Weekly news - 27th October 2017


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In date order, Monday to Friday

Role of nurses in alcohol and drug treatment services

This resource describes the many potential roles of nurses in alcohol and drug treatment in England to help commissioners and providers of specialist adult alcohol and drug treatment services to recruit the right workforce to meet local needs | PHE, UK

Welsh government plans minimum pricing for alcohol sales

Rebecca Evans to introduce bill to Welsh assembly that will ‘make it an offence for retailers to sell strong alcohol at low prices’ | Guardian, UK

Minimum alcohol price - working it out in 30 seconds - video

Here is a 30-second guide to how the formula could be applied - and the lowest prices for what typical cans and bottles of alcohol may cost | BBC, UK

Effectiveness Bank hot topics October to December 2017

As enthusiasm for *universal* screening and brief interventions
for risky drinking wanes, three major UK studies give clues as to why. While the UK government promotes ‘full recovery’ and reintegration, there are concerns that extending beyond core addiction treatment to ‘wrap-around’ care has become less feasible in ‘austerity’ Britain. Prochaska and DiClemente’s Cycle of Change model is ubiquitous, but is its utility compromised by describing only one sort (and not necessarily the most important sort) of change process? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

A case for incentivising brief interventions in Scotland?

In short ‘yes’, but the evidence base is small and not yet a match for  the “otherwise widely-admired Scottish national alcohol programme”. Case  study data from three local health boards and interviews with key  stakeholders uncover the variety of funding models in place in Scotland,  and what is perceived to be the optimal way of incentivising – ‘food for  thought’ before the refresh of Scotland’s alcohol strategy | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

County Lines: The children forced to sell drugs

About 4,000 teenagers from London are being exploited and trafficked every year to sell drugs in rural towns and cities, a leading youth charity says | BBC, UK

Interesting things about alcohol and other drugs, October 2017

Andrew Brown (@andrewbrown365) shares new data on substance misuse and associated multiple needs, including new estimates on the prevalence of opiate and crack cocaine users in England | MEAM, UK

E-cigarettes: Cross-party group of MPs launches inquiry

MPs are to carry out an inquiry into e-cigarettes amid concerns there are "significant gaps" in what is known about them and how they are regulated | BBC, UK

Investigating local policy drivers for alcohol harm prevention: a comparative case study of two local authorities in England

The considerable challenges associated with implementing national level alcohol policies have encouraged a renewed focus on the prospects for local-level policies in the UK and elsewhere. We adopted a case study approach to identify the major characteristics and drivers of differences in the patterns of local alcohol policies and services in two contrasting local authority (LA) areas in England | BMC Public Health, UK

Sperm age calculator tells men how decrepit their sperm are

A sperm age calculator can tell men how “old” their sperm is, revealing changes caused by smoking | New Scientist, UK

Last UK-made cigarettes roll off JTI production line

The last pack of UK-made cigarettes has rolled off the production line at the JTI plant in County Antrim | BBC, UK

Electronic cigarettes behind drop in smokers quitting with NHS Scotland cessation service

Electronic cigarettes are believed to be behind a steady fall in the number of smokers turning to NHS quitting services for help | Scottish Herald, UK

Global, regional, and country-level coverage of interventions to prevent and manage HIV and hepatitis C among people who inject drugs: a systematic review

People who inject drugs (PWID) are a key population affected by the global HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemics. HIV and HCV prevention interventions for PWID include needle and syringe programmes (NSP), opioid substitution therapy (OST), HIV counselling and testing, HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART), and condom distribution programmes | Lancet, UK

E-cigarette bans highlight public health divide between US and UK researchers

New York is joining 10 other states banning indoor vaping, reflecting a US focus on the harm of e-cigs, rather than their ability to help people quit cigarettes | Guardian, UK

Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide

This guide and the associated package of online materials provides a reference point for planning or delivering health and social responses to drug problems in Europe. The most appropriate responses will depend on the specific drug problems, the contexts in which these occur and the types of intervention that are possible and socially acceptable | EMCDDA, Portugal

