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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

Join ISSUP as our new Web Developer

ISSUP is excited to add a Web Developer to our small, East Midlands based team to work with the Senior Website Developer to support and expand the ISSUP website.

Salary: up to £30,000 dependent upon experience and expertise

If you are interested, we ask you to provide a full CV including 2 referees and a supporting letter of application which demonstrates your ability to meet the elements identified in this Job Profile.

Closing date for applications extended to 10th January 2016

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

Thousands Die without Access to Alcohol Treatment

The BBC reports that almost 8,000 high-risk drinkers died from alcohol-related causes in Wales, UK between 2005 – 2014 without having received treatment for alcohol addiction. This is despite repeated hospital and A&E admissions for as much as 94% of those who eventually died. An alcohol treatment assessment was recorded for less than a quarter and one third were under the age of 50. As well as service inadequacies, Public Health Wales claims that this

Vacancy: Project Support Specialist, Tobacco Control (Grade: P2)

Vacancy: Project Support Specialist, Tobacco Control (Grade: P2) The Unit of Risk Factors and Nutrition at the Department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health has opened a vacancy for a Project Support Specialist, Tobacco Control (Grade: P2) Type and duration of contract: Short term professional – Limited duration: 2 years. Duty station: Washington, DC (availability to report to duty station within 4 weeks of being selected) Application deadline: February 28 at 12.00 pm (US Eastern

Plans for a Smoke-Free Finland Gather Pace

Finland plans to cut consumption of tobacco products - in any form – to less than 2% among adults by 2040. As is the case with many industrialised countries, Finland’s smoking rates have decreased in recent years as a result of various public health measures. However, 2017 sees the introduction of comprehensive, stricter regulations rolled out across the country, tackling tobacco use from every angle. These include: A hike in sellers-fees for vendors of tobacco.

New Online Training for Practitioners, Peer Mentors and Service Managers

This new platform allows substance misuse, probation and prison services to upskill their workforces in a scalable and consistent way, and optimise their use of the digital behaviour change programme Breaking Free . Service providers can now train managers and large numbers of practitioners, peer mentors and volunteers of all experience levels via a series of modules that highlight the most effective ways to implement Computer-Assisted Therapy. Using narration and video demonstrations, these modules draw

Healthy Nightlife Toolbox - Resources for Creating Safer Nightlife Settings

The Healthy Nightlife Toolbox (HNT) is an international initiative that focuses on the reduction of harm from alcohol and drug use among young people. The toolbox is a website designed for local, regional and national policy makers and prevention workers, to help reduce harm from alcohol and drug use in nightlife settings. The core of the online toolbox is comprised of three databases: Evaluated interventions Literature on these interventions Other literature within the field of

Free Resource for Evaluating Drug Prevention and Treatment Interventions

The Evaluation Instruments Bank (EIB) is an online database of freely available resources for evaluating drug prevention and treatment programmes and initiatives. You can search the archive by type of intervention (treatment or prevention), by type of evaluation (needs and planning, mediating and risk factors, process and outcome), by target group (children, adolescents, adults, special groups and settings) or by specific topics. What is 'evaluation' in the context of drug-related interventions? Evaluation refers to any

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