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Dozens of US doctors arrested for opioid fraud

Dozens of US doctors arrested for opioid fraud

  • April 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
More than two dozen physicians in Appalachia, a US region severely impacted by the opioid crisis, were arrested on 17 April, charged with committing health care fraud by writing hundreds of thousands of illegal prescriptions. Authorities accused sixty people, including 31 physicians, of illegally prescribing opioids in exchange for sexual favours and cash in a

UK drivers taking hay fever medication risk violating laws

  • April 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
Over 50% of UK motorists with hay fever have driven after taking medication to relieve their symptoms, putting them at risk of being charged with drug-driving. According to a survey conducted by the insurance rate comparison site, Confused.com, about 58% of UK motorists who suffer from hay fever have driven after using antihistamines. But, antihistamines

Schools in Eastern Alabama now stocking opioid overdose drug

  • April 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
The Auburn City and Lee County School Systems in the east of the US state of Alabama can now administer Naloxone to their students. Naloxone is a drug that reverses the effects of overdosing on opioids if administered promptly. The US is in the midst of an opioid addiction epidemic, with people abusing both illegal

Clampdown on ‘cuckooing’ drugs expanded in Scotland

  • April 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
Police Scotland has extended its clampdown on illegal drug dealers who use vulnerable people to supply drugs for them. Called ‘cuckooing,’ it describes the practice of drug dealers commandeering people’s homes in exchange for supplying them with drugs. The police had been clamping down on the practice in two towns in Aberdeenshire – Fraserburgh, and

Drug-driving arrests in Essex set records in March

  • April 2019
  • Posted By Kathryn Mccormick
  • 0 Comments
Essex Police set a record for drug-driving arrests in March. It was also the third month in a row that more people were arrested for drug-driving than for drink-driving and was the fourth month out of the previous five for that occurrence. The police arrested 164 people for drug-driving in March, breaking the previous record

Crack cocaine users increase by 60% in Suffolk

  • April 2019
  • Posted By Kathryn Mccormick
  • 0 Comments
Authorities have attributed aggressive marketing by drug dealers as a possible cause of the huge spike in crack cocaine use throughout Suffolk. A national report showed the extent of the increase in crack use in the county and noted that drug addicts have been able to buy crack more cheaply in recent years. One drug

Wolverhampton’s vulnerable families to get alcohol hub

  • March 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
Wolverhampton Council has received £116,000 from Public Health England’s Capital Fund to develop a specialised unit to assist families coping with alcohol-related problems in the city. The funds will be used to create the alcohol hub in a facility owned by Recovery Near You, a regional drug and alcohol treatment provider. Councillor Hazel Malcolm, the

UK government agencies report on increasing crack cocaine use

  • March 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
On 25 March, Public Health England (PHE) in collaboration with the Home Office released a summary of its report entitled the Increase in crack cocaine use inquiry, which investigated the use of crack cocaine in six parts of England. The publication examines evidence presented in the 2018 Serious Violence Strategy, a study which concluded that

Record number of youngsters admitted for alcohol and drug abuse in Lancashire

  • March 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
According to Public Health England’s 2019 Child Health report, almost 5,500 children and young adults living in the North West were hospitalised for drug and alcohol abuse. It was the highest regional rate revealed in the report, which found that 3,232 children were admitted for drug abuse and another 2,187 due to alcohol abuse. All

Baby boomers more likely to drink-drive than millennials

  • March 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
Baby boomers, who are now over the age of 50, have experienced the fastest increase in the rate of drug and alcohol abuse over the past 15 years, with the effects of this trend evident on the UK’s roads. The latest British Crime Survey showed how substance abuse has affected the behaviour of drivers on

US Drug abuse caused over 350,000 ER visits in 2016

  • March 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
The abuse of over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs led to about 358,000 admissions to US emergency rooms in 2016, according to a new study based on the analysis of data from the country’s public health system records. About 50% of the admissions were for people between the ages of 15 and 34. The results of

Addicted baby born every three days in Ireland

  • March 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
A baby is born every three days in Ireland with symptoms of drug or alcohol withdrawal due to the mother drinking heavily or using drugs during her pregnancy. Data received by the Irish Examiner under a Freedom of Information (FOI) Act request revealed the extent of this health crisis that occurred even though Tusla (Ireland’s

Primary school students learn about the dangers of substance abuse

  • March 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
A project aimed at addressing the worrying health issues that have caused the life expectancy of Barrow men and women to be lower than the average in England has been active for several years. More children than ever participated in this year’s project, with 355 year-five and year-six students from 10 local primary schools taking

Young people warned not to use apps to buy drugs

  • March 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
Young people are increasingly likely to use social media apps to buy illegal drugs, according to a new study. Researchers from Royal Holloway, University of London, reported that drug users found the speed and convenience of purchasing drugs via social apps, such as Snapchat, were valuable considerations. The study found that drug buyers faced increased

