Weekly news - 29th November 2019


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Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 22 November 2019

What levers can be pulled to increase delivery of screening and brief interventions and improve disclosures of risky drinking? How can testing and treatment programmes for hepatitis C be supported to thrive in prisons? Analyses added to the Effectiveness Bank this month address questions with important implications for public health | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Parties set out drug and alcohol manifesto pledges

[Updated] On Sunday the Conservative party manifesto was launched. Although short on detail the manifesto appeared to take a more criminal justice driven approach than the other main parties | DDN, UK

The British Pain Society position statement on the use of medical cannabis and cannabis-based products in the management of chronic pain (PDF)

The British Pain Society endorses NICE guidance NG 144, released on the 11th November 2019, which states that cannabis-based medicinal products should not be routinely prescribed for managing chronic pain | British Pain Society, UK

New unit for 'forgotten' patients with alcohol related brain damage

Patients with alcohol related brain damage (ARBD) have been referred to as a forgotten group - and Heather Magee is one of them | BBC, UK

Belfast: Seven suspected drugs deaths in 10 days

Aaron Connor, 21, was found unconscious in the toilets of a café in the city centre on 16 November. His family say he had taken a heroin overdose | BBC, UK

Scotland's first heroin treatment clinic for addicts to open

The £1.2m Enhanced Drug Treatment Service (EDTS) is the first in Scotland and the second in the UK | BBC, UK

NHS Smoking Cessation Services Local Delivery Plan Standard, 2019/20 (Quarter 1)

This release by Information Services Division (ISD) presents information on NHS smoking cessation services in Scotland and their progress towards their 2019/20 Local Delivery Plan (LDP) Standard. The LDP Standard for NHS Scotland in 2019/20 is to achieve at least 7,026 selfreported successful twelve-week quits (those people still not smoking after 12 weeks) through smoking cessation services in the most deprived areas | ISD Scotland, UK

Doctors should avoid co-prescribing benzodiazepines to opioid dependent patients due to increase in overdose death

Doctors should avoid co-prescribing benzodiazepines to opioid dependent patients who are being treated with methadone or buprenorphine, also known as opioid agonist treatment (OAT), due to a three-fold increase in risk of overdose death, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Bristol | University of Bristol, UK

EU Drug Markets Report 2019

The EU Drug Markets Report 2019 is the third comprehensive overview of illicit drug markets in the European Union by the EMCDDA and Europol. The analysis presented in this report spans numerous topics such as the links between drugs and other crimes, the licit economy and society more generally as well as the processes and players involved in the trade, from production and trafficking to distribution | EMCDDA, Portugal

EU Drug Markets Report 2019 — highlights video

Three minute video highlightimg main points from the report | EMCDDA, Portugal

Estimating the size of the main illicit retail drug markets in Europe: an update

The technical report 'Estimating the size of the main illicit retail drug markets in Europe: an update', will be published shortly. Executive summary below | EMCDDA, Portugal

Methamphetamine in Europe: EMCDDA-Europol threat assessment

This report provides a comprehensive overview of the methamphetamine market in the European Union. It assesses the current threat situation regarding current trends in production, trafficking and distribution | EMCDDA, Portugal

Drug precursor developments in the European Union

This paper describes the significant developments that have occurred in the last 5 to 10 years in the field of drug precursors related to synthetic stimulant drugs produced in the EU | EMCDDA, Portugal

Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS): national overview 2018

Overview of findings on alcohol, drug use and smoking from the 2018 wave of the Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS) | Scottish Government, UK

Drinking on rise again among Scottish teenagers

The numbers of 13 and 15-year-olds who had tried alcohol had been steadily falling since 2004. But the latest figures showed an increase in the proportion who said they had ever had alcohol, been drunk, or drank alcohol in the previous week | BBC, UK

Ketamine dose to reduce heavy drinking shows promise

In an experimental study, researchers used a single injection of the drug ketamine to disrupt the pleasurable memories that heavy drinkers associated with drinking alcohol | NHS Behind the Headlines, UK

Drug-drivers targeted in festive drink-drive campaign

Police Scotland has launched its annual campaign against drink-driving - with drug-drivers also being targeted | BBC, UK

Ten emerging drug trends in 2019

These trends are identified from the 2019 Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) interviews with people who regularly use ecstasy and related illicit stimulants, and the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) interviews with people who regularly inject drugs. Drug Trends also draw on reporting from other Australian data sources (e.g., drug-induced deaths) that form part of the national illicit drug surveillance system | NDARC blog, Australia

Statistics on Drug Misuse, England, 2019

7,376 hospital admissions for drug related mental and behavioural disorders. 9.4% adults (16 to 59) had taken an illicit drug in the last year. 20.3% of young adults (16-24) had taken an illicit drug in the last year. 2,917 deaths related to poisoning by drug misuse | NHS Digital, UK

Substance misuse treatment for young people: statistics 2018 to 2019

Alcohol and drug treatment data for under-18s from PHE’s National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS). There were 14,485 young people in contact with alcohol and drug services between April 2018 and March 2019. This is a 7% reduction on the number the previous year (15,583) and a 40% reduction on the number in treatment in the year 2008 to 2009 (24,053) | PHE, UK

Statistics on Women's Smoking Status at Time of Delivery: England, Quarter 2, 2019-20

10.4% of mothers were smokers at the time of delivery | NHS Digital, UK

UK general election 2019: Where the parties stand on drug policy

With less than three weeks until the general election on 12 December, most of the main UK political parties have now published their manifestos. Though much of the political debate has been dominated by Brexit, drug policy reform is also addressed by a number of the main parties. We’ve gone through the manifestos to highlight where those parties stand on drug policy | Transform, UK