News

So What’s the Knowledge Share All About?

ISSUP promotes effective and evidence-based practice through the exchange of knowledge on its website. ISSUP’s website features a Knowledge Share section that provides users with the latest insights from the fields of substance use prevention and treatment. The Knowledge Share section includes materials such as summaries of research papers, publications, news stories, resources and events. ISSUP members are encouraged to contribute to this section by sharing their own news stories, research papers, publications, resources and

ISSUP Mexico 2017

At the beginning of April ISSUP’s Deputy Executive Director, Joanna Travis-Roberts, headed to Cancún, Mexico to plan for this year’s Annual ISSUP Workshop and meet with the relevant organising partners. Joanna was joined on the trip by staff from the US Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), the Embassy of the USA’s INL Mexico and Centros de Integración Juvenil, A.C. (CIJ). During the visit the group held meetings to

Best Practice Portal

Discover what works (and what doesn't work) in the areas of drug prevention, treatment and social reintegration. The Best Practice Portal of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) is a resource for people working in the area of drug-related interventions. The resource offers information on the available evidence on drug-related prevention and treatment, focusing on the European context. The evidence is compiled following an explicit methodological process. The portal also offers

How to Implement Effective School-Based Drug Education

The United Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) outlines a number of methods that can be adopted by schools to increase the effectiveness of their drug education programmes. These include: Using interactive methods Using trained personnel Structuring programmes as a series of sessions that incorporate ‘refresher’ elements Looking to shape ideas about the risks associated with substance use Providing opportunities to learn and use personal and social skills On the flip side, according to UNODC,

Technical Consultation on Updating the Prevention Standards

Gilberto Gerra, Chief of the Drug Prevention and Health Branch at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), opens the meeting on the "Technical consultation on updating the prevention standards" at UNODC headquarters in Vienna. Jeff Lee, Executive Director of ISSUP, is attending this important meeting along with invited representatives from around the world. The two day meeting will address how to build on the UNODC international Prevention Standards produced in 2015 and

ISSUP at the Society for Prevention Research Annual Meeting

Last week Joanna Travis-Roberts, ISSUP's Deputy Executive Director, and Livia Edegger, ISSUP’s Communications and Research Manager, attended the Annual Meeting of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) in Washington, D.C. Prior to the conference, Joanna and Livia participated in the International Networking Forum, where exciting opportunities to collaborate in the area of communications were discussed. Members of SPR’s International Committee warmly welcomed the idea of ISSUP helping to enhance communications between SPR and the international

More Treatments on Deck for Alcohol Use Disorder

Thirteen years have passed since the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last approved a new medication to help the nation’s millions of people with alcohol use disorder (AUD) stop or moderate their drinking. Only 3 such formulations exist, and 1, disulfiram, dates to the Prohibition era. Known commercially as Antabuse and introduced in 1923, it makes people memorably ill if they ingest alcohol, but it doesn’t stop the cravings. The other 2, naltrexone and

Free Harvard Medical School E-Courses on Opioid Addiction for Beginners to Healthcare Professionals

Opioid addiction is a major problem in the US. In this way, Harvard Medical School (HMS) has introduced a new online course entitled OpioidX: The Opioid Crisis in America. OpioidX is the first free, comprehensive educational programme on the opioid epidemic. More specifically, it is designed to offer an evidence-based view of the opioid crisis and challenge preconceptions with the goal of reducing the stigma attached to opioid addiction, treatment and recovery. The emphasis is

Britain and the Booze: New Stats Reveal a Fall in Alcohol Consumption Nationwide

British people love an alcoholic beverage or two (or three, or four), so the stereotype goes. New statistics from the Office for National Statistics, however, suggest a decrease in levels of alcohol consumption across the country. The survey found of those asked that a little under 60% had had an alcohol drink in the past week. This is the lowest recording since the survey began in 2005. Most surprising is the fact that young people

New Evidence in Mice That Cocaine Makes Brain Cells Cannibalize Themselves

Working with mice, researchers at Johns Hopkins have contributed significant new evidence to support the idea that high doses of cocaine kill brain cells by triggering overactive autophagy, a process in which cells literally digest their own insides. Their results, moreover, bring with them a possible antidote , an experimental compound dubbed CGP3466B. A summary of the study , which also found signs of autophagy in the brain cells of mice whose mothers received cocaine

Can Abstaining from Alcohol Help to Fight the Spread of HIV?

