Reports: January

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Misuse of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues

This report advises government on the number and nature of known fentanyl analogues, risk factors, pharmacology, toxic effects and misuse and associated harms | ACMD, UK

Hepatitis C in the North East: annual data

This report provides an annual update on local epidemiology of hepatitis C, the burden and impact of the infection and service coverage | PHE, UK

Seizures of drugs in England and Wales, financial year ending 2019 second edition

Update: Following the initial release of data, some corrections were received from Border Force which affected data on seizures of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues. Revisions have therefore been made to Summary Table 1, Summary Table 4, Area Table 1, Area Table 3, Appendix Table 3 and Appendix Table 4 and Chapter 2 and 3 of the publication | Home Office, UK

Creating a Healthy Alcohol Culture in the Legal Profession Guidance for Firms and Individuals (PDF)

This guidance on creating a healthy alcohol culture in the legal profession, however, is designed to specifically address how to create a healthy culture around alcohol in the legal profession and equip organisations to foster mindful drinking attitudes | The Law Society, UK

Left Behind: The Scale of Illegal Cannabis Use for Medicinal Intent in the UK

The evidence base for the clinical utility of medicinal cannabis is becoming clearer. Since the 1980s a growing preclinical field of science has been evaluating the therapeutic potential of cannabis in multiple physiological systems and diseases | CMC, UK

National intelligence network on drug health harms briefing: January 2020

This briefing is based on a meeting of the national intelligence network (NIN) on the health harms associated with drug use | PHE, UK

Local Alcohol Profiles for England: January 2020 data update

The profiles provide information to monitor the services and initiatives that have been put in place to prevent and reduce the harmful impact of alcohol | PHE, UK

Many ways forward Stop smoking services and tobacco control work in English local authorities, 2019 (PDF)

This report presents findings of the sixth annual survey of tobacco control leads in England, conducted by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and funded by Cancer Research UK (CRUK). The report explores some of the issues that have shaped the development and diversification of local stop smoking services and tobacco control work in English local authorities | ASH, UK

Telling a Different Story: Understanding news media coverage of severe and multiple disadvantage

This research inquiry explores how print and online news media report on severe and multiple disadvantage (SMD). In this report, SMD refers to the interlocking nature of multiple disadvantages such as extreme poverty, homelessness, discrimination, mental ill health, substance misuse, violence and abuse and contact with the criminal justice system | Lankelly Chase, UK

Revised drug sentencing guidelines proposed to reflect changes in offending

The Council is proposing to revise five of the current drug offences guidelines, which came into force in 2012 and cover offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) 1971 to bring them up to date with modern drug offending, and to introduce four guidelines for new offences created by the Psychoactive Substances Act (PSA) 2016 | Sentencing Council, UK

Investigating the association between an offender’s sex and ethnicity and the sentence imposed at the Crown Court for drug offences (PDF)

The Sentencing Council has conducted analysis of sentencing data to consider the association between an offender’s sex and ethnicity and the sentence imposed at the Crown Court for supply, possession with intent to supply and conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of classes A and B. In 2018, these offences accounted for around 12 per cent of all adult offenders sentenced at the Crown Court | Sentencing Council, UK

The prison system: Priorities for investment (PDF)

An insight into the prison system with recommendations for change. Includes a discussion on the use of drugs in prison and notes that in the 12 months to March 2019, 17 per cent of drug tests on prisoners were positive | Reform, UK

Philippines: No Letup in ‘Drug War’ Killings

The Philippine government’s murderous “war on drugs” remained the Philippines’ gravest human rights concern in 2019, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2020. Security forces were also implicated in often deadly attacks on activists | HRW, USA

Most EVALI Patients Used THC-Containing Products as New Cases Continue To Decline

CDC released two reports on e-cigarette, or vaping product use–associated lung injury (EVALI), confirming that most EVALI patients report using tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing products and that new EVALI cases have continued to decline with time. The first MMWR report updates EVALI patient demographic and self-reported substance use characteristics. The second MMWR report summarizes characteristics of EVALI patients in Illinois by substances used in e-cigarette, or vaping, products | CDC, USA

Alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia

The consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs is a major cause of preventable disease and illness in Australia. This report consolidates the most recently available information on alcohol, tobacco and other drug use in Australia, and includes key trends in the availability, consumption, harms and treatment for vulnerable populations. Further, information on a range of health, social and economic impacts of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use are highlighted | AIHW, Australia

‘Ready to Drink’ Alcoholic Beverages

Popular ‘ready to drink’ pre-mixed spirits sold in major UK retailers are unnecessarily high in hidden sugar and calories and should be forced to reformulate immediately to the agreed criterion set by government in the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) or pay the fine– according to a NEW product survey by Action on Sugar at Queen Mary University of London to mark Sugar Awareness Week (20th-26th January 2020) | Action on Sugar, UK

E-cigarettes: how risky are they?

