Weekly news - 10th February 2017


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In date order, Monday to Friday

Reported road casualties in Great Britain, accidents involving illegal alcohol levels: 2015 (second provisional)

Personal injury drink drive accident statistics in Great Britain for 2015 | Department for Transport, UK

Scottish Government urged to introduce new drug-driving measures as shocking new research reveals one in five driver fatalities

The new analysis, based on toxicology reports from driver and motorcyclists killed in road accidents across Scotland over three years, found one in five cases tested positive for alcohol consumption. The same number tested positive for cannabis - with one in five fatalities linked to the drug | Herald, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they expect to publish their new drugs strategy | They work for you, UK

Help Shape the Future: Multiple Needs Summit 8-9 May 2017 in Milton Keynes

Every Drug Strategy since John Major’s government has acknowledged that tackling drug dependence in isolation – without engaging with mental ill health, homelessness, offending, and lack of employment – is at best a job half done and has the potential to completely undermine the effectiveness of treatment | Collective Voice, UK

Highways and buyways (PDF)

A new survey of the street drug market in the UK by DrugWise has concluded that the primary aims of the PSA which came into force in May 2016 have been achieved. Firstly to close down retail outlets for so-called ‘legal highs’ and second to stop the legal cat and mouse game whereby a drug would be banned only for the chemists to render the drug legal once more by slightly changing the formula.  However, of the new drugs, synthetic cannabinoids collectively known as spice in particular, have become street drugs alongside heroin and crack causing continuing problems for vulnerable groups including the rough sleeping and homeless communities and those in prison.

Other key findings include: Unprecedented purity levels for heroin, cocaine, crack and ecstasy. Confirmation of the changing nature of drug distribution  networks. Significant non-medical use of prescription and over-the counter drugs [ Press release (PDF) ] | DrugWise, UK

Exclusive: This Is What's Happening in Britain's Drug Scene Right Now

A study released today reveals a load of new unexpected narcotics trends throughout the UK | VICE, UK

DDN magazine - February issue

In this issue, Natalie Davies examines the argument for consumption rooms in detail; Catherine Larkin and Danny Hames take stock of the value of a naloxone strategy; Tony Margetts evaluates the progress of prison reform; Lizzie McCulloch looks at a new approach to cannabis policy and treatment; and two of the major treatment charities explain how they are tuned to the challenges ahead | DDN, UK

Volteface Launch New Report: Black Sheep

The report argues that legally regulating cannabis consumption would better help those most at risk | Volte Face, UK

Cross party support for new ‘Black Sheep’ report into problematic cannabis reveals regulated, legalised market would help those most at risk

Although the number of people seeking support for problematic cannabis use is on the rise, cannabis remains a neglected drug in UK public health discourse and there is limited support and guidance available | Ladbury, UK

FDACs face challenging future

Local stakeholders question whether problem-solving court provides value for money | Solicitors Journal, UK

Effectiveness Bank hot topics January/February 2017

Latest selection of important issues which generate heated debate over
facts or interpretation, starting with one of the most intensive and
expensive treatment options – residential rehabilitation. How has this fared in the current financial climate? Staying on the subject of ‘recovery’ from addiction, we weigh up the benefits and risks of aiming for _abstinence versus controlled drinking. And then circle right back to way before substance use is on the agenda, exploring those ‘magic’ preventive interventions which don’t mention drugs at all – but can have greater impact than those focused on the issue | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Some smokers have a 72 per cent chance of getting deadly lung disease - video

Major study finds genes that significantly increase the chance of getting a chronic lung disease such as bronchitis or emphysema | Independent, UK

Vaping is 'far safer' than smoking cigarettes

Vaping has been endorsed by health experts after the first long-term study of its effects in ex-smokers | ITV, UK

New rule announced on the advertising of electronic cigarettes

Today we’re announcing the creation of a new rule in the CAP Code prohibiting the advertising of unlicensed, nicotine-containing electronic cigarettes in some non-broadcast media | CAP, UK

