Weekly news - 6th November 2020

Weekly subscribe button


In date order, Monday to Friday:

Fears of a wave of alcohol-related health problems if lessons from lockdown drinking behaviour not learned

Alcohol education charity, Drinkaware, today (Monday, November 2) publishes its annual report into UK drinking behaviours, revealing substantial patterns in the nation’s drinking over the lockdown period, including alarming increases in drinking. The full report can be accessed here | DrinkAware, UK

Pharmacist support vital to help smokers stub it out for good, new study suggests

While a tenth of Brits have started smoking or re-started smoking because of the pandemic, a fifth of quitters rely on their local pharmacists for advice, a new research has shown | Pharmacy Business, UK

NHS 'refuses' medical cannabis for children with epilepsy

Three prescriptions are thought to have been written for "whole plant cannabis" oil since it was legalised two years ago, campaign group End Our Pain say | BBC, UK

Exploring Substance Use in Prisons: A case study approach in five closed male English prisons (PDF)

This research used case study methodology to identify factors associated with substance use in five English prisons – all of them closed prisons for men. The aim was to explore the wider cultural features of the prisons which, according to the recovery literature, may have an impact on levels of drug use, and has not been investigated in prior research | HM Prison and Probation Service, UK

Looking back on 25 years of monitoring prevention in Europe

When the EMCDDA began its operations in 1995, it was clear that the understanding and narrative on prevention had to change. What was needed was a cultural shift from a rather amorphous concept — often based on good intentions — to a prevention that was more scientifically sound, rooted in clear concepts and evidence of effectiveness, and that could improve real-life practice and decision making | EMCDDA, Portugal

DDN November 2020

Writing and reading about drug-related deaths is depressing for all of us – the inevitability year after year, when policy doesn’t follow the evidence. The question is (as raised on many pages of this issue) how can we affect the situation? How can we do things differently, and make others see things differently, to change these appalling statistics? It’s no mystery that tackling underlying healthcare discrimination should be a primary focus | DDN, UK

North Wales PCC calls for heroin injection scheme

Drug users could be given heroin in a bid to save lives and reduce crime, the North Wales police and crime commissioner has said | BBC, UK

Peer-led COVID19 Impact Survey 2020

Many Drug and alcohol users struggle at the best of times – so what was the impact when the whole country went into lockdown? Could they still buy drugs? Could they still shoplift to fund their use? What was the impact on their family? Did they relapse? Did their alcohol use increase with the rest of the population? These were the questions we wanted to ask, to help us plan our response if the anticipated ‘second peak’ arrived | FAVOR, UK

Local tobacco control profiles for England: November 2020 update

An overview of the extent of tobacco use, tobacco related harm and the measures being taken to reduce this harm at a local level in England | PHE, UK

Covid-19 public health road map: Alcohol consumption (PDF)

This roadmap aims to support health officials to consider changes to alcohol consumption that may have occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic and to use psychologicallyinformed behaviour change approaches to optimise health improvement and mitigate increases in alcohol use | BPS, UK

So near yet so far: why won’t the UK prescribe medical cannabis?

Although cannabis-based products for medicinal use are now legal in the UK, it is still challenging for patients to gain access, and only very few National Health Service prescriptions have been written to date. This paper attempts to make sense of why the UK lags behind so many other countries which also have legalised medical cannabis | BMJ, UK

EMCDDA initial report on the new psychoactive substance MDMB-4en-PINACA

Methyl 3,3-dimethyl-2-(1-(pent-4-en-1-yl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido)butanoate (MDMB-4en-PINACA is a synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist. Similar to other synthetic cannabinoids, it is sold as a ‘legal’ replacement for cannabis and controlled synthetic cannabinoids. Because of their high potency, synthetic cannabinoids can pose a high risk of severe poisoning, which in some cases can be fatal | EMCDDA, Portugal

EMCDDA initial report on the new psychoactive substance 4F-MDMB-BICA

Methyl 2-({[1-(4-fluorobutyl)-1H-indol-3-yl]carbonyl}amino)-3,3-dimethylbutanoate (4FMDMB-BICA) is a synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist. Similar to other synthetic cannabinoids, it is sold as a ‘legal’ replacement for cannabis. Because of their high potency, synthetic cannabinoids can pose a high risk of severe poisoning, which in some cases can be fatal | EMCDDA, Portugal

Burning Issues: The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction 2020

The central theme of this report, enshrined in many international treaties, is the universal right to health, including for those who for whatever reason continue to engage in risky behaviours. Harm reduction refers to a range of pragmatic policies, regulations and actions which either reduce health risks by providing safer forms of products or substances, or encourage less risky behaviours. Harm reduction does not focus primarily on the eradication of products or behaviours | KAC, UK

US drug laws set for sweeping overhaul as voters choose decriminalization

Oregon to decriminalize all illegal drugs in historic first, while voters in many states vote to abolish penalties for possession | Guardian, UK

COVID-19: guidance for commissioners and providers of services for people who use drugs or alcohol

Updated guidance in line with national restrictions commencing 5 November 2020 | PHE, UK

Peter Krykant and drug consumption van facility - Early Day Motion

That this House is concerned to learn that Peter Krykant, who recently set-up a drug consumption van in Glasgow city centre, has been charged and cautioned by Police Scotland; understands that Mr Krykant set up the facility in an attempt to help and support people with addictions; firmly believes that the work he is doing helps to reduce harm and save lives... | UK Parliament, UK

Designing a family support service within a wider treatment service

As part of the 2020 NHS APA Virtual Conference, Tracy Braddock from Inclusion and Kersti Dolphin from Adfam gave a presentation on the design of One Recovery Bucks' family support service | NHS APA, UK

New Zealand narrowly votes no to legalising cannabis in referendum

Yes campaign garnered 48.4% of votes, while the no vote won 50.7%, meaning the referendum does not pass | Guardian, UK