Reports December 2013

Substance misuse among young people in England 2012-13 (PDF)

There is a perception that drink and drug use is a widespread problem among under-18s in England. While any substance misuse among this age group is concerning, figures released this year1 show that overall, secondary school pupils of today are far less likely to use alcohol or drugs than their counterparts were a decade ago | PHE, UK

MESAS Regional alcohol sales and alcohol-related mortality

This MESAS report assesses population levels of alcohol consumption based on retail sales data in Central Scotland, North West and North East England, comparing with levels of alcohol-related mortality. It was published as part of NHS Health Scotland’s commitment to monitoring and evaluating Scotland’s alcohol strategy | NHS Health Scotland, UK

Impaired Driving in Canada (PDF)

Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs remains the most prominent factor contributing to serious road crashes in Canada. Although significant progress has been made over the past three decades, impaired drivers continue to present a significant risk to the safety of all road users. In the 10-year period from 2000 through 2009, 8,431 people died on Canadian roads in crashes involving a drinking driver | CCSA, Canada

Drug Defendants Are Being 'Forced' To Plead Guilty, Report Claims

Only 3 percent of U.S. drug defendants in federal cases chose to go to trial instead of pleading guilty in 2012, according to a new report from Human Rights Watch | Huffington Post, USA

Review of social determinants and the health divide in the WHO European Region: final report (PDF)

Includes a section on health-related behaviours and health risks | WHO, Switzerland

European Tobacco Control Status Report 2013 (PDF)

Tobacco kills nearly 6 million people each year worldwide, more than HIV/AIDS,
tuberculosis and malaria combined. Unless strong action is taken, this number
could rise to more than 8 million by 2030 (1) | WHO, Switzerland

Integrated Offender Management Cymru - all Wales youth to adult transition model (November 2013) (PDF)

This report is the result of broad consultation with practitioners accross Wales on the use of IOM for young adults (16-25 years old) in the criminal justice system. The report contains recommendations for the development of IOM for this group and would be applicable to other areas outside of Wales | Clinks, UK

Preparing for Universal Credit Implementation Key Questions and Answers for Local Authorities (PDF)

This Paper addresses a number of key questions that all local authorities will want to develop their own unique answers to. It reflects the real depth of learning that has been gathered from across the pilots since they started in the autumn of last year, which has informed not only this paper, but the wider development of Universal Credit and the preparation of the Local Support Services Framework | DWP, UK

Developing client-based analyses for reporting on the alcohol and other drug treatment services

Developing client based analysis for reporting on alcohol and other drug treatment services outlines AIHW intended analysis techniques to:- estimate the number and rate of clients receiving alcohol and other drug treatment - explore patterns of drug use and pathways through treatment - explore the characteristics of different client groups, for example, those who return to treatment over many years with multiple drugs of concern or treatment types | AIHW, Australia

City Clinic. (2013) City Clinic 20 years of reflections, remembrances and recollections 1993 - 2013 (PDF)

The 'City Clinic' was set up in April 1993 as a public health and harm reduction response to the inner city's growing heroin problem. Today the clinic has a staff of 25 multi-disciplinary health professionals and has treated over 1,300 patients. Speaking at the City Clinic 20th anniversary event, the HSE's Director General, Tony O' Brien said: "Drug treatment services have changed radically over the last twenty years | City Clinic, Ireland

How to regulate cannabis in Britain - press release

In October, CLEAR published a revised and updated version 2.0 of its plan for the regulation of cannabis in Britain. This is based on the 2011 study 'Taxing the UK Cannabis Market' which CLEAR commissioned from the Independent Drug Monitoring Unit (IDMU). Now, Transform Drug Policy Foundation is publishing its own 'How To Regulate Cannabis . A Practical Guide' | CLEAR, UK

Ketamine report

'Ketamine: a review of use and harm' provides advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to the Home Secretary | ACMD, UK

How to Regulate Cannabis: A Practical Guide

This is a guide to regulating legal markets for the non-medical use of cannabis. It is for policy makers, drug policy reform advocates and affected communities all over the world, who are witnessing the question change from, 'Should we maintain cannabis prohibition?’ to ‘How will legal regulation work in practice?' | Transform, UK

IAS report shows greater support for minimum pricing amongst responses to government consultation

The Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) has today published an analysis of submissions to the Home Office consultation on minimum pricing (PDF) that indicates public support for the policy was greater than previously thought | IAS, UK

