Weekly news - 22nd January 2021

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In date order, Monday to Friday:

COVID-19: evaluation of hepatitis C homeless interventions

An evaluation of hepatitis C test and treat interventions targeted at homeless populations during the COVID-19 pandemic, to inform future service delivery | PHE, UK

A quarter of adults reported drinking more during first lockdown

A quarter of people in the UK reported drinking more than usual during the first lockdown, particularly those who were younger, female and suffering from anxiety, finds a study by UCL researchers | Medical Xpress, UK

Study finds national data may be underestimating illicit drug use in young people

A study published on Monday 18 January in the publication Addiction suggests that the UK government’s current national population-based data may be understating illicit drug usage among young people by as much as 20% | University of Bristol, UK

Can it ever be safe to leave children with dependent drinkers?

Relapse is common after treatment – so is it simply too risky to leave their children with the most severely problematic drinkers, even if they have done well in treatment? What mixtures of support and control have been tried, and how well did they work? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

£148 million to cut drugs crime

The government has announced £148 million funding for new measures to tackle drug misuse, which includes the biggest increase in drug treatment funding for 15 years.

£80 million will be allocated to local authorities in the next financial year to improve access to community, residential and inpatient drug treatment, and to expand harm reduction interventions like naloxone and needle and syringe programmes.

A further £28 million is being invested in 5 areas with the highest levels of drug use harm (Blackpool, Hastings, Norwich, Middlesbrough and Port Talbot and Swansea). These areas are piloting Project ADDER (Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery), a new approach which brings together partners in local law enforcement, the justice system and public health and treatment services to respond to drug problems.

New funding to tackle drug misuse 'a drop in the ocean', say experts

Government announces £80m for treatment including rollout of overdose medicine naloxone | Guardian, UK

A Breath of Fresh Air

Our report, A Breath of Fresh Air: research into the training needs of UK GPs on Very Brief Advice for smoking cessation, shows that not enough GPs are equipped to have effective conversations about smoking with patients | British Lung Foundation, UK

More than £250 million for drug deaths emergency

An additional £50 million will be allocated every year for the next five years to improve and increase services for people affected by drug addiction | Scottish Government, UK

Extra funds to tackle 'national disgrace' of Scots drug deaths

The Scottish government has pledged an extra £250m over the next Holyrood term to tackle the "national disgrace" of drug-related deaths | BBC, UK

SDF deliver briefing to MSPs before Ministerial statement on Scottish drugs policy

The SDF Drug Related Deaths briefing focuses on the current public health crisis of drug-related deaths and describes the current situation and the steps that can be taken to begin to reverse the tragic and appalling loss of life | SDF, UK

Drugs activist Peter Krykant won't be charged over overdose prevention van

The Crown Office has told Peter Krykant he will not face court action after he refused to accept a caution relating to the running of his drugs van in Glasgow | Daily Record, UK

Ministers spurned drug tsar's guidance of £900m funding to tackle misuse

Exclusive: leaked emails show government dismissed funding plea before £80m announcement | Guardian, UK

Drugs Policy

The next item of business is a statement by Nicola Sturgeon on the updating of the drugs policy. The First Minister will take questions at the end of her statement, so there should be no interventions or interruptions | They work for you, UK

Dutch government set to offer six month reprieve for 'life saving' cannabis oil

Scottish families of children with debilitating illnesses were celebrating today after the Dutch government agreed to give a six month reprieve on the supply of 'life-saving' cannabis oils | Scotsman, UK

Harm reduction in Europe: a framework for civil society-led monitoring

Civil society organisations (CSOs) play a vital role in developing and implementing effective measures to reduce the harms of drug use. They are also fundamental actors to monitor and evaluate programmes and policies for improvement. While harm reduction services are subject to monitoring, and international and European indicators exist, a framework for civil society-led monitoring does not exist. This paper analyses the challenges and added values of developing such a framework for the European region | Harm Reduction Journal, UK

The Black Review – a once in a generation opportunity to level up our treatment and recovery system

We welcome the enthusiasm and rigour Dame Black has brought as the Independent Reviewer, and her whole-person approach to treatment and recovery, acknowledging mental health support, housing and routes into employment as vital elements of an effective system, alongside the core of evidence-based pharmacological and psycho-social interventions | Collective Voice blog, UK