Weekly news - 13th October 2017

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In date order, Monday to Friday

Residential rehab budgets slashed by nearly a quarter in four years

ExclusiveFigures show one local council has had detoxification budget reduced by 90 per cent since 2013 | Independent, UK

‘Wrap-around’ care in substance use treatment

Could ‘wrap-around’ care be a realistic option for helping people with
multiple, severe, and overlapping problems in substance use treatment, and should treatment services have the flexibility to determine the extent to which this would be implemented in practice, or would this risk a lottery of comprehensive care? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Club drugs are getting more powerful - so do police and the industry need to do more to prevent deaths?

It's time for an adult conversation about drugs and the people who use them | Manchester Evening News, UK

Drug Strategy Implementation Events

Collective Voice, NHS SMPA and the Home Office are hosting a series of events around the country to engage with the sector to promote the opportunities the 2017 Drug Strategy and the refreshed Clinical Guidelines create to improve outcomes for service users and their communities | Collective Voice, UK

Share your views with DDN and I’m Worth… on how to help hepatitis C patients!

Drink and Drugs News is pleased to partner with the I’m Worth… a patient empowerment campaign developed and paid for by Gilead Sciences Ltd, which aims to address the stigma that many people with hepatitis C face and encourage people living with hepatitis C to access care and services, no matter how or when they were infected | DDN, UK

A Case Against Complacency

Fentanyls are creeping into the UK drug supply and the risks they pose to people who use drugs have become one of the major public health concerns of 2017 | Volte Face, UK

Scotland Should Have The Power To Decriminalise Drugs, Says SNP

Drug laws should be devolved to Scotland so the government in Holyrood can make moves towards decriminalisation, SNP party delegates have said | Huffington Post, UK

People are vaping cannabis because they think it makes them less likely to get caught

There’s no smoke and therefore very little smell | Manchester Evening News, UK

Prisons so degrading inmates driven to drugs, says chief inspector

Peter Clarke’s warning comes as prison governors call for moves to ease ‘full to bursting’ prisons across England and Wales | Guardian, UK

Drug Treatment Services

[Parliamentary debate] Question from Jeff Smith MP (Manchester, Withington) (Lab): What assessment has been made of the advice of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on the level of funding for drug treatment services? | Hansard, UK

Early day motion 327

[New signatories added] That this House is alarmed at the 3,744 drug-related deaths registered in England and Wales and the 867 registered in Scotland in 2016; notes with dismay that these rates are far higher than those across Europe; further notes that the majority of these deaths involved an opiate... | Parliament.uk, UK

Why is heroin killing so many people?

In the past five years deaths involving heroin in the UK have rocketed. Is it time for a radical solution? | BBC, UK

Labour MP promises to eat cannabis cake if campaigners calling for drug to be legalised are arrested

A Labour MP has vowed to eat a cannabis cake if campaigners calling for the drug to be legalised are arrested at a "tea party" outside Parliament | Telegraph, UK

Cannabis: Tide of world opinion is moving to legalisation, Flynn says - video

Newport West MP Paul Flynn has urged MPs to back the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use as he introduced a bill in the House of Commons | BBC, UK

The Parents’ Handbook

The Parents’ Handbook has been produced by Mentor and Adfam as a free resource for parents and carers. The revised guide includes details on the range of new substances their effects, risk factors and the law. It also contains helpful advice on how to have effective conversations about drugs in order to keep your child safe from their harms | Mentor and Adfam, UK

Evaluating drug policy: a seven-step guide to support the commissioning and managing of evaluations

This document summarises the main issues concerning evaluation in the field of drug policy. Aimed at those managing rather than undertaking drug policy evaluations, the guide acts as an introduction, providing links to the wider literature. Recognising that there is no single correct way to undertake an evaluation, this publication is designed to assist people in choosing the best approach to suit their circumstances and to maximise the value of any evaluation | EMCCDA, Portugal

Pregabalin: Spending on 'new valium' greater in north

Prescribing rates for a valium-like drug linked to 111 deaths in a year vary widely across England, BBC analysis suggests. Monthly spending on prescriptions containing pregabalin was 88% higher in the North East and 83% higher in the North West than in London | BBC, UK

NICE to back use of e-cigarettes in new smoking cessation guidance

In the guidance, published last month, NICE said: ‘Some smokers have found them helpful to quit smoking cigarettes and there is currently little evidence on the long-term benefits or harms of 15 these products.’ | Pulse Today, UK

‘My GP says I drink too much’: screening and brief intervention

In the absence of greater obstacles to availability, widespread screening to identify and then briefly advise risky drinkers has been the great hope for improved alcohol-related public health. This major hot topic update guides you through the studies which exposed questionable effectiveness and patchy implementation, leading to today’s less ambitious plans | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Understanding the pathway: barriers to data collection and onward referral to specialist hepatitis C services for PWID in London (PDF)

These recommendations reflect those made by the LJWG in its publication Commissioning of hepatitis C (HCV) services in London for People Who Inject Drugs report from 2013i (1) suggesting that there is still significant action and progress needed to increase access to HCV treatment | LJWG, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions his Department has had with the Ministry of Justice on making drugs policy a responsibility of his Department | They work for you, UK

Drug Treatment Services

What assessment he has made of the advice of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on the level of funding for drug treatment services | They work for you, UK

Legalisation of Cannabis (Medicinal Purposes)

I beg to move, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to allow the production, supply, possession and use of cannabis and cannabis resin for medicinal purposes; | They work for you, UK

Are UK drug consumption rooms likely?

What does the Home Office really think about drug consumption rooms - safe and supervised places where addicts can inject or inhale illicit substances without fear of prosecution? | BBC, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to (a) include harm reduction within the remit of the Recovery Champion and (b) appoint a bespoke harm reduction champion as part of the Government's new drugs strategy | They work for you, UK


To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to the report of the Drugs, Alcohol and Justice Cross-Party Parliamentary Group’s Charter for Change, published in September | They work for you, UK

Exploring the intersections between novel psychoactive substances (NPS) and other substance use in a police custody suite setting in the north east of England

We explore the intersections between NPS and other substances with police staff and users in custody; specifically the similarities and differences in treatment, management and policing of these substances | DEPP, UK

Criminals could be banned from drinking after they are released from prison

'At a time when prisons are full to bursting, expanding the channels back into custody even further seems frankly barmy,' says reform campaigner | Independent, UK

Alcohol is one of the five most addictive substances on the planet

Ranking drugs based on how addictive they are is tough work, since we all react differently to distinct substances. Nevertheless, a group of addiction experts including specialists from the Royal College of Psychiatrists as well as chemists, forensic scientists, and pharmacologists recently took a stab, and published their ranking in the journal The Lancet | Independent, UK

Drink drive figures: cause for concern in 2017?

Further attention on the national drink driving limit in England and Wales has been prompted by a rise in the number of people seriously injured in drink drive accidents, whilst a recent RAC survey reports most people support a lowering of legal limit | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

More than 25 million people dying in agony without morphine every year

Concern over illicit use and addiction is putting morphine out of reach for millions of patients globally who need it for pain relief | Guardian, UK

A new alternative to e-cigarettes is growing in popularity

There's a new device that looks similar to the e-cigarette but is beginning to grow in popularity | Joe, UK

Australia's first pill-testing trial cancelled – and ACT Liberals take credit

The Australian Capital Territory Liberal party has taken credit for blocking a pioneering pill-testing trial at an Australian music festival after organisers announced it will no longer go ahead | Guardian, UK