The threat from a growing market for global organised crime.

illustrationInternational criminal gangs are rapidly expanding into the market for new types of legal highs, while law enforcement agencies lack the tools to keep up, the head of US overseas drug enforcement has warned.

Governments have struggled to keep up with the rapidly growing market for new psychoactive substances, as banning a new drug can require a complex legislative process and many of these drugs remain legal in some countries, said Brian Nichols, assistant secretary at the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

“These types of drugs are what transitional criminal networks are increasingly moving towards.  Traditional drugs like marijuana are not as much in favour – they are bulky and hard to transport.  Heroin and cocaine are very important but drug addiction is moving to the illicit use of pharmaceuticals and new substances like GBH,” said Nichols.

“This is the growing threat.  The use of traditional drugs is declining in the UK and the US, cocaine use is dropping, but prescription drug abuse is growing and new substance abuse is growing.”

What was once a cottage industry has rapidly evolved, with labs and factories in China, Europe and the US manufacturing the chemicals on an industrial scale, churning out hundreds of tonnes of the compounds, said Nichols.

Simon Stephens Director of Casework at Addictions UK said: “We have seen more clients addicted to prescription pills and previously legal highs such as Mephedrone in recent times.  It is clear that the law cannot keep up with a global drug trade where people can buy drugs on line.  Drug treatment is just as effective for these new substances and we have had great success in helping people overcome their dependency on legal highs and prescription medication.”

For more information read the story in The Guardian

Addictions UK offers a specialist Home-based Service for people addicted to drugs and alcohol and prescription drugs.  We offer a range of services to combat pathological dependence.  Medical Detox at home is available to those people choosing this option who might be able to receive this service safely.

For more information contact us now on line or telephone 0845 4567 030. You are just a phone call away from addiction recovery.

International Symposium Networking Opportunities – 10th UKESAD in London a Great Success

illustrationThe 10th United Kingdom and European Symposium Addiction Disorders held at the Tower Hotel London attracted well over a thousand people who attended the exhibitions and workshops.  Highlights of the workshops included:

The neuroscience of addiction, and how to apply it in your daily clinical practice by Professor Carlton Erickson

The evidence base for 12-step recovery programmes & community models of addiction treatment by Garrett O’Connor, past president – Betty Ford Institute
Structured family interventions, by Rebecca Flood, president – Association of Intervention Specialists

Accrediting peer recovery mentors, by Kristie Schmiege of ‘gold standard’ credentialling body IC&RC

Recovery coaching, by Anthony Eldridge-Rogers
Attachment disorder & group therapy, by Gail Lake

Benzodiazepines: problems and recovery, by Bliss Johns and the Earl of Sandwich

The prescription drug epidemic among teens, by Jamison Monroe

The future of rehabs, including international collaboration, by Michael Walsh, president – NAATP

EMDR | Eye movement sensitisation and reprocessing, by Max Cohen

Club drugs and more, by DJ ‘Fat’ Tony and Owen Bowden-Jones, chair – Addictions Faculty, Royal College of Psychiatrists

The loneliest heart: trauma and PTSD, by Judy Crane

Dealing with difficult clients, by Michael Hornstein and Jackie Fernandez

Improving outcomes: aftercare and monitoring, by John Southworth (who has 21 years of followup data) and Caroline Smith

Dual diagnosis, by Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches

Addictions and eating disorders, by Dr Steven Karp of Rosewood
Diversities and similarities in mutual aid across Europe, by Svein Furnes and EMNA

Relapse-prevention techniques, by Roland Williams

Untangling the web: internet and sex addiction, by Rob Weiss of Promises/Ranch plus Cruise control: gay sex addiction…

Half-day workshop by pioneer Patrick Carnes, on diagnosing and treating sex addiction and its role alongside substance dependence, followed by SLAA meeting

The family is patient, and the patient is family, by Bradley F Sorte

Complex clients – Let’s share our learning and skills, by psychiatrists Dr Alison Battersby and Dr Francis Keaney

Psychodrama sculpts recovery, by Hunter Taylor

Five elements to beat any addiction, by Michael Cartwright

The art of inspired leadership, by Miles Adcox

Information technology and recovery, by James Ohene-Djan

Therapy in an avoidant society, by Thomas Pecca

Alpha music and motivation, by John Levine

Visualisation meditation, by Sarah Graham

Similarities and differences between therapeutic communities and rehabs, by Rowdy Yates of Stirling University

Simon Stephens, Director of Addictions UK praised the organising Committee of the UKESAD and said, “We have enjoyed a great opportunity of sharing information with colleagues from around the World on Addictions Disorders and different treatment approaches.”

The Addictions Recovery Foundation – publishers of “Addiction Today” and the organisers of the UKESAD are well advanced in organising the next Symposium in 2014 which Addictions UK will participate.

Addictions UK is the leading providers of Home-based addiction treatment services in the UK offering different person-lead addictions therapies involving Counselling, Coaching and Therapies based on an abstinence model, including the provision of Medical Detox when necessary for drug and alcohol cases.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Addictions UK on line or by telephoning 0845 4567 030

Is Heroin use likely to increase in UK?

illustrationA UN report released this month has stated that Puli Hisar, a district in Northern Afghanistan has seen a rise in production of opium over the last couple of years. The report suggests that opium poppy farming is experiencing resurgence in the country. In areas where poppy farming existed in 2012, it is expected to expand and other regions that have previously been poppy free for years are set to see new crops.

According to the report 14 of the country’s 34 provinces are now poppy free. In 2010 that number was 20. The large rise in poppy production has prompted experts to predict a record crop for 2013.

Dr Angus Bancroft, a Sociologist at The University of Edinburgh, says more poppy production in Afghanistan is likely to have a direct effect on the heroin trade on British streets. He says its simple economics: more poppy farming means more heroin, which would facilitate a drop in price and an increase in quality. That increase could lead to an increase in overdoses, since users are used to a lower quality of heroin. Increase in quality could also draw more users, says Bancroft. The heroin population may also get younger, he says, as most British users are now in their thirties or older.

Simon Stephens Director of Casework at Addictions UK said: “Whilst increased poppy production could lead to increased heroin use in the UK it is important to remember that this is a global, illegal and secretive trade. It is not possible to track supply and demand like you could for legal products.”

See the full article at vice.com

Addictions UK provides drug and alcohol addiction services throughout the UK and works with people who have developed pathological dependence on addictive drugs such as heroin and other opium-based drugs.  Specialist medical home detox is available throughout the whole of the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.   For more information contact us now on line or telephone 0845 4567 030. You are just a phone call away from addiction recovery