Weekly news - 4th May 2018


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Guidance on the Implementation of Minimum Pricing for Alcohol: For sellers of alcohol and enforcement authorities in Scotland (PDF)

Minimum pricing is a key measure in the Scottish Government’s alcohol strategy, and will set a price below which alcohol cannot be sold. Alcoholic drinks which are priced at less than the minimum price per unit at the date of implementation (1st May 2018) will need to increase | Scottish Government, UK

Minimum pricing could see own-brand spirits rise by £3 a bottle

Scotland's supermarkets will have to increase the prices of some own-brand spirits by as much as £3 when minimum pricing becomes law this week | BBC, UK

Death by the sea: how drug abuse is scarring Britain’s coastal towns

Seaside communities have the highest rates of heroin deaths in England – and Barrow-in-Furness is one of the hardest hit ‘brown towns’. What are the causes – and is there a solution? | Guardian, UK

Increase in drug-related deaths linked to health cuts

Whitehall should reverse its cuts to local authority public health grants in order to tackle the increase in drug-related deaths, doctors say | Local Gov, UK

Buckingham University aims to be UK's 'first drug-free campus'

A university is to ask students to sign contracts promising not to take drugs on its property in a bid to become Britain's first drug-free campus | BBC, UK

Scotland ends cheap booze as minimum price starts

The price of cheap, high-strength alcohol has gone up in Scotland as long-awaited legislation on minimum pricing comes into force | BBC, UK

The hardest hit: Addressing the crisis in alcohol treatment services (PDF)

This research, launched at the All Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Harm on 1 May 2018, warns that the alcohol treatment sector is in crisis. These services are entering into a cycle of disinvestment, staff depletion, and reduced capacity, and this is due to get worse; in 2020 ring-fenced public health funding will end, posing additional risk to the areas of highest need. [See also Press Release] | Alcohol Concern and Alcohol Research UK, UK

Darknet markets ecosystem – Lifetimes and reasons for closure of over 100 global darknet markets offering drugs, sorted by date

Darknet markets — also known as cryptomarkets — provide a largely anonymous platform for trading in a range of illicit goods and services. It is estimated that around two thirds of the offers on darknet markets are drug-related. Drug sales on these markets, although modest when compared to the overall retail drug market, are significant and appear to be expanding.  EU-based suppliers are important players in the darknet ecosystem, the evolution of which is shown in this timeline | EMCDDA, Portugal

Statistics on Alcohol

This statistical report presents a range of information on alcohol use and misuse by adults and children drawn together from a variety of sources for England unless otherwise stated | NHS Digital, UK

Statistical bulletin: Adult drinking habits in Great Britain: 2017

Teetotalism, drinking in the week before interview, frequent drinking and units drunk, including changes in drinking patterns in recent years | ONS, UK

High earners more likely to drink alcohol, new statistics show

The findings of a survey of drinking habits in England published today shows  79 per cent of adults earning £40,000 or more a year drank alcohol in the previous week in 2017, compared to 58 per cent of all adults | NHS Digital, UK

Evaluation of minimum unit pricing

MUP for all alcoholic drinks has not been put in place anywhere before. With this in mind, the legislation contains a sunset clause. This means that it will expire after the sixth year of implementation unless the Scottish Parliament votes for it to continue. To inform this decision there is a review clause. This requires Scottish Ministers to present a report to the Scottish Parliament on the impact of MUP after five years of operation. The evaluation we are undertaking will inform this report | NHS Health Scotland, UK

Budgets for weight loss, stopping smoking and sexual health services being cut by 90 per cent of councils

Half of GPs report the loss of services in their areas because of 'scandalous' government cuts | Independent, UK

Opioids: More US Deaths from Synthetics Than Prescription Drugs - BBC audio

New figures reveal over 45 per cent of opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016 involved synthetics. Dr Thomas Andrew, Chief Medical Examiner for the state of New Hampshire tells us what is behind this. Plus, wespeak to Dr Roger Crystal, CEO of Opiant, which manufactures a nasal spray that can reverse an overdose of opioids | BBC, UK

Britain’s drinking habits revealed – new figures

Britain seems to be slowly changing its relationship with alcohol, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Although alcohol continues to be heavily marketed and advertised, the number of people who are teetotal has risen sharply since 2005 | Conversation, UK

Advice on amending the Misuse of Drugs (Safe Custody) Regulations 1973

Letter to Victoria Atkins MP from the chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs outlining recommendations for amending the safe custody regulations | ACMD, UK

Prescribing of controlled drugs by therapeutic radiographers: further advice

Further advice about the prescribing of controlled drugs by therapeutic radiographers | ACMD, UK

Know your limits: Labelling interventions to reduce alcohol consumption - small grant

The overall purpose of this research is to address the European Parliament’s call for ‘clear, concise and effective information on the effects of alcohol consumption and its health risks | Alcohol Research UK, UK

Is there an alternative to being parked on methadone?

Michael from Dundee spent more than 20 years on heroin substitute methadone. He felt like he was left constantly sedated, with no attempt to wean him off it | BBC, UK

Xanax: Children as young as 11 taking anxiety drug

Children as young as 11 are being treated for abusing the anxiety drug Xanax, the BBC has found. Drugs charity Addaction said it was also aware of 13-year-olds "dealing" the tranquiliser on school premises | BBC, UK

Six pupils rushed to hospital after 'taking zombie drug Spice and collapsing at school'

Thomas Clarkson Academy in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, confirmed an incident 'involving a small group of students taking illegal substances' yesterday | Mirror, UK