Weekly news - 7th June 2019


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In date order, Monday to Friday

Checkpoint Cymru: 'Contracts' to cut reoffending rates

People caught with small amounts of drugs could be offered the chance to attend a course rather than face a fine or prosecution in north Wales | BBC, UK

YouGov 2019: Attitudes towards tobacco control in Wales (PDF)

To understand public opinion in Wales relating to tobacco control ASH Wales Cymru conducts an annual opinion poll in conjunction with YouGov. The survey questions were asked of a representative sample of 1,046 adults (aged 18+) in Wales, 50% of respondents had never smoked, 37% used to smoke but have since given up and 13% currently smoked at the time of the survey | ASH Wales, UK

Cancer media campaigns: an effective policy lever?

new study has found a media campaign designed to raise awareness of the link between alcohol and cancer was associated with an increase in support for alcohol-related control policies | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Children bear witness to pervasive influence of alcohol

Scotland’s leading alcohol reduction charity is working with the Children’s Parliament to build support for the concept of an alcohol-free childhood for young people | Scotsman, UK

Up to 25 cups of coffee a day safe for heart health, study finds

Some previous studies have suggested that coffee stiffens arteries, putting pressure on the heart and increasing the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke, with drinkers warned to cut down their consumption | Guardian, UK

Family Drug and Alcohol Courts - Research Special

The Centre for Justice Innovation established a new national partnership to support current and new Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDACs) across the country. The Centre is hosting and directing the national team, in partnership with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and RyanTunnardBrown. They will also continue to work in partnership with researchers at Lancaster University and others within the FDAC communities | LIP Network, UK

Curb Drug Dealing Inside Closed Prisons By Letting Inmates Take Outside Jobs, Charity Says

The government can help curb re-offending and drug dealing in closed prisons by letting more inmates leave jail for a day to take on jobs, according to a charity | RightsInfo, UK

'Chinese Ecstasy' drug linked to 125 deaths has arrived in Britain, NCA warns festival goers

The United Nations (UN) has ordered a worldwide ban on N-Ethylnorpentylone in an attempt to close down its production in illegal psychoactive drugs “factories” in China which have flooded the market | Telegraph, UK

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 31 May 2019

This month: does prevention begin at home; can personalised psychosocial interventions improve outcomes among patients prescribed opioid substitutes (but still using illicit drugs); are custodial settings conducive to recovery; and will ‘drug checking’ services make festivals safer? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

DDN Magazine June 2019

Twenty years ago substance misuse treatment was a government priority, with a 400 per cent increase in investment. A decade ago the government- funded Drug Interventions Programme was diverting many people away from the criminal justice system and into education and treatment programmes. Since then disinvestment has become the norm. So where does that leave us? [Includes an interview with Ed Day the new recovery champion] | DDN, UK

Problem drug use in Scotland

Debate broadcast live on Tuesday 4 June 2019. Meeting starts at 2.15pm | Parliament.tv, UK

Dark net drug sales on the rise in England

The number of drug takers in England obtaining drugs on the dark net has more than doubled in the past five years, according to The Global Drugs Survey | BBC, UK

MSPs to examine routes into problem drug use

The Scottish Affairs Committee will be joined by Members of the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee as it continues its inquiry into problem drug use in Scotland, with a session examining routes into problematic drug use | Parliament.uk, UK

Police say they lack resources to tackle county lines drugs networks

Cuts to youth services are undermining efforts to prevent vulnerable young people being used as drug mules | Guardian, UK

‘We drink too much’, say millions of over-50s

In the UK, harmful drinking is declining among every age group except the over-50s who continue to drink at hazardous levels | I news, UK

Study examines potential misuse of anti-anxiety medication

There is concern about the misuse of the sedative anti-anxiety medication alprazolam (Xanax®) because of the "high" it can create. A new British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study found that non-medical use of alprazolam in the United Kingdom is a significant issue, and it appears to be more prevalent in younger adults | BJCP, UK

Female cannabis users underrepresented in health research, study reveals

Research at the University of York has shown that women are underrepresented in research into the links between cannabis and psychosis, which could limit understanding of the impact of the drug | University of York, UK

Opioids are not sleep aids, and can actually worsen sleep research finds

Evidence that taking opioids will help people with chronic pain to sleep better is limited and of poor quality, according to research by an interdisciplinary team of psychologists and medics... | University of Warwick, UK

NHS Smoking Cessation Services Local Delivery Plan Standard, 2018/19 (Qtr3) (PDF)

In the first nine months of the financial year 2018/19, NHS Scotland contributed 63.6% (4,810 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 84.8% of the required Standard | NHS Scotland, UK

Calling time for change: A charter to support all older adults in England to live free from the harm caused by alcohol

This charter, co-created by people with lived experience and experts in alcohol and ageing, provides insights and practical solutions to commissioners, service providers and policy makers about how we can support all older adults to live free from the harm caused by alcohol | DrinkWise, AgeWell, UK

Alcohol misuse in the Over 50s costing £125 million

A new report from Queen’s University Belfast, commissioned by the advice and support programme Drink Wise Age Well, has found alcohol misuse among people over 50 is costing Northern Ireland healthcare services an estimated £125 million | Queen's University Belfast, UK

Cannabis and Psychosis: Are We any Closerto Understanding the Relationship?

This paper provides an update from the literature on understanding of the relationship between cannabis andschizophrenia. In particular, the paper focuses on the latest findings and remaining areas that require investigation | Current Psychiatry Reports, UK

Stop and searches without suspicion soar 425% in London police crackdown

'People who aren’t part of any violence are being judged and potentially pulled into the criminal justice system' | Independent, UK

London man convicted over role in £40m international steroid smuggling gang

‘We believe this organised criminal group to be the most prolific of its kind ever uncovered,’ says UK’s National Crime Agency | Independent, UK

Oakland becomes second US city to legalise magic mushrooms

Council votes unanimously after testimony from users of naturally-occurring drugs | Independent, UK

Mother of epileptic girl has medicinal cannabis seized for second time

Emma Appleby had £2,500 of drug she had bought in the Netherlands confiscated at Gatwick airport | Guardian, UK

Cannabis oil mum: 'I'm forced to live abroad to save my child'

Julie Galloway left Scotland with seven-year-old Alexa, who has epilepsy and a rare neurological condition, almost a year ago to live with relatives in Rotterdam | BBC, UK

Lower doses of antidepressants should be prescribed, study suggests

A new study, led by the University of Oxford, suggests prescribing at the bottom end of the recommended amount achieves “optimal balance” between effectiveness and limiting adverse side effects | ITV, UK

'Cocaine call centres' set up across Europe, drugs agency says

Enterprising criminals have set up "cocaine call centres" across Europe to provide fast and flexible delivery services, the EU drugs agency says | BBC, UK

European Drug Report 2019

What are the latest drug trafficking trends and what lies behind them? What substances are causing the most harm today? What’s new in the areas of drug prevention, treatment and policy? These, and other, questions are explored the annual overview of the European drug situation. #EDR2019 | EMCDDA, Portugal

European Drug Report 2019: highlights

Three minute video covering highlights of the report | EMCDDA, Portugal

Country drug reports

On this page you can access top-level overviews of the drug situation by country in all EMCDDA reporting countries*, covering drug supply, use and public health problems as well as drug policy and responses | EMCDDA, Portugal

There's a very good reason cocaine dealing has become like Uber for drugs – but there's also a way to fight back

Forget for a moment the drug is illegal and it looks like a cure for the just-about-managing generation | Independent voices, UK