Weekly news - 2nd August 2019

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Hepatitis C: interventions for case-finding and linkage to care

An evidence review of what interventions are effective in increasing case-finding and linkage to care for hepatitis C-infected patients | PHE, UK

New plan to tackle substance misuse in Wales launched

Consultation closing date: 9th August. Tackling substance misuse amongst the homeless and prisoners and dealing with mental health issues associated with addiction are some of the aims of a new Welsh Government plan published for consultation | Welsh Government, UK

SNP under fire for cuts to drug and alcohol treatment programmes

The SNP has been criticised for cutting millions from drug treatment programmes while demanding new powers for “shooting galleries” for addicts | Press and Journal, UK

Labour MSP demands Scottish Parliament be recalled to deal with drug death crisis

Neil Findlay wants MSP to return from summer recess for an emergency session to discuss the issue | Daily Record, UK

Cannabis oil: Girl's medicine confiscated at Stansted Airport

The mother of a girl with epilepsy said her child is at risk of "becoming comatose" after her medical cannabis oils were seized at a UK airport | BBC, UK

Trial under way of anti-cocaine spray aims to deter drug use

It makes powder clump together and stick to to treated surfaces making it impossible to sniff up | BBC, UK

Boris Johnson to relax stop and search rules as he launches plan to recruit 20,000 police officers

Boris Johnson has vowed to urgently relax stop and search restrictions for police officers across the UK, in a controversial first full policy announcement as prime minister | Independent, UK

Legalising Weed: Canada's story - BBC iPlayer

Canada's legalised it, so three MPs go on a weed trip to see if Britain could do the same. Being the first major Western country to go fully legal, Newsbeat ask - has it worked? | BBC, UK

The UK 'will legalise cannabis' within five to 10 years say MPs

A group of cross-party MPs who've been on a fact-finding trip to Canada predict the UK will fully legalise cannabis use within five to ten years | BBC, UK

Offering help to quit tobacco useWHO report on the global tobacco epidemic 2019

The report "Offering help to quit tobacco use" tracks the status of the tobacco epidemic and interventions to combat it. The report finds that more countries have implemented tobacco control policies, ranging from graphic pack warnings and advertising bans to no smoking areas. About 5 billion people – 65% of the world’s population – are covered by at least one comprehensive tobacco control measure, which has more than quadrupled since 2007 when only 1 billion people and 15% of the world’s population were covered | WHO, Switzerland

Hepatitis C: models of care for drug services within Europe

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has a high prevalence in people who inject drugs (PWID) in Europe. However, currently HCV infection is both preventable and curable. The importance of targeting PWID as a key population for the elimination of hepatitis C in Europe and promoting their access to testing and all other elements of the cascade of care is highlighted in European and national hepatitis C policies | EMCDDA, Portugal

Opioid addiction numbers to be revealed for the first time

The number of patients addicted to opioid painkillers in England and the length of time they have been dependent will be set out in full for the first time in a major report due out in weeks | BBC, UK

Open consultation: NDTMS criminal justice intervention teams dataset: proposed changes

We're inviting feedback on proposed changes to the criminal justice intervention teams dataset collected for the national drug treatment monitoring system. This consultation closes at 9:30am on 26 August 2019 | PHE, UK

Scotland's drug deaths battle blow as vital forensics lab loses Crown Office contract

The Toxicology Unit that deals with overdose cases could close with samples now likely to be sent to England for testing | Daily Record, UK

Is big business coming for cannabis? - audio

How the UK is gearing up for legalisation | BBC, UK

England failing to tackle alcohol 'epidemic', say researchers

People with alcohol problems in England are less than half as likely to receive the right help as those in Scotland and Wales, research suggests | BBC, UK

Take-Home Naloxone for the Emergency Interim Management of Opioid Overdose: The Public Health Application of an Emergency Medicine

[Open access] Over two decades, the concept of ‘take-home naloxone’ has evolved, comprising pre-provision of an emergency supply to laypersons likely to witness an opioid overdose (e.g. peers and family members of people who use opioids as well as non-medical personnel), with the recommendation to administer the naloxone to the overdose victim as interim care while awaiting an ambulance | Springer Link, UK

Mixed evidence shows some impact of mass media campaigns promoting tobacco control, physical activity and sexual health

Mass media campaigns have demonstrated effectiveness for promoting tobacco control, physical activity and sexual health. Most of the evidence relates to improving awareness of health risks or the availability of services | NIHR, UK

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 30 July 2019

Analyses published in July focused on expanding screening and brief interventions into fertility treatment, rethinking abstinence as a prerequisite for inpatient medical care, and aiming to ‘turn people’s lives around’ by diverting to treatment and incentivising going alcohol-free | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Dual diagnosis, double stigma: a rapid review of experiences of living with alcohol-related brain damage

This rapid review aimed to explore the experience of living with ARBD and the associated treatment or support offered. The literature was reviewed to find what models of care exist and what professionals and/or patients with ARBD consider best practice | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Minimum Unit Pricing Evaluation - Compliance study

This study looks at the Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) for alcohol that came into effect in Scotland in 2018. It specifically relates to issues around compliance from the point of view of those with responsibility for inspection and enforcement of MUP in licensed premises | NHS Health Scotland, UK

Alcohol minimum pricing 'implemented effectively'

The first study of the policy, which came into force in May 2018, found compliance was high among licensed premises in Scotland | BBC, UK

Bottles of alcohol will finally carrying information on healthy drinking guidelines more than three years after new rule was introduced

Updated advice directing both men and women to drink no more than 14 units a week was published by the Government’s chief medical officer in January 2016 | Daily Mail, UK

Opioids Aware: a general practice audit of high-dose opioid prescribing NHS England Midlands and East

[Open access] There has been a marked increase in the number of patients in the UK taking opioids from 2.5% in 2000 to 5% in 2015.1 More patients are taking opioids at higher doses for chronic pain,2,3 for which there is limited evidence of effectiveness | BJGP, UK

“We have to put the fire out first before we start rebuilding the house”: practitioners’ experiences of supporting women with histories of substance use, interpersonal abuse and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder

[Open access] The high prevalence of women experiencing co-occurring substance use, interpersonal abuse, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder has led to calls for trauma-specific substance use treatments and wider trauma-informed practice. The aim of this study was to explore how services in England have developed practice responses with limited historical precedence for this work | Addiction, Research and Theory, UK

Boris Johnson's Top Aides Want To Legalise Cannabis

Blair Gibbs, the prime minister's new policy adviser, is joining Downing Street from the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis | BuzzFeed, UK

CBD oil: Have the benefits been overstated?

Sales of the cannabis extract cannabidiol (CBD) have roughly doubled over the past two years in the UK. But some are concerned that CBD products are not all they claim to be | BBC, UK

First victim named after six drug deaths in Essex

Tributes to motorbike fan Cian Daly, 20, who did voluntary work with disabled children | Guardian, UK

Laboratory reports of hepatitis A and C: 2018

Quarterly laboratory-confirmed hepatitis A virus and hepatitis C reports in England and Wales in 2018, and the annual report | PHE, UK

'Safer' needles for drug users gets global interest

A project to get drug users to switch to a new design of needle that reduces infection risk has proved so successful it has attracted global interest. The Bristol Drugs Project used feedback from those using drugs who had shared their worries about changing needles, to create the educational campaign | BBC, UK