’t and why.




ICAAD event
Healing Trauma
In The LGBTQ+ Community

25th November 2017, Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London, 9.00am 5.00pm.


5 hours CPD available. Just £50 for Statutory and voluntary sector workers.


How to better serve our clients from the LGBTQ+ Community.  This one day CPD workshop will feature presentations and experiential sessions that will look at traumas and complexities specifically for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer communities as individual subcultures.
Presented by the USA’s Beck Gee-Cohen, a pioneer in LGBTQ+ addiction/mental health treatment, and one of the UK’s leading psychodrama therapists Adela Campbell

Presented by iCAAD Events. Supported by Resort 12




Druglink archive

Nearly 30 years of DrugScope’s magazine, Druglink, dating back to 1986 now available and searchable on the DrugWise website



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DS Daily

23rd November 2017


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Could you sponsor DS Daily? Please Email Harry Shapiro to discuss


Global Drug Survey 2018


UK news

Guerilla public health; the early days of UK harm reduction

The DrugScope library has been transferred to the Wellcome Institute where it is being catalogued and partly digitised for general access. This article in which Harry Shapito reflects on drug harm rediuction in the UK from the early 1980s onwards, launches this very welcome development - pun intended | Wellcome Institute, UK

The human and financial costs of drug addiction

This debate pack is produced for the Westminster Hall on Wednesday 22 November 2017 from 2.30-4pm on the human and financial costs of drug addiction. The debate will be opened by Craig Mackinlay MP |, UK

Transcript of the debate here

PHE announces areas for IPS alcohol and drug dependency trial

Seven areas to take part in individual placement and support (IPS) trial for drugs or alcohol dependency in community treatment services | PHE, UK

Tobacco products and e-cigarette cross-border sales registration

How businesses that supply tobacco products and e-cigarettes via cross-border distance sales can register with the UK government | PHE, UK

Public Health England - Evaluation and recommendations (PDF)

Public Health England (PHE) is an executive agency of the Department of Health (DH). PHE is the expert national public health agency, which fulfills the Secretary of State for Health’s statutory duties to protect health and address health inequalities, and executes the Secretary of State’s power to promote the health and wellbeing of the nation | IANPHI, UK

Alcohol Related Hospital Statistics

This publication from the Information Services Division provides an annual update to figures on alcohol-related inpatient and day case activity within general acute hospitals and psychiatric hospitals in Scotland. This release covers general acute hospital activity for the financial years 1981/82 to 2016/17 and psychiatric hospital admissions from 1997/98 to 2015/16 | ISD, UK

Drugsland: Bristol MP calls for 'plainly failing' drug law reform

An MP has demanded reform of the UK's "plainly failing" drugs laws in Britain, in the wake of a new BBC documentary | BBC, UK

Mentor Launches Quality Mark for Alcohol and Drugs Education

Mentor has launched their Quality Mark for Alcohol and Drugs Education, a set of developmental Quality Standards for schools and practitioners which aim improve the quality of alcohol and drug education and prevention in England | Mentor, UK

The media has a problem with alcoholism – and it's stopping people getting help

Alcoholism as a term has long expired, so why do common narratives around alcohol problems still rely on it so much? | Guardian, UK

Different alcoholic drinks may trigger different emotions; many of them negative

Researchers used an international online survey of alcohol and drug use to investigate the emotions people aged 18 to 34 said they experienced when drinking spirits, beer, red wine or white wine. They included responses from 29,836 people from 21 countries | NHS Direct, UK

Zombie-drug 'spice' makes users significantly slower and unable to focus within just one hour, according to the first study of its kind

Ian Hamilton, a cannabis researcher at York University, told MailOnline: 'The low dose used in this study is unlikely to represent the dose most people are exposed to | Mail Online, UK

Delay to minimum pricing cost 400 lives, claims ex-minister

Former health secretary Alex Neil has accused the Scottish Whisky Association of being complicit in the untimely deaths of nearly 400 people because its legal challenge to minimum unit pricing of alcohol delayed the introduction of Scottish Government legislation | Scotsman, UK

Minimum price for cigarettes and a licence fee to sell tobacco among recommendations to curb smoking

Experts have called for minimum pricing on cigarettes and a licence fee to sell tobacco under radical new proposals to drive down smoking rates in Scotland | Herald, UK

Chancellor surprises, industry rejoices: beer duty is frozen

To the surprise of the brewing industry, which was expecting a retail price index linked increase in beer duty of around 3.5%, Chancellor Phillip Hammond instead froze duty in today's Budget announcement | Brewery Manual, UK

Traditional cider makers say tax on strong brands will hurt their business

Duty band for super-strength white cider and perry will penalise us, warn artisans | Guardian, UK

Three cups of coffee a day 'may have health benefits'

Moderate coffee drinking is safe, and three to four cups a day may have some health benefits, according to a large review of previous studies, in the BMJ | BBC, UK

Friend Or Foe? UK Patient Advocates Meet Cannabis Pharmaceutical Giants

Jon Liebling is Political Director of United Patients Alliance, the UK’s leading medical cannabis patient advocacy group. This piece first appeared on his blog which can be read here. This version has been edited for brevity | Volte Face, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Prices

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether the Government has made an assessment of the effect on pubs of cheap supermarket alcohol | They work for you, UK


The toxicology tests involved are used to detect the presence of drugs and in some cases alcohol in an individual’s hair, blood or urine. The alleged manipulation raises doubts about the reliability of some test results, which may have been subsequently relied on in court proceedings (criminal, coroners and family) | They work for you, UK

Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol

The next item of business is a statement by Shona Robison on the United Kingdom Supreme Court judgment on minimum unit pricing of alcohol in Scotland. The cabinet secretary will take questions at the end of her statement, so there should be no interventions or interruptions during it | They work for you, UK


