Weekly news - 3rd March 2017


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In date order, Monday to Friday

NHS 'tobacco free' campaign launched by Public Health England

A "truly tobacco-free NHS" needs to be created to help smoker patients quit their habit, health officials say | BBC, UK

Test all pregnant women for smoking, say NHS chiefs

The plan, which is supported by the Royal College of Midwives, is part of a wider drive to discourage cigarettes at hospitals | Guardian, UK

Consultancy of use of NDTMS reports

Public Health England (PHE) is keen to gather information on how the reports and toolkits from the NDTMS (National Drug Monitoring Treatment System) are being used in the current operating environment and whether they are still meeting user’s needs. Therefore, we are carrying out an online consultation to gather information on your current use of NDTMS reports | PHE, UK

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 27 February 2017

How the guardians of the English drug treatment system judge it, and how guardians of the nation’s children help protect them by helping their substance using parents. From the 1950s a vindication of empathic, non-directive therapy, and from 2006 another message later repeatedly confirmed - that real-world alcohol screening and brief intervention often fails to make a significant difference | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

How do treatment systems in England measure up?

English treatment systems perform at least as well as other countries on
a number of measures, but have a considerably higher rate of drug-related deaths than elsewhere in Europe. As well as pursuing harm
reduction and recovery, this Public Health England report stresses the
importance of social integration as an objective | Drug and Alcohol
Findings, UK

Parliamentary event on white cider - podcast

Alcohol Alert, February 2017: This edition finds the Alcohol Health Alliance co-hosting a parliamentary event calling for increased taxes on cheap high-strength cider, with Thames Reach, a London-based charity working with those suffering from homelessness | IAS, UK

Plain packets help smokers quit by killing brand identities

The proof is in the packaging. Making all cigarette packets look the same reduces the positive feelings smokers associate with specific brands and encourages quitting, Australian research shows | New Scientist, UK

Scottish Government urged to curb alcohol marketing

In a report published today - Promoting good health from childhood (PDF) - by Alcohol Focus Scotland, leading academics and health experts outline how the Scottish Government can reduce the unacceptably high levels of alcohol marketing that children and young people are exposed to | Alcohol Focus Scotland, UK

Children exposed to 'unacceptably high levels' of alcohol marketing

Children are exposed to "unacceptably high levels" of alcohol marketing through sports sponsorship and public adverts, according to a report | BBC, UK

Smoking quit targets 'should be legally-binding'

The Welsh Government should face legally-binding targets to reduce the number of people smoking in Wales, a lung health charity has said | BBC, UK

Statistics on Drugs Misuse: England, 2017 

This statistical report presents a range of information on drug use by adults and children drawn together from a variety of sources. It focuses on England only where possible although some statistics are only readily available at GB or UK level or for England and Wales combined | NHS Digital, UK

Drug and mental health admissions highest for a decade

More patients are being admitted to hospital in England for drug-related mental health issues or poisoning than at any time in the past 10 years | BBC, UK

Health Matters - Preventing Drug Misuse Deaths - video

This edition of Health Matters from Public Health England focuses on preventing drug misuse deaths. It outlines how providers and commissioners can help prevent deaths from drug abuse | PHE, UK

Health Matters: Preventing drug misuse deaths

Welcome to the latest edition of Health Matters, a resource for local authorities and health professionals, which focuses on preventing drug misuse deaths | PHE Blog, UK

Fewer people 'using e-cigarettes to quit smoking amid lack of official guidance'

The number of smokers using e-cigarettes to quit the habit is declining amid "little in the way of official guidance" from the market or the NHS, according to a report | BT, UK

E-Cigarettes Ignite The Smoking Cessation Market

Once quitting smoking was simply a matter of a patch, gum or tablet, but new research from Mintel sees smokers in the UK increasingly turning to E-cigarettes to beat the habit. Indeed, latest research from Mintel finds that today, while sales of smoking cessation aids have slowed, the market for E-cigarettes in the UK is booming, increasing an impressive 340% over the past year from an estimated £44 million in 2012 to reach an estimated £193 million in 2013 | Mintel, UK

Does AA really help drinkers stop?