West Lothian community unites to fight drug addiction

  • February 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
A new project beginning in West Lothian is the next stage to assist people who are abusing drugs. People living in the community within the jurisdiction of the West Lothian Council will now have an advocacy council to visit. It will provide a place for people suffering from substance abuse and addiction to express their

First drug-testing clinic licensed by Home Office opens

  • February 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
The first drug-testing clinic licensed by the Home Office for users to check their drugs is now open. The clinic, in Weston-super-Mare, will operate as a one-month pilot project. Run by the charity, Addaction, the clinic will offer anonymous drug analysis services to anyone aged 18 or older. Roz Gittins, the Director of Pharmacy at

Prescription opioid misuse may contribute to fatal two-car crashes

  • February 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
In fatal two-car crashes, drivers held responsible for the accident were almost twice as likely to test positive for opioid use as those who were not, according to a new US study by researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University in New York City. The most common reason for fatal crashes,

Matrix Diagnostics now working with Crystal Health Group

  • February 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
Matrix Diagnostics is pleased to be working with the team at Crystal Health Group and support them in their growth plans in key markets. Crystal Health Group provides DNA testing and drug and alcohol testing throughout the UK. Founding in 2005, the company currently operates a network of over 150 mobile collection offices and clinics

Scotland to consider roadside testing and drug-driving limits

  • February 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
The Scottish Parliament is to consider introducing roadside testing and a new zero-tolerance limit for drug-driving. The proposed plan would set limits on the eight drugs that are most closely linked to illegal use where claims of accidental use are not credible. The eight drugs with proposed zero limits are heroin/diamorphine, MDMA/ecstasy, methylamphetamine, LSD, ketamine,

Research links teenage marijuana smoking to depression in later life

  • February 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
Smoking marijuana as a teenager increases the risk of depression and suicide later in life, according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. Researchers from the UK and the US have found that the drug could damage a child’s brain to the degree that it leads to mental health issues later in

Hospital admissions in England for addiction rise as treatment budgets decrease

  • February 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
More than 50% of England’s local authorities have reduced their budgets for drug and alcohol treatment, even as hospital admissions from addiction-related problems have increased, according to data from a freedom of information (FoI) request. MP Liam Byrne made the FoI to the local authorities, which are responsible for offering alcohol and drug treatment services

Alcohol abuse still a problem in Blackpool

  • February 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
More people in Blackpool are admitted to hospitals because of alcohol abuse than in any other locality in Great Britain, according to the latest data from the NHS. Dr Nick Harper, the deputy medical director at the Blackpool Victoria Hospital, said that alcohol abuse was a major factor in the services provided by the hospital

Drug-driving at record levels in Essex

  • February 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
Drug-driving arrests have reached record levels in Essex. During the past 12 months, Essex Police has addressed the rapid increase in the number of people in the country who were driving while under the influence of drugs. Last month, police officers arrested 163 people for suspected drug-driving, which was a record for a single month.

Drug use in Nigeria twice the world average

  • January 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
One in seven Nigerians is a drug user, according to the first major nationwide survey on drug use, published on 28 January. The survey, conducted by the Nigerian government, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and the European Union, found that about 14.4% of Nigerians were drug users. It is more than double

‘Street Valium’ causes large increase in Glasgow drug deaths

  • January 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
Illegally manufactured drugs sold as Valium have led to an ‘unprecedented’ number of overdose deaths in Glasgow, according to the city’s NHS addiction services. Senior health officials expressed the fear that ‘street Valium’, also called ‘street blues’ could be the cause of the dramatic increase in drug-related deaths in the city. Between January and October

North East has highest rate of UK drug-related deaths

  • January 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
The latest figures show that the North East had the highest rate of drug-related deaths in the UK, prompting civic leaders in Newcastle to warn that the city needed to act to address the problem of drug abuse in their city. Between 2015 and 2017, 92 Newcastle residents died due to drug overdoses. It translates

Fentanyl test strips effective at reducing overdose risk

  • January 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
Young adult drug users find that fentanyl test strips are useful in reducing the risk of an overdose, according to a study by a research team at Brown University’s School of Public Health in the US state of Rhode Island. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that can result in a fatal overdose if a

Alcohol-related deaths in Northern Ireland set a record

  • January 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
Alcohol-related deaths in Northern Ireland have set a new record, according to a recent report. Data released by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) showed that in 2017, 303 of the over 16,000 deaths in the country resulted from alcohol abuse. The number of alcohol-related deaths has increased every year since 2013. The

Genetic variants linked to risky behaviours, including substance abuse

  • January 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
A group of researchers, including participants from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, has identified 124 genetic variants related to an individual’s disposition to engage in risky behaviour. The researchers published a report on their studies in the journal Nature Genetics on 14 January. “Being willing to take risks is essential to

Smartphone app can detect opioid overdose

  • January 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) in the US have developed an app that allows a smartphone to detect when a person experiences an opioid overdose. Researchers have named the app Second Chance, and it accurately detects symptoms related to an opioid overdose by monitoring breathing patterns. The app then transmits an alert so