Demon Drink? A study of alcohol and youth offending in London

Alcohol misuse and youth crime are closely associated. This study shows higher risks for young offenders that drink than those that do not. The report recommends addressing risky alcohol use earlier before it reaches crisis point | Alcohol Concern, Mentor, UK

Drug supply reduction and internal security policies in the European Union: an overview

The production and trafficking of illicit drugs poses complex and interlinked problems, which have a negative impact on public health and the security and stability of society. Focusing on actions directed at the EU’s internal security situation, this paper elaborates who is involved in setting policy, what legal and funding basis for action has been established, and what the main priorities are | EMCDDA, Portugal

Drug policy advocacy organisations in Europe

This study explores the civil society organisations that engage in drug policy advocacy in Europe. An Internet search in English, French and Spanish combined with information from national sources in 30 countries identified 218 organisations actively seeking to influence drug policy. The paper categorises the organisations, looking at their advocacy objectives and orientations, how they pursue these, and at what political levels they operate | EMCDDA, Portugal

Co-morbid substance use and mental disorders in Europe: a review of the data

Identifying the co-occurrence of drug use and mental health disorders in the same individuals is essential for effective treatment of their drug use problems. Reviewing the available information on psychiatric co-morbidity among drug users in European countries, the paper shows that there is a need to establish guidelines to collect comparable information across Europe | EMCDDA, Portugal

Drug squads: units specialised in drug law enforcement in Europe

Drug law enforcement activity targets the supply of drugs and is responsible for much of the key data that informs our understanding of drugs supply in Europe. This study looks, for the first time, at how drug law enforcement is organised in European countries | EMCDDA, Portugal

Drug strategy annual review: 2012 to 2013

The drug strategy’s second annual review highlights the actions taken and the priorities for the year ahead on reducing demand, restricting supply and building recovery. Case studies are also provided. Accompanying the review is the evaluation framework. The framework was developed to assess the drug strategy’s effectiveness and value for money. This document outlines the evaluation stages, the approach to evaluation and the next steps | Home Office, UK

Drugs policy: review into new psychoactive substances

This written ministerial statement was laid in the House of Commons by Norman Baker MP and in the House of Lords by Lord Taylor of Holbeach | Home Office, UK

DrugScope responds to Home Office decision to review the laws on new drugs

DrugScope has given a cautious welcome to the Home Office’s decision to review the legal framework on new drugs, otherwise known as ‘legal highs’, new psychoactive substances (NPS) or ‘research chemicals’. The aim of the review is to investigate ways of strengthening current drug laws and to ascertain whether other types of legislation, such as consumer or trading standards regulations, could also be added to the control structure | DrugScope, UK

Action against head shops

This guidance highlights the range of options available for local authorities and other public bodies to address the issue of head shops in their area. Head shops are retail outlets selling NPS (also known as ‘legal highs’) and drug paraphernalia. The guidance covers the offences that head shops may be committing under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, the Intoxicating Substances (Supply) Act 1985, and consumer protection regulations | Home Office, UK

Government letter to the ACMD on control of NBOMe and Benzofuran

The letter from the Minister for Crime Prevention to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs accepting its recommendations for the permanent control of the NBOMe and Benzofuran compounds as Class A and B drugs respectively | Home Office, UK

Home Secretary letter to ACMD on the government's work priorities for 2013 to 2014

Annual commissioning letter from the Home Secretary to the chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs setting out the government’s work priorities for inclusion in the council’s 2013 to 2014 work programme. The issues covered are the diversion and illict supply of medicines, the ongoing work on government priorities (namely, recovery, new psychoactive substances and ketamine) and the ACMD’s own work programme (which includes cocaine and polysubstance abuse) | Home Office, UK

Government letter to the ACMD on reviewing generic definitions

The letter from the Minister for Crime Prevention to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs commissioning it to put in place a process by which the range of generic definitions used in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 are regularly reviewed and where appropriate recommendations are made to update them | Home Office, UK

Terms of reference for new psychoactive substances

Terms of reference for a Home Office led review, with an expert panel, looking at how the UK’s legislative response to new psychoactive substances – so called “legal highs” - can be enhanced beyond the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 to maximise its impact and the enforcement response to this new drugs market | Home Office, UK

Hidden in plain sight: the need for more action on injecting drug use among under-18s

Harm Reduction International has compiled the first global data snapshot on injecting drug use and related HIV and other harms among children and young people under the age of 18 | HRI, UK

Broken Promises to Our Children: The 1998 State Settlement Report 15 Years Later

In 1998, states settled their lawsuits against the nation’s major tobacco companies to recover tobacco-related health care costs, with total payments estimated at $246 billion over the first 25 years. Full report here | RWJF, USA

