Weekly news - 29th March 2019


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Supervised Drug Consumption Facilities Bill (PDF)

A Bill brought in by Alison Thewliss (Glasgow Central) (SNP) to make provision about supervised drug consumption facilities; to make it lawful to take controlled substances within such facilities in specified circumstances; and for connected purposes | Parliament.uk, UK

Drug Deaths

To ask the First Minister what action the Scottish Government is taking in response to the reported increasing number of drug deaths. (S5F-03157) | They work for you, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if the Government will legislate for the mandatory provision by local authorities of treatment for drug misuse | They work for you, UK

Heroin: Medical Treatments

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will support the provision of heroin-assisted treatment services throughout England | They work for you, UK

Smoking: Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the NHS rollout of lung cancer scanning programmes, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of smoking cessation methods | They work for you, UK

Does exposure to opioid substitution treatment at prison release reduce the risk of death? A prospective, observational study in England

[Open access] Opioid use disorders are common in the prison population. Prisoners face an acute risk of death in the first 4 weeks after release. We tested whether prison-based opioid substitution treatment (OST) reduces post-release mortality | Lancet, UK

Cuts to local funding for smokers requires national Government action

Government cuts to public health budgets mean that only half of local authorities offer all smokers the best support to quit – a new report from Action on Smoking and Health and Cancer Research UK has found | ASH, UK

York 'facing drink and drug funding timebomb'

Cuts to council public health budgets mean the funding for services helping drink and drug users will be slashed by more than £500,000 over five years | BBC, UK

Frontline GP insists methadone is still best way to tackle drugs crisis

'Deep End' Edinburgh GP Carey Lunan says methadone has kept many people from heroin overdoses and allowed them to live a better life, even if the numbers who get off it remain low | Daily Record, UK

What we have learned over the last ten years: A summary of knowledge acquired and produced by the UN system on drug-related matters (PDF)

To help boost coordination and deliver more effective assistance, we established a Task Team to produce timely briefs and encourage joint-programming and resource mobilization for drug-related programmes. This first such brief is a collection of successful experiences in law enforcement, prevention, health care, human rights and development over the last ten years. It is a tool for sharing best practices and promoting evidence-based, rights-based approaches | UNODC, Austria

Current NPS Threats

The first volume of the new biannual Current NPS Threats was launched with data reported to the Toxicology Portal (Tox-Portal) of the UNODC Early Warning Advisory on NPS. These data from post-mortem, clinical and other casework were reported by toxicology laboratories from 29 countries in all regions of the world and allowed to identify some key recent developments regarding health threats posed by NPS | UNODC, Austria

'It's about saving lives': inside the UK's first licensed drug testing service

Anonymous service lets users know if drugs are contaminated and can alert to risky batches | Guardian, UK

Open consultation - NDTMS datasets: proposed changes

Public Health England are currently consulting on proposed changes to the NDTMS datasets which would be collected from 1st April 2020 as Core Dataset P. This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 15 April 2019 | PHE, UK

Families frustrated over medical cannabis delays

The parents of a severely ill toddler from Norwich who suffers up to fifty seizures a day, want access to cannabis oil in the hope of improving his condition | ITV, UK

Drug Seizures and Offender Characteristics, 2017-18

This bulletin presents Official Statistics on drug seizures made by the police in Scotland and the characteristics of those found in possession of drugs. These statistics relate to drugs controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, which divides drugs into three classes, namely A, B and C | Scottish Government, UK

Heroin seizures in Scotland 'more than double'

The amount of heroin seized by police in Scotland in the last financial year was more than double that recovered the previous year, new figures have shown | BBC, UK

Charities want consumption room for drug users in Glasgow

The UK Government has been urged to devolve drugs legislation to Scotland so that a consumption room can be created in Glasgow | Evening Telegraph, UK

Drug deaths inquiry to be considered

Green MSP calls on First Minister to “end the tragedy” of rising drug deaths in Scotland | Healthandcare.Scot, UK

Homelessness kills: Study finds third of homeless people die from treatable conditions

Nearly a third of homeless people die from treatable conditions, meaning hundreds of deaths could potentially have been prevented, a major new study shows | Bureau of Investigative Journalism, UK

UK modern slavery cases involving children doubles

Rise attributed to criminal gangs exploiting children in ‘county lines’ drug dealing | Guardian, UK