Alcohol Research UK is dedicated to supporting new research in the alcohol field. Over the last 30 years, we have awarded £24 million in funding to over 900 projects, many of which have made a significant contribution to the evidence base in this area | Alcohol Research Uk, UK

Randox forensics inquiry: Drug-drivers to challenge convictions

Two road death drug-drivers are trying to get their convictions quashed amid concerns forensic evidence in their cases had been manipulated | BBC, UK


International news

Synthetic opioid to be classified at same level as heroin to tackle US opioid crisis

The DEA said that illicit fentanyl would become a Schedule 1 drug, alongside heroin, which classifies it as being addictive and having no medicinal purpose | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Kim Jong-un 'bans drinking, singing and Mothers' Day celebrations' in wake of sanctions on North Korea

North Korea has reportedly banned gatherings that involve drinking alcohol and singing, in new measures designed to stifle the impact of crippling international sanctions over the hermit kingdom’s ongoing missile tests | Telegraph, UK

Stakeholders React to Proposed Regulation for Cannabis in Canada

As Health Canada publish their Proposed Approach to the Regulation of Cannabis and launch a 60-day public consultation, politicians, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders were quick to express their views on the matter | Volte Face, UK

Philippine anti-drug agency chief vows 'rule of law'

The new chief of the Philippines' anti-drug agency has promised a fresh approach to the controversial war on drugs, "based on the rule of law" | BBC, UK

Vanuatu leads push to make narcotic drink kava a worldwide favourite

Impoverished Pacific island nations aim to capitalise on famously potent spirit that can only be made from local plant | Guardian, UK

The government just outlawed four popular 'designer' drugs

Drugs including ‘Blow’, ‘Hammer Head’ and ‘Magic crystals’ have all been banned | Journal, Ireland

Drug testing in schools

Although rare, drug testing in schools continues to be practised in some European countries, where it is seen as a deterrent to use. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of random testing in schools, based on studies conducted among students aged 13 to 19 years, in the United States. Although different with regard to study design and the type of testing offered, all of the studies show that testing has little or no effect on drug use | EMCDDA, Portugal

Deaths from drugs, alcohol and suicide could hit 1.6M over the next decade, report says

Drugs, alcohol and suicide could lead to the deaths of more than 1.6 million people over the next 10 years, according to a report released Tuesday that signals a troubling trend in mental health in the U.S | USA Today, USA

Millions of Patients Face Pain and Withdrawal as Opioid Prescriptions Plummet

Six months after surgery to repair a damaged urinary tract in 1998, computer technician Doug Hale woke one morning with excruciating, burning pain. Hale’s suffering persisted for years, despite all sorts of treatments. Finally, in 2006, he was prescribed strong doses of opioids | Bloomberg, USA

Surgeons and the opioid crisis—prescription guidelines needed

Of all the possible ways of alleviating the opioid crisis, one has so far garnered far less attention than it deserves: prescription guidelines for surgeons | Medical Xpress, USA

Are cigarette prices and smoking bans effective levers for change?

Policymakers and advocates often argue that increasing the “cost” of smoking – whether in the form of an increase in cigarette price, or in the form of the added inconvenience for a smoker to step outside the bar/restaurant -- causes individuals to smoke less | BASIS, USA

NSW Will Pour $6 Million Into A Medicinal Cannabis Advisory Service For Doctors

Doctors have been calling for more education on medicinal cannabis for months. Now, they might have an answer | BuzzFeed, USA

Health Canada Launches Public Consultation on Proposed Approach to the Regulation of Cannabis

The current approach to cannabis does not work. Earlier this year, the Government of Canada introduced Bill C-45, the proposed Cannabis Act, to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis. Bill C-45 aims to keep cannabis out of the hands of Canadian youth and the profits away from criminals and organized crime | Government of Canada, Canada

B.C. to reimburse methadone patients for taking clinic fees off welfare cheques

An  application filed in the British Columbia Supreme Court says the provincial governments has agreed to pay back more than $5.5 million in fees deducted from the income-assistance cheques of methadone patients | Province, Canada

Housing part of opioid crisis solution

Adequate, affordable housing — not a misguided, unscientific and subjective approach to drug criminalization — is the cornerstone of preventing and overcoming drug addiction. That’s the message | Richmond News, Australia

Turnbull government postpones controversial drug trial for welfare recipients

A controversial trial of drug tests for welfare recipients is likely to be postponed | Age, Australia

One Nation to scrap 'nanny state' booze laws

Pauline Hanson has used a visit to a rum distillery to say One Nation will scrap Labor's "nanny state" law on the sale of pre-mixed drinks | Age, Australia

The Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence

ACRE is working develop a national research and policy framework that ensures quality and safety in the implementation of medicinal cannabis use in the community | ACRE, Australia

Medicinal cannabis hotline to cut through red tape for NSW patients and doctors

A new hotline is expected to fast track access to medicinal cannabis for palliative care patients in NSW | SMH, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Avoiding the bitter pill (PDF)

Drug checking is adding a new dimension to global harm reduction. Like most drug harm reduction initiatives and now the global spread of vaping for nicotine, drug checking is a bottom up movement started by those concerned about drug user safety. With its origins going back some 30 years in countries like the Netherlands and Austria, drug checking in all its guises is gaining in popularity | DrugWise / GDS blog, UK


And finally...

Fox and Hounds in Theale is Britain's most dog-friendly pub

The Fox and Hounds pub in Theale, Berkshire, has been voted Britain's most dog-friendly pub by the Dog Friendly Awards and the Dog Friendly Pub Awards | BBC, UK