News 2021: 10 items (Drugs)

25/09/2022: Up to £5m funding to support county lines victims

The Home Office has allocated up to £5m to support victims of county lines exploitation over the next three years. Support services in London, the West Midlands, Merseyside and Greater Manchester will be expanded. County lines involves drug gangs grooming children or vulnerable adults to run drugs from one city to often more rural parts of the country.

Read: BBC

24/09/2022: Catch22 to provide support for victims of County Lines exploitation

Catch22 has been awarded a contract by the Home Office to support hundreds of victims of exploitation from drug gangs through an expanded County Lines support service. The service will operate in four priority locations of the country, where young people are often targeted – London, West Midlands, Merseyside and Greater Manchester.

Read: Catch-22

21/09/2022: Cannabis sweets ‘marketed at children’ being widely sold on social media

Cannabis sweets packaged to look like bags of Haribo and Skittles are being sold and promoted on social media sites such as Instagram and Tik Tok, Sky News has found.

Read: Sky

08/09/2022: Drop In Children’s Smoking And Drug Use

The latest survey of almost 10,000 secondary school pupils in England in years 7 to 11 (mostly aged 11 to 15), and their smoking, drinking and drug use was published yesterday (7 September 2022). It covers a range of topics including prevalence, habits, attitudes, and wellbeing.

Read: Russell Webster

06/09/2022: Rise in teenage vaping, as drug use falls – survey

Vaping among secondary-school children is rising, with nearly one in five 15-year-olds using e-cigarettes in 2021, a survey by NHS Digital suggests. Among 11-15-year-olds, 9% say they are vapers – up from 6% in 2018.

Read: BBC

30/08/2022: Britain’s ‘terrifying’ laughing gas epidemic

Doctors have warned of a ‘terrifying’ hippy crack epidemic in the UK after a rise in patients suffering ‘life-changing’ nerve damage and paralysis. Nitrous oxide — better known as ‘nos’ or laughing gas — has become a popular recreational drug in the last decade.

Read: Daily Mail

26/07/2022: Alcohol deaths from pandemic drinking are predicted to rise

Heavy home drinking during the pandemic may have set habits that will lead to rises in alcohol-related deaths and illness in England, forecasters warn.
The work, commissioned for the NHS, suggests even under the best-case scenario of people cutting back to pre-pandemic boozing levels, there could be 1,830 extra deaths within two decades.

Read: BBC

22/06/2022: Mental health: Turning to illegal drugs during support wait

There are concerns young people with mental health problems could be trying to “self-medicate” with illegal drugs rather than seeking help. Some said they had turned to substances like cannabis and diazepam instead of waiting months for counselling. Support services have warned social media apps mean many can access dealers in just minutes.

Read: BBC

20/06/2022: County lines: Inside the complex battle against drug gangs exploiting children

Police waging the relentless battle against dangerous crime gangs often arrest children for drug dealing. The BBC has been given rare access to a new team of prosecutors who have to decide whether these young suspects are criminals or victims. The choices they face are often complex and controversial.

Read: BBC

09/06/2022: Smoking age of sale should keep rising forever

The age at which people can buy tobacco and cigarettes in England should be raised year by year so that eventually no-one can buy them, a review says. The call has been made in an independent report by ex-charity boss Javed Khan asked for by ministers. Under the plan the age of sale would rise from 18 by one year every year so the children of today will never be allowed to buy tobacco.

Read: BBC

20/05/2022: County lines: how can teachers help?

The government has pledged to tackle the problem of county lines drug gangs, but targeting existing gangs won’t be enough, experts warn. Instead, we need early intervention, and teachers have a crucial role to play, finds Kate Parker

Read: Times Education Supplement

03/03/2022: Zero-tolerance drug policies stop UK students seeking help, report says

Zero-tolerance drug policies at universities can do more harm than good and discourage troubled students from seeking help, a report by a UK thinktank has concluded. The report from the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) highlights surveys that suggest just three in 10 students would be confident to disclose information regarding their drug use, or abuse, to their institution without fear of punishment.

Read: Guardian

04/02/2022: Young People In Drug & Alcohol Treatment 2022

Last week (27 January 2022) the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities published its annual statistics on young people’s substance misuse treatment for the financial year 2020/21. As in all areas of life, the impact of the pandemic was clear. In particular, school closures and reduced face-to-face contact across all children and young people’s services meant there were fewer opportunities for young people to be referred to substance misuse services.

Read: Russell Webster

20/01/2022: UK pupils taught about alcohol with ‘misleading’ industry-funded resources

Schools are using “misleading and biased” information materials funded by the alcohol industry to educate pupils as young as nine about drinking, according to a study. Teachers in thousands of UK schools employ lesson plans, factsheets and films produced by bodies with close ties to the drinks trade even though they “portray alcohol as a normal consumer product to impressionable young minds”, the researchers found.

Read: Guardian

11/01/2022: Fighting the darknet drug dealers who keep coming back

Claire Campbell’s 16-year-old son, Luke, died after taking ecstasy bought by friends on the darknet – a part of the internet that can only be accessed with special software. One of the biggest illegal marketplaces on there, Torrez, went offline last month after two years of selling Class A drugs, counterfeit cash and hacking tools. But one darknet drug dealer has told the BBC that law enforcement face an “impossible task” trying to close down such sites.

Read: BBC

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