The Government has brought the control of the new psychoactive substance methiopropamine as a class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 from 27 November 2017

December 15th, 2017 by

The 1971 Act controls drugs that are ‘dangerous or otherwise harmful’. A three tier system of classification (Class A, B and C) is adopted to provide a framework within which criminal penalties are set. This is based on an assessment of the harms associated with a drug, or its potential harms when misused, and the type of illegal activity undertaken in regards to that drug. The control of MPA has been made following the recommendation of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (‘ACMD’).

The National Programme of Substance Abuse Deaths reported 46 cases where MPA was found in post mortem toxicology, between 2012 and April 2017. In all of these occurrences, MPA was found in combination with other substances, mainly NPS. MPA was implicated in the cause of death for 33 cases.

The ACMD recommended that MPA be listed as a Class B drug under the 1971 Act. This drug has also been inserted into Schedule 1 to the 2001 Regulations and designated as a drug to which section 7(4) of the 1971 Act applies since the ACMD reported no known recognised medicinal or legitimate uses beyond potential research use which will be enabled under a Home Office licence.

What is Methiopropamine and what are the risks associated with its use? See Drug Factsheet.

Circular – Changes to the MDA to include MPA – FINAL – DAU



Addaction HOT team has arrived…

October 30th, 2017 by

Addaction HOT team has arrived…

RCHT now has Addaction outreach workers within its safeguarding team, supporting patients with alcohol and drug addiction.  The Addaction Hospital Outreach Team (HOT) consists of two workers: Joanne Sutcliffe and Lee Derrick. Jo and Lee are managed by Addaction Operational manager Lynda Edward.

The Addaction HOT team is working in partnership with the Alcohol Liaison Team, the Psychiatric Liaison Team, Adult Safeguarding and Shelter to focus on individuals who are attending for multiple admissions at RCH in an attempt to identify and address the reasons behind their serial admissions.

Amongst those individuals with multiple presentations is a cohort of people with severe and enduring alcohol and drug problems. The HOT Team aims to identify, with the help of ALT and Safeguarding within the hospital, those individuals and to provide intensive multi-agency care packages to prevent further harm to the individual and minimise, where possible, attendance at the hospital.

The HOT Team also works to bridge the gap between home, community and the hospital to ensure individuals with complex needs are adequately supported. The team’s work has included work with the Palliative Care Service, liaison with Safeguarding and Mental Health Service, liaison with the Specialist Midwifery Team and the Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy (IDVA) service.

The HOT team would like to thank the RCHT wards for the support that they have shown both of them in their new role.  You can read more on Jo and Lee in the full article on the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Website HERE

Joanne Sutcliffe  – Tel: 07973789348 email:

Lee Derrick – Tel: 07580833895 email: or


Countess of Wessex visit

October 9th, 2017 by

Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex accompanied by Edward Bolitho, Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall and President of substance misuse treatment charity Bosence Farm formally opened the new 8-bed Young People and Families unit on Monday 18th September, before touring the existing services at the Bosence Farm Community.

The new facility is the only one of its kind in the country, with a ground-breaking programme enabling young people to make positive change and realise their dreams and potential.

The Countess unveiled a plaque which mirrored exactly the one unveiled by her husband, the Earl of Wessex when he opened the then new detox and stabilisation centre for adults at Bosence Farm in 2010.  This has significantly contributed to improving treatment services for adults since.

Bosence Farm Community in West Cornwall has successfully operated residential services for individuals with substance misuse issues for 26 years.

Bosence Farm Detoxification (Boswyns) is a 16-bed Detox, Stabilisation and Assessment unit for adults in need of a medically led detoxification or stabilisation from illicit drugs, alcohol or prescribed medications.

Bosence Farm Residential Rehabilitation is a 14-bed longer stay service for adults who wish to address their drug and alcohol misuse utilising a 12 step facilitation model.

The new addition, Bosence Farm Young People provides residential accommodation and a bespoke treatment programme for young people experiencing issues with substance misuse and related needs such as mental health, behavioural issues and family breakdown.  The Bosence Farm Young People’s Residential Programme is designed for young people who are experiencing substance misuse problems but whose complexity requires a more intensive treatment approach that cannot be met in their communities.

Whilst we are doing all that we can to prevent young people drinking alcohol or taking drugs and these problems arising in the first place, we recognised that for some of our more vulnerable young people, who have experienced significant adversity in their lives, we were not always successful.  Most young people who experience alcohol and drug-related problems can be successfully helped in the community, however a small number have much greater challenges to overcome and more complex needs.

Cornwall has a higher than average number of young people being admitted to hospital for alcohol related problems. To be able to adequately help them, and stop this becoming an entrenched problem in adulthood, requires a period of respite or a more intensive approach in a residential setting. Previously young people have been sent as far afield as Sussex and the Midlands to access these services, which makes it almost impossible to manage successfully, and it is for this reason that the Council and the Community Safety Partnership supported the bid from Bosence Farm Community to Public Health England for the capital funding to build this unit in Cornwall.

