DDN Magazine

DDN Feb 2016 Cover

‘Be prepared to lose funding, friends, professional achievements and respect… but history will judge you favourably because you are right,’ said Carl Hart at the HIT Hot Topics conference. Throughout this issue we see that there’s a stronger need than ever for a truthful narrative on drugs and alcohol.

Can we bring level judgement and honest appraisal to working practice that directly affects our clients? Read on, and and don’t forget to join the discussion by commenting, tweeting and liking our Facebook page. We want to hear from you!



PDF Version / Virtual Magazine

Read our round-up of what’s happening across the UK

Directors of public health

Public health directors voice cuts concerns

More than 70 per cent of directors of public health say that drug and alcohol services in their area are likely to be reduced in 2016-17, according to a survey by their membership body, the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH).


Dame Sally DaviesCMO toughens alcohol guidelines

Men should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, according to strict new guidelines from the chief medical officer. The previous recommendation was 14 units for women and 21 for men.



Aodhán Ó RíordáinIreland considers consumptions rooms and decriminalisation for personal use

The Government of Ireland is considering the introduction of drug consumption rooms, as well as decriminalising small amounts of drugs for personal use.



Katherine Brown

Laughable’ alcohol responsibility deal has worsened nation’s health, says charity

The government’s controversial public health responsibility deal for alcohol has pursued initiatives ‘known to have limited efficacy’ while obstructing more meaningful action, according to a damning report from the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS).


Viv evans

Medications in drug treatment: tackling the risks to children.

More children than previously thought are dying or being hospitalised after ingesting opioid substitution therapy (OST) medications, according to a new report from Adfam.


Annette Dale PereraTreatment threatened by constant re-procurement, warns ACMD

The quality of treatment for heroin users is being threatened by diminishing funds and ‘disruptive re-procurement processes’, according to a new report from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD)


News in brief

A round-up of national news

Local news

A look at local news from across the country

More News

Don’t miss any of the latest magazine features

Naloxone in prisons

Take-home naloxone in prisons

Research consultant, Arun Sondhi, from the Centre for Public Innovation (CPI), talks to DDN about the findings of his latest research into take-home naloxone in prisons.



Conference collage

From little acorns…

There’s still time too book your place for the 9th annual DDN conference, 25th February 2016, Birmingham.



Julie BreslinGeneration Drink

A major new report sheds light on the alcohol habits of the over-50s. Are they risking drinking themselves into an early grave?



Drugwise DuoWords for the wise

Harry Shapiro has launched a new drug information service with his former DrugScope colleague, Jackie Buckle. He tells us more



Richard Johnson

Learning for life

Education and training are often discarded when substance use takes over. Richard Johnson describes how ANA’s new programme is helping clients to reconnect



Kit Caless

Tough measures

 Kit Caless examines some of the issues behind the rush to outlaw new psycho­active substances (NPS)



BuEsther Harriesrden of grief

Helping families through the guilt and anger of losing a loved one can be gruelling for practitioners. Esther Harries looks at how to be prepared



Alex StevensHIT Hot Topics

Stigma, misunder­standing and a lack of communication cloud our policy and practice on drugs, said speakers at HIT Hot Topics.



DarkDark days days

There wasn’t very much to celebrate in 2015, a year that saw both England and Scotland record their highest ever number of drug-related fatalities, while a surprise outright Conservative election win heralded yet more belt-tightening and austerity…


Josie Smith and Chris EmmersonBucking the trend

Unlike in England, drug deaths in Wales have been falling since 2010 – a result that can be traced to Welsh public health policy and harm reduction practice, say Josie Smith and Chris Emmerson



Paul Hayes

Leaner and keener

In a climate of austerity the new drug strategy must grow from our successes, says Paul Hayes on behalf of Collective Voice



adfam conference

Playing safe

Are we doing enough to protect children from their parents’ drug and alcohol use? At a recent safeguarding conference there was plenty of cause for concern



Public Health NursesTread softly

How can we tackle child safeguarding without risking disengagement? DDN hears a cautionary perspective from public health nurses.



