Weekly news - 30th June 2017


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In date order, Monday to Friday

ONS consultng on removing drug questions from Crime Survey

In an overall review of crime data collection, the ONS is considering removing general population questions about drug use from the Crime Survey for England and Wales. We all know the shortcomings of the survey, but it is the only official idea we have of drug use in the general population. Presumably drug statistics are in the firing line because trends are generally stable (and so drugs are not the political issue they once were). But the situation could change and once lost, this data set will be hard to re-establish. If you have concerns about this, please click on the link to respond to the consultation | ONS, UK

"It's not just about recovery" The Right Turn Veteran-Specific Recovery Service Evaluation Final Report (PDF)

Ex-military personnel who are recovering from alcohol and drug addiction are more likely to succeed in recovery through veteran specific services, new research has revealed | Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Older People with Drug Problems in Scotland: A Mixed Methods Study Exploring Health and Social Support Needs (PDF)

The population of problem drug users in Scotland is aging. This research was commissioned by the Scottish Government to provide a better understanding of the issues facing Older People with a Drug Problem (OPDP) in Scotland so that policy and practice can be targeted appropriately. The aim of the study was to identify and explore the health care and social support needs of older drug users (>35 years) in a cross sectional sample across Scotland | SDF, UK

Report calls for change in drug treatment services

A report by the Scottish Drugs Forum has called for changes in the way drug treatment services are offered in Scotland | BBC, UK

Seven hospitalised amid Oldham drug warning

Seven people have been hospitalised after taking a "particularly potent" form of the drug MDMA, police said | BBC, UK

UK heart disease deaths fall by over 20% since indoor smoking ban

Smokers aged 35 and above are less likely to die from heart attacks since indoor venues went smoke-free 10 years ago | Guardian, UK

Drugs map of Britain: Belfast Buds

Director Adam Patterson follows the lives of young people in Northern Ireland who are abusing prescription medication | BBC iPlayer, UK

Middle-class parents contributing to teen addictions by 'handing over bottles of vodka', warns top therapist

Parents are all too willing to ‘turn a blind eye’ and are often too naive to pick up on substance abuse, claims Mandy Saligari | Independent, UK

NHS doctors turning to substance abuse amid rising levels of stress and burnout

Rising number of GPs seeking help for addiction and mental health problems | Independent, UK

Let students use drugs and sell them at Boots

If safely monitored, brain-boosting drugs such as modafinil could even be used in other contexts, for example during late night driving, argues Dr Barbara Sahakian | Independent, UK

One dead and four critically ill after taking potent form of MDMA

Greater Manchester police say 11 people were taken to hospital after apparently taking a drug known as ‘pink champagne’ | Guardian, UK

This is what happens if you take too much MDMA

One man has died and four others are seriously ill in Manchester after taking what police say is a "particularly potent" form of MDMA | BBC, UK

South Shields woman dies in suspected drugs incident

A 35-year-old woman has died after taking suspected illegal drugs | BBC 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

How Scotland was the brave on smoking law

Scotland’s pioneering contribution to anti-smoking legislation must not be ignored when marking the 10th anniversary of the smoking ban in public spaces in England, writes Keith Hayton | Guardian, UK

Guidance: Substance misuse

Updated. This guidance is to help professionals in drug and alcohol teams or learning disability teams support people with learning disabilities who have substance misuse problems. It summarises what the research tells us about the particular problems faced by this group of people and what approaches work best | PHE, UK

Minimum alcohol pricing for Wales back on table

Plans to introduce a new law setting a minimum price for alcohol in Wales could be revived by the Welsh Government | BBC, UK

Consultation on the National Statistics definition of alcohol-related mortality

Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports annual trends on deaths associated with alcohol consumption using a National Statistics (NS) definition of alcohol-related deaths. ONS also use this definition to respond to Parliamentary Questions, and to the media and customer data requests | ONS, UK

An overview of lifestyles and wider characteristics linked to Healthy Life Expectancy in England: June 2017

Including sections on alcohol and smoking | ONS, UK

MESAS monitoring report 2017

The Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland's Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) monitoring report 2017 brings together the latest available data on key alcohol indicators in Scotland. Supporting datasets and infographics that summarise the findings are available | NHS Health Scotland, UK

