Reports: March

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Scottish Drug Misuse Database Overview of Initial Assessments for Specialist Drug Treatment 2018/19

In 2018/19, initial assessments for specialist drug treatment relating to 10,757 individuals resident in Scotland were recorded on the Scottish Drug Misuse Database. Just over half of people in contact with drug services were from older age groups; the percentage of individuals assessed for specialist drug treatment who were aged 35 years or over increased from 29% in 2006/07 to 53% in 2018/19. Heroin was the most common substance people reported needing help with, although its use has decreased over time | ISD Scotland, UK

Vaping in England: evidence update March 2020

Annual update of Public Health England’s e-cigarette evidence review by leading independent tobacco experts | PHE, UK

E-cigarettes: use by patients in NHS mental health organisations

Advice for commissioners, service providers and mental health trusts providing care to NHS patients who use electronic cigarettes | PHE, UK

Delivering health and care for people who sleep rough Going above and beyond (PDF)

An estimated 726 people died while experiencing homelessness in England and Wales in 2018, at an average age of 45 years for men and 43 years for women. Many people who sleep rough experience a toxic combination of struggles over personal safety, food, shelter and ill health that most of the wider population find difficult to truly understand. This may be why many routine health and care services – despite being designed with deep values of equity and fairness – fail to meet the needs of people sleeping rough | The Kings Fund, UK

Local tobacco control profiles for England: March 2020 update

An overview of the extent of tobacco use, tobacco related harm and the measures being taken to reduce this harm at a local level in England | PHE, UK

Routemap to eliminating hepatitis C in London: The Opportunity (PDF)

Hepatitis C is an infectious blood-borne virus that can cause cirrhosis, liver cancer and premature death – yet we now have the treatments and care pathways to cure it and eff ectively eliminate the virus in London. This is an incredible opportunity and one anyone who has any experience of hepatitis C, in a personal or professional capacity, is determined to achieve. To eliminate hepatitis C in London, we need to find | LJWG, UK

Sentencing of women convicted of drug-related offences

Drug-related offences are known to have a particular and disproportionate impact on women. Eighty-two per cent of all women in prison in Thailand are imprisoned for a drug offence; in the Philippines, the proportion of women in prison for a drug offence is 53% and in Peru and Costa Rica it is more than 60% | Penal Reform International, Linklaters LLP, International Drug Policy Consortium, UK

Alcohol, pregnancy and infant health – a shared responsibility (PDF)

The report has been written by some of the world’s leading alcohol researchers, led by Harold Holder. The researchers review international studies and evaluate the scientific strength of the various studies’ findings | Svensk Förening för Allmänmedicin, Svensk sjuksköterskeförening et al, Sweden

The Death Penalty for Drug Offences 2019

Harm Reduction International (HRI) has monitored the use of the death penalty for drug offences worldwide since our first ground-breaking publication on this issue in 2007. This report, our ninth on the subject, continues our work of providing regular updates on legislative, policy and practical developments related to the use of capital punishment for drug offences, a practice which is a clear violation of international law | HRI, UK

Are E-Cigarette Regulations Jeopardizing the Public Health? A Review of the Evidence and Policy Missteps (PDF)

E-cigarettes are far less harmful than combustible cigarettes and constitute one of the most common -- and effective -- smoking cessation aids. Overzealous or poorly designed restrictions on vaping, combined with misleading information about e-cigarettes’ true health risks, are deterring smokers from pursuing a potentially life-saving alternative. This report debunks common misunderstandings... | ACI, USA

National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program—Ninth report

The ninth report of that National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program provides longer-term insights into drug consumption as the program concludes its third year, and provides a comprehensive, national picture of drug consumption in Australia | AIHW, Australia

We've got the power: Women, adolescent girls and the HIV response (PDF)

This report shows how the HIV epidemic holds a mirror up to inequalities and injustices, and how the gaps in rights and services for women and girls are exacerbating the epidemic | UNAIDS, USA

On the A-Gender: Community Monitoring Tool for Gender-Responsive Harm Reduction Services for Women who Use Drugs

Worldwide, women who use drugs are vastly underserved within health and social services and programmes. National and international research, services, guidelines, and training programmes are either gender-neutral or male-focused | INPUD, UK

Policing a pandemic: The challenges of maintaining law and order during the Coronavirus response (PDF)

The impact of the coronavirus crisis on crime and law and order will be profound but likely short term. The consequences of extremely high ‘surge’ demand on the health service alongside drastic government induced measures will shake up all social norms, resulting in a significant shock to the economy and high levels of disruption combined with pressure on families and local communities. This will increase demands on the already overstretched police and other emergency services | Policy Exchange, UK

IAS Strategy 2020-2023 (PDF)

Since its establishment, the Institute of Alcohol Studies has worked to raise understanding of the harm alcohol causes to individuals, families, communities and society as a whole. Often faced with ambivalence in political circles, IAS has ensured alcohol harm has remained on the policy agenda, informing key decision makers and influencers with the latest available evidence on what works to reduce harm | IAS, UK

Clinical guidelines for opioid substitute treatment. Guidance document for OST in the hospital setting (PDF)

Appropriate policies and standard operating procedures for the provision of in-patient Opioid Substitution Treatment (OST) is paramount to patient safety when treating a person with an opioid dependency (prescribed or unprescribed) | Health Service Executive, Ireland

COVID-19 and people who use drugs

The situation regarding responses to the COVID-19 outbreak is rapidly evolving. Up-to-date information can be found in the guidelines prepared by national public health sources and the regular updates from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) | EMCDDA, Portugal

National Opioid Pharmacotherapy Statistics Annual Data collection 2019

On a snapshot day in 2019, over 50,000 clients received pharmacotherapy treatment for their opioid dependence at 2,940 dosing points across Australia. There were 3,395 authorised prescribers of opioid pharmacotherapy drugs | AIHW, Australia