Weekly news - 18th April 2019

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NHSCC’s position on public health commissioning

Over recent months there has been a renewed focus at the national level around commissioning of public health with a consideration of commissioning responsibility being mentioned in both the NHS Long Term Plan and in NHS England and NHS Improvement’s proposals for possible changes to legislation | NHSCC, UK

Police chief says failed drug laws could create ‘narco state’ Britain

[Free registration may be required] Britain’s failed approach to tackling the drug trade could lead to the formation of “narco states”, a police chief is warning | The Times, UK

Cannabis trade body will also focus on clinical trials

The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) has announced plans to extend its remit to focus on clinical trials | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Teagan Appleby's medicinal cannabis to be returned

Medicinal cannabis that was confiscated from the mother of a girl with severe epilepsy is to be returned | BBC, UK

Patients refused NHS cannabis grow their own

[Free registration may be required] More than 200 patients denied medicinal cannabis on the NHS are starting a campaign of disobedience by illegally growing their own. They will declare their activity to the authorities and ask not to be arrested | The Sunday Times, UK

Enlightened New Alcohol Research: SHAAP/SARN report

Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) and the Scottish Alcohol Research Network (SARN) have published a report covering six presentations at an event held last year in Edinburgh. Download the Enlightened New Alcohol Research Symposium report [pdf] here | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Clampdown planned for British online pharmacies

New rules to keep people safe when buying medications from online pharmacies have been described as a "big step forward" by Britain's pharmacy regulator | BBC, UK

Minimum unit pricing yields clear winners and losers in Scotland

Minimum unit pricing has delivered a hammer blow to white cider in Scotland as sales have fallen off a cliff since it was introduced on May 1, 2018 | Drinks Retailing, UK

‘We are still obsessed by this idea of abstinence’: A critical analysis of UK news media representations of proposals to introduce drug consumption rooms in Glasgow, UK

Drug consumptions rooms (DCRs) are a well-established and evidence-based harm reduction response to drug use. Recently, a consortium led by health services in Glasgow, United Kingdom (UK), proposed piloting a DCR. In this article, we examine how the proposals were represented in news media reporting, and the possible effects of such reporting | IJDP, UK

Spice in Sheffield: the city’s drive to tackle the highly addictive drug

How a joined-up approach is helping to reduce the number of people found comatose in the city centre | Guardian, UK

More than 1 million older motorists admit to driving while drunk, according to survey

North East has highest breathalyser test failure rate for over 50s at 18.5 per cent, analysis shows | Independent, UK

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2017–18: key findings

In 2017–18, 952 publicly-funded alcohol and other drug treatment services provided just under 210,000 treatment episodes to an estimated 130,000 clients. The four most common drugs that led clients to seek treatment were alcohol (34% of all treatment episodes), amphetamines (25%), cannabis (21%) and heroin (5%). Two-thirds (66%) of all clients receiving treatment were male and the median age of clients was 34 years | AIHW, Australia

Examining Australia’s Heaviest Drinkers

This study was undertaken by FARE’s research partner the Centre for Alcohol Policy and Research (CAPR) at La Trobe University and examines the distribution of alcohol consumption in Australia, identifying the top 10% of Australia’s heaviest drinkers and examining their sociodemographic characteristics, alcohol consumption and purchasing practices | FARE, Australia