12/07/2021: Review urges ‘age-appropriate’ drug services for young people
The government should invest in “age-appropriate” drug services for young people amid a 40 per cent rise in drug use in 11- to 15-year-olds, a major report finds. The second part of a government-commissioned review of drugs, by Cambridge university professor Dame Carol Black, found that overall funding for drug and alcohol prevention and treatment services has fallen by 17 per cent between from 2014/15 and 2019/20.
08/07/2021: Boost social worker numbers to address ‘disappearance’ of drugs teams, ministers urged
The number of social workers in drugs services should be boosted as part of moves to reverse a “significant deterioration” in the quality and quantity of the workforce in recent years. That was a key message to ministers from a government-commissioned report into reforming drugs services published today.
01/07/2021: Predicting Risk In Young Drinkers
The drug, alcohol and mental health treatment charity Humankind has just published an interesting new secondary prevention alcohol toolkit aimed mainly at young adults. The toolkit is designed to provide a more sophisticated assessment tool than the current most common alcohol assessment tool – AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test). Humankind recognises the value of AUDIT but says that two people may score the same on the test but their journeys with alcohol may follow different paths.
30/06/2021: Effective Drug and Alcohol education
Informed by our work with academic experts in the field and the evidence base for what works when teaching about alcohol and other drugs, this interactive online course will explore how PSHE education leads and teachers can plan and teach Drug and Alcohol education in primary schools. It will explore what makes effective, age-appropriate learning for primary pupils growing up in modern day Britain and how utilising positive social norms can support learning. The course will support your understanding of how to equip your pupils with the knowledge they need relating to alcohol and other drugs, as well as how to develop the skills and attitudes to manage pressure, and seek support.
11/06/2021: ‘Cannabis sweets’: NI schools issue warning to parents
Schools in NI have been asked to warn parents and staff about pupils eating cannabis oil disguised as sweets. The Department of Education (DE) said a young child had to be assessed in hospital after they “inadvertently consumed cannabis” when eating the sweets. The warning came in a letter to all school principals from DE. It said children could suffer hallucinations, nausea or vomiting if they ate the sweets.
27/05/2021: County lines: 1,100 people arrested in UK crackdown
A crackdown on county lines drug dealing gangs resulted in the arrest of 1,100 people and the seizure of 292 weapons. Forces across the UK boosted activity against county lines gangs in the week from 17 to 23 May. In this week there were 33 guns and 219 knives among the weapons seized and 80 drug dealing phone lines identified. County line gangs are urban drug dealers who sell to customers in more rural areas via dedicated phone lines.
17/05/2021: Britain’s Teenage Drug Runners (Video)
BBC Three explores how gang members are using teenage drug runners to sell large amounts of crack and heroin miles away from home. With astonishing access the film explores how gang members are using teenage drug runners to sell large amounts of crack and heroin miles away from home. Police, youth workers and the government are all trying to tackle this rising problem.
06/05/2021: ‘His death is such a waste’: Mother of boy, 17, who collapsed and died in a car park from an ecstasy and cocaine overdose, warns teenagers to stay away from drugs
A heartbroken mother has warned teenagers to stay away from drugs after her 17-year-old son collapsed and died in a carpark from an overdose. Vicki Jacob’s son Joel was a student at Exeter College when he died after taking cocaine and ecstasy during a night out with friends. An inquest into his death heard he took the drugs before getting on a train from Exeter to Newton Abbot with three friends at 11pm on December 4, 2020.
08/04/2021: ifth of UK victims of criminal exploitation are children, research reveals
At least one in five victims of criminal exploitation by drugs gangs in the UK are children, analysis of calls to a modern slavery and exploitation helpline shows. Research into calls to the charity Unseen’s modern slavery and exploitation helpline has shown that more than a fifth (22 per cent) of calls from potential victims of drugs gangs are minors.
29/03/2021: Doctors warn against cuts to youth drug and alcohol treatment
Cuts to addiction services for young people with drug and alcohol problems in England mean many are missing out on specialist help, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists. It says eight out of nine regions in England have made real terms reductions in funding since 2014, and 37% overall. The situation has only been made worse by the pandemic, which has badly disrupted services.
28/03/2021: County lines gangs have changed tactics during COVID – and their victims are getting even younger
“During lockdown I didn’t want to be at home. I was always fighting with my parents. I went out all the time to avoid them. I was bored and lonely.” The words of 14-year-old Alisha (name changed to protect identity) from Staffordshire might sound familiar to teenagers across the country who have grappled with successive coronavirus lockdowns throughout the past year. But for Alisha, the restrictions and her subsequent deteriorating mental health forced her down a darker path. Within months, she was being exploited by a local county lines gang.
18/02/2021: Revised Drugs Sentencing Guidelines from the Sentencing Council – clear reminder to Sentencers of racial disparity in sentences
The sentencing council published its revised sentencing guidelines relating to drug sentencing on 27th January 2021. This new guidance applies to the existing drug sentencing guidelines. This revision was made in view of legislative changes and considering how drug related offending has changed and increased in severity, including the prevalence of CCE and recognition of racial disparity in sentencing. These new guidelines come into effect on 1 April 2021.
10/02/2021: One in 10 teens in UK has tried hard drugs
Among 17-year-olds in the UK, one in 10 will have used hard drugs, such as ketamine and cocaine, a study suggests. The University College London research also showed nearly a third of 17-year-olds had tried cannabis and more than half admitted to binge-drinking alcohol. Almost 20,000 young people, born between 2000 and 2002, were surveyed as part of the Millennium Cohort Study. Drug-use rates were higher among white teens than black teens.
06/02/2021: Why was ‘failed’ teenager Jacob not in school for two years?
Jacob was found dead in his bedroom in April 2019. The 16-year-old boy had been groomed and plunged into a world of drug trafficking by so-called “county lines” gangs. Major failures by the authorities in Oxfordshire have recently been exposed, including one glaring fact, he had not been enrolled in a school or provided any type of education for 21 months during which time he fell into a life of crime.
06/02/2021: Still not safe
This report shows that the vast majority of Local Authorities do not have a sufficient grip on the drivers for youth violence in their areas, nor do they have a cogent strategy to reduce risk factors in vulnerable cohorts. Most were not tracking local school exclusions – widely acknowledged as a trigger for a significant escalation of risk for children. Drug misuse is also a key risk factor for gang exploitation, however the numbers of children accessing drug treatment has fallen by 41% nationally.