Weekly news - 21st July 2017


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Today is International Drug User Remembrance Day

In date order, Monday to Friday

Updated drug misuse clinical guidelines published

The update to Drug Misuse and Dependence: UK guidelines on clinical management (often called the orange book) has been published. Last updated in 2007, the newly updated guidelines endorse much of the previous guidelines. But there is a stronger emphasis on recovery and on a holistic approach to the issues and interventions that can support recovery. Key additions and reinforced messages for 2017 include: incorporation of clinical guidance on prison-based treatment, new psychoactive substances and club drugs, mental health co-morbidity, misuse of prescribed and over-the-counter medicines, smoking cessation, and preventing drug-related deaths, including naloxone provision | PHE, UK

'Dramatic increase' in UK deaths linked to drug use - video

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has launched a new strategy to tackle illicit drug use after a "dramatic" increase in the number of deaths from drugs in England and Wales. Harry Shapiro is the Director of Drugwise, an online drug information service. He told the BBC Radio 4's Today programme that "heroin and cocaine on the streets are at the highest purity levels" | BBC, UK

Chemsex drugs and former legal highs targeted by Home Office

Ministers to launch scheme aimed at cutting illicit drug use and improving dependence recovery rates. [Our Director Harry Shapiro quoted] | Guardian, UK

From angel to monster: 'My son was groomed to sell drugs'

Children from middle-class backgrounds are in danger of being groomed by criminal gangs to sell drugs, a new report has found. One mother says her son turned from "an angel into a monster" | BBC, UK

Stacey Dooley investgates: kids selling drugs online - BBC iPlayer

Stacey goes undercover on Instagram, Snapchat and new social app Yellow to meet the new generation of drug dealers responsible for the biggest ever change to the UK drug trade | BBC, UK

UK drug strategy 'hollow' without more money, says Burnham

Manchester mayor says police and other services cannot do more to tackle spice crisis unless there is more funding | Guardian, UK

The Highs and Lows of the Government's New Drug Strategy

Today, the government finally announces its new drug strategy – a five-year plan for dealing with the problems drugs cause society – after a 15-month delay | VICE, UK

Effectiveness Bank hot topics July to September 2017

Latest selection looks beyond the alcohol and opiate staples of the UK’s treatment caseload to possibly an underestimated drug and then one overestimated - cannabis and crack. Getting drug users into employment has been a major national ambition - realistic, an end in itself, or a means to an end? In 1993 Britain was warned not to ignore the “sleeping giant” of hepatitis C infection; recently the giant seems to have grown bigger | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

The Spice Response

Friday 14th July was a big day for UK’s drug policy strategists. Many of our best and brightest, including treatment service providers, mental health practitioners, police and probation officers, gathered at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) for a conference called “Responding to ‘Spice’: Developing an Integrated Response | Volte Face, UK

Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery 2017 – 2025

Ireland’s “Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery” strategy sets out the Government’s response to addressing the harm caused by substance misuse in our society over the next eight years.  It identifies a set of key actions to be delivered between 2017 and 2020, and provides an opportunity for the development of further actions from 2021 to 2024 to address needs that may emerge later on in the lifetime of the strategy | Department of Health, Ireland

HRB drug and alcohol evidence reviews (PDF)

This review examines the evidence on the effectiveness of interventions in the areas of harm reduction, prevention, treatment and long-term recovery related to illicit drug misuse and dependence | Health Research Board, Ireland

MPs debate drugs policy

MPs are to take part in a general debate on drugs policy in the House of Commons on Tuesday 18 July 2017 | Parliament.uk, UK

Labour MP calls on public to ‘come to Parliament, take cannabis and break the law’

Paul Flynn made the extraordinary appeal during a debate on drugs policy in the Commons on Tuesday | I news, UK

Towards a smoke-free generation: tobacco control plan for England

Outlining plans to reduce smoking in England, with the aim of creating a smoke-free generation | DoH, UK

England 'on track' to stamp out smoking

The government has set out an ambitious plan to make England effectively smoke-free in the next few decades | BBC, UK

