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Early Bird ending soon

This year RiTC6 is looking at what happens beyond recovery - past the treatment, the structured groups, the wellbeing activities, the building of recovery networks – into the 'now what' Click here to find out more.




Chemsex Training 

Chemsex training course

29th September 2016
10th November 2016

Location: St Martin of Tours, 318-320 St Paul’s Road, Islington, London N1 2LF

This one day Chemsex training course will be delivered 3 times this year and aims to give participants the confidence, knowledge and skills in order to deliver effective interventions and support for this subgroup.




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SSA Symposium 2016

Back to the future: Addiction and the scientific method.

10–11 November, York

Call for Papers, deadline: 30 June. Supported places 10 x £350 available, deadline: 15 July. Delegate poster deadline: 12 August

Book now for early-bird discount!



Aspire services





The National Substance Misuse Conference - Breaking Down Barriers
Wednesday 21st September 2016, 9.30am – 4.30pm, Birmingham





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UK news

Substance misuse: Janaury to March 2016

Data on clients seen at drug and alcohol treatment agencies | Welsh Office, UK

Experts say stronger MDMA and ecstasy is causing 'more mental issues'

Professor Philip Murphy has been researching the drug for nearly 20 years and says he's worried about the supply currently on the market | BBC Newsbeat, UK

The growing popularity, and potency, of ecstasy and MDMA

Ecstasy, or MDMA, is becoming more readily available to buy, particularly on the so-called "dark web". And this has seen the drug grow in popularity, and in strength | BBC, UK

Just one in four cannabis users are charged and arrests have fallen by almost 50% since 2010, new figures show

Huge disparity in how police forces across England and Wales tackle possession of class B drug revealed | Independent, UK

'Legal high' ambulance call-outs double in London

The number of people needing help from paramedics after taking so-called legal highs has more than doubled each year since 2013 | BBC, UK

Sandwell's Blue Light Project report

Over the last 12 months Sandwell Public Health has led the development of alternative approaches and care pathways for change resistant drinkers who place a huge burden on public services - particularly emergency services. (The traditional approach to this client group has been the pessimistic belief that nothing can be done for people who do not want to change) | PHE, UK

Effectiveness Bank collection: The shared essence of effective therapies

Across mental health and behavioural problems, ‘Dodo bird’ findings that bona fide therapies have similar effects have turned attention to the ‘common factors’ they share rather than how they differ | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Independents warned over teenage drinking following GCSE results

Independent retailers are being warned to be extra vigilant after research has revealed an “alarming number” of 15- and 16-year-olds intend to celebrate with alcohol when they find out their GCSE results this week | Talking Retail, UK


International news

Researchers find lab rats on marijuana just can't be bothered

THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, makes rats less willing to exert cognitive effort – lazy – but, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man | Guardian, UK

‘To my daughter’s drug dealer': A distraught mother’s viral Facebook post

Ashley Shannon struggled with a drug habit for five years, starting with prescription pills before moving on to heroin | Independent, UK

Trudeau Talks Tough on Cannabis Legalisation

Justin Trudeau has boldly re-iterated that, when it comes to legalising cannabis, safety is a top priority for Canada | Volte Face, UK

Launch of HSE Naloxone Demonstration Project Report

Launch of the HSE Evaluation of the Naloxone Demonstration Project on the 31st August and this will be complemented by a Photographic Exhibition 29th – 31st August of those have been and continue to be involved in the Project. Date: 31st August | IOAD, Ireland

With Moderate Drinking Under Fire, Alcohol Companies Go on Offensive

Public-health officials who long said light drinking was good for the heart are now warning of cancer risks, causing ripples through the alcohol industry | Wall Street Journal, USA

26 overdoses in just hours: Inside a community on the front lines of the opioid epidemic

Officer Sean Brinegar arrived at the house first — “People are coming here and dying,” the 911 caller had said — and found a man and a woman panicking. Two people were dead inside, they told him | STAT, USA

19% Decrease in Cultivation of Opium in Afghanistan

According to a report by Mizan, as translated by IFP, Salamat Azimi noted that there was a 19% decrease in the amount of opium cultivated in Afghanistan during 2015 | IFP News, USA

Ageing out of drugs

Most addicts just stop using in time, without needing costly treatment. Why do some people walk away while others can’t? | Aeon, USA

Among veterans, painkiller misuse strongly linked to starting heroin

A study of nearly 3,400 military veterans over 10 years found that when participants began to misuse opioid painkillers, they had a very high likelihood of also beginning to use heroin, researchers reported in the journalAddiction. As a result, the authors recommend that health care providers who serve veterans should watch closely for signs of non-medical use of opioid painkillers | Medical Xpress, USA

NIDA Challenges Program

The goal of this Challenge is to enable scientists to test the hypothesis that their research idea can be fostered into a biotech startup. NIDA envisions that the newly created startupswill contribute to the pool of innovative small business companies that can successfully compete for NIDA’s Small Business funding (SBIR/STTR Programs). We welcome all ideas related to substance use disorders (SUD) | NIDA, USA

Preventing Prescription Stimulant Misuse among Youth

A review of programs and strategies aimed at reducing harms related to prescription stimulant use | Prevention hub, Canada

Designer death: new killer drugs to flood local market

Australia is set to be flooded with new strains of deadly synthetic designer drugs with new versions entering the market virtually on a daily basis | Age, Australia

Ice scourge strikes schools

The devastating impact of the drug ice has hit Victorian schools, with agencies fielding calls from desperate principals wanting help | Age, Australia

Sick NSW children begin medicinal cannabis treatment

Children with severe epilepsy have begun taking an experimental cannabis-based drug under the supervision of the NSW government | 9News, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The Law Needs to Catch Up, But Look: Weed Is Effectively Legal in the UK

Arrests for cannabis possession in England and Wales have fallen by 46 percent since 2010. Cautions have dropped by 48 percent and charges by 33 percent | VICE, UK

Economics holds the smoking gun for why e-cigarettes shouldn’t be discouraged

Smoking and other tobacco use is not a disease, it is a consumption decision. So attempts to understand it through the lens of medicine, rather than that of welfare economics (the science of consumer preferences, choice, and welfare), create confusion, absurd claims, and bad public policy | City AM Opinion, UK

The Guardian view on the Philippine war on drugs: street justice is no justice

Hundreds have died since the new president, Rodrigo Duterte, announced a crackdown on crime. He likes it that way. The rest of the world should not be intimidated | Guardian editorial, UK

President Obama’s Track Record on Drug Policy

President Obama has made great strides in healthcare reform for people who use drugs, but his approach to criminal justice reform leaves a lot to be desired | Talking Drugs Blog, UK

Promises and Pitfalls of Cannabis Taxes

In less than three months, Californians will vote on legalizing production, distribution and possession of recreational cannabis. Tax revenues are central to that debate, but the really important question is not so much what taxes would be best today but how those taxes should evolve over time | RAND Blog, USA

Conference Summary: “I’ve Been to Dwight,” July 14-18, 2016, Dwight, IL

This conference summary is brought to you by David Korostyshevsky, a doctoral student in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine at the University of Minnesota. He traveled to Dwight, Illinois, in mid-July to attend the ADHS off-year “I’ve Been to Dwight” conference, and has provided this account of his time there | Points: Blog of the alcohol and drugs history society, USA