Weekly news - 21st August 2020


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PHE survey deadline extended to Friday 28 August

Commissioners and providers have another week to complete the PHE surveys on drug treatment spend and workforce capacity, the results of which will be used to inform the second part of Dame Carol Black’s review and the current Treasury spending review | PHE, UK

Coronavirus: Public Health England 'to be replaced'

PHE will continue to be responsible for now, for prevention issues such as anti-obesity measures | BBC, UK

Police issue warning about Donald Trump-shaped ecstasy pills

Man, 30s, from Luton arrested on suspicion of supplying the dangerous high-strength batch, police say | Guardian, UK

Click and collect' life saving drug kits being sent to addict's homes

The head of Scotland’s Drug Deaths Task Force has warned that turning around the woeful fatal overdose record could take up to five years and even then may be thwarted by a blue wave of fake valium flooding the nation’s streets | Herald, UK

International Overdose Awareness day - 31st August

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on 31 August each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose | Penington Institute, Australia

Deaths by cause in 2019 - delay in publication of statistics (Updated on 17th August 2020)

Drug-related deaths in Scotland, 2019 and Volatile Substance Abuse and Helium Deaths in Scotland, 2019 willl now be published in December 2020 | NRS Scotland, UK

NHS cannabis guidelines challenged in court

The parents of a three-year-old boy with severe epilepsy are going to court to mount the first legal challenge to the guidelines on prescribing cannabis on the NHS | BBC, UK

'We get them online for 40p': Warning over 'dangerous fake' anti-anxiety drugs

Counterfeit versions of benzodiazepines such as Xanax are circulating on the dark web | Sky News, UK

Press release: Government creates new National Institute for Health Protection

A brand new organisation whose primary focus is public health protection and infectious disease capability is being established by the government | Department of Health and Social Care and The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, UK

Court overturns man's conviction for girlfriend's Bestival drug death

Ceon Broughton was found guilty of killing Louella Fletcher-Michie, who died after taking 2C-P | Guardian, UK

Newsbeat documentary: Dealer in your DMs

Over the past six months Radio 1 Newsbeat has been investigating how social media is being used to sell drugs. Britain’s most senior police officer when it comes to drugs says social media bosses would do more if it was their children dying from drugs bought this way | BBC Newsbeat, UK

Proceeds of crime to fund treatment programme following early success

A pioneering heroin treatment and recovery programme in Middlesbrough has managed to continue throughout COVID and delivered promising early signs | Cleveland PCC, UK

Expert reaction to speech by Matt Hancock on ‘The Future of Public Health’ and the launch of the National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP)

In a speech this morning titled The Future of Public Health*, Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, announced the launch of the National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP)**, as had been widely expected after reports in the media on Sunday | Science Media Centre, UK#

NICE extends consultation period for new quality standard on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

In line with recommendations by the UK's Chief Medical Officer and the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the quality standard looks at the assessment and diagnosis of FASD, as well as prevention. Healthcare professionals are encouraged to discuss the risks of alcohol consumption with expectant mothers and to share information on supportive care if needed, such as counselling or help to stop drinking | NICE, UK

Middlesbrough heroin injection scheme to be extended

The heroin assisted treatment programme, based in Middlesbrough, focuses on high risk addicts who are committing crimes to pay for drugs and for whom other treatments have failed | BBC, UK

MEAM Approach evaluation: year 3 report (PDF)

MEAM has commissioned Cordis Bright, an independent research and consultancy organisation, to conduct a longitudinal evaluation of the MEAM Approach work | MEAM, UK