Weekly news - 26th January 2018

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Committees assess Government position on alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP)

The Health and Home Affairs Committees consider implications of alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) with charities, academics, professional bodies and industry | Parliament.uk, UK

1,000 may die if curb on cheap drinks is delayed

[Free registration required] As a parliamentary inquiry begins, doctors and police chiefs say a price of 50p a unit on alcohol will save lives and cut crime | The Sunday Times, UK

Does dry January work? We ask the experts

Millions pledge to start the new year alcohol-free, but how much difference can a month off booze make to our health or drinking behaviour in the long term? | Guardian, UK

Up to a million Britons use steroids for looks not sport

Up to 1 million people in the UK are taking anabolic steroids and other image- and performance-enhancing drugs (IPEDs) to change the way they look, public health experts and doctors have said | Guardian, UK

Sturgeon joins international health policy taskforce

The 13-strong group was set up by billionaire Michael Bloomberg to promote policies to tackle obesity and alcohol and tobacco consumption| BBC, UK

'Trainspotting generation': Alarm as Scotland drug deaths spike

Scotland has seen a sharp rise in the number of drug deaths as years of abuse by the so-called "Trainspotting generation" finally take their toll, prompting calls for a rethink on drug policy | Medical Xpress, UK

Precursor chemical import and export authorisation wallchart

This chart shows the regulation of precursor chemicals in the UK | Home Office, UK

Bid to get more protection for shop and bar workers

An MSP is launching a consultation on his plan for a new law to protect shop and bar workers from violence | BBC, UK

Nearly one-third of alcohol sold in England drunk by 4% of population

Figure from Public Health England emerged during parliamentary debate on minimum unit price on alcohol | Guardian, UK

Health fears over boys as young as 13 using steroids for 'good looks'

Children’s commissioners call for schools to tackle views of body image distorted by social media | Guardian, UK

People powered recovery: Social action and complex needs. Findings from a call for evidence (PDF)

Social action is about people coming together to tackle an issue, support others or improve their local area, by sharing their time and expertise through volunteering, peer-led groups and community projects. This report sets out the findings from a call for evidence on how social action can improve outcomes, prevent crisis, support recovery and develop more responsive services for people with complex needs | Tunring Point and APPG on Complex Needs and Dual Diagnosis, UK

APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence calls on Camden CCG to reverse decision to close support service for patients dependent on benzodiazepines

APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence calls on Camden CCG to reverse decision to close support service for patients dependent on benzodiazepines | APPG, UK

Abusers warned of 'benzo' drug overdose risks

Health authorities have warned of the danger of misusing diazepam-type drugs known as benzos | BBC, UK

Vintage Street

New campaign launched today which aims to help people aged over 50 make healthier choices about alcohol. The programme has been set up because harmful use of alcohol is declining across the whole population but increasing among older adults. 'Vintage Street’ aims to generate a better understanding of the life transitions that can lead some older adults to drink more and ultimately prompt their family, friends, partners and peers to reach out and offer help | Addaction/Drink Wise Age Well, UK

'Growing problem' of addiction to prescription drugs probed

Public Health England is launching a review into the "growing problem" of prescription drug addiction | BBC, UK

Nearly half of UK 14-year-olds have tried alcohol, figures show

The research also found that among 14-year-olds, 17% of boys and 8% of girls had gambled in the previous four weeks, 17% had tried a cigarette at some point, and more than one in 10 admitted to binge drinking on at least one occasion – defined as consuming five or more alcoholic drinks in one sitting | Guardian, UK


To ask Her Majesty's Government, following research by Release in regard to variation in the provision of, and access to, the potentially lifesaving drugnaloxone, what assessment they have made of the adequacy of the response from local authorities; and whether they will take action to implement a nationally coordinated and monitored take-home naloxone programme in England | They work for you, UK

Increasing soft drink prices could cause surge in alcohol sales, say experts

Price hikes in most sugary drinks associated with an increase in the amount of beer bought by some consumer groups | Independent, UK

Teens who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try smoking, report shows

A panel of public health experts has found that teens who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try smoking, and devices that deliver nicotine can be addictive. However, the experts said that e-cigarettes were less harmful than smoking. The report comes from a panel at the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, which assessed more than 800 peer-reviewed studies | Guardian, UK

Middle aged women fuelling rise in addictions to painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants

Ministers have ordered a landmark review of prescription drug addiction, amid concern over the rising number of women becoming hooked on painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants | Guardian, UK

Top video games depict unrealistic drugs use says study

A study of real and made-up drugs in best-selling video games has highlighted how harmful narcotics often give unlikely strength and health boosts to characters | BBC, UK

One cigarette a day 'increases heart disease and stroke risk'

Smokers need to quit cigarettes rather than cut back on them to significantly lower their risk of heart disease and stroke, a large BMJ study suggests | BBC, UK

Tipsy-Turvy: Does Dry January Do You Any Good?

The health benefits of a month without alcohol are unclear, and the British and Canadian medical authorities recommend several drink-free days per week | Inside Science, UK

NHS Health Check: stocktake and action plan

This report provides a stocktake of the NHS Health Check programme as PHE approaches the end of the first 5-year cycle of the programme. [Includes a small number of references on alcohol] | PHE, UK

'First' pharmacy-based needle exchange vending machine in UK

A pharmacy in Lincolnshire has become the first in the UK to offer a needle exchange service using a vending machine, according to a charity | Chemist and Druggist, UK

Calls for mandatory health information on alcohol labels

The Royal Society for Public Health is calling for change in alcoholic drinks labelling, citing a public "awareness vacuum" on how alcohol affects health | BBC, UK

Stop-smoking services from community pharmacists cut by a fifth of local authorities in past three years

A freedom of information request sent outto all the local authorities in England revealed significant variation in community pharmacy-led smoking cessation services across the country | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK