Moving Thailand’s Mountain of Alcohol-Related Harm

Few low- and middle-income countries have done so much to protect their citizens from alcohol-related harms, but Thailand still faces challenges. Apiradee Treerutkuarkul reports. Today Thailand is one of the few developing countries with laws and policies aimed at preventing alcohol-related problems, such as liver disease, cancers and alcohol dependence as well as road crashes, poverty, violence and crime. Read more...

European Masters in Drug and Alcohol Studies

The European Masters in Drug and Alcohol Studies is designed to stimulate reflection and debate on crucial topics in substance use and misuse from a multi-disciplinary, European and cross-national perspective. It is run jointly by four universities: Universidad Miguel Hernandez de Elche (Alicante, Spain), Aarhus University (Denmark), Middlesex University (London, UK) and Università del Piemonte Orientale (Novara, Italy). Students will have access to a group of European teachers and students and opportunities to study in

ISSUP’s Board of Directors Meet in Prague

Last week ISSUP’s Board of Directors travelled to Prague to hold their annual board meeting. Several representatives of ISSUP’s international observers, including INL, Colombo Plan and CICAD joined the board members for their meeting. The meeting offered a chance to reflect on the organisation’s achievements so far as well as to consider and evaluate its future objectives. ISSUP’s Executive Director, Jeff Lee and ISSUP’s Deputy Executive Director, Joanna Travis-Roberts provided an extensive update on ISSUP’s

WHO Forum on Alcohol, Drugs and Addictive Behaviours

26-28 June 2017 WHO HQ, Geneva, Switzerland To mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking , the World Health Organization (WHO) Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse is holding a three-day global forum event on alcohol, drugs and addictive behaviours. Its aim is to bolster public health initiatives in these areas by increasing collaboration and strengthening partnerships among relevant organisations, networks and institutions. As well as providing an opportunity to develop

Fact Sheet: International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

Introduced by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 42/112 of December 1987 and observed annually since 1988, today marks the 29th International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking . What is it? The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking serves as an expression of the United Nation’s determination to reinforce strong action and collaboration as the means to achieve a global society free from drug abuse. Its observance is supported by individuals,

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

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

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

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

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