Alcohol licensing: pilot of analytical support package

Updated guidnce. Findings from pilot of analytical support package for alcohol licensing, to support the role of public health teams in alcohol licensing | PHE, UK

Pregnancy: Smoking:Written question - 284

The Government is committed to reducing smoking prevalence in pregnant women and will be publishing its new Tobacco Control Plan for England shortly. This will aim to reduce smoking prevalence generally and includes actions to reduce smoking during pregnancy | Parliament.uk, UK

Interesting new drug facts (June 2017)

This is the latest post in a monthly series reproducing Andrew Brown’s monthly slideshare of interesting new facts about alcohol and other drugs which he has unearthed from a wide range of reports | Russell Webster, UK

Man dies after taking 'potent' crystallised Spice, not MDMA

A man thought to have been killed by the drug MDMA had taken a "much more potent version" of Spice, Greater Manchester Police has said | BBC, UK

Walking the advocacy tightrope – a KBS 2017 special

Podcast. How do alcohol researchers promote their work in a policy environment fraught with tensions between policymakers, NGOs, and industry? | IAS, UK

PE01651: Prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to take action to appropriately recognise and effectively support individuals affected and harmed by prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal | Scottish Parliament, UK

Alcohol Marketing during the UEFA EURO 2016 Football Tournament: A Frequency Analysis

This study examined the frequency and nature of alcohol marketing references in broadcasts of the 2016 UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) European Championships football tournament in the United Kingdom (UK). | IJERPH, UK

Veterans need specific services to overcome addiction

The research, carried out by Sheffield Hallam University’s Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice on behalf of the charity Addaction, and funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), looked at the work of the Right Turn project, which has been developed to support veterans who are recovering from addiction and helping them reintegrate in to civilian life | Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, UK

EDM 15: Government's alcohol strategy

That this House notes that among those aged 15 to 49, alcohol is now the leading risk factor for ill-health, early mortality and disability and the fifth leading risk factor for ill-health across all age groups... | Parliament.uk, UK

EDM 20: Government's drug strategy

That this House is shocked that more people die of drug misuse than on the roads; notes that drug-related deaths are at record levels; recognises that drug treatment services not only save lives but every £1 invested saves society £2.50 in health, welfare and crime costs... | Parliament.uk, UK

EDM 21: Hepatitis C

That this House notes that hepatitis is a leading cause of death globally with a toll exceeding that of HIV; further notes that World Hepatitis Day on 28 July 2017 is one of only four disease-specific global awareness days endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO)... | Parliament.uk, UK

EDM 22: Drug and alcohol treatment charities

That this House notes that several charity providers in the drugs and alcohol sector have had to merge recently as a result of financial difficulties; further notes that the Drugs, Alcohol and Justice Cross-Party Parliamentary Group has repeatedly warned that it was only a matter of time before a major provider would go out of business... | Parliament.uk, UK

Queen’s Speech - Debate (4th Day)

My Lords, I will address a matter which risks getting lost in the battle for Brexit but which urgently needs Home Office attention. I refer to the hundreds of thousands of severely and chronically ill patients whose symptoms are currently not controlled | They work for you, UK

Qualitative Methods Journal Club

This new SSA-funded initiative is aimed at increasing knowledge of qualitative research practice. The Journal Club will be hosted by different international academic institutions on a rolling 6 month programme | SSA, UK

No respect: Young BAME men, the police and stop and search (PDF)

The number of stop and searches carried out each year in England and Wales is in decline, but this decline has disproportionately favoured white people. While the overall number of searches has dropped from a high of 1.2 million to a low of 380,000 in 2015/16, BAME people collectively are now three times more likely than white people to be searched, up from twice as likely the year before | CJA, UK

Inside Liverpool's Teenage Gun Gangs

A decade after the murder of Rhys Jones, why is the city's gang scene kicking off? | VICE, UK

Police patrol Welsh village to head off hunters of LSD stash

Dyfed-Powys police are acting on claim of 1977 Operation Julie detective that LSD tabs are still to be found in former west Wales drugs factory | Guardian, UK

Ignore the Public at your Peril

Drug related deaths are at their highest on record and the call to action has been predominantly targeted towards treatment professionals. Volteface met with Michaela Jones, Community Director of in2recovery, to find why mobilizing the community would be key to reducing this alarming rise in drug related deaths | Volte Face, UK