Weekly news - 8th January 2021

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In date order, Monday to Friday:

Housing First Pilot: national evaluation reports

Housing First is an intervention which supports homeless people with multiple and complex needs, which most commonly relate to co-occurring mental health issues and alcohol and/or drug misuse, to access and maintain independent housing | Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, UK

Record number of Britons to take part in dry January

Sales of no and low alcohol alternatives rise during lockdown year | Guardian, UK

Sign up for the official Dry January

Download the free Try Dry app to double your chance of a totally alcohol-free month and long-term benefits | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Alcohol-related hospital admissions rise by 45 per cent in a decade, as charities warn of further cuts to treatment services

[Limited number of free articles per week] In 2018-19 there were 1,261,907 hospital admissions where the primary or any secondary reason for admission was linked to alcohol in England | Telegraph, UK

Review of the year 2020

2020 will forever be remembered as the year COVID-19 transformed our lives. But one note of optimism was the way services immediately rose to the challenge of looking after their clients in extraordinarily difficult circumstances | DDN, UK

Seven in 10 adults are motivated to get healthier in 2021 due to COVID-19

29% of smokers agreed they smoked more since the second national lockdown, attributing the change to being worried about their physical and mental health (42%) and having money worries (41%). 23% of drinkers (at least 1 unit a week) claimed that their alcohol intake has increased since the second lockdown – this is reflected in a 28% increase in take home alcohol sales compared to the previous year | PHE, UK

Highlights from the Effectiveness Bank in 2020

Highlights from Drug and Alcohol Findings' in-depth analyses about what worksto reduce problems associated with drinking and illicit drug use throughout the year 2020 | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Mother fears son could die as Brexit stops medical cannabis supply

Government gives two weeks notice that access to epilepsy treatment for nine-year-old Alfie Dingley will end | Guardian, UK

Take-home Naloxone to save lives

Take-home Naloxone will be given to people at high risk of accidental overdoses, in a move designed to reduce the number of drug deaths.  This will include those who have been resuscitated by the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) following an accidental overdose | Scottish Government, UK

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

Updated guidance in line with national lockdown and updated guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable | PHE, UK

Operational guidance: vaccination of frontline health and social care workers

Further to the letter of 30 December 20201 this update provides additional operational guidance on the immediate requirement to vaccinate frontline health and social care workers, including those working in independent, voluntary and non-standard healthcare settings, such as hospices, and community-based mental health or addiction services | NHS, UK

Pandemic Delivery Service now active across England

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) have confirmed that the Pandemic Delivery Service will now cover Clinically Extremely Vulnerable patients anywhere in England from 5th January. These new arrangements replace those already in place for patients in Tier 4 areas previously announced over the last few weeks | PSNC, UK

Stepping up: the response of stop smoking services in England to the COVID 19 pandemic (PDF)

The proportion of local authorities commissioning a specialist stop smoking service has risen year-on-year from 65% in 2018 and 69% in 2019 to 77% in 2020 | ASH and CRUK, UK

The impact of celebrity influence and national media coverage on users of an alcohol reduction app: a natural experiment

[Open access] Smartphone apps are increasingly used for health-related behaviour change and people discover apps through different sources. However, it is unclear whether users differ by mode of app discovery. Drink Less is an alcohol reduction app that received national media coverage in the UK caused by celebrity influence (a male TV and radio national broadcaster, aged 51). Our aim was to compare users who discovered the app before and after this coverage | BMC Public Health, USA