Weekly news - 27th April 2018

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In date order - Monday to Thursday

Cocaine hospitalizations up 90% in the UK

[Harry Shapiro of DrugWise quoted] The risks associated with using cocaine are ramping up in the UK, since studies now show that the number of in-patients diagnosed primarily with “mental and behavioural disorders due to use of cocaine” has risen mo re than 90% since 2014, and the number of mentions of cocaine in hospital attendance records has more than doubled in the same timeframe | ATAC, UK

Children of alcoholic parents to get help in £6m scheme

Estimated 200,000 ‘silent victims’ to be given support and advice | Guardian, UK

Safe Injection Facilities

The next item of business is a debate on motion S5M-11695, in the name of Aileen Campbell, on safe injection facilities | They work for you, UK

Buprenorphine may be safer than methadone if treatment duration is longer, study suggests

The less commonly prescribed opioid substitute buprenorphine may be safer than methadone for problem opioid users, especially if used during the first month of treatment, according to a study which includes University of Manchester researchers | Medical Xpress, UK

Effectiveness Bank hot topics April to June 2018

A basic standard for effective substance use treatment is that, to the
client, it looks like ‘treatment’. Two hot topics explore treatments
currently at the fringes of awareness or acceptance, scrutinising what
(if anything) works about digital interventions and acupuncture, and a third hot topic looks at how 12-step mutual aid may offer a way to
reconcile diminished resources with the desire to get more patients out
of treatment without triggering a relapse | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Online ads help pregnant smokers quit

Online ads encouraging pregnant smokers to take up stop-smoking support could be more effective at reaching women than advice delivered in a clinical setting - according to new research involving the University of East Anglia | Medical Xpress, UK

Not all drug dealers are the same – it’s time to ditch outdated stereotype

Society reserves a special kind of condemnation for the person who profits from selling drugs that might cause psychosis, overdose or death– among other outcomes | Conversation, UK

New support to help children living with alcohol-dependent parents

The measures will give children living with alcoholic parents fast access to support and advice | Department of Health and Social Care, UK

Time, please: is drinking becoming as socially unacceptable as smoking?

Drinking is ingrained in our social life – much as cigarettes were until public health campaigns led to a huge cultural shift. With many young people eschewing alcohol, the beginning of the end of booze Britain is in sight | Guardian, UK

Controlled Drugs (Supervision of Management and Use) Regulations 2013 - Questionnaire

The Department of Health and Social Care, working with the Scottish Government, are reviewing the Controlled Drugs (Supervision of Management and Use) Regulations 2013 (the "2013 Regulations"). The purpose of this questionnaire is to inform our review of the Controlled Drugs (Supervision of Management and Use) Regulations 2013 and the framework underpinning the governance and accountability of controlled drugs in England and Scotland. This questionnaire will be open from 23 April 2018 until 23:59 on 21 May 2018 | Department of Health and Social Care, UK

Medical cannabis helps manage concurrent cancer-related symptoms

Medical cannabis has been shown to help people living with cancer manage their symptoms, with more than 95% of respondents reporting an improvement | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Alcohol may cause one in five cases of PMT

PMT may be caused by alcohol in more than one fifth of cases, research suggests | Telegraph, UK

Minister questioned on Government’s policy on e-cigarettes

The Science and Technology Committee holds its final evidence session for its inquiry into e-cigarettes | Parliament.uk, UK

E-cigarettes in danger of becoming 'lifestyle choice' before safety is proven, warns health prof

E-cigarettes are being marketed as ‘edgy lifestyle devices’ which could encourage people to use them for too long, the deputy chief executive of the NHS health watchdog has warned | Telegraph, UK

Medical care in drug treatment systems

Key studies relating to the roles of medical interventions in drug treatment systems. Highlights a simple innovation which transformed detoxification recyclers into typical patients, asks if you agree with an expert group’s vision of what a good service looks like, and questions whether Britain is making progress on care for mentally ill problem drug users | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 24 April 2018

