Weekly news - 28th August 2020


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In date order, Monday to Friday:

Psychiatrists sound alarm over the thousands hooked on the anxiety drug they call 'Valium on steroids' as a top magazine editor reveals her battle to kick pregabalin

Harry Shapiro, director of Drugwise, an online drug information service, believes there could be hundreds of thousands Britons hooked on these drugs, unable to stop taking them | Mail Online, UK

Rise in number of British soldiers being sacked for drug use

MoD data shows 660 army personnel were dismissed in 2019 after failing a drug test | Guardian, UK

Social prescribing and multiple disadvantage (PDF)

In this latest Policy into Practice briefing, our Policy and Practice Manager Richard Lewis outlines the key elements of social prescribing and the implications it has for people experiencing multiple disadvantage | MEAM, UK

London mayor candidate Shaun Bailey wants firms to test staff for drugs to help stamp out gang violence

The Conservative London mayor candidate said the aim of mandatory drugs tests on staff would not be to get people fired, but to change the culture around drug use | Evening Standard, UK

Coronavirus: Charities warn of alcohol problems increasing in lockdown

Alcohol charities are warning of the dangers of more people drinking during the pandemic | BBC, UK

New Scottish Tory leader to canvas unions and drugs groups

The first of his events will focus on how to tackle the country’s drugs problem. The Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council had hoped to introduce a safer drug consumption facility in Glasgow to help stem the rising number of deaths linked to drugs in the city, but it was controversially blocked by the Conservative-led UK Government | Herald, UK

Having some caffeine in pregnancy 'is fine'

While mums-to-be and women trying for a baby should limit their caffeine intake, a couple of cups of tea or coffee a day is fine, say experts | BBC, UK

Criminal Exploitation Week - An Introduction by Sonya Jones - video

This week, starting the 24th August, we are launching our 'Exploitation Week'. What we have noticed, as a service working with young substance users, is that there is a particular concern about cannabis being used as part of grooming, targeting young people for the purpose of exploitation. Cannabis is the golden thread that brings young people together | MyPOV, UK

SDF International Webinar - Changing Drug Policy: Networks of people who use drugs - video

This is the first of two webinars hosted by Scottish Drugs Forum for International Overdose Awareness Day 2020. Around the world, people who use drugs have, for many years, created unions, groups and networks to advocate for drug policies and practices that support harm reduction, health promotion and human rights. In this first webinar we hear about the history of the movement, the challenges and the progress made from advocates and activists in the Netherlands, Norway and Ukraine | SDF, UK

International Overdose Awareness day - August 31st

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) began in Melbourne, Australia in 2001. Today it is a global campaign. Last year, 874 IOAD events took place in 39 countries, surpassing the previous record tally of 747, set in 2018. In 2020 – IOAD’s 20th anniversary year – the campaign is set to break its own record again. Find out how to participate here | Penington Institute, Australia

Managing drug and alcohol misuse at work

This report provides an overview of current employer practice in preventing and managing drug and alcohol misuse at work. It examines why the argument for greater employer support and preventative action around drug and alcohol misuse is stronger than ever | CIPD, UK

Guidance for managing drug and alcohol misuse at work

Practical guidance for employers and line managers on how to manage and support employees, including advice on policy, training and links to further resources | CIPD, UK

Statistics on Smoking

This note provides a summary of statistics on smoking among adults in Great Britain and children in England and Scotland. Data on smoking-related hospital admissions and deaths in England and Scotland is also shown | House of Commons Library, UK

Call for law change to strengthen labelling of alcohol

Health experts and charities have called on the UK and Scottish government to act on "inadequate" labelling of alcohol products | BBC, UK

Drinking in the dark: How alcohol labelling fails consumers (2020)

In this study we reviewed a random sample of 424 alcohol containers on shop shelves in October 2019 to assess whether labels included the UK’s Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) low-risk drinking guidelines and other essential pieces of information that would allow consumers to make informed choices | AHA UK, UK

Access to specialist community alcohol treatment in England, and the relationship with alcohol-related hospital admissions: qualitative study of service users, service providers and service commissioners

Our study reveals a treatment sector struggling with a multitude of problems; these pervade despite enaction of the HSCA, and are present at the national, service provider and individual service level. Although we acknowledge the problems are varied and multifaceted, their existence is echoed by the united voices of service users, service providers and service commissioners | BJPsych Open, UK

RIP Public Health England - What now for drugs and alcohol?

The abolition of Public Health England (PHE) announced last week could substantially affect drug and alcohol services - how they are commissioned, how they are experienced by the people who use them, how we will monitor their success and how we will support and incentivise good practice | Sara McGrail blog, UK

Reported road casualties in Great Britain, final estimates involving illegal alcohol levels: 2018

Final estimates on personal injury drink drive accidents in Great Britain for 2018 | DoT, UK

Protecting children online: building a zero-tolerance culture to age-restricted ads in children's media

We have published the findings from our latest online monitoring sweep, which has helped us identify and tackle age-restricted ads appearing in children’s media | ASA, UK

Excluded, exploited, forgotten: Childhood criminal exploitation and school exclusions (PDF)

A new report by Just for Kids Law highlights how vulnerable children are being excluded from school for behaviour resulting from being criminally exploited by gangs and drugs traffickers | Just for Kids Law, UK

Cannabis use after work doesn’t affect productivity – new research

Musicians and artists have long used cannabis to enhance their creativity. But how does the drug affect more conventional nine-to-five jobs? With cannabis now legal in more places, including Canada and several US states, research is being carried out into how it affects people’s productivity at work | Conversation, UK