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

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Drug-related deaths reach record highs

The Office for National Statistics has released the very depressing figure for the number of drug-related deaths registered in 2015 – the highest ever recorded.


Everything you need to know about legal highs

New DrugWise report vives an overview of legal highs, tracing their evolution & summarising what we currently know about levels of use and treatment responses.


The European drug market 2016

Second in a series of posts on the EMCDDA Drug report 2016 looks at changes in drug markets and drug supply.


The true horrors of using NPS in prison

A report by User Voice for the NHS confirms that synthetic cannabinoid Spice is the most popular drug in prison and causes serious health & security problems. Its popularity is attributed to its “bird killing” properties.


What new drugs has the Forensic Early Warning System found?

FEWS obtained and analysed 2,074 samples over the year from the internet, headshops, music festivals, the police and health clinics in order to identify NPS which are present in the UK or being offered for sale in the UK market.


Young adults are using more Ecstasy and legal highs

Young people’s choice of substances changes rapidly in response to fashion and availability (and price). It will be interesting to see whether the current generation of young drug users reduce their usage as they get older to the same extent as previous generations appear to have done.


The latest on synthetic cannabis

It is clear that this group of drugs will be a priority for the EMCDDA to monitor over the coming years and that drug treatment agencies probably need to develop their understanding of legal highs and make sure they advertise that there is help available for those developing problems with their use.


The shocking state of men’s prisons

It will be interesting to see whether the appointment of Michael Gove as Justice Secretary will have any impact on this parlous state of affairs. Clearly, the problems are becoming so entrenched that it will be difficult for much positive change to take place if, as is widely feared, the MoJ takes another big hit in the current spending review whose results will be announced in November 2015.


Blanket ban on legal highs is no silver bullet

This post is written by Andrew Brown and originally appeared on thejusticegap, an online magazine and law and justice aimed at the public, which I heartily


Do drug consumption rooms work?

Drug consumption rooms are currently the subject of political discussion in some European countries as calls for their implementation are debated. As frontline, low-threshold services, drug consumption rooms are often among the first to gain insights into new drug use patterns and thus they also have a role to play in the early identification of new and emerging trends among the high-risk populations using their services.


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