Weekly news - 23th July 2021


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In date order, Monday to Friday:

More vulnerable adults supported through ‘Changing Futures’ programme

Essential support and treatment for vulnerable adults facing a combination of homelessness, substance misuse, poor mental health, domestic abuse, or contact with the criminal justice system | Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and Eddie Hughes MP, UK

Drug addicts should get 'safe rooms' to take illegal drugs, says royal college of psychiatrists

[Limited number of free articles per week] The president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists has urged minister to consider new tactics to combat rising drug deaths | Telegraph, UK

High Alert: Why we want to help everyone party safely this summer

Today marks the start of High Alert, a new campaign from Metro.co.uk and The Loop. We’ve teamed up to reach as many people as we can, all with the aim of reducing harmful drug use and helping everyone party safely this summer | Metro, UK

2021 Summer Harm Reduction Campaign

On the 19th of July, festivals and nightclubs are re-opening, having been closed for nearly 18 months. This is an exciting time for many people, who have missed being able to party with friends and loved ones. This is going to be a poignant moment for many... However, it is important to keep yourself and your friends safe | The Loop, UK

The ABCs of an overdose: What to do when drugs go wrong

When it comes to drugs, the safest approach is not taking them at all. But if you are going to get high, whether that’s on ketamine, cocaine, MDMA, or whatever else you can get your hands on, it’s vital you know what to do if things go wrong | Metro, UK

'A fellowship of abstinent friends' to be created in University campus addiction recovery programme

A pilot programme designed to work with students in recovery from addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling or other behavioural addiction could provide a template approach to supporting student recovery nationwide | University of Birmingham, UK

‘Dangerous data’: drinking after dependence: Part 1: Why the heat?

Mike Ashton of the Drug and Alcohol Findings Effectiveness Bank serialises the project’s essay on arguably the most controversial issue in addiction treatment: whether dependent drinkers should always aim for abstinence. First instalment asks – why such heat over a seemingly innocuous decision? | SSA, UK

People with lived experience will make Black report ‘a meaningful strategy’

‘Is this one of the most important documents we’ve seen in a long time – or a rehash of old ideas?’ This was the opening question to an online conversation hosted by the College of Lived Experience Recovery Organisations (CLERO) – the first of several events to gather feedback from LEROs on the Carol Black report | DDN, UK

What treatment and services are effective for people who are homeless and use drugs? A systematic ‘review of reviews’

[Open access] People who experience homelessness and those vulnerably housed experience disproportionately high rates of drug use and associated harms, yet barriers to services and support are common. We undertook a systematic ‘review of reviews’ to investigate the effects of interventions for this population on substance use, housing, and related outcomes, as well as on treatment engagement, retention and successful completion | PLOS One, UK

Associations between smoke-free vehicle legislation and childhood admissions to hospital for asthma in Scotland: an interrupted time-series analysis of whole-population data

[Open access] In Scotland, childhood admissions to hospital for asthma fell from March, 2006, after legislation was introduced to prohibit smoking in public places. In December, 2016, new Scottish legislation banned smoking in vehicles containing a child. We aimed to determine whether the introduction of this new legislation produced additional benefits | Lancet, UK

From heart damage to seizures: The dangers of mixing different drugs

Stories in the news about people dying from a ‘cocktail of drugs’ make it look like something that takes place on the fringes. However, Fiona Measham, director of drug checking charity The Loop, says ‘polydrug use’ is actually quite common | Metro, UK

New York reaches opioid settlement - audio

New York has agreed a $1.1bn opioid deal with US drug companies | BBC, UK

Best practice in Optimising Opioid Substitution Treatment (BOOST) elearning programme

This resource aims to provide workers with the information they need to deliver good quality OST to and with service users. It has been developed in partnership with Health Education England elearning for healthcare (HEE elfh), Collective Voice, NHS Addictions Provider Alliance, drug and alcohol treatment providers and people with lived experience | PHE, UK

OST guide for drug treatment and recovery workers

Advice for drug treatment and recovery workers to help them to deliver safe and effective OST to service users | PHE, UK

OST service self-assessment tool

Community drug service providers and commissioners can also now use this tool, which features good practice examples and resources, to help them deliver OST in line with clinical guidance | PHE, UK

Knowledge & Library Services (KLS) Evidence Briefing: What are the facilitators and barriers to the uptake of low dead space injecting equipment for people who inject drugs? [From June]

This briefing summarises the evidence on the facilitators and barriers to the uptake of low dead space injecting equipment from 1st January 2000 to 31st May 2021 | PHE, UK

Chief Medical Officer’s annual report 2021: health in coastal communities

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty’s second annual report presents an analysis of the health and wellbeing of England’s coastal communities. [Includes information on alcohol and other drug use in rural communities] | Department of Health and Social Care, UK

Lord Chancellor outlines government plans to rebuild criminal justice

Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland spoke at the Centre for Social Justice to outline how the government is rebuilding the criminal justice system and looking to its longer-term future. [Includes statements on drug use in prison] | Ministry of Justice and The Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP, UK

Collective Voice hosts webinar with Dame Carol Black

On Monday 12 July 2021 Collective Voice hosted a webinar with Dame Carol Black on the second part of her landmark independent review of drugs. We also heard from Rosanna O’Connor, Interim Director for Health Improvement at Public Health England. A full recording of the event is now available on Youtube | Collective Voice, UK

Poorer Scots 16 times more likely to be admitted to hospital over drug use

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “This research shows that people living in the least well-off areas are 16 times more likely to be hospitalised as a result of drug use than those in the wealthiest | Daily Record, UK

The SUMH Resource Pack

Working with people with coexisting Substance Use & Mental Health (SUMH) issues. A good practice guide for practitioners | Turning Point, UK