Erin O'Mara

The state we’re in

Forcing stable people off their heroin scripts and into chaos is evidence of a British drug treatment system in terminal decline, says Erin O’Mara



Karen BiggsNo place like home

Phoenix Future’s new report Building recovery friendly communities makes the case for specialist recovery housing as a pathway to long-term recovery. Karen Biggs tells DDN why this is an opportunity not to be missed


The Worm thumbnailThe worm has turned

The Worm, a new service user-led magazine recently launched in Haringey, is tackling stigma and promoting a positive image of people in recovery

More Features

Be part of the the debate with the latest letters and comment

Chris Rintoul

Reach out 

Chris Rintoul reports positive results from a Northern Ireland naloxone programme



ColdChris Robin caller 

A craving is the salesperson we can choose to ignore, says Chris Robin



Shahroo Izadi

First impressions

The pressure to collect data from new clients should not replace essential rapport, says Shahroo Izadi



Richard Homer

The writing’s on the wall

Literacy issues can be a barrier to participant engagement and successful outcomes in substance misuse treatment programmes. Richard Homer explores the reasons why



Graham Marshall

The times they are a changin’

As Spitalfields Crypt Trust (SCT) celebrates 50 years of helping people in recovery, CEO Graham Marshall looks back at the changing landscape of addiction and recovery in East London




‘A version of ‘recovery’ (there are many) and ABCD is being promoted and used by some recovery capitalists for private gain, presumably in line with their neo-liberal values.’ – Alistair Sinclair



Media savvy

Media savvy

The news, and the skews, in the national media…





More Letters and Comment

Catch up on your favourite columnists

Chris FordA painful truth

Why should fear of drugs like heroin leave 80 per cent of the world’s population suffering unspeakable pain, asks Dr Chris Ford


Secret commissioner

Secret commissioner

 DDN brings you thoughts and advice from our insider. Read here.


Screen shot 2013-07-05 at 14.30.31

Marcus Roberts – Policy scope

When do specialist drug and alcohol services play a part in the wider public health agenda, asks Marcus Roberts.


Steve-Brinksman_w01WEBDr Steve Brinksman – Post-its from practice

Sometimes the drug or alcohol problem isn’t obvious, says Dr Steve Brinksman. Read here.



Amar Lodhia – Enterprise corner

Employability support should be an important part of tackling reoffending rates, says Amar Lodhia. Read here


Alistair sinclair WEB. jpgAlistair Sinclair – Voices of recovery
‘The volume of activity and appetite for change during September’s ‘recovery month’ speaks volumes, says Alistair Sinclair. Read here.



Kirstie Douse – Legal line 

Release solicitor Kirstie Douse answers your legal questions. Read here.


JossJoss Gaynor – Family matters

Adfam’s carol concert reminder. Read here.

Personal stories and news from the DDN community

Judy Bury

Obituary – Judy Bury

Chris Ford says goodbye to a passionate and inspirational colleague




Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 11.45.37

A dog’s life

James Dickinson shares the story of Bert, the unofficial head of treatment at Chandos House.




Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 15.30.17The ultimate challenge

John Lowes takes us with him on a very personal journey.


DDN’s place to share knowledge and good practice

Nicky GoulderTake a bow

Nicky Goulder talks about how an acting workshop is supporting vulnerable women in east London




If you’ve approached a familiar area of practice differently, or started a new initiative in your area, we want to hear about it – email ddnexchange@cjwellings.com

Latest Articles

Changing the record

Alex Stevens









HIT Hot Topics

Stigma, misunder­standing and a lack of communication cloud our policy and practice on drugs, said speakers at HIT Hot Topics. DDN reports on their ideas for a fresh approach. Photos by Nigel Brunsdon

More features

Latest News

Directors of public health

Public health directors voice cuts concerns

More than 70 per cent of directors of public health say that drug and alcohol services in their area are likely to be reduced in 2016-17, … [Read More...]

CMO toughens alcohol guidelines

Men should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, according to strict new guidelines from the chief medical officer. The previous … [Read More...]

More News

Find anything, anywhere!

Welcome to the new DDN map directory. This map provides a comprehensive directory of events, jobs, service user groups, trainers and residential treatment providers.

You can search by category and location to help you find what you are looking for quickly and effectively. Click on the map below to get started.

Over the next few months, we will be adding more and more categories to make the map as useful as possible. Help us to grow this resource and let us know what search options you would find most handy.

If you are not already listed and would like to be added to one of the map directories, please email your details to directories@cjwellings.com

Resource of the week

Community for Recovery

Community for Recovery is a national support network for anyone whose life is affected by solvent or volatile substance abuse – the misuse of gases, aerosols and solvents.


This section of our website lists one useful resource per week. In order to see all of our useful links and resources click here

If you would like to be added to our 'useful links' section, please email info@cjwellings.com