Cornwall Councillor Sally Hawken Cabinet Member for Children & Wellbeing said: ‘It’s really welcome to have a service specifically for young people here in Cornwall, to receive the treatment they need.’

The opening was attended by Marion Barton from the Drug and Alcohol Action team and Paul Walker, Chair of the Community Safety Partnerships.


International Overdose Awareness Day

October 2nd, 2017 by

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on August 31 each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

Overdose Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable.

Taking its key themes as prevention and remembrance, its goals are:

  • To provide an opportunity for people to publicly mourn for loved ones, some for the first time, without feeling guilt or shame.
  • To include the greatest number of people in Overdose Awareness Day events, and encourage non-denominational involvement.
  • To give community members information about the issue of fatal and non- fatal overdose.
  • To send a strong message to current and former drug users that they are valued.
  • To stimulate discussion about overdose prevention and drug policy.
  • To provide basic information on the range of support services that exists in the local community.
  • To prevent and reduce drug-related harm by supporting evidence-based policy and practice.
  • To remind all of the risks of overdose.

On 31 August 2017 the Cornwall Drug and Alcohol Action Team and Addaction (drug and alcohol treatment service) held an event on Lemon Quay, Truro to take these key themes to the public. The event ran from 9:00am to 4:30pm and consisted of staff from Addaction and DAAT engaging with as many people as possible. This included handing out information leaflets/posters, giving a range of advice and first aid training including ‘hands on’ resuscitation practice.

With 32 people dying in Cornwall in 2016 from a drug related death and many more dying from alcohol and prescription medicine abuse, this was an opportunity to talk about the many complexities surrounding drug and alcohol use.

A wide cross section of people engaged with the team including those who needed treatment, those seeking treatment for others, wider education issues and children wishing to learn first aid skills- the first aiders of the future!


The Acorn Service 2017

October 1st, 2017 by

Saturday 23 September 2017 saw the fourth consecutive service with this year being the third to be held at Truro Cathedral. The service seeks to celebrate the lives of those who have died from substance misuse and those who live with it.

Last year in Cornwall there were 32 drug related deaths and many more when alcohol and prescription drugs are considered. The stigma often attached to drug-related deaths can leave those mourning feeling different from other mourners, with the special Acorn service providing a way to bring people together.

The service is organised in partnership between Cornwall Council, Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT), Boscence Farm Community Ltd, Addaction and Truro Cathedral.

The service included personal reflections, music and readings from service users and drug treatment workers, a tailored service of remembrance and a tree of remembrance where messages were written on paper shaped oak leaves. We now have 4 years worth of oak leaves that have been personalised. The cruel irony here is that at this time of year the oak loses its’ leaves- the tree in our service always gains leaves.

The tree of remembrance from 2015- it now bears many more leaves representing lives lost

This years’ service was well attended and the emotion of the occasion was very much in evidence with one mother saying ‘I haven’t been able to cry like this since my 20 year old daughter died earlier this year’.

This brave mother came to the service after hearing another mother speaking on Radio Cornwall the previous day when Laurence Reed held his live talk show. Laurence has been very supportive of this service over the last 4 years and Sid Willett from Cornwall DAAT was able to go into the studio with Kirsty to speak about the loss of her daughter Victoria aged just 21 when she died last year.

Victoria died aged just 21

Victoria is just one example of a life tragically cut short when she naively combined internet sourced drugs with GP prescribed medicines. Both of these mothers want to help others and raise awareness of the complexities of drug related deaths.

Gary Hales used heroin for six years and is now celebrating his 5th-year of not using Heroin. In that 5 years he’s completed a diploma and a degree as well as working with Addaction as a volunteer and now a full employee. Gary gave a reading during the service.

He said “I’ve made some bad decisions in my life however, I am very fortunate to be in a position where I can share my experiences. My curiosity and naivety to drugs is what started my addiction – two deadly behaviours when combined and there are drugs around.

“I lost six years of my life to a heroin addiction. I am the lucky one as others I’ve witnessed lost their lives. I spent years chasing the dragon when I could have been chasing my dreams and aspirations. Eventually, I became a lost soul and on many occasions wished I would never wake up however, chasing death, led me to life.

Sid Willett, Drug Related Death Prevention Co-ordinator, Cornwall Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) said “I am proud to work in Cornwall with so many people that care about these issues and our communication between Police, drug treatment, pharmacy, HM Coroner and her staff, RCHT, SWAST and many others is second to none. The DAAT now being part of Community Safety within Cornwall Council allows us an even wider platform to prevent future deaths.

This is a different approach to what is usually expected, as we seek to remember and to raise awareness at the same time. Our work is all about partnership working often with marginalised groups. Although sadly too late for some, the Acorn service seeks to remember, reflect and use the legacy of those who have died to change processes or whatever needs to be done to prevent future deaths.”

Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: