Weekly news - 7th August 2020

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Coronavirus frequently updated resources

COVID-19 and addiction: webinars, podcasts and online discussions | SSA

Treatment and recovery services – and COVID-19 |Collective Voice

COVID-19 Information Hub | Scottish Drugs Forum

COVID-19 and smoking: resources, research and news | BMJ

Coronavirus: information and advice hub - alcohol | Alcohol Change UK

COVID-19 resources page for people who use drugs (PWUD) and drug service providers | EMCDDA


In date order, Monday to Friday:

United Kingdom drug situation: Focal Point annual report

Annual report and data tables from the UK Focal Point on Drugs on the national prevalence, impact, prevention and treatment of drug use | Public Health England, Home Office, Welsh Government, The Scottish Government, Public Health Wales, and Department of Health (Northern Ireland), UK

Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission

The number of older people, including those living with dementia, is rising, as younger age mortality declines. However, the age-specific incidence of dementia has fallen in many countries, probably because of improvements in education, nutrition, health care, and lifestyle changes | Lancet, UK

Campaigners demand reform as official figures show one in five found guilty of cannabis possession is black

One in five of those found guilty of cannabis possession in England and Wales last year was black, official figures show, prompting accusations of racial injustice at the heart of the UK’s drug laws | Independent, UK

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 31 July 2020

Providing a bridge to treatment doesn’t necessarily improve recovery outcomes. Continued threat of hepatitis C among people who inject drugs prompts new harm reduction measures. Brief interventions rolled out to teenagers test suitability of public health measure in secondary school setting. Lowest-cost expansion of programmes to prevent alcohol-related harm during pregnancy may mean reaching more women at risk than more women in general | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

New appointments to the ACMD

Three new members of the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) have been announced today | ACMD, UK

Drug Deaths Taskforce marks first year

Funding announced for research projects across Scotland | Scottish Government, UK

Welcome to the Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce

New Website. The Drugs Deaths Taskforce was established in July 2019 by the Minister for Public Health and Sport, supported by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice. This website is intended to provide a window on the work of the Taskforce in urgently developing the programme of actions to meet the Scotland’s unique challenge... | Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce, UK

Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce: One Year Report

It is a year since the Ministerial Drug Deaths Taskforce was formed. The reason for the Taskforce was clear, the shocking escalation in the rise of drug related deaths over the last five years required urgent attention | Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce, UK

A Strategy to Address the Stigmatisation of People and Communities Affected by Drug Use

The aim of this strategy is to lead a more informed and compassionate approach across society toward people with a drug problem, lived experience of drug use and their families. We acknowledge that people across society use drugs. This strategy is focussed on those for whom drug use is, or drug use has been, problematic | Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce, UK

Five studies launched into drug-related harms and deaths

Experts from the University of Stirling have launched five interdisciplinary research projects to address drug-related harms and deaths in Scotland | University of Stirling, UK

Charity warns of a surge of harmful illicit benzodiazepines

A surge in illicit prescription drugs has been linked to a number of overdoses in the UK, warns drug, alcohol and mental health charity We Are With You | We Are With You, UK

Commonly used treatments for chronic pain can do more harm than good and should not be used, says NICE in draft guidance

A number of commonly used drug treatments for chronic primary pain have little or no evidence that they work and shouldn’t be prescribed, NICE has said in its draft clinical guideline published today (3 August 2020) on the assessment and management of chronic pain in over 16s | NICE, UK

Twenty21 is now live

Project Twenty21 is a registry aiming to monitor the health outcomes of 20,000 patients using cannabis based medicinal products (CBMPs), creating the largest body of evidence in Europe for the safety and efficacy of CBMPs. Drug Science hope that the findings of Project Twenty21 will provide evidence for NHS funding where the benefits of treatment with medicinal cannabis is proven to outweigh the potential risks | Drug Science, UK

Public Health England issues rare alert over illicit prescription drugs

Surge in tablets sold as benzodiazepines, used to treat anxiety or insomnia, linked to hospitalisations and deaths | Guardian, UK

Hooked: The Unexpected Addicts - video

Two women of substance, Melissa Rice and Jade Wye, debunk the stereotype of addicts and guide you through the highs and lows of addiction and recovery | BBC, UK

Warning over surge in use of fake anti-anxiety drugs

[Harry Shapiro of DrugWise quoted] Harry Shapiro, director of charity DrugWise, said the distribution of the drugs in industry-standard packaging allowed some dealers to convince buyers they were genuine medicines that had found their way onto the black market | Express and Star, UK

Prescription Drugs: Addictions

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish the strategy on addiction; and when a 24-hour helpline for patients needing support for dependence on prescribed medicines will be created | They work for you, UK

Hotel homeless helped to address addictions by London-wide health programme

Rough sleepers housed in hotels during Covid-19 are getting support for drug and alcohol addiction issues through a pioneering London-wide project | Turning Point, UK