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The 2013 World Drug Report (http://www.unodc.org/wdr/index.html) highlights a striking rise in the general availability of new psychoactive substances, often known as ‘legal highs’. These drugs comprise a diverse array of chemicals, some being derived from plants, others having a synthetic origin. Despite there being little information available regarding the effects of many of these substances, they appear to be in great demand. Resourceful marketing, particularly using the internet, has changed the way that these drugs are being advertised, delivered and used. Citing how criminalising the non-medical use of drugs has exacerbated harm to substance users, an editorial in the Lancet (2013;382:1) argues that the response to these new drugs must combine scientific evidence and a primary focus on maintaining health rather than a hasty move to proscription.
Intimate partner violence during pregnancy
A paper in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (2013;120:940–7) reveals the shocking extent of intimate partner violence sustained by pregnant women in Tanzania. A cross-sectional survey of 1180 women who were interviewed in private in antenatal clinics found …