Weekly news - 23rd August 2019


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In date order, Monday to Friday

Responding to Drug Use with Kindness, Compassion and Hope (PDF)

The Dundee Partnership has taken delivery of the findings of the Dundee Drugs Commission. This specialist panel was set up by the partnership, which is made up of all the key agencies in the city, as a response to the increasing number of drug-related deaths in the city | Dundee City Council, UK

Dundee drug deaths report calls for radical change to services

Rigid and punitive treatment regime is failing to stem record number of fatalities | Guardian, UK

Drug-related deaths reach record levels in Wales

Wales had its highest number of recorded drug-related deaths last year, latest figures have shown | BBC, UK

Safe injection rooms are key to halting rise in drug deaths – expert

Former drugs tsar says Home Office must end opposition to ‘fixing’ spaces to tackle issue | Guardian, UK

‘Saved from a horrible fate’: Legal heroin prescribed to hundreds of UK drug users, figures reveal

Hundreds of people addicted to heroin in the UK are benefitting from a free legal supply of the drug, new figures show | Independent, UK

What can be done to halt Glasgow's HIV epidemic?

Researchers have described a "perfect storm" that has allowed the HIV virus to spread so quickly in Glasgow. Homelessness is the key factor. Combined with a significant rise in the numbers of people injecting cocaine as well as heroin | BBC, UK

Scotland announces hepatitis C elimination strategy

The Scottish Government’s long-awaited hepatitis C strategy, written in partnership with Health Protection Scotland, was published on 31st July 2019 | Health Protection Scotland, UK

What America's Users Spend on Illegal Drugs, 2006–2016

 This report updates and extends estimates of the number of users, retail expenditures, and amount consumed from 2006 to 2016 for cocaine (including crack), heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine in the United States, based on a methodology developed by the RAND Corporation for the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The report also includes a discussion of what additional types of data would help quantify the scale of these markets in the future, including the new types of information produced by the legalization of marijuana at the state level | RAND, USA

Alcohol Awareness Week 2019: ‘Alcohol and me’

Alcohol Change UK have announced Alcohol Awareness Week (AAW) 2019 will take place from 11-17 November on the theme of 'alcohol and me' | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Local alcohol services and systems improvement tool

Updated to revise the guidance and the CLeaR tool | PHE, UK

Cannabis industry hopes its kitemark of quality will fly

[Free registration maybe required] Fears over the legality and quality of health supplements derived from cannabis plants are prompting the biggest manufacturers to introduce a “kitemark” guaranteeing standards. It will be the first time cannabis companies have attempted to become fully compliant with UK law | The Times, UK

Clinical and demographic patient characteristics, alcohol treatment goal preference and goal attainment during computer-assisted therapy with Breaking Free Online

[Open access] Few alcohol misuse interventions can be tailored to the individual and allow individuals to set personalized treatment goals, including reduction/moderation or abstinence. This study examined outcomes from a tailorable computer-assisted therapy program, Breaking Free Online (BFO), which prompts users to set personalized goals | Journal of Substance Use, UK

MDMA treatment for alcoholism reduces relapse, study suggests

Researchers say drug is safe and appears more effective than conventional treatments | Guardian, UK

Where did all the real mephedrone go?

The original legal high mephedrone is reported to be different to the mephedrone that came after the ban, in both positive and negative effects. Could it have been a different drug altogether? | Talking Drugs, UK

Does bribing people with psychosis to give up cannabis work?

Every man (or woman) has their price, the saying goes, what would you be willing to do for £240 worth of Tesco vouchers? | Mental Elf blog, UK

Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among Young People in England 2018

This report contains results from a biennial survey of secondary school pupils in England in years 7 to 11 (mostly aged 11 to 15), focusing on smoking, drinking and drug use. It covers a range of topics including prevalence, habits, attitudes, and for the first time in 2018, wellbeing | NHS Digital, UK

More schoolchildren 'rejecting cigarettes'

The most recent survey in a series that began in the 1980s indicates just 16% of the pupils have ever smoked tobacco, down from 19% in 2016 and 49% in 1996 | BBC, UK

New research explores the use of New Psychoactive Substances by young people

New research into New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) - formerly referred to as ‘legal highs’ - provides new evidence about why young people were attracted to the drugs, and the health and social risks associated with taking them | NIHR, UK

Coexisting severe mental illness and substance misuse

This quality standard covers the assessment, management and care provided for people aged 14 and over who have coexisting severe mental illness and substance misuse. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement | NICE, UK

Unlinked Anonymous Monitoring (UAM) Survey of HIV and viral hepatitis among PWID: 2019 report (PDF)

An ageing cohort of people who inject drugs (PWID) is evident from the Unlinked Anonymous Monitoring (UAM) survey, with the mean age increasing from 34 years in 2008 to 40 years in 2018. This is consistent with an ageing cohort of PWID observed in other data sources nationally and internationally | PHE, UK

The Centre For Medicinal Cannabis Launches Quality Charter to Put CBD Industry on Path to Legal Compliance

[Yesterday] the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) announced the release of a new Cannabinoid Industry Quality Charter to help foster a legally compliant, socially responsible and innovative CBD industry in the UK | Centre for Medicinal Cannabis, UK

Get an up-to-date overview of new and emerging drug-related health harms

Read Public Health England’s summary of the latest intelligence and clinical messaging on new and emerging drug-related health harms. The information included in the ‘dashboard’ summary comes from a range of intelligence sources (including the Report Illicit Drug Reactions national pilot) and aims to support frontline practitioners, service providers and other stakeholders in responding to new and emerging drug-related health harms.  Practitioners can also report adverse reactions to illicit drugs via RIDR | PHE, UK

‘Fundamental mismatch’ between problems prisoners face and level of support they receive

Recognising that prisons can cut off occupants from sources of social support and stability, while failing to cut off the supply of illicit drugs, dedicated ‘drug recovery wings’ were designed to cultivate a space within prisons where recovery looked possible. But what about when their prison sentence ended; did recovery wings return participants to the community feeling prepared and supported to continue on their recovery journeys? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Cannabis oil too expensive to prescribe to epileptic children on NHS, advisory body finds

Acannabis drug used to treat children with epilepsy is too expensive to prescribe even though it reduces patients’ seizures, the UK’s medical advisory body has said | Telegraph, UK