Weekly news - 31st January 2020


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In date order: Monday to Friday

Date set for UK-wide summit in Glasgow on tackling drug misuse

The UK government has set the date for its Glasgow summit on tackling drug misuse as 27 February 2020 | Department of Health and Social Care, Home Office, and Kit Malthouse MP, UK

Addiction: Heroin users 'need quicker prescriptions access'

Researchers spoke to 60 users across Wales sourcing their own medication, including heroin substitutes, with many saying they were hard to get from their GP | BBC, UK

Heroin and cocaine can be injected safely in UK's first 'mock drugs room'

Supervisors are on-hand to administer life-saving drugs should someone overdose | ITV, UK

Naloxone impact: Sharp rise in use of overdose-reversing drug

The number of times Northern Ireland's ambulance service administered a drug to reverse overdoses has risen by 40% since 2017, official figures show | BBC, UK

Efforts to tackle tobacco harm explored by experts

The impact of the tobacco display ban on young people's attitudes to smoking has been analysed by University of Stirling experts. The five-year public health study also looked at the effect of the ban on young people's exposure to point-of-sale tobacco promotions and the likelihood of them taking up smoking - as well as the potential for e-cigarettes to influence smoking initiation | EurekAlert, UK

Scots university in talks to trial controversial N.E.T addiction treatment

A Scottish university is in talks to launch a major new clinical trial of a controversial electrical brain therapy that promises to wean drug addicts off everything from heroin to nicotine with no cravings or side effects | Herald, UK

Cannabis: Medical Treatments

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many prescriptions for medical cannabis were issued by the NHS in 2019 | They work for you, UK

Stop persecuting sick people for using medicinal cannabis, demands police boss

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones has written to the head of the Crown Prosecution Service in Wales asking for a guarantee that sick people will not be hauled before the courts for trying to alleviate their conditions | Deeside.com, UK

Wetherspoon pubs ban parents from buying more than two alcoholic drinks if they’re with their kids

The nationwide policy came to light when a poster was put up at the Robert Pocock pub in Gravesend, Kent following an incident of "unruly behaviour" | The Sun, UK

Drugs deaths marked by forget-me-nots in Bristol

Families who have lost a loved one to a drugs overdose have placed thousands of handmade flowers in a temporary flowerbed in their memory | BBC, UK

16 jails to receive X-ray scanners

Tough new security measures will be introduced at 16 of the most challenging jails – a major part of the government’s crackdown on crime behind bars | Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, UK

Alcohol off-sales fall in first year of minimum pricing

The amount of alcohol sold in Scotland's shops fell during the first year of minimum pricing but sales increased south of the border | BBC, UK

Deputy Mayor wants pilot for safe consumption room in new drug strategy

More consultation is needed and city needs to work out how to fund it, but Asher Craig says it could be one way to reduce drug deaths, as a mock safe consumption room was on display last week | The Bristol Cable, UK

Addaction launch programme to help people with drug and alcohol issues

A new community rehabilitation program for people with issues around drugs and alcohol has begun in the borough. The project, run by drug, alcohol and mental health charity Addaction, will provide the chance for up to 15 people to attend a 12-week community rehabilitation program | Leigh Journal, UK

WDP & Whitbread offer hearty meals & safe space

Leading drug and alcohol charity WDP has teamed up with the UK's largest hospitality company Whitbread to offer people accessing substance misuse services the opportunity to take part in a monthly lunch club and reconnect with their local communities in a healthier way | WDP, UK

Knocked Back: failing to support people sleeping rough with drug and alcohol problems is costing lives

New research reveals at least 12,000 people experiencing homelessness missed out on vital drug and alcohol services last year | St Mungo's, UK

Smoking prevalence in adults - current smokers aged 18 to 64 by socio - economic group

Detailed ad-hoc analysis of smoking prevalence, calculated from the Annual Population Survey | PHE, UK

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy: #DRYMESTER the only safe approach

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy leads to poorer cognitive functioning in children, according to the most comprehensive review on the issue to date. The University of Bristol research published today [29 January] in the International Journal of Epidemiology, reviewed 23 published studies on the topic and found evidence that drinking in pregnancy could also lead to lower birthweight | University of Bristol, UK

Nasal spray medicine for treatment-resistant depression not recommended by NICE

More evidence on the clinical and cost effectiveness of esketamine needed | NICE, UK

Addiction February 2020 - key findings

This is a quick summary of the main discovery for each research paper we have published, organized issue by issue. Each key finding is below the article title, with a link to the abstract | Addiction, UK

Access to take-home naloxone increased through paramedic supply

The three-month trial, funded by Scotland’s Drug Deaths Taskforce, will see those treated by paramedics for a non-fatal overdose who decline to attend hospitial, and their friends and family, given a naloxone kit – which temporarily reverses the effect of an opioid overdose | SDF, UK

Advice on Epidyolex

Letter to the Home Office regarding the appropriate Schedule for the cannabis-based product for medicinal use, Epidyolex, under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 | ACMD, UK

Lungs 'magically' heal damage from smoking

Your lungs have an almost "magical" ability to repair the cancerous mutations caused by smoking - but only if you stop, say scientists | BBC, UK

Two UK deaths 'may be linked to vaping lung injury'

There have been two potential cases of e-cigarette or vaping-related lung injury in the UK in the past year in which both patients died | BBC, UK

Why We Are With You

In February, we are changing our name and brand from Addaction to We Are With You (or With You for short). This is a big moment for us and the culmination of 18 months of research, listening, conversation and debate with the people who use or might use our services, our staff and volunteers | Addaction, UK

Substance misuse treatment in secure settings: 2018 to 2019

Statistics for alcohol and drug misuse treatment in prisons and other secure settings from PHE’s national drug treatment monitoring system (NDTMS) | PHE, UK

Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England April 2019 to September 2019

This report includes information on the number of people setting a quit date and the number who successfully quit at the 4 week follow-up. It also presents in depth analyses of the key measures of the service including pregnant women, breakdowns by ethnic group and type of pharmacotherapy received | NHS Digital, UK

Smoking cessation in drug and alcohol services – slides and notes from a national workshop

PHE recently hosted a national workshop in Birmingham on smoking cessation in drug and alcohol services. Speakers addressed the urgent need to improve stop smoking interventions for a client group that is doubly damaged by smoking and drug/alcohol use, and in whom smoking rates still massively exceed those in the general population. Services from across the country gave examples of how they have tackled the issue and PHE will be doing further work to support local areas | PHE, UK