Weekly news - 20th October 2017

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In date order, Monday to Friday

Drug fatalities highest where treatment cutbacks deepest

More heroin and crack users are dying of overdoses in the areas of England where cuts to drug treatment budgets have been among the greatest, analysis by the Observer shows | Guardian, UK

UK raids uncover suspected suppliers of deadly diet drug

Exclusive: US bodybuilding star and an ex-conman are linked to UK sales of the toxic diet drug DNP following searches on premises in Cumbria | Guardian, UK

'I felt like I was burning up from the inside out': what are the effects of DNP?

Eight people have died in Britain in the last two years taking the drug. Other users have said it left them sweating, faint and unable to function | Guardian, UK

UK accounts for largest share of darknet fentanyl sales in Europe

Oxford academics say sales of synthetic opioid drug are proliferating on illicit websites, with Britain a significant player | Guardian, UK

Ecstasy-related deaths are at a record high. But what can be done about it?

We know more about the drug than ever before, but 63 people died from it in 2016 | MixMag, UK

E-cigarettes are being adapted to smoke heroin, crack cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis which could lead to more overdoses, warn experts

Dr Matthew Blundell, a toxicologist at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in London, and his colleagues said: 'Vaping of recreational drugs and new psychoactive substances poses a serious potential public health risk | Mail Online, UK


One year after Angelus and Mentor merged, the decision has been made to close the Angelus Foundation website | Mentor, UK

‘Magic mushrooms’ may help ‘reset’ depressive brains, study claims

The news is based on a small UK study that looked at the effects of psilocybin, a chemical found in magic mushrooms, on patients with severe depression | NHS Choices: Behind the headlines, UK

Drugs-related deaths rapid evidence review: Keeping people safe (PDF)

In July 2017 the Scottish Government and the Partnership for Action on Drugs in Scotland (PADS) convened a conference entitled Drug Policy through a Health Lens, to respond to rising drug-related deaths in Scotland. NHS Health Scotland undertook a rapid evidence review to inform the discussions taking place at the conference. The initial findings of the review were presented at the conference. This report presents the evidence base which underpinned that conference presentation | NHS Health Scotland, UK

Street Lottery: Cannabis Potency and Mental Health

This report provides a concise and compelling new account of the deleterious consequences of leaving cannabis in the hands of the black market. Drawing on insights from world class academics and original research, it was commissioned to stimulate a better informed and more nuanced public debate | Volte Face, UK

Calls for widespread survey into British cannabis after findings in Manchester research

A new report into cannabis in the UK has raised concerns about the potency of the drug | BBC, UK

Criminal Justice Project: Drug Interventions Programme – Re-offending of clients testing positive for class A drugs across Merseyside

The Drug Interventions Programme (DIP) is a multi-agency initiative with an overarching aim to break the cycle of drug use and crime, and as a result reduce acquisitive crime in communities within England and Wales | PHI, UK

Even moderate drinking by parents can upset children – study

Children who see parent tipsy or drunk are less likely to see them as a positive role model, report says | Guardian, UK

Like sugar for adults” report highlights anxiety about parents’ drinking

The report shows that parents do not have to regularly drink large amounts of alcohol for their children to notice changes in their behaviour and experience negative impacts. Having seen a parent tipsy or drunk was associated with children feeling worried as well as experiencing at least one of a range of negative impacts, including feeling less comforted than usual, facing more arguments, unpredictable parental behaviour and disrupted bedtime routines | IAS, UK

10,000 drug drivers are banned from Britain's roads in less than three years including teenagers as young as 15

More than 10,000 drivers have been banned from the road for taking drugs since March 2015 – including seven teenagers too young to hold a full licence | Mail Online, UK

Government pledge £16 million to tackle drug dependency and support children in care

Projects that combat drug and alcohol dependency and support children in care will receive more than £16 million, Minister for Sport and Civil Society Tracey Crouch announced today | Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Tracey Crouch MP, UK

Drunkorexia: Why so many young women are skipping meals to save calories for alcohol

Young women are skipping meals and dramatically reducing their calorie intake from food in order to save calories for alcohol | Independent, UK

Going with the grain; organisation, ethos and harm reduction

On-line course moves up to the level of the organisation and its influence on drug-related harm. A possible rule of thumb emerges: harm reduction is best served by going with the grain of substance use, not ‘for its own sake’ trying to work the grain in another and, for the time being, unreachable direction. Preserving life, or abandoning hope? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Drug treatment expenditure: a methodological overview

An estimated 1.2 million people receive treatment for drug-related problems in the European Union each year. With shrinking public budgets, increasing pressure on health systems, changes in the drugs used and the need to provide on-going care to chronic cases, what is the real cost of drug treatment in Europe? | EMCDDA, Portugal

How to estimate the cost of drug treatment in Europe?

It is estimated that over 1 million people receive treatment for drug-related problems in the European Union every year. With shrinking public budgets, increasing pressure on health systems, changes in the substances used and the need to provide ongoing care to chronic cases, how can we estimate the cost of drug treatment in Europe? | EMCDDA, Portugal

Dual diagnosis guidance: money talks when it comes to drugs, alcohol and mental illness

Back in 1992, during the American recession, Bill Clinton secured the presidency by tuning into the concerns of voters, famously saying it was the economy stupid. Ten years after the 2007 financial crash, mental health and drug treatment services continue to feel the impact of austerity | Mental Elf Blog, UK

Alcohol and late night refreshment licensing England and Wales 31 March 2017

Includes statistics on premises licences, club premises certificates, personal licences, late night refreshment and 24-hour alcohol licences | Alcohol and drug statistics and Alcohol and late night refreshment licensing England and Wales statistics, UK

2017 Government Drug Strategy and UK Clinical Guidelines: Making It Happen

Free event. There are a few places left to attend the PHE 2017 Government Drug Strategy and UK Clinical Guidelines: Making It Happen event, taking place in London on Tuesday 31 October | PHE, 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

Novel psychoactive substances (NPS), a range of plant-based/synthetic substances that mimic effects of other illicit substances (e.g. cannabis), are now illegal in the United Kingdom (May 2016) to produce/supply | DEPP, UK

Prisoners: Rehabilitation

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that drug users receive (a) suitable accommodation and (b) access to addiction support services after they leave prison | They work for you, UK

Vulnerable teens' homes 'taken over for drug deals'

The homes of vulnerable teenagers are being taken over by criminal gangs and used to store weapons and carry out drugs deals, police have said | BBC, UK