DDN Magazine

DDN May 2016There was plenty of expectation around UNGASS – with a lot at stake and real hope of reform (page 6). What actually took place makes you question the value of such processes, watered down by the need for consensus. What is the point, if there’s no movement on abolishing the death penalty and little progress on harm reduction?

Reactions have ranged from cautiously optimistic to uninspired, disappointed to enraged – particularly around the content of the session’s ‘outcome document’. It may not have delivered any major shifts, but the mood remains cautiously optimistic.

Read about what some key players thought of the UNGASS – they point to the momentum gathering outside the UN, beyond the political arena and the drugs sector and reaching into public consciousness and debate, particularly when that debate focuses on such issues as pain control.

PDF Version / Virtual Mag

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


Muted response to first ungass since 1990s

The world needs global drug policies that ‘put people first’, UNODC executive director Yury Fedotov told the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs in New York



prison cell bars

Government unveils major prison reforms

The government has announced sweeping reforms of the prison system as part of the Queen’s Speech, including the establishment of six autonomous ‘reform prisons’.



Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 15.21.17Doctors: e-cigarettes ‘no gateway’ to smoking

E-cigarettes are much safer than smoking, do not result in the normalisation of smoking and do not act as a gateway to smoking, says a report from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP).


Screen shot 2016-04-21 at 10.46.22‘Put people first,’ Fedotov tells UNGASS

The world needs global drug policies that ‘put people first’, UNODC executive director Yury Fedotov told the opening session of the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs.




‘No slowdown’ in new psychoactive substances, says EMCDDA

There are ‘no signs of a slowdown’ in the develop­ment and discovery of new psychoactive substances (NPS), according to the EMCDDA’s latest report on the continent’s drug markets.



VivEvansServices continue to feel cuts pain  

Nearly 60 per cent of residential treatment services have reported a decrease in funding to the Recovery Partnership’s latest State of the sector report, along with nearly 40 per cent of community services.



Screen shot 2016-03-31 at 10.08.31Decriminalisation would mean global gains, say medics

Drugs should be decriminalised across the globe as existing policies are directly contributing to ‘many of today’s most urgent public health crises’, according to a commission of medical experts.



Steve Rolles

Lib Dems make legal cannabis case

A report setting out what a regulated cannabis market in the UK could look like has been published by the Liberal Democrats.



PubliIzzi Seccombec 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 the coming financial year, according to a survey by their membership body, the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH).




Prison staff overwhelmed by NPS crisis

Health staff at a large Nottinghamshire prison risk being ‘overwhelmed’ by the demands of treating people seriously affected by use of new psychoactive substances (NPS), according to a report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons.



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

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Damp squib?

Sector’s reactions to last month’s event in New York, and DDN hears from one of the architects of President Obama’s drug policy



Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 12.26.07False economies

Is the focus on recovery undermining a highly skilled workforce?




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Promotional Feature: Complex Care 

Pulse Addictions provides tailored training, consultancy and clinical management in the field of substance misuse and associated areas to organisations across the UK.



damecarolblackBarriers to work

Last July the government asked Dame Carol Black to conduct an independent review into the challenges of getting and staying in work for people with drug and alcohol problems, or who are obese.



Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 11.02.06Capturing quality

How can a system designed to ensure the quality of car parts help us in the substance misuse sector?



FinneyPromotional feature: The inspector calls

David Finney gives the latest essential chapter on preparing for Care Quality Commission inspection



NACOA’s (the National Association for Children of Alcoholics)

Painful inheritance  NACOA’s annual lecture 2016

NACOA’s (the National Association for Children of Alcoholics) annual lecture at the House of Commons set out an action plan to give the issue the public profile it deserves. DDN reports



hepcPromotional Feature: Hepatitis C: New hope, old problems

People with hepatitis C in the UK have a greater chance of being cured now than at any other point in the history of the disease.




Kit Caless

Different wavelengths

The countdown to the Psychoactive Substances Act has been marked by controversy. Kit Caless shares debate from Addaction’s recent conference



Michael Linnell1

A smack in the eye — Michael Linnell’s graphic harm reduction campaigns

Thirty years after Michael Linnell’s first graphic harm reduction campaigns burst onto the scene he recalls the outrage – and the results – that spurred him on



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Emotional rollercoaster

Offering support to families affected by addiction means acknowledging the ups and downs of a close bond, says John Taylor




Picture this

The day’s opening session heard a range of passionate presentations on the theme of getting your message across



Giving voice logoGiving Voice

The morning’s second session, chaired by Peter Hunter, allowed audience members to put their concerns to some of the sector’s key players




Get the Picture

State of the Nation: One of the day’s lunchtime sessions heard delegates debate the current state of English drug policy



bigbusinesslogoBig Business

‘Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have valuable skills,’ Big Issue founder John Bird told delegates in the day’s powerful final session



leeAre you involved?

Here members of the Nottingham team tell us about a system they believe is working well. We’re relying on you to let us know what’s happening in your area



BC_IMG_8492ody and soul

Delegates enjoyed demonstrations on complimentary therapies and healthy eating




Meet Oscar, the DDN baby!

Jason and Elizabeth met at a DDN conference and brought little Oscar to meet us at this year’s event




Naloxone in prisonsTake-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



More Features

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

keith stevenson

View from the coalface

The work can be demanding and draining – so why do it? Keith Stevenson shares the highs and lows of working at the Mulberry Community Project



paul urmstonRecovery Capital

New government funding of £10m has just been awarded to drug and alcohol services ‘committed towards improving recovery outcomes’ across England – capital funding that was distributed by PHE via local authorities.



paul hayes

Voice on the stairwell

The launch of Collective Voice saw the group emphasising their commitment to service users.



Anne MarieGet real

Losing her daughter to an accidental overdose made Anne-Marie Cockburn determined to campaign for the realistic drugs education that could have saved Martha. She spoke powerfully to a recent meeting of the Drugs, Alcohol and Justice Parliamentary Group


red roseRed Rose Recovery

‘ I came to a DDN conference and thought, “I could do that”,’ Red Rose Recovery CEO Peter Yarwood told the conference’s closing session. ‘So I took that inspiration back to Lancashire and found people who believed in me.’



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





‘The ‘raging bull’ cover (March issue and Colin Miller-Hoare’s letter, April, page 12) was exactly what was needed to express the current state of the sector’ – Kevin Jaffray, Futuremoves peer advocacy and training




Media savvy

Media savvy

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





More Letters and Comment

Catch up on your favourite columnists

russel webster small

Russell Webster – Behind the stats

Russell Webster looks at the inventive business of getting drugs into prison


george allan smallGeorge Allan – Resources corner

We need easy access to material that will challenge us, says our new columnist George Allan

Chris Ford
Chris Ford – Our foreign correspondent

On the importance of keeping up the momentum…


Secret commissioner

Secret commissioner

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


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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

We’re seeing the un­welcome return of the ‘postcode lottery’, says Dr Steve Brinksman



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




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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

Painful Inheritance


Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 12.26.07

At a conference on Workforce development: challenges, opportunities and the way forward, speakers from different specialisms painted a picture of a sector in danger of paying the price of undervaluing essential skills, and asked, are we compromising service users’ safety by ‘doing it on the cheap’? Read here


More features

Latest News


Government unveils major prison reforms

The government has announced sweeping reforms of the prison system as part of the Queen’s Speech, including the establishment of six autonomous … [Read More...]


Muted response to first ungass since 1990s

The world needs global drug policies that ‘put people first’, UNODC executive director Yury Fedotov told the UN General Assembly Special Session … [Read More...]

More News

Find anything, anywhere!

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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.


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