Weekly news - 19th January 2018


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Anxious teenagers ‘buy Xanax on the dark web’

MPs call for urgent action over reported rise in illicit use of potent tranquilliser | Guardian, UK

Three in five drink to cope with stress of everyday life: Charity raises fears 'worrying' figure means people are not aware of the risks of regular drinking

Three in five adults hit the bottle to cope with the stress of everyday life, research suggests. Alcohol advice charity Drinkaware today warns a 'worrying' number of people drink at the end of the day to ease their problems | Mail Online, UK

E-cigarette rules should be relaxed to encourage smokers to switch, MPs told

Experts recommend changes to regulations, such as allowing larger refill containers and easing the restriction on nicotine strength in e-cigarettes | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Doctors call for charges for overseas patients using A&E units  

The poll also found that more than a third of those backing charges wanted to see them for A&E visits as a result of alcohol abuse | Telegraph, UK

Feeling the heat: The decline of stop smoking services in England (PDF)

Budgets for stop smoking services were cut in half (50%) of local authorities in 2017. They increased in 4% of local authorities | Cancer Research UK, UK

NEPTUNE project (Novel Psychoactive Treatment UK Network)

New set of free e-learning modules launched | NEPTUNE, UK

Effectiveness Bank hot topics January to March 2018

Families of substance users have been described as the ‘forgotten’ carers, and it’s true that tallies of alcohol-related harm do not account for their distress. Does it help them, their addicted relatives, and treatment services to be told addiction is a brain disease - or divert treatment down neurology-based blind alleys? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Misuse of Xanax

Until five months ago, I was oblivious to the existence of the drug Xanax. It was only after I was contacted by a concerned mother that I became fully aware of the problem that is going on right under our noses | They work for you, UK

EMCDDA scientific award

The scientific award celebrates scientific writing and distinguishes high-quality research in the field of illicit drugs. Scientific papers judged to enhance understanding of the European drug problem are acknowledged yearly in an award ceremony. This year’s awards presentation will take place in the framework of Lisbon Addictions 2017, 24-26 October | EMCDDA, Portugal

Engaging organisations, engaging treatment

Key studies on the how the functioning of treatment organisations affects the implementation and impacts of improvements. Highlights the most wide-ranging investigation yet of the organisational health of British services. Implication was, ensure your staff experience what through them you want patients to experience: respect, understanding, and support; still true in the hard-nosed era of carrot-and-stick incentives? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

AMs want legal medicinal cannabis for patients

Cannabis should be available on prescription to stop people who use it to ease pain being criminalised, a group of AMs has said | BBC, UK

County Lines Exploitation: London

This debate is sourced from the uncorrected (rolling) version of Hansard and is subject to correction | Hansard, UK

Drug Consumption Rooms

I beg to move, That this House has considered drug consumption rooms | Hansard, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to collect and publish data on drink spiking | They work for you, UK

UK vaping industry launches awareness month

The vaping industry is to hold its first national awareness month in the UK in April | Talking Retail, UK

Substance misuse treatment in secure settings: statistics 2016 to 2017

Alcohol and drug misuse treatment in prisons and other secure settings from PHE’s national drug treatment monitoring system (NDTMS) | PHE, UK

The wellbeing of 15 year-olds: further analysis of the 2014 What About YOUth? survey

The 2014 What About YOUth? (WAY) survey included measures of wellbeing which can be analysed to examine the relationships between health behaviours and attitudes on the wellbeing of 15 year-olds {Includes data on smoking and drug use] | PHE, UK

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 18 January 2018

Runs through from a high-profile US prevention trial to a study and a review of the prevention/treatment mix of brief alcohol interventions, and finally to the attempt to extend pharmacological treatment closer to the brief intervention end of the alcohol dependence spectrum | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

No REST for the vulnerable

The threatened closure of London’s only specialist support service for those battling tranquiliser dependency underlines the parlous state of UK healthcare for this patient group | DrugWise blog, UK

Dry January

Podcast. Suzi Gage speaks to her colleague Professor Matt Field about the phenomenon of Dry January, where people give up alcohol for a month. They talk about whether there may be short- or long-term health benefits around it, and discuss their personal experiences of taking part (or not) | Say why to drugs, UK

Guidelines research, labelling politics & Dry January debate

New research has been released on drinker's knowledge of the previous daily alcohol guidelines, suggesting only one in four drinkers accurately estimated them, with even fewer using guidelines to monitor their drinking | Alcohol Policy UK, UK