Weekly news - 31st May 2019

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World No Tobacco Day (31 May)

Every year, on 31 May, the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). The annual campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form. The focus of World No Tobacco Day 2019 is on "tobacco and lung health." | WHO, Switzerland


In date order, Monday to Friday

FDACs to grow after government pledges £15m to keep children out of care

More vulnerable families will be helped by a pioneering substance-abuse problem-solving court scheme once under threat after the government announced £15m over the next year to keep children out of care | Law Society Gazette, UK

Drinkers ignore government guidance and construct personal thresholds of too much alcohol

New research highlights that national guidance on safe levels of alcohol consumption is disconnected from the real life experiences and conceptions of those who drink regularly | Oxford Brookes University, UK

Drug-Related Hospital Statistics Scotland 2017/18 (PDF)

This release by Information Services Division reports on hospital stays in relation to a drug misuse diagnosis. This report describes the number of drug-related hospital stays, the number and characteristics of patients admitted to hospital, the substances involved and the geographical variations within Scotland. This includes information on inequalities and some of the health impacts of drug misuse | ISD Scotland, UK

Drug-related hospital admissions highest ever, figures say

Almost 8,000 people were admitted to hospital in Scotland in the year 2017/18 for drug-related reasons, according to new figures | BBC, UK

Acceptance is at the root of benefits and criticisms

Throughout the month of May we have been unpacking the issue of harm reduction. We are ending this series by spotlighting two forms of harm reduction marked by their unmistakable acceptance (not just tolerance) of illicit drug use. Drug consumption rooms and drug safety testing rebuff the notion that drugs are inherently harmful, standing instead for the need to change the context in which drug use takes place – a context that can either minimise harm, or cause/magnify harm | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Red wine molecule offers new high blood pressure hope

A new treatment for high blood pressure could be on the horizon after BHF-funded scientists today revealed how a molecule found in red wine causes drops in blood pressure. The study, published in the journal Circulation, sheds light on how the compound could help scientists combat heart and circulatory diseases | BHF, UK

Fertility paradox in male beauty quest

Scientists have uncovered an evolutionary paradox where men damage their ability to have children during efforts to make themselves look more attractive | BBC, UK

Episode 10: Who is Harry Shapiro?

Podcast featuring an interview with our DrugWise Director, Harry Shapiro | Dad Does Drugs, UK

UK’s first pilot of onsite ‘drug checking’ service

What happened in 2016 when police agreed to a ‘tolerance zone’ at a festival where attendees could submit their drugs for forensic testing?
How did service users and stakeholders respond to results of drugs being contaminated and mis-sold? This pioneering study investigates the proposition that drug safety testing could reduce harm among people who take drugs at music festivals | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Durham Police receives pioneering training to administer life-saving drug to overdose detainees

Currently Naloxone is administered to people who have had opiate based drugs overdoses by independent healthcare officials who are called into police stations when needed. If nobody is available, the custody officers often have to wait for the emergency services to respond | ITV, UK

Hard sell marketing tricks behind US opioid crisis come to UK

[Free registraton may be required] Marketing tactics blamed for fuelling the opioid crisis in America have spread to Britain, experts say, as details of their use in the UK are revealed for the first time | The Times, UK

Prawn coke tale: Why Britiain's 'drug problem' is mainstream media scaremongering

The reporting on Suffolk's coked-up crustaceans reflects the mainstream media's scaremongering tactics | MixMag, UK

Drugs in syringes from six European cities: results from the ESCAPE project 2017

This report presents the results of an innovative method for gathering information on the substances used by people who inject drugs. In this pilot study, chemical analysis of the contents of used syringes collected from exchange sites reveals the drugs and drug combinations injected in the six participating European cities. This approach can provide local and timely information that can be used for city-level monitoring and interventions | EMCDDA, Portugal

DrugNet Europe May 2019

Latest news from the EMCDDA | EMCDDA, Portugal

European tobacco use: Trends report 2019 (2019)

Tobacco use represents an important public health issue worldwide, but particularly in the WHO European Region, where the highest levels of tobacco-use prevalence (over 29%) have been reported. Tobacco use causes a significant burden on health, imposes enormous economic costs to society, both directly from healthcare needs and indirectly from loss of productivity, fire damage and environmental harm | WHO, Switzerland

Written Statement: Welsh Government Update: Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol

In February this year, following a 3 month public consultation on the Welsh Government’s preferred level of the Minimum Unit Price (MUP) for alcohol, I issued a Written Statement regarding our intention to lay draft regulations before the National Assembly for Wales, with the view to introducing a 50p MUP for alcohol later in 2019 | Welsh Government, UK

PHE calls on all NHS Trusts to ban smoking on hospital grounds

Survey finds that more than two-thirds of NHS acute Trusts in England now prohibit smoking on site as part of their journey to becoming smokefree | PHE, UK

No amount of alcohol safe during pregnancy

The team, including experts from the University of Aberdeen, have taken a major step forward in understanding how expectant mothers’ consumption of alcohol affects foetal brain development | University of Aberdeen, UK

Psychiatrists call for warnings over antidepressant withdrawal

Patients suffering severe symptoms when they come off antidepressants too quickly need more help and support, the Royal College of Psychiatrists says | BBC, UK

Rory Stewart risks being barred from the US after admitting smoking opium

Tory leadership candidate Rory Stewart risks being banned from entering the United States after admitting that he had smoked opium at a wedding party in Iran, the Telegraph can disclose | Telegraph, UK

We must ACT on drink-related harm

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan Prevention Focus Week, the Centre Director for Public Health England North East looks at the need to tackle alcohol dependency | NHS blog, UK