Weekly news - 14th June 2019


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In date order, Monday to Friday

New co-occurring mental health and alcohol/drug conditions capabilities framework and e-learning toolkit launched

A capability framework andan e-learning toolkit to better equip services to meet the needs of people with co-occurring mental health and alcohol/drug use conditions. The capability framework and e-learning support the implementation of Public Health England’s 2017 guidance on the ground. These resources cover the values, knowledge, and skills required for effective care of people with co-occurring conditions | Revolving Doors Agency / Clinks, UK

Latest health guidance missing from alcohol labels

The alcohol industry has not updated health information labelling three years after health experts issued new guidelines, the BBC has found | BBC, UK

Drug campaigners issue urgent warning to Parklife festivalgoers over super-strength 'Skype' and 'Sprite' ecstasy pills 

The Loop said the pills were tested at the two-day festival and have been 'linked to welfare cases'. Anyone feeling unwell was urged to seek urgent medical help | Mail Online, UK

High Tories: how the leadership candidates' drug pasts compare

Michael Gove’s cocaine confession has prompted his rivals to also come clean | Guardian, UK

Cocaine use should disqualify you from becoming an MP, majority of the public believe

The YouGov poll of 1,677 people shows 56 per cent of the population believe it is not acceptable for someone who has ever taken cocaine to be a member of Parliament | Telegraph, UK

New chief medical officer appointed

The Cabinet Secretary has announced Chris Whitty as the new Chief Medical Officer for England and the UK government’s Chief Medical Adviser | Department of Health and Social Care and Professor Chris Whitty, UK

Addiction Awareness Week 10-16 June 2019

As honest but inspirational stories are shared, those affected by addiction will then feel more able to take the necessary steps to access help, hope, and freedom from their addiction | Addiction Awareness Week, UK

Co-design of harm reduction materials for people who inject drugs to implement research findings

This commentary reflects on the involvement of PWID as co-designers of harm reduction materials to implement these research findings in a way that supports the uptake of LDSS equipment by NSP and service users. We present the user-centred design process, peer reflections on the project, and lessons learnt by the team working with the peers | Harm Reduction Journal, UK

Care to Share Report

We analysed UK public social media messages related to drugs and alcohol over a 2 month period, capturing 198,900 public messages from Twitter, forums & blog channels. We were particularly interested in looking at how social media conversations revealed the stigma of addiction and how we can address stigma on-line | Phoenix Futures, UK

One in nine Brits have taken cocaine

The results of a YouGov survey in summer 2018 asking about eight different drugs reveal that a third (34%) admit to having taken cannabis, including 5% who say they currently do so | YouGov, UK

Panorama: Britain's drink problem - BBC iPlayer

With alcohol-related deaths on the rise, Adrian Chiles investigates what we know about the dangers of drinking, and why the alcohol industry isn’t telling us more | BBC, UK

Health and Social Care Committee debate on Drugs Policy - video

Witnesses: Josie Smith, Head of Substance Misuse Programme, Public Health Wales, Yusef Azad, Director of Strategy, National AIDS Trust, and Matthew Hickman, Professor in Public Health and Epidemiology, University of Bristol | Parliament.tv, UK

Drugs expert barred from policy panel after criticising Home Office

A government minister vetoed the appointment of an expert to a public body after vetting found she had criticised the Home Office and called for drug policy reform, it has emerged | Guardian, UK

Chemsex: A Case Study of Drug-Userphobia

This report focusses on challenging the stigma and discrimination experienced by individuals who engage in chemsex, in order that they can equitably enjoy the full range of human rights afforded to all people | INPUD, UK

One in three men turn to alcohol to ease depression – the 10 warning signs you are at risk

A new survey reveals that nearly two thirds of guys have experienced mental health problems in the last five years | The Sun, UK

Boris Johnson cocaine use: What the Tory favourite to be next PM has said about taking illegal drugs

Increasingly attention is focusing on favourite Boris Johnson, who is yet to comment publicly on the latest admissions of drug use from his rivals despite having made a series of remarks about the drug in the past | Independent, UK

Alcohol’s harm to others

An evidence review of the harm caused by alcohol to the people around those who are drinking | PHE, UK

News story - ACMD: avoid Friday prison release to prevent drug relapse and deaths

Prison services could reduce drug-related harms by avoiding releasing vulnerable prisoners on a Friday, the ACMD has today advised the Home Secretary | ACMD, UK

ACMD report: Custody-community transitions

Report from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) on how to reduce drug-related harms that occur when people move between custody and the community | ACMD, UK

Alcohol licensing: data for public health teams

Updated spreadsheet to include additional data items | PHE, UK

Parents’ lenient attitudes towards drinking linked to greater alcohol use among children

Children are more likely to start drinking alcohol, drink more frequently and get drunk if their parents have a lenient attitude towards drinking, finds a study from researchers at the University of Cambridge and the University of East Anglia | University of Cambridge, UK

Parents want limits on alcohol advertising – survey

The majority of parents want alcohol advertising limited to certain times of the day in order to protect their children, a survey suggests | ITV, UK

Anabolic Steroids: Why Are Young Men Risking Dangerous Side Effects To Bulk Up?

"They’re using it to bulk out body mass and get to an ideal shape very quickly." | Huffington Post, UK

Cannabis and cocaine most popular drugs in Scotland, survey finds

In a survey, almost four-fifths of those asked said they had taken cannabis and nearly three-quarters admitted using cocaine | Sky News, UK

Chinese tombs yield earliest evidence of cannabis use

The study suggests cannabis was being smoked at least 2,500 years ago, and that it may have been associated with ritual or religious activities | BBC, UK

Gabapentinoids linked to new risks, including suicidal behaviour

Medical training might start with “first, do no harm,” but in truth the prescribing of drugs is a balance of risks. All drugs can cause harm, although the extent of this varies among different people, drugs, dosages, and durations of use | BMJ editorial, UK

Should we worry that take-home naloxone availability may increase opioid use?

Take-home naloxone saves lives by preventing deaths from opioid overdose in individual cases. It is not clear whether it has led to an increase in opioid use, but any such effect is unlikely to outweigh its positive impact | Addiction editorial, UK

I was blocked from advising on UK drug policy – because I criticised UK drug policy

This country has a drug crisis. But it appears that the government can’t tolerate experts like me pointing that out | Guardian opinion, UK

Home Office drugs policy panel decision condemned

Niamh Eastwood’s barring from the government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs is wrong, say drug scientists, policy experts and MPs | Guardian letters, UK