Weekly news - 19th February 2021

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In date order, Monday to Friday:

County Lines exploitation: applying All Our Health

This guide is part of ‘All Our Health’, a resource which helps health professionals prevent ill health and promote wellbeing as part of their everyday practice. The information below will help front-line health and care professionals use their trusted relationships with patients, families and communities to improve their mental health and wellbeing | PHE, UK

COVID-19: How lockdown is taking its toll on millions caught in battle with addiction

The Action on Addiction charity says it saw an 86% rise in the number of people seeking help this January compared with last year | Sky News, UK

Learning from lockdown: support for people experiencing homelessness

There are few clearer measures of societal health than homelessness. On this count, and despite its enormous material wealth, England is in poor shape. Relative to the recent past, and any country we might want to compare ourselves to, we have a problem with homelessness | NHS Strategy Unit, UK

Single programming document 2021–2023

The new Single programming document sets out the EMCDDA’s activities for the period 2021–2023, marking the start of a new five-year roadmap under Strategy 2025. At the heart of the agency’s work in 2021 will be the development of a new business model, which places customers and digital transformation at its core | EMCDDA, Portugal

EMCDDA webinar: Responding to drugs and homelessness. Innovative approaches in Europe - video

This webinar will involve discussion with front line workers from three European countries — Belgium, Finland and Portugal — who have implemented solutions to address issues linked to homelessness among vulnerable populations, including people who use drugs. They will present the main innovations in this field as well as explore some of the major facilitators and barriers to successful implementation | EMCDDA, Portugal

Children of Alcoholics Week (14-20 February 2020)

COA Week is a campaign to raise awareness of children affected by parental alcohol problems, celebrated internationally each year during the week in which Valentine’s Day falls. In the UK, COA Week is led by the charity Nacoa UK who provide year-round support. Please join us in our 12th year in the UK. Together we can increase awareness of this hidden problem and the support available. Find out how you can help children of all ages know they are not alone | NACOA, UK

Getting back on track: Delivering a smokefree start for every child

This report from ASH and the Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group sets out the action needed to turn the Government’s ambitions on smoking in pregnancy and a smokefree society into a reality | ASH, UK

Survey results: Drugs, the law and you

Earlier this week we launched a short-term survey to hear your experience of the impact of UK drug legislation. It focused on the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) and asked questions on health care, stigma and drug law reform. The results are available now | Crew, UK

New study questions whether pubs can effectively and consistently prevent COVID-19 transmission risks

A new first-of-its-kind study has questioned whether pub operators can effectively and consistently prevent COVID-19 transmission – after researchers observed risks arising in licensed premises last summer | University of Stirling, UK

Beyond behaviours: How health inequality theory can enhance our understanding of the ‘alcohol harm paradox

Read the event report for Jennifer Boyd's webinar: "Beyond behaviours: How health inequality theory can enhance our understanding of the ‘alcohol harm paradox’" | SHAAP, UK

Studies of alcohol sales and consumption in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic published

Public Health Scotland today published findings from two studies commissioned to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic – and related restrictions – on alcohol consumption in Scotland during its first few months. Briefing paper here (PDF) | Public Health Scotland, UK

Covid: Children's NSPCC calls about drugs and alcohol soar

There has been a dramatic rise in the number of children needing help because their parents are misusing drugs and alcohol, a charity says | BBC, UK

Mental health disorders and alcohol misuse more common in LGB people

Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB*) people are significantly more likely to have mental health conditions and report alcohol and drug misuse than heterosexual people - according to a new study led by UCL researchers in collaboration with the University of East Anglia and City, University of London | EurekAlert, UK


Our Director, Harry Shapiro, talks about his time working in addiction. From the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence (ISDD) in 1979 to DrugScope and DrugWise. Harry also talks about how addiction treatment and policies have changed over that time. He also comments on the future of addiction treatment and his recent work on e-cigarettes | SSA, UK

Preliminary indications of the burden of COVID-19 among people who inject drugs in England and Northern Ireland and the impact on access to health and harm reduction services

The aim of the study was to describe the impact of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic on people who inject drugs (PWID) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland | Science Daily, UK

Partners or Opponents? Alcohol Industry Strategy and the 2016 Revision of the U.K. Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines

[Open access] In 2016, the U.K. Chief Medical Officers published revised low-risk drinking guidelines, based on an updated evidence review. These guidelines advised that men and women drink no more than 14 units per week—a reduction for men—while emphasizing the dangers of drinking in pregnancy and as a risk factor for cancer. The aim of this study is to examine how the alcohol industry responded to the publication of the guidelines | JSAD, UK

Overdose prevention service is ‘a health response to a health issue’

Peter Krykant operates the UK's first overdose prevention service out of an old ambulance. A former addict himself, he tells The Big Issue why more safe injection facilities are urgently needed | The Big Issue, UK

Medical cannabis dependence: A critical review of issues and evidence

For recreational users, the estimated chances of becoming dependent on cannabis after any lifetime exposure is 8.9%, which is considerably lower than for cocaine (20.9%), alcohol (22.7%) or tobacco (67.5%). Nonetheless, the United Nations reports that cannabis dependence is now the primary reason for drug treatment across the world (39%), surpassing numbers receiving opioid treatment (33%) | Drug Science, UK

New multi-city syringe study uncovers latest patterns of injecting drug use

The latest patterns of injecting drug use in a selection of European cities are explored today in a new study from the EMCDDA. The report presents the results of an innovative project investigating the substances used by people who inject drugs, by chemically analysing the content of used syringes | EMCDDA, Portugal