Weekly news - 20th November 2020

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In date order, Monday to Friday:

Alcohol Awareness Week 

Alcohol Awareness Week 2020 will take place from 16-22 November 2020 on the theme of Alcohol and mental health. It's a week of awareness-raising, campaigning for change, and more. Take part by signing up to our newsletter below to find out more and get your free resources | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Smokefree England: Covid-19 and PHE Abolition

That this House welcomes the Government’s ambition for England to be smokefree by 2030;notes the increasing disparities in smoking rates between the richest and poorest in society;further notes the effect of the covid-19 outbreak and the opportunities and risks provided by the reorganisation of public health on the UK’s ability to achieve this ambition;and calls on the Government to set out the further steps it plans to take to deliver a smokefree England by 2030 | They work for you, UK

Alcohol ban comes into force on Scotland's rail network

ScotRail said the temporary policy had been put in place to support public health measures and keep people safe during the Covid pandemic | BBC, UK

How has COVID-19 affected drug use?

COVID-19 has changed our lives: from travel bans, social and physical isolation and empty cities to workers laid off and governments scrambling to muster effective responses. The impact that coronavirus has had on people varies widely and differently between countries. Relationships may be placed under new stresses and for those educating children at home, long division will never have seemed so hard | Drug Science, UK

'Toxic' drug warning as man dies and woman critically ill in Cardiff

Officers in Cardiff said they have launched an investigation into the supply of dangerous drugs, believed to be linked to the anaesthetic ketamine | BBC, UK

Cannabis resin now 25% more potent, global study reveals

Concentrations of intoxicating THC have risen, data from more than 80,000 street drug samples gathered over 50 years shows | Guardian, UK

Naloxone: Police to carry emergency drug overdose spray

The nasal spray Naloxone counters the effects of overdoses from opioids such as heroin | BBC, UK

Police issue Ceredigion drug warning after three overdoses

Police are warning that illegal prescription drugs laced with opiates are circulating in Ceredigion, following three overdoses in three days in the area | BBC, UK

Covid: Lockdown 'causing drugs gangs to recruit locally'

"County lines" gangs could be using children in care across north Wales to distribute drugs to get around lockdown restrictions, it is claimed | BBC, UK

Novel benzodiazepines: prevalence and harms in the UK

Updated - Addendum to novel benzodiazepines report November 2020 added | ACMD, UK

Harry Shapiro on the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction - podcast

Harry talks about the latest Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction report | Global Health Perspectives, UK

More than four million over 50s are binge drinking at least once a week during lockdown

More than one in two (51.2%) over 50s are drinking at a level that could cause health problems now or in the future, with nearly one in four (23.7%) classed as high risk or possibly dependent | We Are With You, UK

Alcohol related hospital statistics

In the financial year 2019 to 2020 there were 35,781 alcohol-related hospital admissions (stays) in general acute hospitals in Scotland | ISD Scotland, UK

Two thirds of serving or ex-Service personnel with a current or prior alcohol problem are not seeking help

A new report launched today (17th November) by the University of Liverpool and King’s College London shows that more than two thirds (71%) of serving and ex-Service personnel who self-reported a current or prior alcohol problem, have not sought help | University of Liverpool, UK

Alcohol dependence and mental health

There are an estimated 589,000 people who are dependent on alcohol in England and about a quarter of them are likely to be receiving mental health medication; mostly for anxiety and depression, but also for sleep problems, psychosis and bipolar disorder | PHE blog, UK

Campaign launched to ban all alcohol advertising in Scotland

In its manifesto ahead of the vote in May, Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) is pushing for parties to support four “focus areas” aimed at reducing alcohol-related harms | Glasgow Times, UK

Exploring substance use in prisons: a case study approach in 5 closed male English prisons

Research involved case study methodology, exploring factors associated with substance use in 5 English prisons | MoJ, UK

Offenders will have minor crimes wiped from records to boost job prospects

[Limited number of free articles per week] Home Office change means minor assaults, thefts or drug possession would not automatically be revealed to employers | Telegraph, UK

Yorkshire Cancer Research: Covid-delayed funding announced

The Yorkshire Cancer Research funding includes a £1m trial to establish whether vaping products can help people with mental illness quit smoking | BBC, UK

The impacts of COVID-19 on people who use drugs in Scotland

A new website reports results of a rapid research project that sought to understand how the social response to COVID-19 has affected people who use drugs including: drug markets, drug use, access to harm reduction and treatment services, physical and mental health, and recovery | University of Stirling, UK

Humza Yousaf backs drug campaigner Peter Krykant who ran illegal fix room

[Free one month trial available] Scotland’s justice secretary has defended an activist charged by police with operating an illegal drugs consumption van | The Times, UK

Minimum unit pricing works better if implemented alongside reformed alcohol taxes

The UK government has put out a call for evidence, seeking views on how well the alcohol duty system currently works and how it could be reformed. In new IFS research – funded by the European Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council and published today - we show that minimum unit prices for alcohol are reasonably well targeted at heavy drinkers, but come at the cost of hindering competition and reducing tax revenues | IFS, UK

CBD is not a narcotic, says EU court as it rules French ban is illegal

Court rules that French ban on marketing hemp-derived CBD products contradicts EU law | Guardian, UK