Weekly news - 5th October 2018


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Stoptober

Quit smoking with your free personal quit plan | NHS, UK

Stoptober 2017 campaign evaluation

Summary evaluation of Stoptober quit smoking health marketing campaign activity | PHE, UK

Cost of lifesaving heroin withdrawal drug soars by 700%

Treatment agencies warn of extra drug-related deaths unless price hike is addressed | Observer, UK

Every Life Matters – Change Grow Live is campaigning to help reduce drug misuse deaths

Drug-related deaths are at record levels. This is a national public health crisis and urgent action is needed. Click here to tweet your support | Change Grow Live, UK

Spice and the cities: the areas in the UK where the drug has spread

Spice made national headlines after images and videos were shared in spring 2017 of people frozen like statues or collapsed in Manchester | I news, UK

Conservative conference: Middle-class drug users to be targeted - Sajid Javid

Middle-class drug users will be targeted as part of a crackdown on the causes of violent crime, Home Secretary Sajid Javid will announce | BBC, UK

Prescribed medicines: an evidence review

Public Health England is conducting a review of the evidence on dependence, and the short term discontinuation or longer term withdrawal symptoms associated with prescribed medicines: specifically Benzodiazepines, Z drugs, GABA-ergic medication, opioid pain medications, antidepressants and combinations of these medicines. As part of the Review the National Guidance Centre has been commissioned to conduct a Rapid Evidence Assessment of the relevant published and grey literature, including a call for evidence describing patients’ experiences and health/social care service delivery models. The deadline for submissions for the call for evidence is 23rd October 2018 | PHE, UK

Hepatitis C: new family resource

We’ve launched a new resource (pdf) providing practical and emotional support to the family and friends of those with hepatitis C or who inject drugs | Adfam, UK

Should universities tell students how to take drugs safely?

Sheffield Students' Union has hit the headlines for publishing advice on how to take illegal drugs safely. But should universities focus on stopping students taking drugs in the first place? | BBC, UK

Opioids and chronic pain in primary care

The number of opioid analgesics prescribed in the UK for non-cancer pain over the past few years is on a steadily upward trajectory. Alongside this, the numbers of deaths reported to involve opioid analgesics are rising as well. There are concerns that there may be some echoing of the situation in the US where overdose deaths from prescription opioids are a major issue | BJGP, UK

Evaluation into the Kent County Lines Pilot Project (PDF)

This evaluation report looked into a pilot six-month Home Office funded county lines intervention project St Giles Trust delivered in Kent helping vulnerable young people out of county line activity. It also carried out a scoping report to look at national approaches to the issue of county lines | St Giles Trust, UK

Children caught up in drugs gangs being failed by police, says Home Office report

St Giles Trust raises concerns about information sharing over ‘county lines’ drugs rings | Guardian, UK

No Fire, No Smoke: the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction Report 2018

Every six seconds someone dies from a smoking-related disease and the problem is likely to worsen; the steep smoking declines in richer countries are slowing while in poorer countries smoking is set to rise. Existing forms of tobacco control are proving insufficient. There is substantial international, independent evidence that safer nicotine products could lead to a global revolution in public health. Time is way overdue that countries and international organizations support tobacco harm reduction and safer nicotine products | Knowledge Action Change, UK

WHO launches SAFER alcohol control initiative to prevent and reduce alcohol-related death and disability

WHO-led initiative and action package aim to support global target of reducing harmful use of alcohol by 10% by 2025 | WHO, USA

Millions at risk from antidepressant withdrawal, new review concludes

The Journal of Addictive Behaviors has today published a new systematic reviewwhich shows that antidepressant withdrawal is much more widespread, severe and long-lasting than indicated by current guidelines, with millions of antidepressant users in the U.K. potentially affected | APPG, UK

Antidepressant withdrawal 'hits millions'

Millions of people get bad side-effects trying to cut down on or come off antidepressants, a large review says | BBC, UK

Liver disease profiles: short statistical commentary, October 2018

New hospital admissions data for 2016 to 2017 has been added to the liver disease profiles | PHE, UK

Newly discharged mental health patients at much higher risk of death

Such patients are 90 times more likely to die from drugs overdose than general population, research finds | Guardian, UK

Family of brain tumour patient Caroline Burns in cannabis plea

The husband of a brain tumour patient has written to the Home Secretary after spending £1,250 a month on medicinal cannabis | BBC, UK

'Spice Zombies' photos harm addicts, council says

Images of people collapsed in the street or slumped on benches after taking the synthentic cannabis substitute are often widely shared online | BBC, UK

Calls for guidelines to be revised over antidepressant withdrawal symptoms

A review of the evidence about antidepressant withdrawal symptoms found more people may experience them for longer than previously thought, and many people describe these symptoms as severe | NHS Choices: Behind the Headlines, UK

Why “spice” is worse than other drugs

It is particularly hard to wean users off these synthetic cannabinoids | Economist, UK

Cigarette smoking: an assessment of tobacco’s global environmental footprint across its entire supply chain, and policy strategies to reduce it (PDF)

Cigarette production and consumption have seen dramatic growth in recent decades and although the health effects of smoking are widely recognized, its impacts on the environment are largely overlooked. From tobacco cultivation and curing, to cigarette manufacturing, distribution, consumption and discarding, every stage in the global tobacco supply chain involves considerable resource inputs, and results in the production of wastes and emissions | WHO, UK

Alcohol causes 1 in 13 breast cancers

Drink free days campaign marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month by encouraging women to take more drink free days to reduce their breast cancer risk | PHE, UK

'County lines' heroin dealer jailed under child trafficking law

Zakaria Mohammed, from Birmingham, recruited children to sell drugs in Lincoln | Guardian, UK

When Boots Prescribed Heroin, the UK Did Drug Policy Right

Until the US got involved, the "British System" was successful in keeping addiction rates low and drug-associated crime nonexistent | VICE, UK

Judge presiding over drugs court concerned by increase in heroin use

A leading judge who is presiding over a pioneering drugs court has warned that heroin use is becoming more prevalent in Northern Ireland. Judge Fiona Bagnall, who presides over the new dedicated drugs court, has spoken to UTV about the attempts to help drug addicts break the cycle of offending | ITV, UK

Drug Dealing On Campus - iPlayer

A drug dealer supplying fellow students on his university campus shares his story. He claims he is trying to quit, but pressure from his suppliers is making it dangerous to stop | BBC, UK

Cannabis has 'more lasting effect on teenage brains than alcohol'

Canadian researchers investigated the links between alcohol and cannabis use and performance on various tests of brain function in 3,826 school pupils over 4 years, starting at age 12 to 13. They found teens who used cannabis performed less well, especially in tests of memory and impulse control | NHS Choices: Behind the headlines, UK