Weekly news - 10th August 2018


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Scottish figures 'point to hidden UK crisis in tranquiliser abuse'

[Harry Shapiro of DrugWise quoted] Doctors, counsellors and charity workers say increasing numbers are seeking help with prescription drug addiction | Guardian, UK

Support for children of alcohol dependent parents: guidance and application forms

How non-governmental organisations can apply for funding under section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act | DHSC, UK

Tories pile pressure on Theresa May to allow safe injection room for drug users

Demand comes after concerns raised by the National Aids Trust regarding HIV infection rates in Glasgow | Independent, UK

Medical cannabis on the NHS

Last week’s recognition by the UK government that cannabis has medicinal value and should be available on prescription is an important step | BMJ, UK

Drug and alcohol abuse medications shown to improve patients' lives

Commonly used medications for alcohol and opioid addictions have been shown for the first time to reduce the risk of suicidal behaviour and accidental overdose | Medical Xpress, UK

Moderate drinking 'j-curve' headlines return with new dementia study

The latest set of headlines pronouncing the health benefits of moderate drinking have followed the publication of a new BMJ study examining the association of alcohol consumption and dementia risk | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales: 2017 registrations

Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales from 1993 onwards, by cause of death, sex, age and substances involved in the death | ONS, UK

Drug-related deaths "deep dive" into coroners’ records

An experimental "deep dive" study investigating deaths related to drug misuse in 2014 and 2015 using available coroners' records | ONS, UK

Fentanyl and cocaine drug deaths rise

[DrugWise Director, Harry Shapiro, quoted] The number of deaths in England and Wales due to the synthetic opioid fentanyl rose by 29% in 2017, Office for National Statistics data shows | BBC, UK

Single white men more likely to die of drug misuse, ONS finds

Report says living alone and history of mental ill-health also common characteristics | Guardian, UK

Durham Constabulary plans to use naloxone in custody suites, as drug deaths rise again

Heroin users will be able to be given injections of the life-saving antidote, naloxone, in police custody suites in County Durham and Darlington from later this year, under plans announced today | Durham PCC, UK

Evidence for the effectiveness of minimum pricing of alcohol: a systematic review and assessment using the Bradford Hill criteria for causality

Unable to draw on evidence from ‘gold standard’ randomised controlled trials, this review used nine criteria to assess the effect of minimum unit pricing – finding on balance that setting a minimum price per unit of alcohol was likely to reduce alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Scottish National Naloxone Programme’s work showcased in new EU toolkit on overdose prevention upon release from prison

A hands-on toolkit has been designed for policymakers and practitioners which explains how to set up and run naloxone programmes for overdose prevention upon release from prison and other custodial settings | SDF, UK

Prescription-only drugs being sold by online doctor sites

Video. Some online doctor sites are selling prescription-only medications to potentially vulnerable patients, a BBC Panorama investigation has found | BBC, UK

Reviewing a licensing policy: think local, act local

This document provides advice for public health teams engaging in the review of their local statement of licensing policy. It suggests ways to approach the process as well as providing links to support materials and case studies | PHE, UK

Deaths from hepatitis C have fallen by 11 per cent in the last year

New PHE data shows a decrease in deaths from hepatitis C but diagnoses of advanced liver disease and related cancers remain stable | PHE, UK

Fall in injecting kits handed out to drug users

Charities say they may have seen the first hard evidence of a change in Scotland's drug-taking habits | BBC, UK

Getting heroin in Belfast as 'easy' as cigarettes

The number of drug users trying to access heroin addiction services in Belfast has risen significantly | BBC, UK

The impact of medically supervised injection centres on drug-related harms: A meta-analysis

[Open access] Medically Supervised Injection Centres (MSICs) are legally-sanctioned facilities where users can consume pre-obtained drugs under medical supervision. Although there is a substantial body of research exploring their effectiveness, there have been few attempts to quantify outcomes across studies. In order to determine the impact of the body of research as a whole, outcomes from studies were synthesised using meta-analysis | IJDP, UK

Drug addiction is a tragedy. But we could stop so many people dying

We know exactly what works to prevent drug-related deaths – and yet the numbers are still rising | Guardian opinion, UK

Hepatitis C in England and the UK

Latest PHE hepatitis C virus (HCV) reports, slide sets and infographics for England and the UK | PHE, UK

'Trump' drugs found at Bestival contained double MDMA dose

Orange-coloured drugs shaped like Donald Trump's head were tested at Bestival and found to contain more than two doses of MDMA | BBC, UK

Cannabis oil given a cautious welcome for some children with epilepsy – but not adults

Cannabis oil could be an effective remedy for children with drug-resistant epilepsy, a new report has found | i news, UK

How much do you drink? Whatever you say, your GP will double it 

However much you say you drink, your doctors will double the figure, new research suggests | Telegraph, UK

HIV tests for sale on High Street for first time

HIV self-testing kits are now available to buy on the High Street for the first time, a retailer has announced | BBC, UK

EMCDDA–Europol 2017 Annual Report on the implementation of Council Decision 2005/387/JHA

This report presents the key activities performed by the EMCDDA and Europol in 2017 and the results of the implementation of Council Decision 2005/387/JHA on the information exchange, risk assessment and control of new psychoactive substances, including new psychoactive substances notified in 2017, Joint Reports produced, risk assessments conducted and public health-related alerts and advisories issued to the EU Early Warning System Network | EMCDDA, Portugal

Drug misuse deaths fall but still remain too high

The ONS has published the latest figures for drug-related deaths in England and Wales, covering all deaths registered in 2017 | PHE blog, UK

Reported road casualties in Great Britain, final estimates involving illegal alcohol levels: 2016

Final estimates on personal injury drink drive accidents in Great Britain for 2016 | DoT, UK

Drink-drive casualties in UK at four-year high

Calls for cut in legal alcohol limit after more than 9,000 injuries or deaths in 2016 | Guardian, UK

Vulnerable offenders steered towards treatment

Offenders increasingly ordered to use health services to address mental health, alcohol and drug issues in 5 pilot areas | MoJ, UK

Government outlines vision to empower and invest in society

The first Civil Society Strategy in 15 years will build stronger communities by bringing together businesses, charities and the public sector, the Government has vowed today | Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, Office for Civil Society, and Tracey Crouch MP, UK

Police chief calls for more cannabis clubs where drug can be used and traded safely

North Wales police and crime commissioner says ‘war on drugs’ will continue to fail without radical change | Guardian, UK