12-step fellowships offer a way to reconcile shrunken resources with the desire to get more patients safely out of treatment. Accounting for the self-selection bias which has obscured AA’s impacts, this synthesis of US trials finds that attending more meetings after treatment really does boost abstinence | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Substance Misuse and Homelessness in Greater Manchester An Analysis of National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) Data (PDF)

The aim of this report... is to illuminate the scale of need in Greater Manchester by analysing one of the few datasets that does collate information relating to both homelessness and substance misuse: the National Drug Monitoring System (NDTMS) | Lifeline Project, UK

What’s happening in the UK, DrugWise?

There’s no such thing as a current overview of drug trends: “By the time they’re published, most official reports are way out of date,” says freelance journalist and celebrated Narcomania author and columnist Max Daly, explaining the impetus for “Highways and Buyways.” | Volte Face, UK

Major effort needed to make cannabis use less harmful, say scientists

As more countries relax their laws and with drug potency rising, it is crucial to take steps to reduce harm from cannabis use, researchers say | Guardian, UK

Estimating lives saved by addiction treatment in England

A robust analysis indicates that between 2008 and 2011 around 880
opioid-related ‘overdose’ deaths were prevented each year by treatment,
reducing total deaths by over 40% | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Criminal Justice Project: Drug Interventions Programme

The Drug Interventions Programme (DIP) is an initiative with an overarching aim to identify and engage with drug using offenders in the criminal justice system in order to channel them into appropriate treatment services, and as a result reduce acquisitive crime in England and Wales | PHI, UK

Guidance: Five nations health and justice collaboration: psychoactive substances

This statement outlines how the European drug marketplace has become increasingly complex with an increasing number of new substances available alongside more established drugs and diverted medications. The Five Nations Health and Justice Collaboration has been sharing increasing reports of NPS use in prisons across the five nations and their impact, not only on the health of the individual but also the prison regime, which has led to it to make this collective statement | PHE, UK

Case study: Responding to drug related deaths in Newcastle

Review of drug related deaths in Newcastle informed a naloxone scheme, delivery plan and commissioning plan for a complete recovery system | PHE, UK

Case study: A lung health clinic in an addictions service

Screening for lung disease is not common in drug and alcohol treatment services but Lambeth has set up a lung health clinic in its CDAT team | PHE, UK

Splitting the bill: Alcohol's impact on the economy (PDF)

Economic questions are central to the formation of alcohol policies, such as the setting of alcohol taxes, licensing requirements and marketing regulations. In particular, arguments around income, employment and trade are regularly used by the alcohol industry to resist measures to discourage consumption and harm. Such arguments are premised on the assumption that a successful alcohol industry is beneficial to the UK economy. This report critically examines that assumption | IAS, UK

Life-saving alcohol services face devastating cuts

Alcohol-related hospital admissions are on the rise. So why are cuts being made to specialist nursing services? | Guardian, UK

Guidance: Accredited qualification providers: personal licence to sell alcohol

List of accredited organisations that provide courses and exams for a personal licence to sell alcohol | Home Office, UK

Government Moves Closer to Compulsory Alcohol and Drugs Education for Schools

An announcement made today by Education Secretary Justine Greening marks an important step in the campaign to protect all school students from risks through PSHE education. Schools will be required to deliver Relationships Education and the Government will be consulting to broaden the scope of statutory PSHE to include subjects such as drugs and alcohol | Mentor, UK

Evaluation of Four Recovery Communities across England: Final report for the Give it Up project

The Comic Relief: Give it Up Fund is a programme that aims to develop and build abstinence-based recovery communities and learn more about their value. The Give it Up Fund supports the development of recovery communities in four geographical locations in England. It is expected that the recovery communities will be sustainable and continue to operate after the two years of funding is complete. The aim of this research is to evaluate the operational processes of the pilot programmes and better understand how they might contribute to ambitions of improved and sustained recovery | PHI, UK

Novel Psychoactive Substances: important information for health professionals

Novel psychoactive substances (NPS; also known as new psychoactive substances or popularly, although erroneously, as ‘legal highs’) is the name given to drugs that are newly synthesised or newly available, and which do not fall under the control of United Nations Drug Conventions | Mental Elf Blog, UK