Weekly news - 14th August 2020

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Get an up-to-date overview of emerging drug-related health harm

Read Public Health England’s summary of emerging drug-related health harm which pulls together information from across intelligence sources. It aims to support frontline professionals in responding to drug health harm | PHE, UK

Insert Standard Stigmatising Headline & Image Here: Rewriting the Media’s Portrayal of Addiction and Recovery is a research project and programme from Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs and the Scottish Recovery Consortium. Both charities shared concerns around the stigma towards people with addictions, and the lack of lived experience highlighted in the media | SFAD and SRC, UK

Enhancing the Criminal Court Response to Substance Misuse - Evidence and Practice Briefing

This briefing aims to support practitioners seeking to enhance their court-based response to substance misuse | Centre for Justice Innovation, UK

Decline in mental health due to lockdown is pushing people to buy illicit prescription drugs online, experts say

A growing number of hospitalisations and deaths have been linked to a surge in the use of counterfeit benzodiazepines | i news, UK

Facilitators and Barriers to Health Care Access Amongst People using image and performance enhancing drugs in Wales

The aim of this research was to identify low cost or no cost service improvements and interventions to encourage early engagement with health and related services by people using IPEDs in order to reduce health harms, be they physical, psychological and/or social. Whilst this work was undertaken in Wales, in light of the findings from the previous IPED surveys and extensive engagement with this population across England, Scotland and Wales, the findings and recommendations are considered to be generalizable to the wider UK... | PHI and Public Health Wales, UK

WEDINOS Annual Report 2019-20

WEDINOS provides a framework for the collection and testing of samples of psychoactive substances and combinations of drugs along with information regarding the symptoms users experienced... Collation of these findings along with identification of the chemical structure of the samples enables the dissemination of pragmatic evidence-based harm reduction information for those using psychoactive drugs or considering use. WEDINOS 2.0 continues to go from strength to strength with a 89 per cent increase in the number of samples analysed | Public Health Wales, UK

Upgrading the effectiveness’ of Britain’s response to drug and alcohol problems

Drug and Alcohol Findings aims to bridge the gap between UK-relevant research on substance use interventions and the practitioners who provide them by providing free, high-quality, evidence-based information on what works. Read about the different types of resources available in the Effectiveness Bank, and how Drug and Alcohol Findings is funded | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

National Naloxone programme Scotland

This release by Public Health Scotland presents information on the number of take-home naloxone kits issued by the National Naloxone Programme in Scotland. Figures are presented separately for kits issued from community outlets, kits issued in prisons at the point of prisoner release and kits dispensed via community prescription | ISD Scotland, UK

Relative expected value of drugs versus competing rewards underpins vulnerability to and recovery from addiction

Behavioural economic theories of addiction contend that greater expected value of drug relative to alternative non-drug rewards is the core mechanism underpinning vulnerability to and recovery from addiction. To evaluate this claim, we exhaustively review studies with human drug users that have measured concurrent choice between drugs vs. alternative rewards, and explored individual differences | Behavioral Brain Research, UK

ACMD work programme 2020 to 2022: commissioning letter

The Home Secretary's commissioning letter to the chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) for the period 2020 to 2022 | ACMD, UK

Priti Patel 'minded' to decriminalise sales of 'poppers' drug

Home Secretary Priti Patel has said she wants to "explicitly" remove any legal ban on supplying "poppers", a muscle-relaxing drug used by gay men during sex | BBC, UK

The legal status of "poppers"

In R v Rochester [2018] EWCA Crim 1936, decided on 17th August 2018, the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) concluded that the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 does not require a “psychoactive substance” to be capable of producing its “psychoactive effect” by directly stimulating or depressing the central nervous system | Rudi Fortson QC blog, UK