Weekly news - 21st February 2020


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Drink-driving crashes increase by four per cent on Britain's roads 

Provisional estimates reveal that 5,900 accidents in 2018 involved at least one driver over the alcohol limit, the Department for Transport (DfT) said | Telegraph, UK

Welsh alcohol minimum pricing awareness campaign starts

A campaign is being launched to remind shoppers and retailers of the start of minimum alcohol pricing in Wales. From 2 March, retailers will have to charge at least 50p a unit, meaning a typical bottle of wine would not cost less than £4.69 | BBC, UK

Police Scotland develop proposals to trial Naloxone

Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie, Partnerships and Prevention, will chair a delivery steering group with a range of partners, including the Scottish Drugs Death Task Force, police staff associations and National Health Service, to develop proposals for a Test of Change for officers to carry Naloxone while on patrol | Police Scotland, UK

Plan for Scotland's first medical cannabis clinic in Aberdeen

Sapphire Medical Clinic plans to be the first clinic to "prescribe medical cannabis for all conditions acknowledged to benefit" | BBC, UK

'Legal high' sellers ordered to pay back £500,000

Two drug dealers have been ordered to pay back more than £500,000 of profits from selling so-called "legal highs" | BBC, UK

Drug use will change significantly in the 2020s – here’s how

[DrugWise Director, Harry Shapiro quoted] From dangerous new synthetic drugs to a growing love of psychedelics, this is how our drug use could transform over the coming decade | Dazed, UK

Drug-related hospital emergency presentations in Europe: update from the Euro-DEN Plus expert network

This report presents the latest findings on drug-related hospital emergencies from a network of sentinel hospitals across Europe. Almost 24 000 emergency presentations were recorded at 32 sentinel hospitals over the first 4 years of the project. The data reveal that the substances most commonly involved in acute drug toxicity presentations include heroin, cocaine and cannabis. Prescription medicines are frequently reported. The report also sheds light on other aspects of drug-related emergencies such as clinical features, geographical variation, outcomes, demographics and time patterns | EMCDDA, Portugal

City checking: Piloting the UK's first community‐based drug safety testing (drug checking) service in 2 city centres

[Open access] To explore the feasibility of delivering community‐based drug safety testing (drug checking), to trial service design characteristics and to compare with festival‐based testing | BJCP, UK

A quarter of street drugs are fake and dangerous to users

As overdose deaths rise, many buyers don’t know strength or content of what they buy | Guardian, UK

Pivotal THINK! campaign calls on young men to step in and stop their mates from drink driving

Young men are over-represented in alcohol-related deaths and serious injuries on the road. Intervention can help save lives | Department for Transport and The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, UK

Take charge of battery safety when using e-cigarettes

Follow safety advice from OPSS and our partners to take charge of e-cigarette battery safety | Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Office for Product Safety and Standards, UK

Rapid tests to help tackle Glasgow's HIV outbreak

New HIV tests that provide results in minutes have been introduced in Glasgow to help tackle the worst outbreak of the infection in decades. Drug users sharing needles are in the group most affected by the surge of HIV cases in Scotland's biggest city | BBC, UK

Who pays the tab? The distributional effects of UK alcohol taxes

Alcohol duty does not disproportionately burden worse-off households, according to new research from the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS). The analysis shows alcohol taxes account for a similar share of the incomes and budgets of rich and poor households alike, and at worst are only mildly regressive | IAS, UK

Drug advisory panel candidate was blocked after criticism of Hunt

Exclusive: Graham Parsons denies his political views compromised his objectivity | Guardian, UK

Addiction doctors 'might not exist in a decade' report warns

Royal College of Psychiatrists blames funding cuts and loss of posts when services transferred to non-NHS providers behind fall in services | i news, UK

Training in Addiction Psychiatry: Current Status and Future Prospects

This report looks into addictions psychiatry provision and how we can support and reinvigorate the decreasing number of training posts across the UK | RCPSYCH, UK

Funding needed for community pharmacists to tackle patients' smoking and drinking, say pharmacy bodies

Several pharmacy organisations have welcomed the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s findings on community pharmacies being “well placed” to offer advice on health and wellbeing, but maintain that they cannot provide services without adequate funding | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Standardised Packaging for Tobacco Products in England - Evidence of Policy Impact from the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project

Twice as many smokers notice the health warnings on cigarette packs before they notice the branding since the introduction of the plain packaging law in the United Kingdom. In addition, three times as many smokers find the packaging less appealing. The findings are published in a new British Heart Foundation-funded report released by the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Policy Evaluation Project (PDF), which summarises research findings from King’s College London and the University of Waterloo | ITC, UK

PHE - Corporate - Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Resource Review

Open opportunity - This means that the contract is currently unfulfilled but active, and the buying department is looking for potential suppliers to contact them with bid applications | PHE, UK

PCCs making a difference: Alcohol and drugs in focus (PDF)

‘Alcohol and Drugs In Focus’ demonstrates how Police and Crime Commissioners are working with partner organisations to prevent crime and to break the cycle of reoffending by addressing underlying problems such as alcohol and drug dependency | APCCS, UK

Alcoholic Drinks and Drugs: Health Services:Written question

Data on spending on drug and alcohol abuse prevention and treatment (including alcohol related hospital admissions) by National Health Service bodies and providers is not collected centrally. Local authorities report their spending on drug and alcohol treatment and prevention to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government | Parliament.uk, UK