Two papers dedicated to alcohol-related harm - at the micro level, whether alcohol policies and interventions can specifically reduce domestic abuse, and at the macro level, the most effective and cost-effective approaches to take to mitigate harm in the English context. A further two papers ask key questions about methadone maintenance – whether primary care is a safe and effective entry point to treatment, and whether adhering to clinical guidelines really does make things better for the patients | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

How City Drug Gangs First Used Teens to Take Over British Towns

The "going country" phenomenon isn't as new as many like to make out. Here is the inside story of the first "county lines" gangs, nearly 20 years ago | VICE, UK

Cannabis users can now test how high they are with a new app designed by scientists

Researchers developed a prototype called Am I Stoned which helps cannabis users understand how the drug is affecting them through a series of tasks | Mail Online, UK

Bill should cover drunken sexual assault of emergency workers

Chris Bryant’s private member’s bill does not offer any additional protection against sexual assault on emergency staff, say leading health bodies and members of Alcohol Health Alliance UK | Guardian letters, UK

Taking a new line on drugs

Based on our recent report (PDF) of the same name, this video calls for a rethinking of the government's drugs policy to take a more public health-led approach | Royal Society for Public Health, UK

Taking the Hit: Student drug use and how Institutions respond (PDF)

The findings in this report paint a complex picture of student drug use, one that has both positive and negative impacts on students’ lives. In doing so, it contrasts with some university, college and students’ union drug policies, which see student drug use wholly as a problem to be eradicated through suspensions, evictions and surveillance | NUS, Release UK

Drugs 'used by two in five students'

Drug-using students should be given advice and support instead of being disciplined when no criminal offence is committed, a report recommends | BBC, UK

Alcohol and mental health: policy and practice in England (PDF)

The Institute of Alcohol Studies and Centre for Mental Health jointly surveyed people working in alcohol and mental health services to understand current provision and the barriers to effective help. We also co-hosted a seminar for experts in both fields and reviewed current policies and guidance in each | IAS, UK

Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England April 2017 to December 2017

Results from the monitoring of the NHS Stop Smoking Services (NHS SSS) in England | NHS Digital, UK

Further new member appointed to the ACMD

The new appointee announced today is Dr Anne Campbell, a lecturer in social work, and co-director of the drug and alcohol research network at Queen’s University Belfast | ACMD, UK

Collective Voice response to DHSC consultation on local authority public health prescribed activity

The Department for Health & Social Care ran a call for evidence on prescribed activities for local authority public health earlier this year. Below is Collective Voice’s response which was submitted on 16 April 2018 | Collective Voice blog, UK

Smoking cessation and smokefree policies: Good practice for mental health services (PDF)

Smoking disproportionately affects the health and wellbeing of people with mental health conditions. People who use mental health services, who smoke, often want to quit but historically have not been offered a way out of tobacco dependence that is genuinely helpful to them | NCSCT, UK

Drugs gangs recruiting children from small towns, research reveals

County lines drugs networks are increasingly recruiting children in provincial towns to sell drugs rather than trafficking youngsters from London and other major cities, research shows | Guardian, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to prevent addiction to Xanax | They work for you, UK

MP Launches bid for safe drug room in Glasgow

SNP MP Alison Thewliss has launched a private members bill in a bid to change the law and enable a pilot scheme to be opened in Scotland's largest city | Herald, UK

Darknet markets ecosystem – Lifetimes and reasons for closure of over 100 global darknet markets offering drugs, sorted by date

Darknet markets — also known as cryptomarkets — provide a largely anonymous platform for trading in a range of illicit goods and services. It is estimated that around two thirds of the offers on darknet markets are drug-related. Drug sales on these markets, although modest when compared to the overall retail drug market, are significant and appear to be expanding.  EU-based suppliers are important players in the darknet ecosystem, the evolution of which is shown in this timeline | EMCDDA, Portugal