Weekly news - 31st March 2017


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Overdose antidote takes harm-reduction centre stage

One of our selection of hot topics, analyses of important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Programmes distributing the opiate overdose antidote naloxone have become the great new hope for curbing the rise in drug-related deaths, but England is lagging behind the rest of the UK | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

New research reveals young people’s views on new psychoactive substances

Sixty-six percent of young people surveyed had tried new psychoactive substances (NPS, formerly known as ‘legal highs’) at least once, according to new research. Those surveyed also reported significant adverse effects, such as delusions, hallucinations, panic and anxiety | Addaction, UK

Say why to drugs - PCP

Latest podcast | Suzi Cage, UK

Switching to vaping cuts fire death risk, London Fire Brigade safety chief tells smokers

Switching from tobacco smoking to vaping could cut fire deaths, a fire chief said today | London Evening Standard, UK

Are Kids Really Huffing Burning Wheelie Bins Again?

C'mon, they're not actually trying to get high off trash smoke, are they? Are they? | VICE, UK

National wastewater monitoring program (PDF)

In response to growing concern around crystal methylamphetamine use in Australia, a National Ice Taskforce was established... One of the recommendations of the Taskforce focused on improving and expanding available data sources to provide a more accurate understanding of drug use in Australia. This document is the first of nine public reports which will share results of a national wastewater drug monitoring program over the next three years. This data will provide statistically valid datasets of methylamphetamine usage and distribution patterns across 51 sites in capital city and regional areas across all states and territories. The analysis extends to 13 drug types and will give the first national evidence base of illicit drug usage and distribution | Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Australia

Guidance: Communicating the UK Chief Medical Officers’ alcohol guidelines

Sets out how the UK Chief Medical Officers’ low risk drinking guidelines can be communicated on labelling | DoH, UK

Alcohol licensing: a guide for public health teams

A Public Health England (PHE) web resource outlines the objectives, legal framework and local practice examples of public health involvement in local licensing | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 28 March 2017

Heated debate on the upsurge in drug misuse deaths in the UK reached a conclusion in a report from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Their evidence included a study suggesting 880 lives a year have been saved by addiction treatment in England. However, legally arm-twisting drug users into treatment seems to have failed. Drinkers helping each other through AA boosts abstinence after treatment | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Tramadol re-classification call after drugs death

A coroner in Northern Ireland has called for tramadol to be made a Class A drug | BBC, UK

Is a Jägerbomb more dangerous than a gin and tonic?

Research seems to link energy drink cocktails with higher alcohol consumption and an increase in negative consequences. How bad can a vodka Red Bull be? | Guardan, UK

Rape victim says judge 'right about women's drunkenness'

A rape victim whose attack led to a judge saying drunk women were putting themselves in danger has defended the comments, saying the judge was "right" | BBC, UK

Topic expert - drugs misuse prevention quality standards advisory committee

We are looking for topic experts to join the drugs misuse prevention quality standards advisory committee | NICE, UK

Drugs: Sentencing

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 21 March 2017 to Question 68249, on drugs: sentencing, how many people serving a custodial sentence for drug offences are serving that sentence for personal possession | They work for you, UK

Precursor chemical import and export authorisation wallchart

This chart outlines the authorisation requirements for importing chemicals into the UK and the requirements for exporting them to different countries across the world | Home Office, UK

APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence publishes proposal for national helpline

The APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence has today published its proposal for a national helpline to help patients affected by prescribed drug dependence | APPG, UK

Healthcare professionals can report adverse effects of legal highs through new website

UK regulators have launched a pilot of a Yellow Card-type scheme for reporting adverse effects associated with legal highs and other illicit drugs | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

DoH advise alcohol labelling messages: will producers respond?

The Department of Health (DoH) have released a document outlining how it would like to see the revised recommended drinking guidelines communicated on alcohol packaging and containers | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Northumbria University researchers warn of 'ticking time bomb' over alcohol misuse in veterans

Researchers from Northumbria University, who have been commissioned by the Royal British Legion to look at why veterans are reluctant to seek or don't receive adequate support for alcohol misuse, warn there is a potential "ticking time bomb" that will see veterans from recent conflicts like Afghanistan and Iraq hit "crisis point" in the coming years over drinking | ITV, UK

Responsible drinking ‘social norms’ messages not credible, say students

A study set in a UK university found telling students that their peers
drink less than they might think did not increase their intentions to
drink responsibly. Though the message that most students have ‘six
drinks or less’ on each occasion was clear, students did not believe,
trust or relate to it | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Scottish Government urged to curb alcohol marketing

In a report - Promoting good health from childhood: Reducing the impact of alcohol marketing on children in Scotland published today 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, UK

US heroin use has increased almost fivefold in a decade, study shows

Researchers say increase is seen across all social groups, ages and sexes and highlight link between misuse of prescription opioids and heroin abuse | Guardian, UK