Weekly news - 29th March 2018


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Drugs trade drags children into modern slavery

Inner city children being forced to sell drugs in the countryside has fueled a tripling in the number of modern slavery victims in Britain, the National Crime Agency has said | Telegraph, UK

Alcohol control policies from an English perspective

An ambitious attempt to use research to understand the most effective and cost-effective set of policies for reducing alcohol-related harm in the English context, from taxation and price regulation to managing the drinking environment | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

What’s really in the UK’s illicit drug supply

Adulterants are commonplace in contemporary illicit drugs. The use of rat poison may have been an urban legend, but many of the substances that are used would be extremely toxic to a rat | Volte Face, UK

Deaths related to volatile substances and helium in Great Britain: 2001 to 2016 registrations

Deaths related to volatile substances and helium in England, Wales and Scotland from 2001 to 2016, by region, sex, age, substances involved and cause of death | ONS, UK

PHE remit letter: 2018 to 2019

Letter from Health Minister Steve Brine confirming Public Health England’s role and priorities for the financial year 2018 to 2019 | PHE, UK

Hepatitis C in England 2018 report (PDF)

In this report, we summarise the impact of action plans in England to drive down mortality from HCV, reduce the number of new infections, and outline the actions required to make further progress | PHE, UK

Hepatitis C in the North West: annual review

Hepatitis C in the North West is still a major public health concern, however, rates since 2014 have remained stable. Estimates suggest at least 40,000 people across the North West acquired hepatitis C infection, and of those 27,000 have developed chronic infection | PHE, UK

Xanax drug sold on social media found to be fake

Drug dealers offering teenagers the drug Xanax have been selling fakes that contain a substance linked to several deaths, BBC South East has found | BBC, UK

Global review of drug checking services operating in 2017

Drug checking (or 'pill testing') services invite members of the public to anonymously submit psychoactive drug samples for forensic analysis and then provide individualised feedback of results and counselling as appropriate | NDARC, Australia

Drug Seizures and Offender Characteristics, 2016-17

This bulletin presents Official Statistics on drug seizures made by the police in Scotland and the characteristics of those found in possession of drugs | Scottish Government, UK

Seizures of psychoactive drugs double in Scotland

Seizures of diazepam and other benzodiazepines have almost doubled in the past two years in Scotland | BBC, UK

Harm-reducing potential of e-cigarettes examined

The Science and Technology Committee hears from representatives from the prison service, NHS foundation trust and interest groups to explore how e-cigarettes are promoted to those trying to stop smoking, including those experiencing mental health issues or serving a sentence in a prison | Parliament.uk, UK

Government backs PCCs drug plans

Responding to a question in Parliament, the Policing Minister Nick Hurd said: "The government welcomes the focus the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner places on drugs in his report entitled 'reducing crime and preventing harm'." | West Midlands PCC, UK

Drug-related deaths in Scotland 1979–2013:evidence of a vulnerable cohort of youngmen living in deprived areas

[Open access] Even after accounting for deprivation, mortality rates are higher in Scotland relative to the rest of Western Europe | BMC Public Health, UK [See also Blogs section below]

Opiate and crack cocaine use: prevalence estimates for local populations

Estimates of the number of opiate and crack cocaine users in local areas from 2014 to 2015 | PHE, UK

Estimates of the number of children who live with opiate users, England 2014/15 (PDF)

Information from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) has been combined with estimates of the number of opiate users in England (in 2014/15)2 to provide estimates of the number of children who may be considered as ‘affected by parental opiate use’ | PHI, UK

ACMD work programme for 2017 to 2019

Letter to the Home Secretary from the chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, outlining their work programme for 2017 to 2019 | ACMD, UK

Stop smoking interventions and services

This guideline covers stop smoking interventions and services delivered in primary care and community settings for everyone over the age of 12. It aims to ensure that everyone who smokes is advised and encouraged to stop and given the support they need. It emphasises the importance of targeting vulnerable groups who find smoking cessation hard or who smoke a lot. News article here | NICE, UK

Minimum unit pricing for alcohol in Scotland

A minimum unit price for alcohol will start on 1 May 2018. The Scottish Government has proposed a price per unit of 50p to the Scottish Parliament | My Gov.Scot, UK