Weekly news - 12th March 2021


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In date order, Monday to Friday:

£3 million pilot to reduce reoffending by young adults

Young adults supervised by the probation service will receive specialist drug and mental health support at a new £3 million centre to reduce reoffending | Ministry of Justice, National Probation Service, and The Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP, UK

Family of teenager who died call for more drug checking at festivals

Exclusive: Anya Buckley’s aunt calls for facilities so festivalgoers can test drugs for contamination | Guardian, UK

International Approaches to Drug Law Reform

This paper reviews the international evidence on approaches to drug law reform, focussing on case studies from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Portugal and The Netherlands. It seeks to support the ongoing development of innovative approaches to reducing drug harms, by identifying the impact of interventions abroad and situating them within their legal context | Scottish Government, UK

GDS 2020: Psychedelics Key Findings report (PDF)

Which psychedelics are people most commonly using to self treat emotional distress psychiatry conditions | GDS, UK

Funding new ways to reduce drugs deaths

More than half a million pounds has been awarded to eight projects working to deliver more support to people living with drug addiction. Each of the eight projects will use their share of the £514,000 of investment to increase staffing levels in their work with people with multiple complex needs | Scottish Government, UK

Smoking prevalence in adults: current smokers aged over 18 years by wellbeing group and region

Detailed ad-hoc analysis of smoking prevalence, calculated from the Annual Population Survey and Opinions and Lifestyle Survey | PHE, UK

Housing First: tackling homelessness for those with complex needs

Research commissioned by the Housing First Europe Hub (2019) suggested “strong evidence” of HF offering “an effective solution to homelessness among people with high and complex needs”. This prompted a growing interest in HF | House of Commons Library, UK

Alcohol deaths rise sharply in England and Wales

A spike is concerning but we mustn’t lose sight of longer term trends across the UK | BMJ editorial, UK

No Smoking Day (10 March 2021)

For this year's national No Smoking Day we're asking you to commit to quit and be a #CovidQuitter | NHS Inform, UK

Smokers who stop happier in long term, No Smoking Day 2021

On No Smoking Day 2021 (Wednesday 10th March) [1] smokers are encouraged to put smoking behind them for a brighter future. New evidence published today shows that smokers who quit for 6 weeks or more are happier than those who carry on smoking. Reductions in anxiety and depression in those who quit smoking are found to be at least as great as from taking anti-depressants | ASH, UK

Smoking prevalence in adults: current smokers aged 18 to 64 by socio-economic group

Updated with a revised spreadsheet | PHE, UK

EMCDDA trendspotter briefing: Impact of COVID-19 on drug use and drug services in Western Balkans

The Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) registered the main waves of COVID-19 infections later than most of the EU countries, but containment strategies were implemented at the same time and with equal force as in the rest of Europe. This report provides the main results of studies conducted using the trendspotter methodology to explore the impact of the pandemic and associated measures on drug services and people who use drugs in the Western Balkan region | EMCDDA, Portugal

Police Scotland officers administer Naloxone for first time in pilot project

Police Scotland officers have administered Naloxone for the first time, within two hours of receiving training in the use of the spray to reverse an opioid-related drug overdose | Police Scotland, UK

Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021: rehabilitation factsheet

"Rather than continuing to send [offenders] back and forth to prison - doing the same thing but expecting a different result - we instead want to empower the sentencing system to use more effective community sentencing to get them off drugs and into the jobs that we know can lead them to a better life." | Home Office , UK

Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021: road traffic offences factsheet

Increasing the maximum penalty available for the specific driving offences of causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs from 14 years to life imprisonment will mean that these offences have the same maximum penalty as manslaughter | Home Office, UK

Daily e-cigarette use shows 'clear benefit' in helping smokers to quit

A new study published Tuesday 10 March, No Smoking Day, from King’s College London highlights the ‘clear benefit’ of using e-cigarettes daily in order to quit smoking, and supports their effectiveness when compared to other methods of quitting, including nicotine replacement therapy or medication | Kings College London, UK

Sober Spring signup

Sign up for an amazing three months alcohol-free, starting 20 March 2021 | Alcohol Change UK, UK

JCVI advises prioritising homeless people and rough sleepers for COVID-19 vaccine

The JCVI has advised the government to prioritise people experiencing homelessness, including those sleeping rough, for the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine | PHE, UK

Fears alcoholics are being ‘bombarded’ as they struggle to hide Instagram adverts

People recovering from alcohol addiction have raised concerns Instagram may not be doing enough to help users avoid being targeted by advertising | Metro, UK