Polydrug use and polydrug markets amongst image and performance enhancing drug users: Implications for harm reduction interventions and drug policy

[Open access] Over the past two decades, the use of image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs) has increased significantly. Once largely confined to professional athletes, IPED use has transcended the elite sporting arena and is now predominantly found among non-elite, recreational gym users | IJDP, UK

Potent cannabis increases risk of serious mental illness, says study

Smoking potent 'skunk-like' cannabis increases your risk of serious mental illness, say researchers. They estimate around one in 10 new cases of psychosis may be associated with strong cannabis, based on their study of European cities and towns | BBC, UK

The contribution of cannabis use to variation in the incidence of psychotic disorder across Europe (EU-GEI): a multicentre case-control study

[Open access] Cannabis use is associated with increased risk of later psychotic disorder but whether it affects incidence of the disorder remains unclear. We aimed to identify patterns of cannabis use with the strongest effect on odds of psychotic disorder across Europe and explore whether differences in such patterns contribute to variations in the incidence rates of psychotic disorder | Lancet, UK

National Portrait Gallery drops £1m grant from Sackler family

Artist Nan Goldin welcomes move, which comes after firm’s alleged role in US opioid crisis | Guardian, UK

International Guidelines on Human Rights and Drug Policy (PDF)

The International Guidelines on Human Rights and Drug Policy are a reference tool for policy-makers, diplomats, lawyers and civil society organisations working to ensure human rights compliance in drug policy. They aim to fill the gap in foundational standard-setting processes through which contemporary human rights norms have been applied to various aspects of drug policy | WHO et al | Switzerland

Narcotic Drugs - Technical Report

As a supplement to the Annual Report of the International Narcotics control Board, Narcotics Control and Estimates Section of the INCB Secretariat publishes a technical report that provides an overview of the world wide licit manufacture, export, import, stocks and consumption of substances controlled under the Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961. In addition to providing specific figures for movements of many scheduled substances the report includes commentary on emerging and ongoing trends in the licit market for psychotropic substances under international control | INCB, USA

Psychotropic Substances - Technical Report

On an annual basis the Psychotropics Control Section of the INCB Secretariat publishes a technical report that provides an overview of the world wide licit manufacture, export, import, stocks and consumption of substances controlled under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971. In addition to providing specific figures for movements of many scheduled substances the report includes commentary on emerging and ongoing trends in the licit market for psychotropic substances under international control | INCB, USA

Our response to the Health and Social Care Committee’s inquiry on health harms and drug policy

Collective Voice has responded to the Health and Social Care Committee’s inquiry on health harms and drug policy | Collective Voice, UK

Tackling prescription drug addiction 'needs more priority'

More priority should be given to dealing with prescription drug addiction in Wales, AMs have said | BBC, UK

Health matters: tobacco and alcohol CQUIN

This revised guidance contains updated statistics and reflects changes to the 'Screening and brief advice for tobacco and alcohol use in inpatient settings' CQUIN, to be operating in 2019 to 2020 | PHE, UK

Could a recreational drug help to treat alcoholism? - audio

Scientists hope that a recreational drug could help to treat people with alcohol dependence. In the UK, MDMA - the active ingredient of the class-A drug ecstasy – has been given to a handful of alcoholics who have undergone a full detox, as part of psychotherapy sessions. The researchers hope it will help to make people more receptive to therapy, increasing their chances of recovery | BBC, UK

Medical Cannabis Clinicians' Society publishes guidance for prescribers

New guidance has identified conditions for which it says there is strong or weak evidence of efficacy of medical cannabis treatment | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Pharma industry should fund trials for medical cannabis, chief medical officer tells MPs

Dame Sally Davies told MPs that randomised controlled trials are the only way to get medical cannabis products licensed, and the process should start as soon as possible | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Naloxone

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the findings of the February 2019 National Aids Trust report, Drug-related Deaths in England, what steps his Department is taking to ensure adequate provision of naloxone for people at risk of overdose | They work for you, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of drug consumption rooms on (a) providing people with harm reduction information and advice and (b) supporting people to engage with a structured drug treatment | They work for you, UK

Drug Overdose Deaths Involving Fentanyl, 2011–2016 (PDF)

The number of deaths from overdoses involving fentanyl was more than 11 times higher in 2016 than in 2011, and is believed to be more than 18 times higher as of August 2017-2018 according to provisional data | CDC, USA