DDN Magazine

Screen shot 2016-10-03 at 12.10.26Celebrations from Recovery Month feature in this month’s issue – along with campaigns to commemorate Overdose Awareness Day. In many cases the communities overlap, sharing the same unity of purpose. Are we moving beyond categorising one ‘movement’ as distinctly different from another? Mike Ashton offers a fascinating look at the origins of the term ‘recovery’ – an important discussion, as the term has been at the heart of British drug treatment policy since 2008.

We’re also thinking about careers and considering what makes a good drugs worker, with the help of recently retired Pat Lamdin – somebody who put clients’ welfare and happiness above targets, audits, outcome monitoring and promotion. Do you have a sense of vocation in this challenging climate? Is it time to reassess what’s important?

PDF version / Virtual Magazine 

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

Rosanna O'Connor

Heroin deaths double in just four years

The number of heroin-related deaths in England and Wales has doubled since 2012, from 579 to 1,201, according to the latest ONS figures.




Drink limits: more clarity but controversy continues

The government has published the final version of its revised alcohol guidelines, stating that both men should and women should drink no more than 14 units per week.



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International Overdose Awareness Day

The 31st August 2016 marks International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD), a global event held annually to both raise awareness and reduce the stigma that still surrounds drug-related deaths.



Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 12.26.07Record drug fatalities ‘a national tragedy’ for Scotland

Scotland has once again recorded its highest ever number of drug-related deaths, at 706 – almost two per day.




Tom smith

Alcohol admissions up again

There were 1.09m hospital admissions for an alcohol-related disease, injury or condition in 2014-15, up from 1.06m the previous year, according to the latest figures from the Heath and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).



mike traceGovernment unveils major prison reforms

Sweeping reforms of the prison system were announced as part of last month’s Queen’s Speech, including the establishment of six autonomous ‘reform prisons’




Reforming zeal

The Queen’s Speech saw the government announce a major shake-up of the prison system. DDN hears from a former governor about what sort of impact the measures might have



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MDMA back in vogue as NPS numbers continue to rise

The declining levels of MDMA use in Europe since the early to mid 2000s have been reversed, according EMCDDA’s annual drug report




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



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

Rodrigo Duterte

Punishing Regime

The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has been taking the ‘war on drugs’ to extremes that have shocked the world. DDN reports




Choose life – Recovery Month and Overdose Awareness

This year’s Recovery Month and Overdose Awareness Day activities brought service users and recovery communities together with one clear goal



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Spreading the word – painkiller addiction

In the concluding article in a three-part series, DDN looks at much-needed services offering information and support



Mike Ashton

The discovery of recovery

Since 2008 ‘recovery’ has been at the heart of British drug treatment policy. As Mike Ashton reports, it has been used as both an inspirational call to overcome addiction and a justification for limiting treatment

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Promotional feature: be prepared!

Train your staff to empower service users with life-saving naloxone, says David Swain




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Let’s get radical 

Harm reduction measures can be seen as controversial within the wider population, but isn’t confronting public fears an essential stage in moving the agenda on? DDN reports



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The heart of the matter

Pat Lamdin has just retired after years as a drugs worker. His legacy was an important one, say Neil Hunt and Sean Tanzey



Dr Julia Lewis

A Model of Choice

It’s time for a paradigm shift in our view of addiction, says Dr Julia Lewis



Kenneth Robinson

Promotional Feature: Resonating Issues

The Resonance Factor is a new model that puts accountability – and empowerment – centre stage, says Kenneth Robinson



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Back to reality: alcohol-related brain damage

Korsakoff’s syndrome is a severe memory disorder, associated with long-term alcohol misuse. Glenn Barnett shares a new model to support those affected and help them back to community living.




What future for our prisons?

The UK’s prisons are in bad shape. David Gilliver reports on a major project that could help create something new



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Reaching out

How do we find and treat the ‘hidden cohort’ of patients addicted to opioid painkillers? In the second of a three-part series, DDN reports




Learning Curve

Bringing together social work students and people in recovery gave an opportunity to share skills and knowledge, as Marelize Joubert reports




mike ashtonPole to pole

Is harm reduction the primary goal, or acceptable only in the service of eliminating drug use? Mike Ashton examines two very different sets of beliefs




Promotional Feature: Hepatitis C and Me

Kevin Stow shares his experiences and talks about how being cleared of hepatitis C helped give him the momentum to overcome his drug addiction.



Ed headshot 1 - crop

Going Public

The UK’s public health bodies have added their voices to the call for decriminalisation.




Cry For Help

Painkiller addiction is a growing issue. In the first of­­ a three-part series, DDN asks, are we responding?



ElaineRoseBehind Closed Doors

Encouraging clients to talk about their childhood can help to release them from the long-suppressed trauma of abuse, as psychotherapist Elaine Rose explains



Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 14.44.10Force For Change

How can we develop our work­force against a backdrop of cuts and challenges? DDN reports from the FDAP conference.