'Drug treatment - a potted history: Roughly 1966 to the present day'; a conference presentation (PDF)

A conference presentation by DrugScope Chief Executive Martin Barnes - text and power point slides: 'An understanding of the past is important in helping to inform an understanding of current policy and practice; how we got where we are today; but also whether lessons from the past have been fully learnt, particularly in terms of new structures and responsibilities, and also whether the sector can today avoid repeating simplistic and polarising positions: e.g., 'harm reduction' v 'abstinence' | DrugScope, UK

Transform launches new cannabis book as legal regulation becomes reality in Uruguay

On Tuesday, Transform launched its latest publication ‘How to Regulate Cannabis: A Practical Guide’, in the UK Houses of Parliament. The event fortuitously coincided with Uruguay passing legislation to make it the first country in the world to legally regulate the production, sale and possession of cannabis | Transform, UK

Youth violence falls in areas targeted by government's 'Ending Gangs' programme

Youth violence is continuing to fall in areas targeted by a government programme aimed at stamping out gangs and gang culture. An annual report into the results of the programme, published on Friday (13 December) reveals that work by the government, police, health professionals and community projects is all seen to be contributing to a reduction in gang violence | Home Office, UK

United Kingdom: Drug Situation - UK Focal Point On Drugs (PDF)

The United Kingdom (UK) Focal Point on Drugs is based at Public Health England. It is the national partner of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and provides comprehensive information to the Centre on the drug situation in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales | PHE, UK

Review of Lower Drink Driving Limits

As of the 12th December 2012, 153 people have tragically lost their lives on Irish Roads. This however represents 22 less than this date in 2011. If this downward trend continues as expected, we will be on course to achieve another record low in 2012 in terms of road safety | RSA, Ireland

Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, Drinking Habits Amongst Adults, 2012

Latest ONS statistics on drinking habits among adults in Great Britain in 2012. Includes - 5 interesting facts about alcohol consumption in Great Britain | ONS, UK

Women who use drugs, harm reduction and HIV

This issue brief about HIV, harm reduction and the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women who use drugs is part of a series of briefing papers, commissioned by the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (GCWA), and is designed to provide up-to-date information around key issues concerning HIV prevention, treatment and care related to women and girls | Global Coalition on Women and AIDS, UK

A briefing on the evidence-based drug and alcohol treatment guidance
recommendations on mutual aid (PDF)

PHE has produced a new toolkit of resources for use by partnerships, treatment providers and keyworkers to help them understand what links are in place between local treatment services and mutual aid groups, and to guide them on how to encourage clients to engage and participate as part of their recovery journey. The resources have been developed in consultation with a reference group including treatment providers and mutual aid representatives and include: An audit tool for use by partnerships to assist them in understanding what mutual aid groups exist locally, local barriers to access and whether or not the local treatment workforce is supporting participation by clients and a guide for keyworkers which outlines the stages for helping clients to engage with and participate in mutual aid | PHE, UK

Golden Triangle opium production rises 22 per cent in 2013, says UNODC

Led by a 13 per cent increase in Myanmar opium cultivation to 57,800 hectares opium poppy cultivation in Southeast Asia's Golden Triangle of Myanmar, Lao PDR and Thailand rose for the seventh consecutive year, according to a new UNODC report. The report, Southeast Asia Opium Survey 2013 - Lao PDR, Myanmar, says that, despite eradication efforts, higher yields combined with a rise in cultivation saw Myanmar opium production increase 26 per cent in 2013 to an estimated 870 tonnes - the highest since assessments began in 2002 | UNODC

NIH’s 2013 Monitoring the Future Survey shows high rates of marijuana use; decreases in abuse of pain relievers and synthetic drugs

The percentage of high-schoolers who see  great risk from being regular marijuana users has dropped dramatically in the past 10 years, according to this year’s Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey, which measures drug use and attitudes among the nation’s eighth-, 10th-, and 12th-graders | NIDA, USA

Medications in recovery: best practice in reviewing treatment

new guide to best practice in reviewing treatment for drug users published by Public Health England is based on supplementary advice provided by the Recovery Orientated Drug Treatment Expert Group. The Expert Group chaired by Professor John Strang, which produced the Medications in Recovery report last year, recently provided advice to the Chief Medical Officer on the frequency and context of treatment reviews to support recovery | PHE, UK

Medications in recovery: best practice in reviewing treatment (PDF)

Supplementary advice from the Recovery Orientated Drug Treatment Expert Group | PHE, UK