E-cigarette FAQs | WHO, Switzerland

Tobacco harm reduction and the right to health (PDF)

People smoke for the nicotine. They die from the tar. Many people want to quit, but repeatedly fail. What if 1.1 billion smokers had access to safer alternatives? And what happens if that access is denied? Tobacco harm reduction and the right to health offers an introduction to what we mean when we talk about harm reduction and tobacco harm reduction. Denying smokers access to safer nicotine products is denying them their right to health - and millions of lives are at stake | GSTHR, UK

Smoking Cessation A Report of the Surgeon General (PDF)

The purpose of this report is to update and expand the 1990 Surgeon General’s report based on new scientific evidence on smoking cessation. Since 1990, the scientific literature has expanded greatly on the determinants and processes of smoking cessation, informing the development of interventions that promote cessation and help smokers quit. This report summarizes this enhanced knowledge and specifically reviews patterns and trends of smoking cessation; biologic mechanisms; various health benefits; overall morbidity, mortality, and economic benefits; interventions; and policies that promote smoking cessation | HHS, USA

Analysis of off-trade alcohol sales in year post MUP published

The first analysis of off-trade alcohol sales over the full year following the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) shows the volume of pure alcohol sold per adult in Scotland fell by 3.6% | NHS Scotland, UK

Knocked Back: failing to support people sleeping rough with drug and alcohol problems is costing lives

New research reveals at least 12,000 people experiencing homelessness missed out on vital drug and alcohol services last year | St Mungo's, UK

Smoking prevalence in adults - current smokers aged 18 to 64 by socio - economic group

Detailed ad-hoc analysis of smoking prevalence, calculated from the Annual Population Survey | PHE, UK

Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2020

Collection of documents relating to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) - a tool for identifying areas with relatively high levels of deprivation | Scottish Government, UK

Leave no one behind: engaging and empowering people in hepatitis C care and treatment through peer support (PDF)

new report released today by The Hepatitis C Trust highlights the charity’s pioneering use of peer-to-peer support. People who have lived experience of hepatitis C deliver workshops and one-to-one support to increase awareness of hepatitis C, encourage people to access testing, and support engagement with treatment. This forms a key part of the drive to eliminate the virus as a public health concern by 2030 | Hepatitis C Trust, UK

Substance misuse treatment in secure settings: 2018 to 2019

Statistics for alcohol and drug misuse treatment in prisons and other secure settings from PHE’s national drug treatment monitoring system (NDTMS) | PHE, UK

Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England April 2019 to September 2019

This report includes information on the number of people setting a quit date and the number who successfully quit at the 4 week follow-up. It also presents in depth analyses of the key measures of the service including pregnant women, breakdowns by ethnic group and type of pharmacotherapy received | NHS Digital, UK

Challenges for a world where drugs are legally regulated A consultation held by St George’s House and Transform Drug Policy Foundation (PDF)

This report summarises the discussions held over the two days of consultation and draws out consensus conclusions which we hope will be useful to advocates, policymakers, researchers and other parties interested in navigating a way forward | Transform, UK

Monitoring and evaluating changes in cannabis policies: insights from the Americas

This report provides an overview of the changes in cannabis policies in the Americas and the evidence emerging from evaluations of their impact. Highlighting the challenges in monitoring and evaluating regulatory changes in the drugs field, it will be of particular interest to those involved in planning or evaluating any modifications to cannabis regulation | EMCDDA, Portugal

State of Tobacco Control 2020: Proven Policies to Prevent and Reduce Tobacco Use

The 18th annual "State of Tobacco Control" report evaluates states and the federal government on the proven-effective tobacco control laws and policies necessary to save lives. The report serves as a blueprint for what state and federal leaders need to do to eliminate the death and disease caused by tobacco use. This year's report focuses on the continuing vaping epidemic among our nation's kids, and asks an important question: Will 2020 be the year lawmakers prioritize public health over the tobacco industry? | American Lung Association, USA