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Logos of the members of the English Harm Reduction Groups

Still no harm reduction? A critical review of the UK Government’s new 2017 Drug Strategy

policy

A briefing from the English Harm Reduction Group looks at whether the focus on harm reduction has improved under the new strategy, and discusses challenges in the funding environment which will have a disproportionate impact on harm reduction services. The briefing was also published by the EHRG as a letter in the British Medical Journal

Some transparent ketamine crystals

Ketamine treatment for depression

research

A review and analysis of the ethical considerations in off-label ketamine use for severe, treatment-resistant depression. The review concludes that further restrictions around ketamine are not neccesary and provides a set of recomendations for oversight bodies that would support safe, effective, and ethical use.

A close up image of a cannabis bud

Cannabis Review for the attention of the WHO

policy

This report aims to enable the World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence to conduct their first cannabis review since 1935. This report could lead to a re-evaluation of the world-wide prohibition of cannabis at the UN’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

Vials of ketamine solution for medical use

Ketamine as an essential medicine

research

A letter to The Lancet endorsing the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence's conclusion that concerns over recreational ketamine abuse in no way outweigh ketamine's role as a life-saving anasthetic and essential medicine.

The Liberal Democrat party logo

Expert Report on cannabis legalisation for the Liberal Democrats

policy

The Liberal Democrats became the first UK political party to call for cannabis legalisation. An expert report was commissioned by the Lib Dems to outline a framework for a regulated market. Three DrugScience members sat on the panel - Steve Rolles, Prof. Fiona Measham and Prof. David Nutt.

Five lines of amphetamine powder

Amphetamine driving consultation 2015

policy

As amphetamine is prescribed in the treatment of ADHD, it was omitted from the 2013 Drug Driving consultation until a suitable limit could be decided upon. The UK Government settled upon a limit of 50µg/L. DrugScience, with the aid of ADHD experts, discusses how this is a) neither evidence-lead nor rational b) will discourage patients from taking necessary medication and c) further discriminate against ADHD patients.

A man blowing a cloud of water vapour from an e-cigarette

Harms of nicotine-containing products

research

An evaulation of the individual and relative harms of nicotine containing products, from cigarettes to nicotine vaporisers/e-cigarettes. The research findings are likely to help empower those considering options to help them quit smoking, thus reducing tobacco’s colossal public health burden.

A selection of former 'legal high' packages

Briefing notes on the Psychoactive Substances Bill 2015

policy

The Psychoactive Substances Bill was drafted in order to ban legal highs or 'new psychoactive substances'. The Bill was widely criticised by both the Home Affairs Committee and MPs and ridiculed by the press. The briefing notes outline issues of priniciple, fact, definitions and recommended ammendments to remedy them.

A selection of former 'legal high' packages

New Psychoactive Substances - a minimum dataset

policy

The collection of scientific evidence about novel psychoactive substances is essential for guiding appropriate responses and reducing harm. DrugScience has prepared the following list of fundamental pieces of information, a 'minimum dataset' that should be sought for each novel drug. This is enables future political responses to be evidence-based.

Some bundles of khat

Khat & alcohol harm comparison

research

A comparison of the harms associated with khat and alcohol using a multi-criteria decision analysis.

A person holding a joint while driving a car

Drug driving consultation 2013

policy

DrugScience responds to the UK Government's Drug Driving Consultation 2013. The UK Government elected to enforce a 'zero-tolerance' policy to 8 controlled drugs. However, for alcohol and other controlled drugs which are no less dangerous when driving, a rational risk-based approach is used. This decision runs contrary to the advice given by the ACMD.

Vials of ketamine solution for medical use

DrugScience ketamine review

research

The first comprehensive review of the drug since its classification, DrugScience's ketamine review highlighted harms such as neurological and bladder damage.

A summary graph showing the relative harms of legal and illegal drugs in the UK

Drug harms in the UK

research

This analysis asseses the harms of various drugs used recreationally in the UK using multi-criteria decision analysis. The paper attracted considerable attention in the press and has been cited over 700 times

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