Weekly news - 28th April 2017

Weekly subscribe button

In date order, Monday to Friday

Alcohol: drinking in the street

This Library Briefing Paper looks at what the law says on drinking alcohol in the street | Parliament.uk, UK

Drug-driving limits and roadside testing to be introduced

Drug-driving limits and roadside testing will be introduced in Scotland in 2019, the Scottish government has confirmed | BBC, UK

Smokers and obese patients face more curbs on NHS surgery

Anger as plan to extend ‘lifestyle rationing’ for hip and knee operations is revealed in letter | Observer, UK

Smokers and vapers face new regulations

From the 21st May, all cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco the UK must be sold in standardised, plain packaging in accordance with domestic legislation | Boots, UK

New issues and age-old challenges: a review of young people’s relationship with tobacco (PDF)

This report reflects our ongoing commitment to prevent future lung cancer. Whilst progress has been made to reduce smoking rates, tobacco remains a legally available, socially tolerated, health hazard. We are facing the stigmatisation of smokers in communities where social and economic disadvantages are compounded with added health burdens | Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, UK

Boy of 11 who had up to 100 epileptic seizures a day becomes the first person to get cannabis on the NHS

An 11-year-old boy has been given medicinal marijuana on the NHS in what is believed to be the first case of its kind | Mail Online, UK

Green Screen

Volteface are delighted to announce the UK launch of the Green Screen report by author Mike Power (Drugs 2.0). The Green Screen – a new policy report that outlines the benefits of an online regulated market for legal cannabis | Volte Face, UK

The legal highs ban, one year on: what are your experiences?

Last May the government banned novel psychoactive substances. What impact has this had? We want to hear from drug workers and former users | Guardian, UK

Changing Scotland's Relationship with Alcohol: Recommendations for further action

A new report has been released by Alcohol Focus Scotland (AFS) calling for bold action by the Scottish Government as it prepares to refresh its national alcohol strategy | Alochol Policy UK, UK

Pharmacy guidance on smoking and mental disorder

People with mental disorders have a 10-20 year lower life expectancy with smoking recognised as the single largest preventable cause. Smoking among people with mental disorders has changed little over the past two decades, in contrast with the rest of the general population | Royal Pharmaceutical Society, UK

WATCH: The Entire Episode of VICELAND's 'Stoned' Here for Free

On Wednesday night VICELAND aired Stoned, a one-hour special exploring a load of myths and questions from the world of weed. Questions such as: Does weed really affect your short term memory? Does getting high actually make you a bit more gay? Whether or not smoking cannabis makes you a creative genius, and a bunch of other stuff | VICE, UK

Alcohol binge can upset heart's rhythm, say researchers

Drinking lots of alcohol in a short space of time will not only get you drunk but may also upset your heart rhythm, say researchers | BBC, UK

Journeys; Men affected by someone else’s drug/alcohol use

Based on true stories from a father, a brother, a grandfather and partners | Adfam, UK

Exposing the global harm caused by the tobacco industry

Today sees the start of a co-ordinated week of action by ASH and our partners to highlight the global harm caused by the tobacco industry | ASH, UK

TIIG Lancashire – Alcohol-related violence across Lancashire April 2013 to March 2016

This TIIG Lancashire report presents data and analyses relating to alcohol-related violence; where data were recorded, alcohol was consumed prior to an assault attendance in 44% of incidents | PHI, UK

Two Hull deaths 'caused by contaminated heroin'

Two people in Hull were killed by contaminated heroin that had made it more potent, police have confirmed | BBC, UK

Mortality risk during and after opioid substitution treatment: systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies

To compare the risk for all cause and overdose mortality in people with opioid dependence during and after substitution treatment with methadone or buprenorphine and to characterise trends in risk of mortality after initiation and cessation of treatment | BMJ, UK

New alcohol marketing report suspects foul play

The Arsenal Emirates Stadium saw the launch of a new report, Foul Play? Alcohol marketing during UEFA Euro 2016 (PDF), which highlighted how alcohol producers worked to circumvent legislation designed to protect children during the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament | IAS, UK

Plain tobacco packaging 'may cut smokers by 300,000 in UK'

Plain cigarette packaging could lead to 300,000 fewer smokers in the UK over the next year, a major review suggests | BBC, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what information his Department holds on the number of people who (a) have been smokers in each of the last five years and (b) quit smoking in the last 12 months | They work for you, UK

Novel Psychoactive Substances

If she will review the effectiveness of legislation relating to novel psychoactive substances | They work for you, UK

Evidence of harm from fentanyl contaminated heroin

Those of you in contact with heroin users should be alert to the increased possibility of overdose arising from heroin cut with these synthetic opioids, be able to recognise possible symptoms of overdose and respond appropriately | MHRA and NHS, UK

Two people die in suspected spice-related incidents

Prisoner dies of suspected overdose at HMP Forest Bank in Salford, and Somerset police investigate death of man in Taunton | Guardian, UK

Police in Lancashire tackle surge of spice-related incidents

Officers have responded to nearly six times as many call-outs over synthetic cannabinoid use in past year as they did two years ago | Guardian, UK

Commons alcohol policy briefings: MUP, taxation, licensing, pubs & street drinking

A spate of alcohol research briefings produced by the House of Commons Library have recently been released, suggesting continuing Government interest in alcohol's impact on society. Whilst alcohol policy is unlikely to form a significant feature of any campaigning in the forthcoming general election, an expectation of the need to tackle alcohol harms now seems further embedded amongst the general population | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

The late night levy

This Library Briefing Paper looks at the late night levy and changes to be introduced through the Policing And Crime Act 2017 | parliament.uk, UK

Plain tobacco packaging 'may cut smokers by 300,000 in UK'

Plain cigarette packaging could lead to 300,000 fewer smokers in the UK over the next year, a major review suggests | BBC, UK

Binge drinking could trigger abnormal heart rhythms

Researchers who attended the annual Bavarian beer and folk festival found binge drinkers were more likely to have abnormal heart rhythm patterns | NHS Choices: behind the headlines, UK

Motion S5M-05279: Willie Rennie, North East Fife, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 24/04/2017 - Preventing Drug-related Harm and Deaths

That the Parliament understands that a record 706 drug-related deaths were registered in 2015, which represents a 15% increase on the 2014 figure and is part of a steady rise in drug-related deaths over the last two decades... | Scottish Parliament, UK

Effectiveness Bank hot topics April/May 2017

Latest selection of hot topics on our radar. The crisis of drug misuse
in the United Kingdom – what new figures tell us about the upsurge from 2013/2014, and the population most at risk. How much hope can be pinned on the opiate antidote naloxone for curbing overdose deaths, particularly with England slow to take advantage of developments? And, a substantially revised look at the role government policy might have played in falling _crime and disorder in the night time economy (and how drinks industry involvement could be putting the brakes on) | Drug and alcohol Findings, UK


To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have made an assessment of the differing risks posed by different strengths of cannabis; and, if so, whether they have published those results | They work for you, UK