Weekly news - 4th September 2020

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In date order, Monday to Friday:

Britain’s top child epilepsy experts recommend cannabis for teen in first case of its kind

[First 3 articles a month usually free to read but may require free registration] Exclusive. Billy Caldwell, 15, suffers from refractory epilepsy and was at the centre of a high-profile campaign to legalise cannabis oil | Telegraph, UK

The Drugs Wheel: A new model for substance awareness - UK version 2.0.8 • 30/08/2020] (PDF)

The Drugs Wheel 2.0.8 is now out: ten substances of low prevalence have been replaced by synthetic cannabinoids and novel dissociatives, benzos and opioids | Mark Adley, UK

Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2020

Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2020 reveals that for the fifth year running, more than 2,000 Australians lost their lives to overdose in a single calendar year | Penington Institute, Australia

Research Partnership launch with Liverpool John Moores University

As part of our Sustainable Recovery Strategy Phoenix Futures is working to facilitate a more symbiotic relationship between research and practice; providing opportunities for practitioners and service users to inform research projects whilst simultaneously integrating emerging evidence and models of best practice into our services. To facilitate this we have formed a research partnership with Dr Helena Gosling from the School of Justice Studies, Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) | Phoenix Futures, UK

September 2020 APPG on Liver Health update

Health Minister Lord Bethell provided answers to two questions tabled by APPG on Liver Health Co-Chair Baroness Randerson on increasing provision of low dead space needles in needle and syringe exchanges in England (which are more effective for hepatitis C prevention purposes) and on hepatitis C testing and treatment in prisons during the Covid-19 pandemic | APPG live Health, UK

Mobile ‘fix room’ begins operating in Glasgow

A drug consumption van where addicts can inject heroin has been launched in Glasgow - despite warnings it could be breaking the law | BBC, UK

Why is the NHS still refusing to prescribe medicinal cannabis?

[Limited number of free articles per month] It's cheap and effective, yet patients are having to seek private or illegal means to get cannabis, writes a chronic pain sufferer | Telegraph, UK

Healthy pregnancy indicators

New indicators for smoking, obesity, early access to maternity services, folic acid supplement use and alcohol and drug misuse in early pregnancy | PHE, UK

Health leaders warn Boris Johnson over axing of Public Health England

More than 70 organisations have written to the prime minister with concerns about the future of health improvement | Guardian, UK

Joint statement to the Government on Public Health Reorganisation (PDF)

As organisations committed to improving health and reducing inequalities, we are deeply concerned that the Government’s plans for the reorganisation of health protection in the UK pay insufficient attention to the vital health improvement and other wider functions of Public Health England (PHE) | Smokefree Action Coalition, UK

Anti-smoking drive in Scotland linked to asthma cases drop

Fewer under-fives were admitted to hospital in Scotland with asthma-related complaints following a campaign encouraging adults not to smoke in their homes, according to a new study | BBC, UK

Fight against drugs: Commission initiates ban on new harmful psychoactive substance isotonitazene

The Commission is initiating the process to ban isotonitazene (pictured), a new psychoactive substance, across the European Union. This synthetic opioid can cause severe harm to health and can in some cases lead to death | EU Reporter, Belgium

Health Inequalities Dashboard: statistical commentary, September 2020

The rate of hospital admissions for alcohol-related conditions significantly increased between 2012 to 2013 and 2018 to 2019, but the gap between the most and least deprived areas in England significantly narrowed during this period. The rate in 2018 to 2019 was 2.2 times greater in the most deprived areas than in the least deprived areas | PHE, UK

Alcohol consumption of UK members of parliament: cross-sectional survey

This study examined the prevalence of risky drinking by members of parliament (MPs), as well as the relationship between risky drinking and age, years spent as an MP, working outside parliament, awareness of the Parliamentary Health and Wellbeing Service, and probable mental ill health | BMJ Open, UK

Effective ‘age-gating’: preventing underage people buying alcohol online

How do online retailers seek to prevent underage alcohol sales in the UK, how effective are current methods, and how far short are they of a truly effective system? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Just half a glass of wine or a bottle of beer a day ‘can lead to obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure’

Just half a glass of wine or one small bottle of beer a day can lead to metabolic syndrome – a combination of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure – says a new study presented at the virtual European and International Congress on Obesity | Metro, UK

Overdose prevention and the importance of naloxone - video

Humankind Director of Nursing Stacey Smith offers some advice on keeping yourself as safe as you can when using drugs to try and prevent an overdose. Stacey also talks about naloxone, the life-saving kits that can temporarily overturn the effects of an opioid overdose | Humankind, UK