Weekly news - 16th February 2018


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DrugWatch Information Sheet Alprazolam (Xanax)

Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine with an intermediate onset of action. It is best known by the brand name Xanax (pronounced zan~ax). It was introduced as a treatment for anxiety and panic disorders in the US in 1981 and became a popular recreational drug | DrugWatch, UK

Concern as anxiety drug sales rise

The number of young people buying tranquillisers and other drugs online to deal with anxiety and stress has increased, a study has revealed | BBC, UK

NHS: Alcohol-related hospital admissions hit record high after addiction support services slashed

Video. Surge in alcohol-related admissions over last decade prompt warnings public health cuts have ‘failed’ thousands and mounted pressures on A&E departments | Independent, UK

Parental Alcohol Misuse and Children

Parental Alcohol Misuse (PAM) can negatively affect children’s physical and mental health, and other outcomes including educational attainment and behaviour. Effects can be acute when experienced in conjunction with other adverse experiences such as domestic abuse, marital conflict, and deprivation. PAM is a common feature in child protection and care proceedings, and places a considerable burden on social services. Download full report | Parliament.uk, UK

More than a third of child deaths linked to parental drinking, finds report

Yet more than half of local authorities have no strategy to help children of alcoholics and almost all councils are cutting budgets for alcohol and drug treatment services, figures show | Independent, UK

Vape shops may help smokers quit, study finds

The increasing number of vape shops on British high streets may help reduce the number of smokers, new research suggests | Mail Online, UK

Vaping could increase risk of pneumonia, study finds

Other aids to quitting, such as patches or gum, do not result in airway cells being exposed to high concentrations of potentially toxic compounds | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Eight new members appointed to the ACMD

Experts in topics including healthcare, social science, enforcement, toxicology, and pharmacology have been recruited to help deliver the ACMD’s ongoing work. [DrugWise is pleased to announce that our Director, Harry Shapiro, is one of the new members] | ACMD, UK

ACMD Register of interests

This register of interests for the council members of the ACMD lists their occupations, the organisations they work for and the nature of any interests they might have | ACMD, UK

Alcohol and drug prevention, treatment and recovery: why invest?

Local commissioners, providers and healthcare professionals can use the ‘Why invest?’ slides to help make the case for investing in drug and alcohol treatment and interventions | PHE, UK

E-cigarettes and heated tobacco products: evidence review

Annual update of Public Health England’s e-cigarette evidence review by leading independent tobacco experts | PHE, UK

At Least Three UK City Centres to Get Drugs Testing Facility

Harm reduction organisation The Loop will be offering its drug testing services in a matter of weeks | VICE, UK

Drug and alcohol treatment in England 2016/17

Updating the previous year’s “really brilliant analysis” (Professor Susanne MacGregor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), our analysis of the performance of England’s drug and alcohol treatment system up to 2016/17. With the help of 21 charts, it examines the falling numbers, ageing caseloads, and the puzzle of waning success with opiate users but increasing with drinkers | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Prescription of opioid drugs continues to rise in England

Doctors give patients drugs such as tramadol despite risks of addiction and ineffectiveness when treating chronic pain | Guardian, UK

Practical proposals to tackle the scourge of drugs announced by Police and Crime Commissioner

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has announced a set of practical proposals to tackle the cost of drugs to public services, reduce drug related crime and the shocking number of deaths in the region, in a report published today | West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, UK

Prescribed heroin part of West Midlands anti-drug plans

Heroin prescriptions for those addicted to the drug have been proposed as a means of cutting drug-related crime in the West Midlands | BBC, UK

Healthy Child Programme: rapid review on safeguarding

Rapid review to update the safeguarding guidance for the Healthy Child Programme for children aged 5 to 19 | PHE, UK

How we drink, What we think: Alcohol in the North East (PDF)

Eight in 10 North Easterners think the UK’s relationship with alcohol is ‘unhealthy’, a major new report has revealed | Balance North East, UK

Safer care for patients with personality disorder (PDF)

Individuals with PD are often frequent users of mental health care. However, management of PD patients is notoriously challenging and influenced by the type of PD, the degree of severity and the presence of comorbid psychiatric disorders | Manchester University, UK

North-south divide revealed as prescription of opioid drugs rise

The prescription of opioid drugs by GPs in England is steadily rising, especially in more deprived communities, even though they can cause complications and adverse effects and have not been proven to work for chronic pain, finds a new study led by UCL and UCLH | UCL, UK

Teens 'buying anxiety drug Xanax on social media'

A BBC investigation has found the prescription drug Xanax is being sold online to teenagers. Xanax is widely prescribed in the US to treat anxiety but can only be obtained on private prescription in the UK. Drugs charity Addaction said children as young as 13 had bought it online | BBC, UK

Cannabis in the UK To Engage With Political Parties

For decades, the debate about drug policy reform has been a ‘third rail issue’ in the UK. Last year, neither of the two main political parties mentioned drug reform at all in their general election manifestos | Volte Face, UK

Victoria Derbyshire show - 14th Feb 2018

Our Director, Harry Shapiro, talks about Xanax and young people - 1 hr 40 mins in | BBC, UK

Teenagers buy Xanax on social media to cope with exam stress

Teenagers are buying Xanax on social media to help them cope with exam stress, addiction experts have said | Telegraph, UK

Key research on treatment of problem drug use: cross-modality fundamentals

Time to consolidate the lessons of the five cells in row 2 of the Drug Treatment Matrix. Whether medical or psychosocial, if you work in/with treatment, this is your chance to lift your eyes from the workbench and reconsider what it’s all about and how to make it better | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Holland & Barrett becomes first high street stockist of CBD oil

Health food chain Holland & Barrett has become the first high street store to stock medical cannabis oil in the UK | Independent, UK

Notification of tobacco or herbal products for smoking

Guidance for businesses needing to notify the government that they are placing a tobacco or herbal smoking product on the market | PHE, UK

Sharp drop-off in support on leaving prison undermines ‘recovery wing’ model

Even if prison substance use services were five-star, without a home, job, and supportive social network for prisoners to return to, the investment could ultimately amount to nought. This is the caveat around the Drug Recovery Wing evaluation which found on the one hand considerable reductions in drinking, drug use, and self-reported offending six months after leaving prison, and on the other, big gaps in support leaving prisoners feeling unprepared to sustain their recovery in the community | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Alcohol dependency and malnutrition among homeless people (PDF)

Many homeless people drink heavily and don’t eat enough. This can mean they are at risk of developing diseases associated with both a high alcohol intake and poor diet | CLAHRC West, UK