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3 January 2019

Unique conference examines current novel drug trends – charity and NHS in partnership

On 29th November 2018, The Forward Trust co-hosted the UK’s first Novel Drug Trends conference, in partnership with Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (C&I), which attracted an audience of 130 professionals from a range of fields related to the management of drug misuse.

With the illegal drugs market constantly evolving, examining the risks and challenges from the newer synthetic Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) is key for all professionals working in substance misuse. These are the group of illegal synthetic drugs such as “Spice”, and includes those formally known as “legal highs”.

At the event, Forward’s CEO, Mike Trace, spoke about how “Spice, or NPS, presents a specific challenge for us when designing services. We have to change our treatment systems to adjust to this new pattern of drug use and the introduction of these new substances”. Hattie Moyes, Forward’s Research Manager went on to talk in more detail about our research and interventions to tackle NPS use.

Amongst other external speakers was David Nutt, Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, who provided a personal insight into the history of drug prohibition in the UK and US.

Attendees comprised expert psychiatrists, psychologists and trainees from C&I and other health organisations, as well as prison officials. Service users also attended and one gave a talk about his own experiences of addiction and recovery.