Weekly news - 16th March 2018


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The Drugs Wheel

Latest version of the Drugs Wheel (2.0.6) to include legislative changes to 4-F-MPH and MPA (now Class B under the MoDA | Mark Adley, UK

Fake Xanax: The UK's biggest ever dark net drug bust

The 17-year-old sat in his GP’s office in August 2016, explaining to him everything he knew about the drug | BBC, UK

Statistics on Women's Smoking Status at Time of Delivery, England - Quarter 3, 2017-18

This report presents the latest results and trends from the women's smoking status at time of delivery (SATOD) data collection in England. A new interactive tool has been published which allows users to select and view information for individual Clinical Commissioning Groups | NHS Digital, UK

New funds to support families affected by drug and alcohol misuse

A new fund, aimed at families affected by drug and alcohol misuse in Scotland has been launched by the Scottish Government | CentralFM, UK

North Wales hotline to report used drugs syringes

People living in north Wales are being asked to report discarded drugs paraphernalia after a dedicated website and helpline were set up | BBC, UK

What Does a Good Drug Education Programme Look Like?

It is clear from numerous reports that drug education in the UK is not up to scratch. Children are supposed to be learning about drugs and alcohol in a subject called Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE), but currently there is a vague curriculum with lots of freedom given to schools | Volte Face, UK

Session 61 of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs - 12th-16th March

Agenda and papers | UNODC, Austria

CND 61: Key issues and opportunities

This webinar on the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) focuses on its 61st Session, which will take place in Vienna from 12-16 March 2018. The Session will be the last major drug policy gathering of the international community before the 2019 target date set out by the 2009 Political Declaration and Action Plan | IDPC, UK

DDN March 2018

How do we get connected? With healthcare, with peers, colleagues, commissioners, policymakers, politicians? It’s a question that goes far beyond the DDN conference – but the spirit of this event confirmed that where there’s a will, things can happen. On the following pages you will find not just the record of the day’s events, but a host of possibilities, questions and ideas | DDN, UK

No Smoking Day (14 March 2018)

For this year's national No Smoking Day we're asking you to pick your way, #TellUsYourWay and Quit Your Way! | NHS Inform, UK

Alcohol price law 'important tool' in tackling drinking

Assembly members have been urged to back minimum unit pricing for alcohol as a "major new and important tool" in tackling harmful drinking in Wales | BBC, UK

Fund set up to develop family support groups across Scotland

Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs (SFAD) have partnered with The Scottish Government and the Corra Foundation to set up a fund to give existing family groups and new or not-yet-formed groups access to small grants to promote family recovery across Scotland | SDF, UK

Phoenix Futures: Online Community Advisory Panel

Could you spare a couple of hours every few months to donate your thoughts and directly help us with our stigma reduction campaigns.
We are looking for people to give us their feedback and opinion on what we say and how we say it. Your insights and opinions will have an immediate effect on the way that we communicate | Phoenix Futures, UK

Four in 10 smokers incorrectly think nicotine causes cancer

On No Smoking Day, PHE advises going ‘cold turkey’ is least effective way to quit | PHE, UK

Hiding, not providing: alcohol industry labelling proposal fails to deliver

RSPH has reacted with disappointment to a self-regulatory proposal for labelling announced by the alcohol industry | RSPH, UK

Welsh minimum alcohol price law passes first hurdle

A plan to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol has passed its first hurdle in the assembly | BBC, UK

Smokeless cigarettes not as harmless as claimed, study says

Users of new iQOS ‘heat not burn’ devices speed up their ‘puff rate’ to inhale more nicotine, researchers find | Guardian, UK

Using cannabis 'just 5 times' as a teen linked to increased psychosis risk

"Smoking cannabis just 5 times as a teenager raises the risk of psychosis, reveals 'worrying' study," reports the Mail Online | NHS Choices: Behind the headlines, UK

Adult drug and alcohol misuse treatment business definitions

Business definitions for adult drug and alcohol misuse treatment providers to input data items onto the national drug treatment monitoring system (NDTMS) | PHE, UK

Holding back the years - BBC iPlayer

Our Director, Harry Shapiro, quoted in this piece which asks if we are a nation addicted to painkillers. [Item starts 12 minutes in] | BBC, UK

CGL statement on the discontinuation of BritLofex (lofexidine hydrochloride)

We have been informed that BritLofex (lofexidine hydrochloride), the opioid detoxification medication, has been temporarily discontinued...We have begun conversations with Public Health England regarding this matter, as well as commissioners and colleagues in Collective Voice to establish safe and effective solutions for service users | CGL, UK

Hepatitis B: vaccine recommendations during supply constraints

[Vaccine supplies are improving but remain constrained. The vaccine remains available for those at highest risk of exposure, including those who inject drugs. PHE has recently published a recovery plan to support re-introduction of the vaccine for lower priority groups in a phased approach to maintain continuity of supply. Commissioners and providers of drug services are advised to read the plan noting that they can now order larger volumes of vaccine, likely without need for an override request] | PHE, UK

Young people drug and alcohol treatment business definitions

Business definitions for young people drug and alcohol treatment providers to input data onto the national drug treatment monitoring system (NDTMS) | PHE, UK

Secure setting drug and alcohol treatment business definitions

Business definitions for secure setting drug and alcohol treatment providers to input data onto the national drug treatment monitoring system (NDTMS) | PHE, UK

MP urges ministers to allow legal drug consumption rooms

Ministers have been urged to back legal drug consumption rooms in a bid to help end the “damaging” status quo for addicts and the public | Glasgow Evening Times, UK [Alsion Thewlis speaks on the issue in parliament | parliament.uk, UK]

Prescription Cost Analysis, England 2017

Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) provides details of the number of items and the net ingredient cost (NIC) of all prescriptions dispensed in the community in England. The drugs dispensed are listed by British National Formulary (BNF) therapeutic class. This publication includes data sheets for items dispensed and NIC from 2007 to 2017 at individual presentation level | NHS Digital, UK

The opioid timebomb

In a special Evening Standard investigation, DAVID COHEN delves into the overuse of prescription painkiller medication and asks: Are opioids doing us more harm than good? [Harry Shapiro of DrugWise quoted] | Evening Standard, UK

NHS accused of fuelling rise in opioid addiction

Doctors warn the NHS is fuelling an addiction crisis because of an increase in the prescribing of powerful painkillers | BBC, UK

Pharmacists ordered to do checks on care homes amid fears elderly are being harmed by drugs cocktail

Pharmacists are to carry out checks on every care home in the country amid fears that thousands of elderly people are being subjected to the 'chemical cosh' | Telegraph, UK

Help to quit goes up in smoke

There’s a potentially effective medical intervention being wheeled out to all hospitals in England this year to help patients quit that big, old killer, smoking | BMA, UK

Smoking linked with higher risk of type 2 diabetes

Smoking is associated with significantly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to new research in China published in The Lancet Public Health | University of Oxford, UK

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 15 March 2018

A warning about the impending “dismantling” of the English drug treatment system, one largely based on prescribing heroin substitutes. In Norway and in a US state prison system, these treatments were tested against opposing programmes intended to eliminate legal and illegal opioid use. Last is another demonstration that implementation is the Achilles’ heel of alcohol screening and brief intervention | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Drugs courts: Justice system that aims to rehabilitate

A new pilot project to introduce American-style 'drug courts' to Northern Ireland is being developed | BBC, UK

FDA pushes to lower nicotine to 'minimally or non-addictive levels

The agency said 33 million young people could be prevented from becoming smokers if the plan is implemented | Guardian, UK