Studies have shown that alcohol may play a role in more that 13% of deaths resulting from infectious diseases, including HIV. Evidence suggests that alcohol consumption negatively affects the fight against HIV primarily by: Increasing the likelihood of transmission through risky sex Making those infected less likely to take their medicine regularly In response, researchers at Brown University have piloted a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) programme to promote alcohol abstinence among those infected with HIV

Young People are More Likely to Report Seeing Alcohol Advertising Online, Pilot Study Finds

An American pilot study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research has found that underage youngsters between 13 and 20 years old are more likely than adults to report seeing alcohol marketing online. The investigation also found that the same age group is more likely to recall seeing alcohol marketing conveyed via the more traditional adverting channels of TV, radio and billboards. The lead author of the study notes: "Alcohol marketing exposure among

Minimum Alcohol Price to Be Rolled out across the UK?

A minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol was approved by Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) in 2012. The decision faced numerous legal challenges from the drinks industry before Scottish courts ruled in its favour in October 2016. This has been backed by many health professionals. The Lords Select Committee has now said that if Scotland’s initiative is shown to reduce excessive consumption then it ought to be implemented nationwide. Click here to read

Wide Eyes and Slurred Words: The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol with Energy Drinks

Mixing energy drinks with alcohol is becoming increasingly popular. And yet, recent research suggests that combining the two could be risky, more so than drinking alcohol on its own or with more traditional mixers such as coca-cola or lemonade. Energy drinks contain high levels of caffeine. This can make people feel more alert and may encourage heavier drinking than usual. “Wide awake drunk” is the term that has been coined to describe the condition resulting

ISSUP Staff in the Spotlight: Jeff Lee

ISSUP Staff in the Spotlight: Jeff Lee Jeff continues to play a major role in the field of drug prevention. Over many years he has undertaken and managed projects in more than 80 different countries around the world as well as taken the lead role in one national and two international organisations. We caught up with Jeff to learn a little more about his latest endeavour: his involvement with the International Society of Substance Use

Limited Opportunities? Caring for People with Substance Use Disorders

According to the Addiction Technology Transfer Centre Network (ATTC) White Paper, Preparing Students to Work in Integrated Health Care System , most health care professionals, including physicians, nurses, social workers and psychologists, amongst others, are given little opportunity to learn about substance abuse in pre-service educational programmes. Treatment of intoxication and dependence, rather than prevention or risky substance use behaviours, receive the lion’s share of coverage. Despite the positive move in 2016 by the American

ISSUP at the 60th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Earlier this week ISSUP attended the 60th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) at the Vienna International Centre. Around 1,500 government officials and NGO representatives came together to discuss drug-related issues and explore ways to review and plan for a forward looking and comprehensive approach to the world drug problem. The Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) is the central policy-making body of the UN drug control system. The Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)

New Alcohol Awareness Website

The Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) has launched a new alcohol awareness website. ‘Ask About Alcohol’ provides information on health risks associated with drinking alcohol to enable people to manage their own health better. Furthermore, it offers advice for people who want to cut back on their alcohol consumption and features a list of service providers available in Ireland. It is also designed to work in tandem with public health legislation and planned regulatory changes

Podcast: Do Tobacco Cessation Interventions Provided during Substance Abuse Treatment or Recovery Help Tobacco Users to Quit?

Smoking rates in people with alcohol and other drug dependencies are two to four times those of the general population. Concurrent treatment of tobacco dependence has been limited due to concern that these interventions are not successful in this population or that recovery from other addictions could be compromised if tobacco cessation was combined with other drug dependency treatment. Studies included in a recent review suggest that providing tobacco cessation interventions targeted to smokers in

Opioids Linked to Increase in Cocaine-Related Overdose Deaths

Heroin and synthetic opioids are propelling an upsurge of late in cocaine-related overdose deaths. This is according to a national survey carried out by researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) amongst other drug prevention and treatment research bodies. The report shows that cocaine-related overdose deaths increased between 2000 – 2006 and declined between 2006 – 2010. This correlates with supply reduction and higher street prices. Notably, however, the authors also found that,

