Weekly news - 12th July 2019


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In date order, Monday to Friday

Counting lives: Responding to children who are criminally exploited (PDF)

In this report, we find that 14 to 17 year olds are the most likely age group to be exploited by criminal gangs. We uncover alarming evidence of primary school children as young as seven or eight being targeted and exploited. But children of all ages are at risk, and the number of 10 to 17 year olds arrested for intent to supply drugs has gone up by almost 50% outside London | Children's Society, UK

Bishop calls for Church of England schools to minimise exclusions

Excluded children are vulnerable to gangs, knife crime and drugs activity, says bishop of St Albans | Guardian, UK

Drug tsar appointed to tackle record death rate

Prof Catriona Matheson's appointment comes ahead of the publication of new figures, which are expected to show drug deaths topped 1,000 last year | BBC, UK

We are victims too: A peer study into repeat victimisation among people who moved from the streets into supported accommodation in London (PDF)

RDA found people who moved from the streets into supported accommodation continue to be targeted because of their experiences with mental ill-health, substance abuse or simply appearing ‘vulnerable’ or ‘homeless’. Many felt ashamed, distressed and isolated in the aftermath of the crime | Revolving Doors, UK

DDN Magazine July/August 2019

It’s time to challenge stigmatising language on social media | DDN, UK

Collecting data for the tobacco and alcohol CQUIN scheme

Guidance and tools to help collect and report data for the tobacco and alcohol commissioning for quality and innovation (CQUIN) scheme | PHE, UK

Take Home Naloxone: best practice in preventing fatal opioid overdoses for prison leavers (PDF)

This issue of Pulse gives an insight into a new, highly-targeted initiative to increase the number of service users being released from prison with Take Home Naloxone (THN), a drug that can save lives by reversing the reduced breathing rate caused by an opioid overdose. This is to help address the issue of drug-related deaths in England and Wales, which are at record levels, with death rates among prisoners (especially those on post-release supervision) many times higher than in the general population | The Forward Trust, UK

Opioid drug use: Is the UK on the verge of a crisis?

The use and abuse of opioid drugs - ranging from painkillers to heroin - is on the rise in the UK, particularly in deprived parts of northern England. [Our director, Harry Shapiro quoted] | BBC, UK

Minister hopes drug deaths record will be 'wake-up call'

As many as 1,200 people may have died from drug abuse in Scotland in 2018, with MPs told this should be a "wake-up call" over government policy. New figures are to be published in the coming days, with drug-related deaths in Scotland already at a record high | BBC, UK

Implementing the NHS long-term plan - call for written submissions

The Health and Social Committee is conducting a short inquiry in the run-up to the November 2019 Budget, aimed at assessing the case for investment in each of the following areas: capital expenditure on the NHS, education and training, social care, and public health, including the impact these areas of spending have on the implementation of the Long-term Plan | Parliament.uk, UK

Vape stores open in two West Midlands hospitals

The retail outlets, run by Ecigwizard, are based at Sandwell General Hospital, in West Bromwich, and Birmingham City Hospital, both of which are run by Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust | ITV, UK

Teens less likely to use cannabis when it's legal, US study finds

Researchers at Montana State University looked at health surveys of US high school pupils between 1993 and 2017 | BBC, UK

03: Changing Your Mind

Comedian Jacob Hawley continues his exploration of the UK drugs scene by discussing the potential powers and dangers of psychedelic drugs. Guests include comedian Carl Donnelly on the trip that changed his life, 'Acid Countess' Amanda Feilding from the Beckley Foundation, Drugwise's Harry Shapiro and psychedelic artist Joshua Levitas | BBC, UK

Patients with mental health conditions denied access to ‘best available’ stop smoking treatments

New research suggests that rethinking prescriptions for smokers with mental health conditions wishing to kick the habit could have a significant impact | University of Bath, UK

Use of child informants by Home Office 'lawful', High Court rules

Charity Just for Kids Law brought the case against the Home Office over the use of children by police and other bodies in England and Wales | BBC, UK

Opioid abuse: Should patients sign for strong drugs?

Patients prescribed strong painkillers by their GP should sign a form to prove they understand the risks, a charity has urged | BBC, UK

Seeing greenery linked to less intense and frequent cravings

Being able to see green spaces from your home is associated with reduced cravings for alcohol, cigarettes and harmful foods, new research has shown. The study, led by the University of Plymouth, is the first to demonstrate that passive exposure to nearby greenspace is linked to both lower frequencies and strengths of craving | EurekAlert, UK

We know how to reduce premature deaths from co-morbid mental health and substance use problems, so why aren’t we doing anything about it?

Long term follow up studies are as rare as hen’s teeth, but are an important method for observing population health. Despite their limitations they provide intelligence that go beyond the usual snapshot revealed in many studies | Mental Elf blog, UK