Weekly news - 4th October 2019


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In date order: Monday to Friday

Health matters: rough sleeping

It has been estimated that around 35% of people who die whilst sleeping rough die due to alcohol or drugs, compared to 2% in the general population | PHE, UK

Depression and binge-drinking more common among military partners

New research from King’s College London suggests that depression and binge-drinking are more common among the female partners of UK military personnel than among comparable women outside the military community | KCL, UK

Drug seizures and arrests in Northern Ireland, period ending 31 March 2019

Finalised financial year statistics relating to class A, B and C drug seizure incidents and arrests by PSNI for the period 1 April 2018 - 31 March 2019 | Police Service of Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, UK

Cocaine and alcohol a 'deadly combination'

Mixing cocaine and alcohol together creates a "deadly combination" which can increase violent and impulsive behaviour, doctors are warning | BBC, UK

The truth about CBD

[Free access] Its makers aren’t allowed to trumpet its health benefits, so why is CBD seen as a cure-all by a growing legion of fans? | Sunday Times, UK

Monitoring the elimination of viral hepatitis as a public health threat among people who inject drugs in Europe

This technical report focuses on an elimination barometer for viral hepatitis to help countries assess progress towards eliminating hepatitis C and B among people who inject drugs (PWID). The barometer is being developed by the EMCDDA together with its expert network on drug-related infectious diseases (DRID), as a follow-up to the first global health sector strategy on viral hepatitis endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 2016 | EMCDDA, Portugal

How e-cigarettes went from celebrity accessory to product non grata

Several states have enacted a ban on sales of vaping products amid more than 800 reports of lung injuries nationwide | Guardian, UK

Victoria Derbyshire show - 30-09-19 - BBC iPlayer

[Watch from 5 minutes in] Experts tell Victoria Derbyshire that cocaine and alcohol is a 'deadly combination' which can increase violent and impulsive behaviour | BBC, UK

‘Comprehensive’ and ‘timely’ addition to the debate about drug consumption rooms

As the debate warms up about drug consumption rooms in Britain in 2019, fresh insight is delivered about this contested substance use intervention with an updated hot topic. Has the story changed since it was first documented by Drug and Alcohol Findings three years ago? Is the UK Government any closer to integrating this pragmatic harm reduction approach into its drugs policy? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Deaths of homeless people in England and Wales: 2018

Two in five deaths of homeless people were related to drug poisoning in 2018 (294 estimated deaths), and the number of deaths from this cause has increased by 55% since 2017 | ONS, UK

Homeless deaths rise driven by 'drug poisoning'

Drug poisoning has contributed to the biggest rise in deaths of homeless people in England and Wales since records began | BBC, UK

The mounting harms of public injecting

Drug consumption rooms are often framed as a ‘controversial’ prospect, highlighting how far they lean away from the status quo of prohibition and law enforcement. Could this be (inadvertently) tipping the scales – defining the debate around the *problem* of implementing drug consumption rooms, rather than drug consumption rooms being a potential solution to the current, specific, and urgent *problem* of public injecting? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

MUP had modest short-term economic impact on alcohol drinks industry in Scotland

In an initial assessment of the effects of Minimum Unit Pricing, participants reported that a decrease in alcohol sold was offset by increased prices. The overall impact on retailers varied depending on the types of products sold. The effects of MUP on producer revenues and profits was thought to be negative but small, with only a small proportion of producers’ total outputs affected | NHS Health Scotland, UK

Has the evidentiary threshold for drug consumption rooms been passed?

There is compelling evidence about the positive impact of drug consumption rooms on the survival, health, wellbeing, and dignity of people who inject drugs, and little to no basis for concern about adverse effects. However, this has not quelled fears about introducing safer injecting facilities in the UK. Is there good reason to lack confidence in the evidence base, or are other factors overriding commitments to or faith in evidence-based practice and policy? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Judge Rules Planned Supervised Injection Site Does Not Violate Federal Drug Laws

A judge has ruled that a Philadelphia nonprofit group's plan to open the first site in the U.S. where people can use illegal opioids under medical supervision does not violate federal drug laws, delivering a major setback to Justice Department lawyers who launched a legal challenge to block the facility | npr, USA

Government response to ACMD report 'Ageing cohort of drug users'

The government welcomes the ACMD’s timely report the on the ageing cohort of drug users, which provides advice to the government on the changing age profile of people accessing drug treatment and the issues faced by this group in the UK | Department of Health & Social Care, UK

Smoking prevalence in young adults aged 18 to 34 years

[Updated] This document shows trends in smoking prevalence calculated from the Annual Population Survey for young adults age 18 to 34 years, by sex and region | PHE, UK

Stoptober 2018 campaign evaluation

Summary evaluation of Stoptober 2018 quit smoking health marketing campaign activity | PHE, UK

US vaping illness deaths rise to 18 with 1,000 cases reported

At least 18 deaths and more than 1,000 cases of a mysterious lung illness have been linked with vaping by US health authorities | BBC, UK