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The latest research, policy, practice and opinion on our criminal justice and drug & alcohol treatment systems

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How is heroin produced?

This excellent new motion graphic from the EMCDDA provides a schematic overview of selected stages of a production process.


The impact of a shortage of heroin

New Home Office report explores the impact of a heroin shortage on drug markets and the drug use and treatment seeking behaviours of drug users.


Interesting alcohol and drug facts January 2016

Intriguingly, annual consumption of heroin in the UK exceeds consumption in France by nearly 6 tons. Moreover, the retails price of heroin of unknown purity is higher in the UK, yet annual gross profit is greater in France…


It’s official: Heroin treatment under threat

The ACMD found that the current quality of drug treatment in England varies significantly and is being compromised by frequent re-procurement and shrinking resources.


Deaths involving heroin up by two thirds in two years

Heroin use in the UK has been steadily declining over recent years, so to lose more people to this drug is doubly sad. It is to be hoped that the take-up of naloxone has a significant impact and there is a distinct improvement in next year’s figures.


How is heroin trafficked from Asia to Europe?

Globalisation has facilitated rapid connection and transportation between drug production and drug consumer markets. Recent international developments in transport infrastructure, courier services and containerised shipping have offered a range of new opportunities to traffickers to conceal drug consignments while hampering the efforts of law enforcement to intercept them.


UK has highest rates of drug use in Europe

The UK had the highest rate of heroin use in Europe (out of 21 reporting countries). The UK had the highest rate of cocaine use in Europe (out of 26 reporting countries). The UK had the highest rate of ecstasy use in Europe (out of 25 reporting countries). The UK had the 22nd highest rate of amphetamine use (out of 25 reporting countries). The UK had the 22nd highest rate of cannabis use (out of 27 reporting countries)


The UK drug scene is changing fast

Almost every area reported a continued rise in the use of new psychoactive substances. The rapid rise in the use of synthetic cannabinoids such as Black Mamba and Exodus Damnation was of particular concern, particularly amongst vulnerable groups such as opiate users, street homeless, prisoners and socially excluded young people. The problematic use of these drugs has featured regularly in prison inspectorate reports over the last year.


How big is the drugs trade?

One of the principal attractions of a good infographic is that it’s possible to assemble many pages’ worth of key facts and figures in one image. The infographic below, developed by the Top Criminal Justice Schools website, manages to pull together information about the size of the global drug market in terms of: Users; Value; Expenditure and
Kingpins (several of whom reliably make the Forbes world’s richest list every year)


Heroin driving force behind crime trends

The most convincing aspects of Morgan’s hypothesis are the way that is able to match local crime rates with peak levels of heroin use (although, unfortunately, he has to use the now-defunct Addicts Index as the indicator of heroin dependency). Atypical areas where heroin use peaked earlier (Merseyside, Edinburgh and the Republic of Ireland) or not at all (Northern Ireland) show very close correlation between the rise and fall of crime rates.


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