Weekly news - 26th October 2018


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Funding cuts forcing drug rehabilitation centres to close

They are services for desperate people, services that save lives. Yet despite the Prime Minister’s pledge to end austerity, cuts in local authority funding mean places like residential rehabilitation centres can’t stay financially viable | Channel 4, UK

Smokers should switch from cigarettes to vaping, says world's biggest tobacco firm

The world's biggest tobacco company is encouraging smokers to give up cigarettes and switch to vaping in a multi-million pound campaign | Telegraph, UK

Philip Morris accused of hypocrisy over anti-smoking ad

One of the world's biggest tobacco firms, Philip Morris, has been accused of "staggering hypocrisy" over its new ad campaign that urges smokers to quit | BBC, UK

The toxic impact of drug panics

Alarm surrounding the bizarre effects of the latest street drug can be seductive and makes for excellent headlines. But, ask Emily Goddard and Ian Hamilton, what about the harm this causes? | Independent, UK

Drunk and Doubly Deviant? The Role of Gender and Intoxication in Sentencing Assault Offences

Little is known about how alcohol intoxication impacts sentence outcomes. This study assesses whether intoxication differentially aggravates sentence outcomes for male and female defendants of assault offences | British Journal of Criminology, UK

Get Up to Speed On the UK's New Approach to Various Drugs

It's been a busy year for UK drug policy, but where do we stand right now? | VICE, UK

Ex-met police chief Bernard Hogan-Howe calls for urgent review of cannabis laws

Bernard Hogan-Howe, the former Metropolitan Police commissioner, has called for an "urgent review" of the evidence around legalising cannabis | Telegraph, UK

Taking stock: a decade of drug policy - a civil society shadow report

This report evaluates the impacts of drug policies implemented across the world over the past decade, using data from the United Nations (UN), complemented with peer-reviewed academic research and grey literature reports from civil society | IDPC, UK

Have the chat campaign launched

To launch the Have the Chat campaign Addaction has developed seven tips for parents to start the conversation about drugs | Addaction, UK

Westminster Hall debate - Drugs Policy - 23rd October at 2.30pm

Ronnie Cowan MP and others debate the current UK drug policies | Parliament.tv, UK

Stressed headteachers turn to alcohol

80 per cent of heads and school leaders describe themselves as stressed | TES, UK

Dispatches - Cannabis: Time to end the ban?

Over two million people smoke cannabis in the UK. Some police forces no longer prosecute for possession. Canada and several American States have legalised it. So should the UK follow suit? | Channel 4, UK

How do we retain OST patients in treatment?

In a recent Clinical Update editor Tom Jones summarises and comments on a primary care cohort study in the United Kingdom - a study that considers whether the use of methadone or buprenorphine as opioid substitution treatment (OST) was associated with a greater reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality and opioid drug-related poisoning mortality. In commenting on the paper, he considers the wider question - how do we retain patients on OST in treatment? | SMMGP, UK

Continued high price of buprenorphine used in drug treatment

A letter from Public Health England to directors of public health provides an update on recent increases in the prices of buprenorphine tablets used in the treatment of heroin (and other opioid) dependence. Earlier hopes that prices might fall again are looking less likely to be realised and the impact on the medicines budget of local authorities and the services they commission is in many cases severe | PHE, UK

Can duty cuts save pubs? Lobby groups target 2018 budget

Its no secret that pub numbers have been in decline for decades, but less clear is the role duty and tax policies may have played. Ahead of the 2018 budget, a number of industry-led campaigns have again been vying for the Chancellor's attention in calling for freezes on alcohol duties | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Talks held on lifting football's booze ban

The Scottish FA, Police Scotland and Scottish government officials have met to explore the idea of using the Euro 2020 matches at Hampden as a pilot | BBC, UK

National Statistics: Alcohol and late night refreshment licensing England and Wales 31 March 2018

Includes statistics on premises licences, club premises certificates, personal licences, late night refreshment and 24-hour alcohol licences | Home Office, UK

Police powers and procedures, England and Wales, year ending 31 March 2018 (PDF)

In the year ending March 2018, there were 282,248 stops and searches conducted by the police in England and Wales, a fall of 7% compared with the previous year (304,132 stops and searches), and the lowest number of stop and searches carried out since the current data collection began in the year ending March 2002. In the latest year, arrests resulting from stops and searches fell by 7% | Home Office, UK

Dying for a drink Circumstances of, and contributory factors to, alcohol deaths in Scotland: results of a rapid literature review and qualitative research study (PDF)

On 26th October at RCPE, SHAAP will launch its new report, ‘Dying for a drink’, commissioned by the Scottish Government, that discusses alcohol deaths in Scotland and draws on interviews with those affected to highlight the personal tragedies that this continues to cause. The new report also makes recommendations for actions to reduce this in future. SHAAP’s new report also calls for more ‘professional optimism’, to recognise that people can recover from alcohol problems and to support that process | SHAAP, UK

Professional optimism needed to support alcohol recovery – report

Professional optimism across public services to emphasise the ability of people to recover from drink problems is needed to help cut Scotland’s alcohol death toll, a report has found | ITV, UK

Evaluation of Liverpool’s Drink Less Enjoy More intervention 2017 Progress and findings to date (PDF)

Efforts to address cultures of drunkenness by increasing bar staff compliance with the law and public awareness of it, have been made in recent years by Liverpool City Council (and partners) with the implementation of the community-based multi-component intervention Drink Less Enjoy More (DLEM; branded Say No To Drunks [SNTD] during the initial pilot phase). This report presents data from the most recent wave of evaluation in 2017 and provides comparisons across evaluation time points | PHI, UK

A content analysis of alcohol content in UK television

Exposure to audio-visual alcohol content in media is associated with subsequent alcohol use in young people, but the extent of exposure contained in UK free-to-air prime-time television has not been explored since 2010 | JPH, UK

Smoking

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on the smoking quit rate for people earning (a) £10,000 per annum or less, (b) £10,001 to £20,000 per annum, (c) £20,001 to £30,000 per annum, (d) £30,001 to £40,000 per annum and (e) £40,001 per annum and over in England in each financial year since 2010-11 | They work for you, UK

Marlboro maker axes flavoured e-cigarettes

Altria, the tobacco firm which owns Marlboro, will stop selling several of its e-cigarette products | BBC, UK