Weekly news - 27th January 2017


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In date order, Monday to Friday

Government takes action on county line drug gangs

Drug gangs using mobiles and couriers to deal remotely in rural areas, including coastal and market towns, will have phones shut down, under new plans announced by the Home Secretary | Home Office, UK

Stop smoking services may boost mental health of people with depression

Smokers with depression who successfully quit smoking using stop smoking services may see an improvement in their mental health, according to new research(link is external),* funded by Cancer Research UK and published in Annals of Behavioural Medicine | Cancer Research UK, UK

Investigating causality in associations between smoking initiation and schizophrenia using Mendelian randomization

Smoking is strongly associated with schizophrenia. Although it has been widely assumed that this reflects self-medication, recent studies suggest that smoking may be a risk factor for schizophrenia | Nature, UK

Four in 10 British mothers drink in pregnancy - one of worst rates in Europe 

Four in 10 women British women drink during pregnancy with many young professionals binge-drinking in the first few months because they do not realise they are expecting, experts have warned | Telegraph, UK

Prescribing of controlled drugs by therapeutic radiographers: further advice

This letter from the chair of the ACMD to ministers gives further advice about the prescribing of controlled drugs by therapeutic radiographers | ACMD, UK

The brains of alcohol dependents and binge drinkers may recover differently

Cells that clear damage in the brain are less active in alcohol-dependent patients after withdrawal than in models of adolescent binge-drinking | Imperial College, UK

The Battle Against Legal Highs - BBC iPlayer

The drugs that were known as legal highs have become a global phenomenon | BBC iPlayer, UK

Radical ketamine therapy could treat alcohol addiction

A one-off dose of the drug could help alcohol addicts reduce their intake by ‘erasing’ drink-related memories, say psychologists testing treatment | Telegraph, UK

Should dependent drinkers always try for abstinence?

In 1973 researchers showed that even physically dependent drinkers could learn to drink in moderation. But controversy was fierce, with abstinence returning to prominence as an essential component of contemporary visions of ‘recovery’ | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Addaction appoints Mike Dixon as new Chief Executive

Addaction is pleased to announce the appointment of Mike Dixon as our new Chief Executive with effect from 1 May 2017. Mike Dixon is currently the Assistant Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, a post he has held for the past six years | Addaction, UK

Fabric Nightclub, London - podcast

Rob, Elle and Lindsey find out What's the Crack with the London nightclub, Fabric. Why did it close? On what grounds did it reopen? How does this link to current drug use? And is everyone in clubs taking drugs? | acast, UK

Offering a ‘stop smoking’ taster session and personalised letter doubles likelihood smokers will seek help to quit

Smokers underestimate their personal risk of illness, and an NIHR-funded study aimed to try and persuade them that these risks are personally relevant | NIHR, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the timetable is for the Government's response to the report by the Advisory Council on the misuse of drugs, reducing opioid-related deaths in the UK, published in December 2016 | They work for you, UK

Is the 'legal highs' ban working? - video

It is eight months since the British government banned the drugs that were known as "legal highs" | BBC, UK

High impact service users & assertive outreach: improving outcomes?

In 2014 Alcohol Concern released the Blue Light Manual as part of a project to develop alternative approaches and care pathways for treatment resistant drinkers who place a burden on public services. Since then, a number of local areas have developed initiatives focusing on 'high impact' drinkers and new research on an assertive outreach trial has been released | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Medical care in alcohol treatment systems

Online alcohol treatment research course moves on to commissioning whole treatment systems. Highlights the US trial which transformed detoxification recyclers into typical patients, asks if you agree with an expert group's vision of what constitutes a good quality alcohol service, and questions whether Britain is making progress on care for mentally ill problem drinkers | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Typology and Dynamics of Heavier Drinking Styles in Great Britain: 1978–2010

To identify a typology of heavier drinking styles in Great Britain and to identify socio-demographic trends in the typology over the period 1978–2010 | Alcohol and Alcoholism, UK

Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy

A selection of open access articles | DEPP, UK

5 things you need to know about drug policy

Variations of this line have without fail been the Home Office’s go to statement in recent years when questioned on the efficacy of its drug policies. More often than not, it is defiantly accompanied with quotes that suggest to the general public: “Because drug use is falling, our drug policy is working.” | Release, UK

Drug misuse treatment in England: evidence review of outcomes

A review of evidence on what outcomes can be expected of the drug treatment and recovery system in England, with advice on future policy | PHE, UK

Evidence review on drug misuse treatment published

Press release. Public Health England's review shows the drug misuse treatment system in England is performing well | PHE, UK

Secure setting statistics from the NDTMS: financial year ending March 2016

National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) alcohol and drug treatment activity statistics for adult and young people in secure settings | PHE, UK

Thematic analysis of training for prison staff on new psychoactive substances

The use of new psychoactive substances (NPS) in prisons has been recognised as an increasing problem for several years | PHE, UK

Mental Health in General Hospitals: Treat as One (2017)

This NCEPOD report highlights the quality of mental health and physical health care for patients aged 18 years or older with a significant mental disorder who are admitted to a general hospital. The report takes a critical look at areas where the care of patients might have been improved. Remediable factors have also been identified in the clinical and the organisational care of these patients | NCEPOD, UK

Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services: England, April 2016 to September 2016

This quarterly report presents results from the monitoring of the NHS Stop Smoking Services in England during the period April 2016 to June 2016. NHS Stop Smoking Services offer support to help people quit smoking. This can include intensive support through group therapy or one-to-one support | NHS Digital, UK

Call to ban sweet-flavoured e-cigarettes in Wales

Health officials are calling for a ban on the sale of confectionary-like flavours in e-cigarettes over concerns they appeal to children | BBC, UK

State of Child Health Report 2017

Child health 'in jeopardy', due to the alarming gap between rich and poor | Shorthand Social, UK

FDAP members’ interests and accreditation safe with SMMGP

It’s business as usual for FDAP members, the organisation’s outgoing chief executive has confirmed. In a statement on 19 January that the professional body for substance misuse workers would close at the end of the month (drinkanddrugsnews.com/fdap-closes-and-transfers-functions-to-smmgp), FDAP’s board transferred all member services to SMMGP | DDN, UK