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Promotional Feature: Made to Measure

It’s time to ditch the ‘one size fits all’ approach and be ready to respond to clients’ needs – whatever stage they’re at.



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Safe Space

Wales is gearing up to offer medically supervised injecting centres – an initiative that can’t happen soon enough, says Ifor Glyn



PGHouse2romotional Feature: Embracing Change

Andy had been using alcohol and drugs for more than 20 years before he was admitted to Gloucester House Rehabilitation centre



Jobs friends and housesBuilding a future

Steve Hodgkins is the founder and CEO of Jobs, Friends and Houses – a multi award-winning social enterprise offering employment, peer support and accommodation to people in recovery from addiction.



Griffith EdwardsA helping hand

Phoenix Futures has launched the Griffiths Edwards Fund to champion his belief that ‘no one size fits all’



Kenneth Robinson

Promotional feature: An honest relationship

It’s time to stop relying on outdated treatment models and offer clients an approach they can relate to, says Kenneth Robinson



mike ashton

Identity crisis

UK governments agree that above all what they want out of treatment is ‘recovery’.




Russel Brand

Work, rest and play

Changes UK chief executive Steve Dixon has ambitious plans for Recovery Central in Birmingham




Promotional feature: Stigma: Hepatitus C and drug misuse

An understanding of existing barriers to hepatitis C care is important to help empower people with the virus to access help.




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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

Jon Roberts

Peer-led progress

Since founding Dear Albert four years ago, Jon Roberts has focused on developing recovery communities through peer-led interventions.



David Nutt

Moral Failure

When will we start listening to the evidence, asks Prof David Nutt




SzalavitzThe Third Way

At a recent Volte Face/DDN event in London, Johann Hari interviewed Maia Szalavitz about her newly published thoughts on addiction. This is an extract from their conversation




What next for prison reform?

At a VolteFace event in London, journalist Philippa Budgen asked panelists: ‘How can we have meaningful prison reform with drug policies that aren’t working? What would be your messages for justice secretary Michael Gove?’
Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 13.40.41

Reasons to be cheerful

Paul Hayes is determinedly upbeat in the aftermath of Brexit




Promotional Feature: Hepatitis C and Me

Kevin Stow shares his experiences and talks about how being cleared of hepatitis C helped give him the momentum to overcome his drug addiction.
people places and things

Mark Reid reviews the play People, Places and things

‘People, Places and Things is an excellent look inside the world of a 12-step-style rehab…’



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



Screen shot 2016-06-03 at 12.26.53

Promotional Feature: Made to Measure

It’s time to ditch the ‘one size fits all’ approach and be ready to respond to clients’ needs – whatever stage they’re at.



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.



PGHouse2romotional Feature: Embracing Change

Andy had been using alcohol and drugs for more than 20 years before he was admitted to Gloucester House Rehabilitation centre



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





‘Difficult though the challenge of the emergence of new substances is proving, and whether or not you agree with the recent legislation, I feel that an opportunity has been missed to rename these substances…’ – Peter Young, Hampshire


Media savvy

Media savvy

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





More Letters and Comment

Catch up on your favourite columnists

george allan smallGeorge Allan – Resources corner

George Allan finds evidence and empathy in the work of Bill Miller

Untitled-1Legal eye

Nicole Ridgwell of Ridouts answers your legal questions


Chris FordChris Ford – Our foreign correspondent

E-cigarettes could be the biggest public health intervention of our lifetime, says Dr Chris Ford


Secret commissioner

Secret commissioner

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


Steve-Brinksman_w01WEBDr Steve Brinksman – Post-its from practice

Taking painkillers can mask issues that are nothing to do with physical pain, says Dr Steve Brinksman


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.


russel webster small

Russell Webster – Behind the stats

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



Amar Lodhia – Enterprise corner

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


Screen shot 2013-07-05 at 14.30.31Marcus Roberts – Policy scope

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


Personal stories and news from the DDN community

Hannah Feeney

How I became a social worker for substance misuse

Combining her two key interests brought Hannah Feeney to The Alcohol and Drug Service (ADS) as an advanced social work practitioner




How I became a substance misuse nurse

Making a positive change to someone’s life has been a motivating force for Ishbel Straker, national head of nursing for substance misuse and public health at Turning Point



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Down Recovery Street

With just a few weeks left to enter the Recovery Street Film Festival, last year’s winner Ceri Walker explains how she was inspired to make her film



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


A Helpful Nudge

A partnership between Blenheim and Club Soda aims to change drinking habits


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 News

Rosanna O'Connor

Heroin deaths double in just four years

The number of heroin-related deaths in England and Wales has doubled since 2012, from 579 to 1,201, according to the latest ONS figures. Last … [Read More...]


Round up of National News, October

QUITTING TIME The smoking rate in England has fallen to its lowest ever level, at below 17 per cent, according to figures from PHE. Last year … [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