Cost of smoking to the NHS in England: 2015

Data on the cost of smoking to the NHS to support the development of the new Tobacco Control Plan for England | PHE, UK

Local alcohol consumption: national survey results

A summary of results from an alcohol consumption survey of 25 upper tier local authorities in England | PHE, UK

Addicted Parents: Last Chance to Keep My Children - BBC iPlayer

Following families at Phoenix Futures' Specialist Family Service, the UK's only family rehab. Four mothers who are addicted to drugs must get clean or face losing their kids | BBC iPlayer, UK

Smokefree Skills: An assessment of maternity workforce training

Time and again as this report was developed, stakeholders, midwives, obstetricians and others would agree that the issue of smoking in pregnancy was extremely important. The oft repeated phrase was that this importance “goes without saying”. This, it seems, is the crux of the problem | ASH, UK

Hepatitis C and people who inject drugs: The family experience

Today we are publishing our report “Marks and scars” on the impact of hepatitis C on the families of people who inject drugs | Adfam, UK

More specialist services in the community needed to tackle addiction, says RCGP

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, has responded to research published in the British Journal of General Practice on long term use of benzodiazepines and 'z-drugs' | RCGP, UK

Drugs Policy

I am pleased to have the opportunity to open this debate on drugs policy because, as many Members will know, the Government have just published an ambitious new drug strategy, which sets out a range of new actions to prevent the harms caused by drug misuse | They work for you, UK

Towards a Smokefree Generation - A Tobacco Control Plan for England

The Government has today published the Tobacco Control Plan for England, with a vision to create a smoke free generation | They work for you, UK

WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic 2017

The latest WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic published today finds that more countries have implemented tobacco control policies, ranging from graphic pack warnings and advertising bans to no smoking areas. About 4.7 billion people – 63% of the world’s population – are covered by at least one comprehensive tobacco control measure, which has quadrupled since 2007 when only 1 billion people and 15% of the world’s population were covered | WHO, Switzerland

Drug dealers find new ways to sell spice to evade police crackdown

Researchers in Manchester say drug is being sold in variety of forms including cigarettes dipped in vials of the chemical | Guardian, UK

Mortality among a cohort of heavy drinkers in Edinburgh & Glasgow

This report represents secondary analysis of data derived from a study of the drinking characteristics of heavy drinkers in Scotland and supported financially by the Chief Scientist Office, Scotland (CZH/4/645) and Alcohol Research UK (R2011/01). Favourable ethical opinion was given by NHS Lothian Research Ethics committee (08/S1101/9) with additional approval from the Caldicott Guardians | SHAAP, Edinburgh Napier University, UK

Statistical bulletin: Crime in England and Wales: year ending Mar 2017

Drug offences in table 2 | ONS, UK

School exclusions: Record numbers for drugs and alcohol

A record number of school exclusions were issued to pupils last year for drug and alcohol related issues, new statistics reveal | BBC, UK

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 21 July 2017

Promising but very different ways to prevent high-risk youngsters growing into risky drinkers tested in London and among poor black families in the US south. The more troubled and troubling of young people benefit most from holistic care which changes their environment in and beyond the family. First rigorous test of an in-prison therapeutic community in comparison with less intensive treatment | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

First WHO Forum on alcohol, drugs & addictive behaviours provokes discussion, illuminates challenges & opportunities

The first World Health Organization Forum on Alcohol, Drugs and Addictive Behaviours was held at WHO Headquarters in Geneva from 26-28 June 2017. The Forum focused on enhancing public health actions on alcohol, drugs and addictive behaviours to achieve health targets for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Lucy Westerman... shares an overview of the Forum's alcohol themed discussions | NCD Alliance, Switzerland

National Drug Strategy 2017-2026

For the first time, Australia has a long-term framework for reducing and preventing the harms associated with alcohol and other drugs through the agreement of a ten-year National Drug Strategy. This is a national strategic framework built on the principles of partnerships, coordination and collaboration, national direction and jurisdictional implementation, and evidence-informed responses | Department of Health, Australia