Reports: September

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Support and informational needs of ‘at-risk’ groups highlighted in new SDF report

A new report that identifies specific risks and informational needs of certain ‘at-risk’ groups in Scotland has been published. The Scottish Government-funded report (PDF) presents research that was carried out with particular at-risk populations who engage transactional sex, chemsex, or the use of image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs), with the aim of identifying specific risks in terms of drug use and sexual health, treatment and information needs | SDF, UK

Problem drug use in Scotland: Government response to the Committee’s First Report of Session 2019

Government responses to the committee's 19 recommendations on ways to address Scotland's drug problem | House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee, UK

Recreational cannabis regulation and harm reduction

In early 2019, BERL was commissioned by the Ministry of Justice to support the development of an evidence base to inform the proposed regulations for a legal market for recreational cannabis in New Zealand | BERL, New Zealand

GDS: the world’s largest drug survey

The GDS Special Edition on COVID-19 was developed as part of a global effort to better understand the impact of the pandemic on people’s lives with a specific focus on the use of alcohol and other drugs, mental health and relationships. Over 55,000 people took part. The survey ran for 7 weeks in (May – June 2020) See the GDS COVID-19 Special Edition: Key Findings Report| GDS, UK

Men and Alcohol: Key Issues

The Men and Alcohol: Key Issues report summarises the contributions and key findings and presents recommendations for research, policy and practice from the SHAAP and Institute of Alcohol Studies 2019/2020 'Men and Alcohol' seminar series | SHAAP, UK

‘It’s everywhere’ – alcohol’s public face and private harm: The report of the Commission on Alcohol Harm (2020)

The Commission on Alcohol Harm was established to examine the current evidence on alcohol harm, recent trends in alcohol harm and the changes needed to reduce the harm caused by alcohol. The Commission’s remit was also to examine the need for a new comprehensive alcohol strategy for England, which takes account of the strategies in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and to consider UK-wide priorities in areas where policy is not devolved | AHA UK, UK

Research report YouGov / Portman Group survey on UK alcohol consumption post the COVID-19 lockdown (PDF)

Fears that the hospitality industry reopening would fuel an increase in drinking were unfounded. The vast majority of Brits are continuing to drink moderately and within Government low risk guidelines of 14 units a week | Portman Group, UK

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health: 2019 (PDF)

NSDUH is a comprehensive household interview survey of substance use, substance use disorders, mental health, and the receipt of treatment services for these disorders in the United States. Approximately 67,500 persons are interviewed annually | SAMHSA, USA

Principles for the responsible legal regulation of cannabis

In recent years, discussions on the legal regulation of drugs – and in particular of cannabis – have moved in from the margins of drug policy debates. As of today, over 50 countries have adopted regulatory frameworks for medical cannabis, while a growing number of jurisdictions have regulated adult non-medical use, with many more poised to follow | ICPR, UK

Addiction services not equipped to treat the 8 million people drinking at high risk during pandemic, warns Royal College

Addiction services in England are not equipped to treat the soaring numbers of people drinking at high risk during the pandemic and must receive a multi-million-pound funding boost in the upcoming spending review, says the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The College’s new analysis of Public Health England’s latest data on the indirect effects of Covid-19 found that over 8.4 million people are now drinking at higher risk, up from just 4.8 million in February | Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK

Monitoring the Future: 2019 Overview Sponsored by The National Institute on Drug Abuse at The National Institutes of Health Key Findings on Adolescent Drug Use

Vaping marijuana and vaping nicotine have increased dramatically among 19- 22 year olds, with both more than doubling between 2017 and 2019, according to the University of Michigan’s annual U.S. national Monitoring the Future (MTF) Panel Study [Press release here (PDF)] . In addition, use of marijuana in any form in 2019 among young adults ages 19-22 was at or near the highest levels seen over the past four decades | University of Michigan, USA

Non-Communicable Disease Prevention A manifesto for the next Parliament: Addressing Scotland’s biggest killers through action on societal factors that cause ill-health (PDF)

It has been estimated that almost 14,000 deaths in Scotland are preventable through public health action. That’s why ten charities dedicated to addressing NCDs and the risk factors that impact the nation’s health have come together to set out a series of priorities to improve the health of everyone in Scotland and reduce the burden of noncommunicable disease on Scotland’s NHS | Alcohol Focus Scotland et al, UK

A timeline of alcohol-relevant restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic (PDF)

The aim of this report is to provide a resource outlining the implementation, easing and re-introduction of all COVID-19 regulations that might impact alcohol consumption| La Trobe University, Australia

Public Attitudes to Minimum Unit Pricing in Scotland

Public Health Scotland today published an analysis of responses to relevant questions in the 2013, 2015 and 2019 Scottish Social Attitude Surveys (SSAS), which asked a representative sample of the Scottish adult population about their attitudes to Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) | Public Health Scotland, UK

Recommendations from the Labour Campaign for Drug Policy Reform (LCDPR) (PDF)