'I was addicted to prescription drugs' - video

Could the prescription drug addiction problem sweeping the United States be replicated in the UK? BBC Newsnight speaks to people who have struggled with addiction - and those offering help and support. [Harry Shapiro of DrugWise featured] | BBC, UK

Alcohol-related deaths in the UK: registered in 2015

Deaths caused by diseases known to be related to alcohol consumption, such as cirrhosis of the liver | ONS, UK

Local tobacco control profiles for England: February 2017 data update

The Local Tobacco Control Profiles for England quarterly data update for February 2017 | PHE, UK

Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE): February 2017 data update

The Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE) data update for February 2017 | PHE, UK

The adherance to UK legislation by online shops selling NPS

On the 26th of May 2016, the UK Government introduced the Psychoactive Substances Act, 2016. The aim of this short report is to explore online shops selling New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) stated motivations for closing and the changes that arose preceding the ban | DEPP, UK

Safer consumption facility would provide substantial financial gain for services

The draft, full business case for Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership’s (HSCP) proposed safer consumption facility for heroin users has found that public injecting of drugs places considerable financial costs on the health, social care and criminal justice systems | SDF, UK

Transgender inclusion in alcohol and drug services

We conducted research in partnership with North Ayrshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership and North Aryshire Health and Social Care Partnership into trans people’s use of alcohol or other drugs. The survey asked people to tell us about their use of alcohol or other drugs, as well as their concerns about or experiences of using specialist recovery or addiction services | Scottish Trans.org, UK

Drink, doctors and medications

Lessons of the last five instalments of the free online course on alcohol treatment research, all on the treatment in a medical context or involving medical care. The evidence leads us to see medications in the context of the practitioners delivering them, managements and organisations which shape the therapeutic environment, and the local treatment system which provides preparatory, supportive and follow-on care | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Long-term vaping 'far safer than smoking' says 'landmark' study

"Vaping has been endorsed by health experts after the first long-term study of its effects in ex-smokers," ITV News reports | NHS Choices: behind the headlines, UK

Ireland’s first Supervised Injecting Facility to provide safe harbour and medical help for chronic drug users

Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister of State for Communities and the National Drugs Strategy, Catherine Byrne today (Tuesday) welcomed the Government’s decision to approve the publication of the Misuse of Drugs (Supervised Injecting Facilities) Bill 2017 | Department of Health, Ireland

Why are more and more people seeking treatment for cannabis misuse? Here are the facts

Any call for drug policy reform in the UK is usually met with a standard response from the Home Office. It goes something like this: “Drug misuse among adults and young people has fallen in the last ten years and we are working to educate young people about the risks, to help those who are dependent through treatment, and to clamp down on the illicit trade.” | Conversation, UK

Further advice on U-47,700, etizolam and other designer benzodiazepines

The chair of the ACMD, Les Iversen, replies to Minister for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism Sarah Newton about: the opioid U-47,700, designer benzodiazepines | ACMD, UK

Illegal substances creating 'violent and volatile' prisons

A "violent and volatile prison population" is being fuelled by better access to so-called legal highs, a union has said | BBC, UK

Young people in Wales now substantially more likely to try e-cigarettes than tobacco

Young people in Wales are now almost twice as likely to try an e-cigarette compared to tobacco, new research by Cardiff University shows | Cardiff University, UK

This is how likely it is for young people in Wales to have tried a variety of drugs (legal and illegal)

Researchers spoke to more than 32,400 young people | Wales Online, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask Her Majesty’s Government why publication of the new drugs strategy, which was expected to be in March 2016, has been delayed | They work for you, UK

2017 NDTMS reporting consultation

Public Health England (PHE) is keen to gather information on how NDTMS (National Drug Monitoring Treatment System) management reports, which are hosted on report viewer, are being used in the current operating environment and whether they are still fit for purpose. The consultation will be open from Wednesday 8th February 2017 until Friday 31st March 2017 | PHE, UK