Weekly news - 1st February 2019


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County lines: Teenagers used by county lines drugs gangs 'rising'

The number of teenagers being used by the drugs trade in south Wales is rising and it would be "naive" to think none are from the area, a senior police officer has said | BBC, UK

Prosecutions: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment his Department has made of trends in the level of prosecutions for psychoactive substances dealing | They work for you, UK

Met police 'disproportionately' use stop and search powers on black people

London’s minority black population targeted more than white population in 2018 – official figures | Guardian, UK

MSPs back safe room for addicts in Glasgow to take drugs

MSPs last night voted to call on the UK government to allow a safe room to be created where addicts can take drugs | Scotsman, UK

Illegal tobacco trade harming efforts to cut smoking, councils warn

"The sale of cheap, illegal tobacco by rogue traders in shops, private homes and through social media is funding organised criminal gangs and damaging legitimate traders, as well as making it easier for young people to get hooked on smoking, which undermines councils’ efforts to help people quit." | Local Government, UK

Family spending in the UK: April 2017 to March 2018

Includes data on alcohol spending - Within catering services, the second-highest spend in the financial year ending (FYE) 2018 was on alcoholic drinks away from the home. On average, £8.00 per week was spent on this, accounting for 21% of household spending on catering services. This compares with an average household spend of £8.70 on alcoholic drinks brought home, giving a total average weekly expenditure of £16.70 spent on alcoholic drinks for all households | ONS, UK

Liverpool teenager dies after suspected MDMA overdose

The 19-year-old woman was believed to have had a cardiac arrest at the Hangar 34 Club, Greenland Street at about 02:30 GMT, Merseyside Police said | BBC, UK

European cannabis report: 4th edition

This report examines commercial and business opportunities in 33 European markets, changing legislation and new regulatory guidelines across the region and emerging trends, market forecasts and industry insights | Prohibition Partners, UK

Street valium blamed for 'unprecedented' spike in drugs deaths

Early data shows there was a 43% rise in the number of people who died of drugs overdoses from January to October last year, compared with 2017 | BBC, UK

SIGN 156: Children and young people exposed prenatally to alcohol
A national clinical guideline (PDF)

This guideline was developed using a combination of standard SIGN methodology, based on a systematic review of the evidence, and adaption of the Canadian guideline for diagnosis of FASD. Further details on the processes used are included in the guideline | Healthcare Improvement Scotland, UK

Emergence of Novel Psychoactive Substance injecting associated with rapid rise in the population prevalence of hepatitis C virus

[Open access] Novel Psychoactive Substance (NPS) use has increased in recent years and generated significant concern within public health. People who inject drugs (PWID) are at increased risk of blood borne viruses, in particular Hepatitis C virus (HCV) | IJDP, UK

NCA publishes annual assessment of county lines as over 600 arrested as part of national coordinated activity targeting drug dealing model

The number of lines has increased from 720 (as acknowledged in the 17/18 assessment) to around 2,000. Children aged between 15-17 make up the bulk of the vulnerable people involved in county lines, and we know both girls and boys are groomed and exploited. Download the report here | NCA, UK

'County lines' drug networks rapidly expanding, says NCA

Crime agency reveals trebling of individual phone numbers used by criminal gangs | Guardian, UK

Airbnbs used as drug dens by expanding ‘county lines’ gangs, officials reveal

Iryna Pona, policy manager at The Children’s Society, said the charity had seen young victims being stabbed, raped and tortured by county lines gangs | Independent, UK

The white stuff: why Britain can’t get enough cocaine

Britain snorts more of the drug than almost anywhere in Europe, more young people are taking it and deaths are rising. Why? | Guardian, UK

NHS Smoking Cessation Services Local Delivery Plan Standard, 2018/19 (Qtr1) (PDF)

In the first quarter of the financial year 2018/19, NHS Scotland contributed 21.8% (1,647 out of 7,568) towards the required annual LDP Standard. If this pattern continued for the remainder of the financial year, NHS Scotland would achieve 87.1% of the required Standard | NHS Scotland, UK

Alcohol Mis-use & Domestic Abuse Training Pack

Open opportunity - This means that the contract is currently unfulfilled but active, and the buying department is looking for potential suppliers to contact them with bid applications | Home Office, UK

Brits most likely to lie about alcohol to GPs

A quarter of Brits admit to having lied about how much they drink. The person they're most likely to lie to is their doctor | YouGov, UK

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 29 January 2019

UK studies test the benefits of school-based harm reduction curricula for young people and residential/inpatient treatments for minority of adults with already entrenched and complex drinking problems. Extended-release opioid medication is compared with the standard regimen of daily supervised consumption. Review highlights gaps and opportunities for responding to the needs of a group designated ‘high risk’ by NICE and the World Health Organization | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

The Trip Report 28/01

Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and DanceSafe, we know a little more about the drugs in circulation. The report provided below is a summary of their findings over the last week | Cameron Scally, UK

E-cigarettes 'much better for quitting smoking'

A trial found 18% of smokers who used them to quit remained smoke-free after a year, compared with 9.9% of those using nicotine-replacement treatments | BBC, UK [ See also preview article ]

Drug detection technology arrives at 10 prisons

Scanners which detect drugs on clothes and mail are up and running at 10 of the most challenging jails, Prisons Minister Rory Stewart announced today (Thursday 31 January) | Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service., UK

Smoking prevalence in young adults aged 18 to 34 years

Detailed ad-hoc analysis of smoking prevalence, calculated from the Annual Population Survey | PHE, UK

Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England April 2018 to September 2018

This quarterly report presents results from the monitoring of the NHS Stop Smoking Services in England during the period April 2018 to September 2018. NHS Stop Smoking Services offer support to help people quit smoking | NHS Digital, UK

E-cigs 'twice as effective' than nicotine patches, gum or sprays for quitting

"E-cigarettes are almost twice as effective at helping smokers give up tobacco than other alternatives such as nicotine patches or gum," Sky News reports | NHS Behind the Headlines, UK

Rough sleeping in England: autumn 2018

Of the 2,039 people (62% of total) sleeping rough who had a support needs assessment recorded, 41% had alcohol support needs, 43% drug support needs, and 50% mental health support needs, with 18% having all three needs, and 18% having none of these three needs. No support needs assessment was recorded for 38% of people seen sleeping rough | Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, UK

Spike in deaths of Oxford rough sleepers rocks community

Friends cite lack of support in university town for those with mental health and addiction problems | Guardian, UK

Shocking number of pupils kicked out of school each day over booze and drugs

New figures reveal that almost 50 children each day are sent home for drug and booze offences | Mirror, UK

Drugs epidemic forces council to bring in security guards to help police 

Manchester’s spice and drugs epidemic has forced the council to pay for security guards to patrol a part of the city for 12 hours a day, as crime has continued to rise despite police efforts | Telegraph, UK

People take drugs for pleasure and fun – so why do we drown that out by obsessing over the harm?

We have been rather snooty about ignoring the wisdom of cultures who have found benefits to drugs that go beyond ritual | Independent, UK

National Drug Control Strategy: A Report by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (PDF)

This Strategy consists of three interrelated elements designed to achieve the President’s goal of building and fostering a stronger, healthier, and drug free society: prevention, treatment and recovery, and reducing the availability of drugs in America | The White House, USA