Weekly news - 9th March 2018


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Admissions to hospital for drug-related mental health problems soar

NHS hospitals in England treating twice as many people with drug-related disorders as they did 10 years ago. [Harry Shapiro from DrugWise quoted] | Guardian, UK

[See data here: Hospital admissions for drug-related mental and behavioural disorders fall by 12 per cent in a year | NHS Digital, UK]

Government response to ACMD Report: Commissioning impact on drug treatment services (PDF)

The Government thanks the ACMD for its report on commissioning structures within treatment services entitled Commissioning Structures, the Financial Environment and Wider Changes to Health and Social Welfare Impact on Drug Misuse Treatment and Recovery. The Committee made a number of recommendations for the Government to consider; the Government response is set out below | DHSC, UK

Research and analysis: E-cigarettes and heated tobacco products: evidence review

[Amendments made -Amended some references, and amended text relating to the Voke nicotine inhaler in full report.] Annual update of Public Health England’s e-cigarette evidence review by leading independent tobacco experts | PHE, UK

Dashboard: Alcohol learning resources: e-learning completed

This dashboard shows information about how the Alcohol learning resources: e-learning completed service is currently performing | PHE, UK

Tackling multiple unhealthy risk factors: emerging lessons from practice

This report shares learning and insight from services that are using innovative ways to address the problem of multiple unhealthy risk factors in their populations. It draws on interviews and information from eight case studies in local authorities and the NHS and updates the evidence base on tackling multiple unhealthy risk factors | Kings Fund, UK

Patterns of regional variation of opioid prescribing in primary care in England: a retrospective observational study

Opioids are a widely prescribed class of drug with potentially harmful short-term and long-term side effects. There are concerns about the amounts of these drugs being prescribed in England given that they are increasingly considered ineffective in the context of long-term non-cancer pain, which is one of the major reasons for their prescription | IJDP, UK

Interventions to reduce the negative effects of alcohol consumption in older adults: a systematic review

[Open access] Older individuals are consuming alcohol more frequently yet there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of current interventions. This systematic review aims to investigate interventions that target alcohol use in individuals aged 55+ | BMC Public Health, UK

Alfie Dingley: Cannabis plea boy back in hospital

A six-year-old boy whose parents are fighting for permission to treat his epilepsy with cannabis is back in hospital | BBC, UK

Green Party urge overhaul of 'utterly failing' drug laws to cut prisoner numbers

Britain has highest incarceration rate in Western Europe - with around 84,000 people in prison over illegal drug use | Independent, UK

Why So Many Young Brits Are Smoking Crack Again

The past year has seen a huge 30 percent rise in people under-25 seeking treatment for the drug. [DrugWise quoted] | VICE, UK

Women Affected by Domestic Violence or Abuse and Someone Else’s Substance Use: Consultation Report

This consultation was carried out as the first stage of a project funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s ‘Tampon Tax’, enabling Adfam to build on earlier work addressing the dual issues of substance use and domestic violence and abuse | Adfam, UK

Jeremy Hunt to put minister in charge of helping children of alcoholics

The Health Secretary also agreed to make Britain’s 2.5 million children of hard drinking parents as part of the Government’s mental health strategy and vowed to publish data on the scale of the problem in the coming weeks | Express, UK

Xanax: The anxiety drug putting lives at risk

Counterfeit Xanax pills laced with a powerful painkiller have become a party drug among some young people. Now Public Health England is warning users they are "dicing with death" | BBC, UK

Alcohol minimum price law not silver bullet, say AMs

A Welsh Government plan for a minimum price of alcohol is not a silver bullet to tackle alcohol-related harm, a cross-party group of AMs has said | BBC, UK

CLeaR local tobacco control assessment

Guidance for local authorities, public health bodies and the NHS on using ‘deep dive’ self-assessment tools to improve their tobacco control work | PHE, UK

Doctors raise alarm over rising private alcohol and drug abuse among baby-boomers

'Be honest with yourself', warns top GP | Independent, UK

Our Invisible Addicts (2nd edition)

The publication of Our Invisible Addicts in 2011 represented an important landmark in recognising the extent of substance-related health problems amongst older people and that the special service needs to deal with the complexity of such problems, which often involve co-morbid mental and physical health problems, polypharmacy and psychosocial adversity | RC PSYCH, UK

The misuse of synthetic opioids: harms and clinical management of fentanyl, fentanyl analogues and other novel synthetic opioids (PDF)

This document focuses on the misuse of fentanyl, fentanyl analogues and other novel synthetic opioids and does not address issues pertaining to their use in legitimate therapeutic and clinical contexts. Specifically, this document focuses on the clinical management of the health-related harms associated with the misuse of these substances, both acute harms as well as harms from frequent and long-term use (chronic harms). It is aimed primarily at a clinical audience | Neptune, UK

Domestic abusers could be electronically tagged and banned from drinking alcohol under new proposals

Courts will be given express powers to impose electronic monitoring as a condition of the proposed Domestic Abuse Protection Orders and prohibition on drinking alcohol, says Home Office | Independent, UK

MPs call for clarity on low alcohol and alcohol-free drinks labelling

Politicians from all parties will today (7 March) call for new, clear regulation on the labelling of low alcohol and alcohol-free drinks | Talking Retail, UK

Expert Faculty of Commissioners Announcement: invitation to participate (PDF)

Decision-making for substance use disorder services has changed greatly. Commissioners in Public Health departments of Local Authorities are central stakeholders today. A group of experts experienced in commissioning and providing services for drug and alcohol problems have set up a Faculty which aims to support bestpractice. If you are involved in commissioning services for drug and alcohol problems please consider connecting with the Faculty | Expert Faculty of Commissioners, UK

Xanax: Six drug users treated in Brighton and Hove

At least six people in one week have needed hospital treatment in Brighton and Hove after taking the drug Xanax recreationally, the city council said | BBC, UK

The Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Global Overview 2017

Our Global Overview series monitors the death penalty for drugs in law and practice worldwide, and also considers critical developments on the issue. Since being launched in 2007, Harm Reduction International's death penalty work has been the leading global resource on the issue of the death penalty for drug offences | HRI, UK

Wastewater analysis and drugs — a European multi-city study (Perspectives on drugs)

The findings of the largest European project to date in the emerging science of wastewater analysis are taken up in this ‘Perspective on drugs’. The project in question analysed wastewater in around 60 European cities and towns (hereinafter referred to as ‘cities’) to explore the drug-taking habits of those who live in them. The results provide a valuable snapshot of the drug flow through the cities involved, revealing marked geographical variations | EMCDDA, Portugal

Return on investment tools - beta versions

Modelling tools for public health commissioners and decision-makers. These tools are beta versions and we welcome your feedback. [Includes alcohol and tobacco tools] | NICE, UK