Weekly news - 20th April 2017


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In date order, Monday to Friday

Expert reaction to study looking at drinking alcohol, life expectancy and alcohol limits

A new analysis of data, published in The Lancet, reports that recommended alcohol limits in many countries should be lowered to around 100g/week for men and women | Science Media Centre, UK

Reducing opioid related deaths in the UK - Further response regarding Drug Consumption Rooms (PDF)

Letter to ACMD from Victoria Atkins MP | Home Office, UK

Love Island and other shows 'encourage teenagers to smoke'

Contestants’ cigarette habits in the reality TV show Love Island and Winston Churchill’s cigars in the Oscar-winning film inspire children to take up smoking, anti-tobacco campaigners have warned MPs | Guardian, UK

'Ecstasy pills for sale' in WhatsApp message to customers

A dealer advertising "drugs for sale" on social media was arrested in a pioneering operation which took police 120 miles from Bridgend to Redditch, Worcestershire | BBC, UK

Tobacco and smoking: policy, regulation and guidance

These documents support local healthcare systems dealing with the harm of tobacco and provide guidance for manufacturers and importers on UK regulation | PHE, UK

E-cigarettes and vaping: policy, regulation and guidance

Evidence on the impact of e-cigarettes, information on government policy and regulation, and guidance for organisations on vaping policies | PHE, UK

ACMD members' register of interests

Occupations, career history and interests of the members of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) | ACMD, UK

The untold story: Harms experienced in the Irish population due to others’ drinking (PDF)

What has been missing from the picture is the burden that occasional or regular heavy drinking imposes directly on others at the interpersonal level – whether in regular relationships such as in the family, at work, or among friends, or in chance encounters in public places | HSE, Ireland

Drug seizures and offending: Social Indicators page

In year ending March 2017, police recorded 136,352 drug offences in England and Wales, a decrease of 8% on the previous year. Around 83% of all drug offences recorded by the police were for drug possession. Just under 76% of total drug offences recorded were for the possession of cannabis | Parliament.uk, UK

Organised Crime: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State of 17 January 2018, on County Lines, when she plans to launch the nationwide awareness-raising campaign | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of alcohol misuse in each of the last five years | They work for you, UK

Smoking

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of people who take up smoking | They work for you, UK

Acupuncture: potential value of a 'theatrical placebo'

Studies showing acupuncture can treat problem substance use and relieve symptoms of withdrawal are few and far between and tend to be
methodologically weak. Yet it’s been a popular alternative when
mainstream medication and psychosocial therapies haven’t shown
consistent success. Does offering something concrete like acupuncture
benefit the client, even if effects may be ‘placebo’ at best? | Drug and
Alcohol Findings, UK

Alcohol availability 'boosts crime rate'

Crime rates soar in areas where there are a large number of pubs, clubs and shops selling alcohol, according to a new report | BBC, UK

Prisons could get new powers to test for NPS

Prisons could be handed new powers to test for psychoactive substances not currently prohibited by law – but one prisons expert has said the move was “based on a complete misunderstanding of reality” | Converse Prison News, UK

Prisons (Substance Testing)

Drugs in our prisons are a major problem, which we need to do more to tackle. A recent review by Her Majesty’s inspectorate of prisons in 2015 showed that 52% of prisoners had used drugs in the two months before they went to prison | They work for you, UK

Drugs leave 12 dead since December in a Cumbrian town

Drugs have killed 12 people in one Cumbrian town since December, making the death rate far higher than that of many cities | BBC, UK

What is the value of the illegal drugs market in Scotland?

It was a bold claim heard by thousands of listeners on the BBC’s flagship morning news show. “We are the drugs market of Europe,” Labour MP David Lammy told the Today programme earlier this month | Scotsman, UK

Alfie Dingley's family apply for licence for medical cannabis

The family of a six-year-old boy with epilepsy has applied to the government to be able to use cannabis oil | BBC, UK

Alcohol Outlet Availability

Alcohol Focus Scotland has worked with the Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health (CRESH) at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, to provide further evidence of the links between alcohol availability and harm in Scotland | Alcohol Focus Scotland, UK

Holyrood calls on Westminster to allow safe drug room in Glasgow

Setting up a safe room for addicts to take drugs could "save lives", Scotland's Public Health Minister has said. Aileen Campbell made a fresh plea for the UK Government to back having such a centre in Glasgow | Daily Record, UK

Scottish Parliament backs creation of UK’s first drug consumption room in Glasgow

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said there were drug injecting rooms in more than 70 cities worldwide, but none in the UK. “I would argue this position is no longer tenable,” she told MSPs | i news, UK

Monitoring of NSP Provision

The number of individuals engaged in structured drug treatment programmes in England has declined over recent years, but this has been a trend which has occurred alongside another development, that of an increasing number of drug related deaths (DRDs), culminating last year with ONS reporting the highest number of DRDs on record | NNEF, UK

Schoolgirl, 15, died of overdose after taking three 'Netflix' ecstasy pills at end-of-term party with friends who left her on a park bench to 'sleep it off'

Leah Kerry had been to visit her grandmother before going to the party with her old school friends when she collapsed | Mail Online, UK

Tackling the scourge of fake valium

Dundee is seen as a city on the up but it has a drug problem so acute that charity workers are handing out emergency medical syringes to try to keep users alive until the paramedics arrive | BBC, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Scotland

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what role Public Health England will play in monitoring the effect of the implementation of a minimum unit price for alcohol in Scotland to inform any decision on that policy in England | They work for you, UK

Organised Crime: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the timetable is for the National County Lines Co-ordination Centre to be fully operational | They work for you, UK