Drink and Drugs News DDN February 2020 | Page 3

UPFRONT IN THIS ISSUE Drink and Drugs News is published by CJ Wellings Ltd, Romney House, School Road, Ashford, Kent TN27 0LT t: 0845 299 3429 Editor: Claire Brown e: [email protected] Advertising manager: Ian Ralph e: [email protected] Reporter: David Gilliver e: [email protected] 8 Designer: Jez Tucker e: [email protected] Subscriptions: e: [email protected] ON THE COVER: Vancouver’s opioid crisis website: www.drinkanddrugsnews.com Website support by wiredupwales.com 12 Printed on environmentally friendly paper by the Manson Group Ltd Cover by Jussi Grut Taking harm reduction to the next level REGULARS 4 NEWS Needless homeless deaths; credit card gambling banned 10 LETTERS & OPINION Abandoning young people to a bleak future; a National Health Service worthy of the name? 16 REVIEWS Time to get creative, says Mark Reid We need to talk about diamorphine Radical action needed in Wales CJ Wellings Ltd does not accept responsibility for the accuracy of statements made by contributors or advertisers. The contents of this magazine are the copyright of CJ Wellings Ltd, but do not necessarily represent its views, or those of its partner organisations. 14 PROUD TO WORK IN PARTNERSHIP ‘Our friends at DDN provide an invaluable space for news, debate, and commentary. Their broad readership, but particularly commitment to service users, really stretches writers (including ourselves) to produce inclusive and impactful articles.’ Natalie Davies, co-editor of Drug and Alcohol Findings DDN is a self-funded independent publication. Our bespoke partnership packages provide an opportunity to work closely with the magazine. Please get in touch to find out more. 6 ‘Why can’t we reverse this shameful trend of DRDs? EACH YEAR the cross-party parliamentary group meets to review the ONS data on drug-related deaths, and each time frustrations surface at the lack of progress (page 11). We have the evidence, we know the contributing factors – why can’t we reverse this shameful trend? Looking at the drug-related death rate in Wales as a ‘national state of emergency’ Martin Blakebrough says that nothing but a ‘radical approach’ will do (page 6). ‘It is unacceptable that the UK continues to fail its most vulnerable people,’ he says. Meanwhile our cover story (page 8) offers a perspective from Canada, where activism provoked political pragmatism to tackle their public health emergency. Jussi Grut draws a parallel with our situation in the UK. The horrific rise in drug-related deaths has made access to diamorphine a ‘sane, reasonable’ option, says Nick Goldstein (page 14). But, he cautions, we have to think very carefully about the way we implement diamorphine programmes, so that they actually reach those who aren’t currently in treatment and who make up a vast proportion of the DRD statistics. We’ve talked about this for long enough. We have the knowledge and experience to avoid knee-jerk reactions and get it right. Claire Brown, editor Keep in touch at www.drinkanddrugsnews.com and @DDNmagazine WWW.DRINKANDDRUGSNEWS.COM FEBRUARY 2020 • DRINK AND DRUGS NEWS • 3