Weekly news - 6th September 2019


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In date order, Monday to Friday

‘Fewer than half of middle-aged drinkers cutting back alcohol intake’

The YouGov poll found that despite the vast majority of 40 to 64-year-olds thinking that drinking less is a good way to improve your health, just 49% have attempted to do so | ITV, UK

Joining the Dots: Linking pathways to hepatitis C diagnosis and treatment (PDF)

This new report, highlights that, with people being diagnosed with hepatitis C at various different locations such as at a drugs service, prison, GP practice, or outreach service, it is crucial these organisations have systems that can process and share patient information efficiently. Effective data sharing is essential to ensure that people receive timely care and so that progress towards eliminating hepatitis C can be checked | London Joint Working Group on Substance Use and Hepatitis C, UK

Tramadol and methadone users are at increased risk of hypoglycaemia, study reveals

Researchers hope their findings will motivate research about the unique molecular mechanism leading to hypoglycaemia as a side effect of taking tramadol and methadone | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Briefing: Opioids in the UK

This short briefing looks at opioid dependence, misuse and related deaths, comparing the UK with the US and the OECD average, and discusses the complex causes of the opioid crisis as well as suggested policy interventions | CDPRG, UK

Scots teens ‘blind to risks of sedatives’

[Free registration may be required] Teenagers in Scotland are risking their lives by experimenting with highly addictive tranquillisers as campaigners lobby MSPs to crack down on illegal supplies, curb prescriptions and help reclassify them in line with opiates | The Times, UK

Local tobacco control profiles for England: September 2019 update

An overview of the extent of tobacco use, tobacco related harm and the measures being taken to reduce this harm at a local level in England | PHE, UK

Drugs use in Scotland 'may be worse than reported'

A youth charity has warned that drug use among young people may be higher than reported | ITV, UK

Conversation boosts honesty over drinking in pregnancy, study finds

A "conversational approach" is the most successful way of encouraging honest disclosure of drinking habits by pregnant women, a new study says | BBC, UK

‘We have to put out the fire before we rebuild the house’

How can ‘trauma-informed’ care move from being a value or philosophy held by select practitioners to an organisational framework for delivering treatment and support? Practitioners in England discuss, drawing on their experiences of working with women who frequently report substance use problems alongside histories of trauma and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

RSPH and FPH release joint statement on the recent ONS report on deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales

The recent report from the Office for National Statistics on deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales for 2018 showed an increase of 16% on the previous year, meaning that 40 people are dying every week from illicit drug-related deaths in England and in Wales. RSPH and FPH will continue to work together to reduce the harm caused by illicit drug use, protecting the health of the public and of vulnerable drug users | FPH, UK

Early day motion on drug deaths

That this House notes with concern that there were 4,359 deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales in 2018; further notes that this is the highest number and the highest annual increase on record; recognises that the vast majority of these deaths are preventable; and calls on the Government to reverse cuts to frontline drug treatment services | Parliament.uk, UK

Scottish methadone prescription numbers 'not accurate'

The NHS does not have accurate data for the number of people being prescribed methadone and other opioid substitutes in Scotland, the BBC has learned | BBC, UK

UK advised to recruit former drug dealers if marijuana is legalised

Commissioner in charge of legal cannabis sales in Massachusetts urges policy | Guardian, UK

Opioid overdose drug naloxone given out in Middlesbrough

The opioid overdose drug naloxone is being distributed on to the streets of Middlesbrough for the first time, the BBC has found | BBC, UK

Taskforce to tackle drug deaths emergency

£20m to support expert group to reduce drug harms | Scottish Government, UK

Drug Deaths Task Force: members' biographies

Professional backgrounds of the members of the Drug Deaths Task Force | Scottish Government, UK

Funding to support Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder projects

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) recently announced project funding to support work around foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England April 2018 to March 2019

This annual report presents results from the monitoring of the NHS Stop Smoking Services in England during the period April 2018 to March 2019. NHS Stop Smoking Services offer support to help people quit smoking. This can include intensive support through group therapy or one-to-one support | NHS Digital, UK

Is the evidence for residential treatment getting better?

Though billed as one of the great hopes for recovery by UK governments, the evidence base for residential treatment has been underwhelming. A new review asks whether enough high-quality evidence has accumulated over the past five years to improve confidence in the effectiveness of residential treatment for people with substance use problems | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Make supermarket booze more expensive, says think tank

Alcohol sold in supermarkets should be taxed at a higher rate than drink sold in pubs, a think tank has suggested | BBC, UK