Weekly news - 10th January 2020

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In date order: Monday to Friday

Misuse of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues

This report advises government on the number and nature of known fentanyl analogues, risk factors, pharmacology, toxic effects and misuse and associated harms | ACMD, UK

Fentanyl deaths on the rise as drug is added to heroin, warns report

Government urged to consider tighter controls on drug linked to hundreds of UK deaths | Guardian, UK

Tory Annie Wells calls for 'radical' action on drug deaths

Annie Wells has written to the prime minister asking him to hold a summit on the issue "as soon as possible" | BBC, UK

Anti-drug work 'not making difference needed' in Wales

The Welsh Government provides more than £50m every year responding to drug and alcohol addiction. But Mr Jukes said it was now time to do "something different" amid rising levels of drug-related deaths | BBC, UK

Health fears could curb the flavour options in e-cigarettes

Vaping companies might club together on testing to get their products officially licensed by regulator | Guardian, UK

Dr. Heather Ashton, 90, Dies; Helped People Quit Anxiety Drugs

She researched hundreds of patients’ experiences with benzodiazepines and put her findings in a manual that would become a guide for doctors and patients | NYTimes, USA

Care homes recreate communal pub experience for residents

Even today the pub is the enduring focal point of many a community. So much so that an increasing number of care homes are recreating the experience for their elderly residents | Telegraph, UK

Hepatitis C in the North East: annual data

This report provides an annual update on local epidemiology of hepatitis C, the burden and impact of the infection and service coverage | PHE, UK

Commission on Alcohol Harm

The Alcohol Health Alliance UK (AHA) is supporting a Commission on Alcohol Harm, consisting of a panel of varied experts and chaired by Baroness Finlay of Llandaff. The Commission on Alcohol Harm has been established to examine the current evidence on alcohol harm, recent trends in alcohol harm and the changes needed to reduce the harm caused by alcohol. The Commission will also examine the need for a new comprehensive UK-wide alcohol strategy | AHA UK, UK

Urgent review of the classification of GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid) and GBL (gamma-butyrolactone) and closely related compounds under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the scheduling of both drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 (PDF)

Letter to the ACMD from Home Secretary, Priti Patel MP | Home Office, UK

Seizures of drugs in England and Wales, financial year ending 2019 second edition

Update: Following the initial release of data, some corrections were received from Border Force which affected data on seizures of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues. Revisions have therefore been made to Summary Table 1, Summary Table 4, Area Table 1, Area Table 3, Appendix Table 3 and Appendix Table 4 and Chapter 2 and 3 of the publication | Home Office, UK

Class A drug seizures in England and Wales up 13% on previous year

Huge haul includes largest quantity of cocaine seized since records began in 1973 | Guardian, UK

Government confirms extra support for Troubled Families to succeed

Up to £165 million new funding to help families get their lives back on track announced | Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, UK

Effectiveness Bank: Free course on alcohol treatment research starts soon

Two weeks from today we will deliver the first instalment of the 2020/21 refresh of the Alcohol Treatment Matrix, mapping the world of alcohol treatment and brief intervention research. Instalments from the last course remain available for dip into by clicking on cells in the matrix. Join mailing list to be sure of receiving new course instalments directly | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK


Does the Met equip police officers with Naloxone? If so, when did this start, how many officers, and how many times has it been used? If not, are there any plans to equip officers with Naloxone and if so, when? | They work for you, UK

Fifth of drinkers exceed the government’s weekly recommended alcohol limit every week

According to the poll, which was commissioned by Yorkshire Cancer Research, at least one in 10 said they drank every single day. However, at least half said they had attempted to cut down during the past five years | Independent, UK

Creating a Healthy Alcohol Culture in the Legal Profession Guidance for Firms and Individuals (PDF)

This guidance on creating a healthy alcohol culture in the legal profession, however, is designed to specifically address how to create a healthy culture around alcohol in the legal profession and equip organisations to foster mindful drinking attitudes | The Law Society, UK

Tobacco Harm Reduction: Untapped potential, escalating threats

An invitation to the launch of the Tobacco Harm Reduction Briefing co-hosted by the London Drug & Alcohol Policy Forum and Knowledge Action Change – promoting public health through harm reduction.  Written and edited by Harry Shapiro and Ruth Goldsmith (ex-DrugScope) | London Drug & Alcohol Policy Forum and Knowledge Action Change, UK

Medical Cannabis: Recent Developments

This House of Lords Library Briefing provides information on recent developments surrounding cannabis use for medicinal purposes | Parliament.uk, UK

Meeting of the Parliament - Session 5 - Tuesday 7th January (PDF)

Discussion of drug-related deaths, from page 4 | Scottish Parliament, UK

Drug-related Deaths

Each and every death is a tragedy, and tackling this issue is a priority for me and the Government. We set up the drug deaths task force specifically to advise on measures to reduce deaths, and it will meet for the third time next week. We are also working with local services to implement our action plan to deliver our strategy to reduce alcohol and drug harm in Scotland | They work for you, UK

Police call for ban on anonymous pay-as-you-go phones

Police inspectorate says ban would help combat county lines drug operations | Guardian, UK

Changes in smoker characteristics in England between 2008 and 2017

At a time of declining smoking prevalence in England, it is useful to document any changes in the characteristics of smokers. This has implications for targeting tobacco control policies and interventions | Addiction, UK

The Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study 2018 (PDF)

This report presents data from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey carried out in 2018 in the Republic of Ireland. This is the sixth time that data of this kind have been collected from young people across the Republic of Ireland; previous surveys were conducted in 2014, 2010, 2006, 2002 and 1998 | Department of Health and National University of Ireland, Ireland

Alcohol-related deaths increasing in the United States

An analysis of U.S. death certificate data by researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, found that nearly 1 million people died from alcohol-related causes between 1999 and 2017. The number of death certificates mentioning alcohol more than doubled from 35,914 in 1999 to 72,558 in 2017, the year in which alcohol played a role in 2.6% of all deaths in the United States | NIAAA, USA