Evidence review summary: drug demand reduction, treatment, and harm reduction

This short report presents a brief overview of recent evidence for the most effective approaches in the fields of drug use prevention, drug use treatment and harm reduction. It discusses the strengths and limitations of the evidence and some challenges for the implementation of the approaches, and it summarises the principles underpinning the successful knowledge transfer that supports the use of evidence in the development and delivery of policy and practice | EMCDDA, Portugal

Recovery, reintegration, abstinence, harm reduction: the role of different goals within the drug treatment in the European context

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the different goals of ‘drug treatment’ within a European context and the key implications for those planning or delivering health and social responses. The heterogeneity of people who use drugs and the diversity in severity and complexity of drug taking and drug problems in Europe mean that a single goal or paradigm such as ‘harm reduction’, ‘recovery’ or ‘abstinence’ is no longer adequate to meet the diverse needs we face | EMCDDA, Portugal

Joining up sexual health and drug services to better meet client needs

The aim of this paper is to focus on the harmful interaction between psychoactive drug use and sexual activity. It is acknowledged that in some individuals co-occurrence of drug consumption and sexual activity causes no apparent harm, but this group will not be considered here | EMCDDA Portugal

Drug checking as a harm reduction tool for recreational drug users: opportunities and challenges

A number of European countries have implemented drug checking with the aim of providing targeted preventive messages to recreational drug users | EMCDDA, Portugal

UNODC annual report 2016 (PDF)

The 2016 annual report provides an overview of UNODC's work across the globe in assisting Member States to address the threat posed by drugs, crime and terrorism. In addition to highlighting the Office's achievements for the year, it showcases the human impact of UNODC's work through a series of success stories and the effect on the ground | UNODC, Austria

Drugs services: commissioning failure after funding cuts

Cuts make Bristol one of a growing number of local authorities who received no bids from service providers | The Bristol Cable, UK

Campaigners call for minimum alcohol price to be introduced in UK

Health experts write letter to Guardian urging government to follow Wales by embracing policy in attempt to reduce deaths | Guardian, UK

Primary and secondary care via the twelve steps

This article and the accompanying infographic developed by Broadway Lodge explains the “Primary Care” and “Secondary Care” aspects of the well-known 12 Step programme | SMMGP, UK

Second-hand smoke levels in Scottish prisons equivalent to living with a smoker

Staff in Scottish prisons inhale roughly the same amount of second-hand smoke at work as they would in the average smoking household (32μg of fine particulate matter per m3). Some activities, like inspecting a smoky prison cell, exposed staff to far higher levels (up to 753.6μg per m3) | NIHR, UK

Data mining Wales: The annual profile for substance misuse 2016-17 (PDF)

This statistical report provides a summary of routinely-reported substance misuse related evidence currently available in Wales | Wales NHS, UK

Spice blamed for huge rise in drug-related hospital admissions in Wales

The drug has turned users into 'zombies' in high streets across Wales | Wales Online, UK

The impact of community-based drug and alcohol treatment on re-offending (PDF)

This experimental statistical report contains initial findings from a project that has linked data from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) held by Public Health England (PHE) with data on offenders held by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The aim of this report is to improve the evidence base of the links between community-based treatment for substance misuse and changes in re-offending | MoJ, PHE, NDTMS, UK

Has the risk of sharing ‘spoons’ and filters been overstated?

Building on previous research about the ‘strong correlations’ between sharing injecting equipment and contracting hepatitis C, this new laboratory study provides a compelling explanation of where and how the virus is transmitted – challenging presumptions that sharing ‘spoons’ and filters is in itself a high-risk practice | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Scotland is slipping away from target of being smoking-free nation by 2034

New figures have shown the number of quit attempts are down from previous years as health leaders blast government for falling stats | Scottish Sun, UK

Trump declares opioid crisis a public health emergency

US President Donald Trump has declared the nation's painkiller-addiction crisis a public health emergency | BBC, UK