Hospitals introduce dedicated alcohol care teams under NHS plan

  • January 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
The NHS plans to place dedicated alcohol care teams in 50 hospitals to assist alcohol abuse patients as part of a host of new long-term initiatives unveiled by the government. The new teams will be in areas with the highest incidence of alcohol-related admissions, providing treatment for patients experiencing alcohol-abuse issues, and support for their

Monkey dust seen as alternative to cocaine and heroin

  • January 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
Drug addicts in Stoke-on-Trent may be choosing to use monkey dust because they cannot afford to buy cocaine or heroin, according to a report presented by the Stoke-on-Trent Health and Wellbeing Board to the City Council. The report said that the substance is available for as little as £2 per dose, making it attractive to

Rise of opioid deaths among US children and teens

  • January 2019
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
Almost 9,000 children and teens died from opioid overdoses during the past two decades, with the paediatric opioid-related death rate increasing by almost 300% during that period. The retrospective study was published on 28 December in JAMA Network Open, a publication of the American Medical Association. The researchers from the Department of Pediatrics, Yale School

Melbourne to test breathalyser-activated boom gates at car parks

  • December 2018
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
Drivers will need to pass a breathalyser test before they can exit car parks at shopping centres under a proposed anti-drink driving campaign by the Australian state of Victoria. Known as an alco-gate, the new technology aims to reduce the number of fatal accidents on the state’s roadways. It was first tested in Sweden. If

One-in-seven would drink and drive if they felt ‘OK’

  • December 2018
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
One-in-seven UK drivers would get behind the wheel to drive home after consuming alcoholic beverages if they thought they were “close to the limit.” This is according to a new study by breathalyser firm, AlcoSense. The survey of 2,000 drivers showed that 14% of motorists would drive home after drinking several alcoholic beverages if they

More US teens are vaping

  • December 2018
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
There has been a significant increase in e-cigarette use by US teenagers this year, according to a new report. A survey by researchers at the University of Michigan found that the percentage of students in the 12th grade who vaped nicotine increased from 11% in 2017 to 21% this year. Researchers noted that the increase

Dramatic increase in youngsters abusing benzodiazepines

  • December 2018
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
Public Health England says that the number of youngsters receiving treatment for benzodiazepine abuse has dramatically increased over a year. Recently-released data showed that 315 people under the age of 18 received treatment from public services for abusing benzodiazepine in 2017 – an almost 200% increase from the 161 who received treatment in 2016. Of

Plaster of Paris and brown sugar sold as MDMA

  • December 2018
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
A combination of brown sugar and plaster of Paris has been sold as MDMA to festival-goers. This is according to tests conducted by The Loop, a pop-up drug-testing service founded in 2013 by Durham University. Festival-goers can take their drugs to the pop-up lab for testing without worrying about repercussions. People who have their drugs

Dorset Police launch Christmas drink and drug-driving campaign

  • December 2018
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
Dorset Police have launched their yearly Christmas drive against drink and drug driving. It will remain in effect until New Year’s Day. During the campaign, police officers will conduct breath tests for all drivers involved in accidents regardless of whether officers think they have committed a drink-driving violation. Police officers will also test drivers they

Increase in hospitalisation of older Britons for drug abuse

  • December 2018
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
NHS hospitals have experienced a sharp increase in admissions of people aged 45 and above for the treatment of drug abuse, the health service reports. The latest data for England showed that hospital admissions for the age group for behavioural and mental disorders related to drug use have increased from 638 to 1,182 since 2007.

Scotland’s new drugs strategy focuses on public health

  • November 2018
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
Scotland has prepared its first drugs strategy in more than a decade. The report, titled Rights, Respect and Recovery, focuses on treating drug abuse as a public health problem rather than a criminal justice problem. Joe FitzPatrick, the country’s Public Health Minister, said he has combined the strategy for dealing with alcohol and drug abuse

More drug disposal boxes in Weymouth public toilets

  • November 2018
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
Extra disposal boxes for drug users could soon be available in public loos in Weymouth town centre. The borough council has already placed six ‘sharps’ boxes in public toilets, with expectations that they will authorise more. The boxes encourage drug users to safely dispose of needles and other items associated with drug use. At a

Scans reveal brain’s reaction when addicts think about drugs

  • November 2018
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
A study in the journal Translational Psychiatry by US researchers showed that thinking about their drug of choice stimulated a region in the front of an addict’s brain linked to pleasure, and that non-invasive therapy could help break the cycle of addiction. Scientists from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) studied the brain scans

Letting teens drink at home can lead to addiction

  • November 2018
  • Posted By Ben Craske
  • 0 Comments
Parents should not buy alcohol for teenagers or let them drink at home, according to a prominent addiction expert. Eamon Keenan, the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) national clinical lead on addiction, made the comment at the launch of the agency’s guide for parents on drugs and alcohol. He said although it might seem sensible