Illuminating the Dark Web

The Economist reports that the drug trade is moving from the street to so-called online ‘cryptomarkets’, or secret virtual-shop-fronts. Online markets currently facilitate a comparatively small amount of illegal drug sales. Nonetheless, their share is rapidly growing. Turnover has risen from around $16 million in 2012 to $170 million in 2015, while the percentage of US drug users who have taken drugs bought online has increased from 8% in 2014 to 15% in 2016. Online

Alcohol Use Disorders Webinar

The Progress in Mind Resource Centre held a one-hour webinar on alcohol use disorders. The webinar was delivered by Wim van den Brink, Professor of Psychiatry and Addiction at the University of Amsterdam, and Steve Brinksman, GP and Clinical Lead for the Substance Misuse Management in the General Practice network. The webinar consisted of 3 sessions, each concentrating on a unique aspect of alcohol use disorders:​​ The neurobiology of the addicted brain The symptoms and

The Opiate Epidemic - Free Access Article Collection

Although the abuse of many substances has declined across the globe in recent years, the misuse of prescription and non-medical pharmaceutical opioids has significantly increased. The Taylor & Francis Group , which publishes peer-reviewed journals, has made free access articles on the growing epidemic of opiate use available for download for a limited time. The collection aims to highlight various issues within the subject of opiate abuse including: Opiate Abuse in Young People Opiate Rehabilitation

Great Resources for Teachers

Are you a teacher? Are you looking for materials or lesson plans on the effects of drugs and drug abuse? The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has created a great database of more than 70 teacher materials on the effects of drugs and drug abuse on the brain, body, and life of teenagers. The materials - funded or created by NIDA - include science-based classroom lesson plans, multimedia classroom activities, and other teaching resources

Training of Peer Educators at Tihar Central Jail

SPYM has started a prison intervention program among drug abusing youth who are inmates of the Central Jail, Tihar in New Delhi. Peer educators have been identified and a training program was conducted by Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Executive Director of SPYM along with other jail officials in order to orient the identified peers on 12 step recovery, JFT sessions etc. which they will now be conducting amongst their peers inside the prison.

Drug Misuse Prevention: Targeted Interventions

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has released guidelines that cover targeted interventions to prevent misuse of drugs, including illegal drugs, ‘legal highs’ and prescription-only medicines. It aims to prevent or delay harmful use of drugs in children, young people and adults who are most likely to start using drugs or who are already experimenting or using drugs occasionally. The guidance is aimed at health and social care professionals, commissioners and providers,

Synthetic Drugs on the Rise in Afghanistan

Seizures of methamphetamine have increased in Afghanistan, according to a new report from the United Nations drug and crime agency. It also suggests that the drug is being produced inside the country. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has concluded that “there are strong indications that methamphetamine use is establishing itself among opiate users, which are already one of the most vulnerable parts of Afghan society.” This new evidence suggests synthetic drugs are

US Pediatricians Warn of Rising Risks to Youth from Loosening Marijuana Laws

New American Academy of Pediatrics report calls on doctors to help protect patients’ developing brains and bodies from the health harms of marijuana amid increased legalisation The AAP urges pediatricians screen adolescents and preteens for substance use, offering interventions and treatment referrals and motivational reinforcement techniques to abstain and resist peer pressure. Read more...

New Year, New Additions: ISSUP Prepares for 2017

The ISSUP team held a three-day staff meeting in Windsor, UK from 7 – 9 February 2017. The meeting offered a chance to reflect on the organisation’s achievements so far, as well as to consider and evaluate its future objectives which will look to further ISSUP’s contribution to the professionalisation of the substance use prevention and treatment workforce.

The Punjabi Problem: Drug Use in One of India’s Wealthiest Regions

According to the BBC , a recent government-conducted investigation suggests that more than 860,000 young men (15 – 35) in the Punjab region of India take drugs. This is three times the national average. Heroin is used by 53% of all addicts, while opium and synthetic drugs including crystal meth are also preferred. The BBC claims one estimate indicates that as much as two thirds of Punjabi families house at least one drug addict. Tarn

Please note that the content provided within the Knowledge Share section of the ISSUP website does not necessarily reflect the views of ISSUP. It is provided to inform discussion of key issues in the field with a view to encouraging evidence based, high quality and ethical policy and practice