Weekly news - 28th July 2017


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Heavy drinking will kill 63,000 people over next five years, doctors warn

Doctors urge government to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol as research reveals extent of liver disease | Guardian, UK

Financial case for action on liver disease (PDF)

Escalating costs of alcohol misuse, obesity and viral hepatitis | Foundation for Liver Research, UK

Alcohol minimum pricing appeal to be heard

The UK's highest court is to begin hearing the latest appeal against minimum pricing for alcohol | BBC, UK

Drugs Policy

[Transcript of the drugs debate] 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 | Parliament.uk, UK

Drug strategy will fail without new money, say critics

Rapid responses | BMJ, UK

‘Five friends go out and take ecstasy, one doesn’t come home’: the rise of super-strength pills

Why are ecstasy deaths at their highest level in a decade? | Guardian, UK

Glasgow’s dark legacy returns as gangland feuds erupt in public killings

After decades spent reinventing its image, the city is plagued by the return of a brutal family struggle to control its drugs trade | Guardian, UK

More Australians dying of accidental overdose of pharmaceutical opioids

The rate of accidental deaths due to opioids is increasing and has more than doubled among Australians aged 35 to 44 since 2007 with more than two thirds of the deaths due to pharmaceutical opioids rather than heroin, a report from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre has found | NDARC, Australia

Home Office Science non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs): triennial review

In April 2011, Cabinet Office announced that all NDPBs still in existence following the reforms brought about by the Public Bodies Act 2011 would have to undergo a substantive review at least once every 3 years | Home Office, UK

'Life-saving drug' reverses 98 opioid overdoses

A medication that reverses an overdose from opioids, including heroin, has helped prevent deaths in 98 potentially fatal overdoses in the past five years | BBC, UK

Scotch whisky industry attacks minimum price plans as 'blunt instrument'

Drinks industry body takes on Scottish government in supreme court over proposals to bring in 50 per unit minimum price | Guardian, UK

Hepatitis B: guidance, data and analysis

The characteristics, diagnosis, management and epidemiology of hepatitis B | PHE, UK

New analysis explains increase and inequality in drugs deaths

Today sees the release of new analysis which shows that the risk of drug-related deaths increased in Scotland from the 1990s for those born between 1960 and 1980, especially within deprived areas. [Media release (PDF)] | NHS Scotland, UK

Could redesigning supermarkets, bars and restaurants ‘nudge’ us away from harmful consumption of food, alcohol and tobacco?

Behavioural and cognitive scientists at the Universities of Cambridge and Bristol have just been awarded a prestigious Wellcome Collaborative Award in Science to investigate ways to ‘nudge’ people towards healthier behaviour – to reduce their food and alcohol consumption and to stop smoking – in order to improve health across the population | BHRU, Univeristy of Cambridge, UK

Journeys: living with a partner using drugs or alcohol

The journey towards life without drugs or alcohol is your journey too. Unless you take the difficult decision to leave your partner you will be with them on their journey, but you will also be on your own. You will have your own symptoms and setbacks, feelings and fears. Like your partner you will have successes and moments of despair. And like your partner’s journey, yours will have key moments and stages | Adfam, UK

Teenagers who increase their marijuana use with age have a greater risk of depression and education failures

Teenagers who increase their marijuana use with age have a greater risk of depression, an inability to experience pleasure and poor educational achievements in later life, new research reveals | Mail Online, UK

Smokers who undergo a CT scan of their lungs are more likely to quit, study finds

Research disputes notion that a negative screening result offers a ‘licence to smoke’ | Independent, UK

Inside the One UK Lab Testing What's Really in Your Drugs

WEDINOS, in Cardiff, is the only place you can send your drugs to be tested. We went to see what they've found in the country's MDMA, LSD and cocaine | VICE, UK

Drug misuse: findings from the 2016 to 2017 CSEW

Examines the extent and trends in illicit drug use among a sample of 16 to 59 year old residents in households in England and Wales | Home Office, UK

Practices and attitudes of General Practitioners in the delivery of Alcohol Brief Interventions in Scotland (PDF)

Our findings point to the fundamentally central role GPs play in responding to harmful and hazardous drinking through the delivery of ABIs in primary care. The study identified that facilitators for the effective delivery of ABIs fell into two categories, systemic factors and patient-centred factors | SHAAP, UK

Financial Incentives for Alcohol Brief Interventions in Primary Care in Scotland (PDF)

This study aimed to provide an overview of the evidence for using remuneration systems for Alcohol Brief Interventions (ABIs) in primary care, to examine the availability of relevant data in Scotland and to explore the views of local and national stakeholders | SHAAP, UK

EU Action Plan on Drugs 2017-2020

The use of illicit drugs and the misuse of drugs generally, is a major problem for individuals, families and communities across Europe. Apart from the health and social implications of drug misuse, the illicit drugs market constitutes a major element of criminal activity across European society and, indeed, on a global level | Eur-Lex, Belgium

People with co-occurring conditions: commission and provide services

Guidance on commissioning and providing better care for people with co-occurring mental health, and alcohol and drug use conditions | PHE, UK

ACMD work programme

Letter from Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP to Dr Owen Bowden-Jones on the ACMD work programme | Home Office, UK

Drug consumption rooms ruled out by government

The UK government has dismissed a call from its own advisory body to consider introducing drug consumption rooms | BBC, UK

Treating Scotland's changing drug problem

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell has announced a refresh of Scotland’s drug strategy, to respond to the changing nature of Scotland’s drug problem | Scottish Government, UK

Drug Consumption Rooms Are No Longer Outside Of The Law

In a landmark decision, the Government has announced that they would not step in the way of a drug consumption room being introduced, if a Local Authority decided it would best meet the needs of their local population | Volte Face, UK

Steroids see four-fold increase, data shows, fuelled by rise in muscle-conscious young men

Steroids are the only drug in the UK to have seen a four-fold increase in the past year, official data shows, fuelled by a rise in muscle-conscious young men | Telegraph, UK

Drinking a few times a week 'reduces diabetes risk'

People who drink three to four times a week are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who never drink, Danish researchers suggest | BBC, UK