Over 700 people attended meetings in cities around the UK, and at the 2019 Labour Party Conference. The campaign also received 22 online submissions from members of the public and third sector organisations. These contributions have been collated and analysed by the LCDPR Expert Working Group (EWG) who are providing the advice [in this repprt], based on the themes and recommendations emerging from the consultation | LCDPR, UK

European Drug Report 2020: Trends and Developments

This report provides a comprehensive analysis of patterns emerging across Europe in the areas of drug supply, illicit drug use and associated public health problems. National data sets are also provided across these themes and on key harm-reduction interventions. The report is available in English with a summary of a selection of the main findings available in 24 languages in the accompanying Key Issues publication | EMCDDA, Portugal

European Drug Report 2020: Key Issues

This report, available in 24 languages, presents a summary of some the main findings of the 'European Drug Report 2020: Trends and Developments the EMCDDA’s latest analysis of the drug situation in Europe. The issues selected here have been chosen for their policy relevance and general interest | EMCDDA, Portugal

Opioids: risk of dependence and addiction

New recommendations following a review of the risks of dependence and addiction associated with prolonged use of opioid medicines (opioids) for non-cancer pain. Before prescribing opioids, discuss with the patient the risks and features of tolerance, dependence, and addiction, and agree together a treatment strategy and plan for end of treatment | MHRA, UK

Recommendations from the Labour Campaign for Drug Policy Reform (LCDPR) (PDF)

Over 700 people attended meetings in cities around the UK, and at the 2019 Labour Party Conference. The campaign also received 22 online submissions from members of the public and third sector organisations. These contributions have been collated and analysed by the LCDPR Expert Working Group (EWG) who are providing the advice [in this repprt], based on the themes and recommendations emerging from the consultation | LCDPR, UK

Rural Matters

This project aimed to learn about the cultural and social context of drinking in rural areas and barriers to accessing services in rural Scotland. A literature review was undertaken, and five community consultations and 25 semi-structured interviews were conducted... Based on evidence from this research, recommendations have been developed for research, policy and practice, in order to prevent alcohol harms and improve support | SHAAP, UK

Young Persons Behaviour and Attitudes Survey 2019: Substance Use (Smoking, Alcohol & Drugs)

Initial results from the smoking, alcohol and drugs modules in the 2019 Young Persons Behaviour and Attitudes Survey, Northern Ireland | Department of Health (Northern Ireland) and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, UK

Day services for people who are homeless in Dublin: a review commissioned by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) (PDF)

Day services provide a range of non-accommodation related support services for homeless people and for people at risk of homelessness. Most day services support homeless people in meeting their basic needs | Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE), Ireland

Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms (2015–2017) [report]

This report provides a summary of key findings about the costs and harms of substance use in Canada from 2015 to 2017. Data include the costs of various substances such as alcohol, tobacco, opioids and cannabis. The data are also broken down into four categories: healthcare costs, lost productivity costs, criminal justice costs and other direct costs | CCSA, Canada

Alcohol and drug use disorders in patients with cancer and caregivers: effects on caregiver burden

The aim of this study, supported by Alcohol Change UK, was to establish the prevalence of alcohol and drug use disorders in a large cohort of advanced cancer patients and their caregivers. Secondary aims were to evaluate the relationship between these problems and patient physical and psychological symptoms and carer burden. An overarching purpose of the study is to establish a large accurate dataset to determine if screening would be required for certain cohorts | Alcohol Change UK, UK

EMCDDA trendspotter briefing: Impact of COVID-19 on drug markets, drug use, drug-related harms and responses in east European Neighbourhood Policy countries

Since the beginning of 2020, the world has been experiencing an unprecedented public health emergency caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, which has led to the progressive introduction of social distancing and other control measures by national governments | EMCDDA, Portugal

Illicit Drug Data Report 2018–19

In 2018–19, there were 112,474 drug seizures and 153,377 illicit drug arrests. 26.6 tonnes of illicit drugs were seized nationally with methylamphetamine remaining one of the most consumed and seized illicit drugs in Australia | ACIC, Australia

E-cigarettes 'gateway' to smoking for non-smokers

Using e-cigarettes triples the chance of a non-smoker taking up cigarettes and there is "insufficient" evidence that they help smokers quit, according to a new report submitted to the Government | ANU, Australia

Scottish Health Survey 2019 - volume 1: main report

The Scottish Health Survey 2019 main report presents statistics on general health, cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, smoking, physical activity, alcohol, mental wellbeing, diet, obesity, dental health and Adverse Childhood Experiences | Scottish Government, UK

Alcohol brief interventions

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) presents the number of Alcohol Brief Interventions (ABIs) delivered in Scotland in 2019/20. ABIs are short discussions which aim to help individuals reduce their drinking to within sensible guidelines | ISD Scotland, UK

National drug and alcohol treatment waiting times

Between April and June 2020, 95.3% of the 7,195 people who started their first drug or alcohol treatment waited 3 weeks or less, an increase from the same quarter in the previous year (93.4%), which may be in part attributable to a fall in the number of completed waits during the quarter (10,560 in April to June 2019) | ISD Scotland, UK