Weekly news - 26th February 2021


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In date order, Monday to Friday:

Residential rehabilitation provision

A survey of residential rehabilitation services in Scotland shows that there are 418 beds available for the treatment of both drug and alcohol addiction | Scottish Government, UK

Contacts to the NSPCC about drug and alcohol misuse among parents soar during the pandemic

The number of people contacting us with concerns about drug and alcohol misuse among parents has risen by 66% since April 2020. Between January - March 2020, we were receiving just over 700 contacts a month from worried adults. Since the first lockdown began, however, that number rose to an average of 1,178 contacts a month | NSPCC, UK

Close to home: Delivering a national Housing First programme in England

Housing First is an effective way of tackling and preventing rough sleeping for people whose homelessness is compounded by serious mental health issues, drug or alcohol dependency, or a history of trauma. Our report Close to Home makes the case for a national Housing First programme, and draws on recent learning to map out what this should entail | CJS, UK

Sir Keir Starmer says he opposes relaxing drugs laws and insists he is ‘proud’ to be patriotic

Sir Keir’s words will come as a blow to campaigners who have called for drug addiction to be treated as a health issue, rather than a criminal matter | i news, UK

The socioeconomic distribution of alcohol-related violence in England and Wales

Inequalities in alcohol-related health harms have been repeatedly identified. However, the socioeconomic distribution of alcohol-related violence (violence committed by a person under the influence of alcohol)–and of subtypes such as alcohol-related domestic violence–remains under-examined | PLOS One, UK

First study of safety and tolerability of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-assisted psychotherapy in patients with alcohol use disorder

3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) therapy has qualities that make it potentially well suited for patients with addictions, but this has never been explored in a research study. We present data from the Bristol Imperial MDMA in Alcoholism (BIMA) study | Journal of Psychopharmacology, UK

Scotland drugs policy minister resolves to reduce horrific death toll

Angela Constance says she is committed to introducing full range of treatments in ‘national mission’ | Guardian, UK

Police should carry drugs overdose antidote, says senior officer

Exclusive: NPCC’s drugs lead backs wider supply of naloxone after successful trials | Guardian, UK

Vaping better than nicotine replacement therapy for stopping smoking, evidence suggests

As number of vapers in England plateaus, incorrect perceptions of its relative risks compared to smoking may be discouraging smokers from using vaping to quit | PHE, UK

Vaping in England: evidence update February 2021

Annual update of Public Health England’s e-cigarette evidence review by leading independent tobacco experts. This report covers vaping for smoking cessation | PHE, UK

Personal, social, health and economic education in schools (England)

This House of Commons Library briefing sets out the rules relating to the provision of personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) in England, as well as statutory health education from 2020. [Includes alcohol and other drugs] | UK Parliament, UK

Drugs: 'Major concern' over online purchases

Charities say they are expecting a "storm" of addiction problems when the Covid pandemic subsides, due to access to drugs online | BBC, UK

Homeless deaths 2019

More than half of homeless deaths were drug-related | National Records of Scotland, UK

Certain occupations may be associated with higher rates of heavy drinking

Working in certain occupations may be associated with a higher likelihood of heavy drinking in people aged 40-69 years, researchers at the University of Liverpool have found | University of Liverpool, UK

Drugs in the Time of COVID: Interim Report

Since the beginning of the first national coronavirus lockdown, Release has operated a public, online survey designed to monitor how people are buying their drugs. This interim report presents findings from the first 2,621 responses, received between the survey’s launch on the 9th April 2020 and the 17th September 2020 (inclusive); which captures drug purchases made in anticipation of and during the first national lockdown, as well as purchases made during the easing, and eventual lifting, of that first lockdown | Release, UK

What Really Happened to Britain's Drug Supply During the First Lockdown?

A survey by drug information charity Release reveals existing stashes kept trade going during last year's lockdown in Britain – and that many dealers practised social distancing and wore masks and gloves | VICE, UK

Opioid agonist treatment could substantially reduce drug related deaths if used more widely

New evidence that opioid agonists such as methadone and buprenorphine could substantially reduce drug related deaths if more widely used in the community and prison, and for longer, has been published in Lancet Psychiatry today | University of Bristol, UK

Homicide in England and Wales: year ending March 2020

[Includes a section on alcohol and drug-related homicides] Analyses of information held within the Home Office Homicide Index, which contains detailed record-level information about each homicide recorded by police in England and Wales | ONS, UK