Weekly news - 14th May 2021


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In date order, Monday to Friday:

Drug antidote spray already saving lives in Wales

A pilot to use a nasal spray to prevent heroin overdose deaths is now being rolled out across a Welsh police force | BBC, UK

Newcastle Spice deaths: Drugs charges after three people die

A man has been charged after three people died in Newcastle from taking what is believed to be the drug Spice | BBC, UK

Parents with alcohol and drug problems: guidance for adult treatment and children and family services

This planning and operational guidance is for directors of public health and commissioners and providers of adult alcohol and drug treatment and children and family services. The guidance outlines the main issues for families affected by parental alcohol and drug problems and shows how services can work together to support them | PHE, UK

Parents with alcohol and drug problems: using case studies to estimate the cost-benefit of interventions

This guidance supports local areas, organisations and providers that have collected, or intend to collect, case studies to estimate how much social and economic cost they can avoid by supporting families experiencing alcohol and drug problems | PHE, UK

Parents with alcohol and drug problems: support resources

A toolkit containing guidance, data and other resources to support professionals who are helping families affected by parental alcohol and drug problems | PHE, UK

Drug checking service influences future behaviour, first ever follow up survey reveals

More than 90% of participants who completed a follow up survey to a drug checking service said the intervention influenced their subsequent behaviour, new research by the University of Liverpool reveals | University of Liverpool, UK

Is disinvestment from alcohol and drug treatment services associated with treatment access, completions and related harm? An analysis of English expenditure and outcomes data

[Open access] The positive impact of substance use treatment is well‐evidenced but there has been substantial disinvestment from publicly funded treatment services in England since 2013/2014. This paper examines whether this disinvestment from adult alcohol and drug treatment provision was associated with changes in treatment and health outcomes... | DAR, UK

MDMA-assisted therapy for severe PTSD: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 study

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) presents a major public health problem for which currently available treatments are modestly effective. We report the findings of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-site phase 3 clinical trial to test the efficacy and safety of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted therapy for the treatment of patients with severe PTSD... | Nature, USA

Exploring drug supply, associated violence and exploitation of vulnerable groups in Denmark

This report provides an analysis of current drug supply models and the related violence and exploitation of vulnerable groups in Denmark. Recent years have seen a growth in criminals’ exploitation of vulnerable groups for drug-related crimes | EMCDDA, Portugal

Medical Cannabis improves Quality of Life by over 50% - Preliminary Results from Project Twenty21

Over 900 patients have now received licensed prescriptions for medical cannabis and agreed for Drug Science to collect and analyse their medical data under Project Twenty21 | Drug Science, UK

Drug fatalities and treatment fatalism: Complicating the ageing cohort theory

[Open access] Deaths related to drug ‘misuse’ remain at an all‐time high in the United Kingdom (UK). Older heroin consumers are particularly at risk, with the highest rates of deaths among people aged 40–49 and the steepest rises in the over‐fifty age bracket | Sociology of Health and Illness, UK

Drug-related deaths and mortality in Europe: update from the EMCDDA expert network

This report provides an update on drug-related deaths in Europe based primarily on presentations and discussions held at the 2019 meeting of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) expert network on drug-related deaths. The meeting brought together experts and representatives from over 40 countries and provided a platform for discussing new trends in and analyses of drug-induced deaths in Europe and beyond and responses to them | EMCDDA, Portugal

China issues total ban on synthetic cannabinoids

China on Tuesday said it will add all synthetic cannabinoids to its list of banned drugs, in what it described as a first in the world, to curb their manufacturing, trafficking and abuse | Medical Xpress, USA

Police expand use of overdose life-saver drug Naloxone

The first UK police force to pilot its officers carrying a "life-saving" drug that can temporarily reverse overdose effects is widening the roll-out | BBC, UK

MDMA could help trauma survivors face painful memories

MDMA - most commonly known as a party drug - could be more effective than therapy alone at treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) | BBC, UK

Crime in England and Wales: year ending December 2020

There was a 15% increase in drug offences, driven by a large increase in April to June 2020, reflecting proactive police activity in crime hotspots | ONS, UK

Newsnight - Discussion on the use of Naloxone by West Midlands Police

Watch from 31 mins 15 seconds in. Report on the increasing use of Naloxone by police to help reverse overdoses | BBC, UK

Addiction Lives Interviews: Betsy Thom and Harry Shapiro

Today’s first featured interview is with Professor Betsy Thom, Head of the Drug & Alcohol Research Centre at Middlesex University, London. Today’s second featured interview is with journalist and author Harry Shapiro, the Director of DrugWise, which “promot[es] evidence-based information on drugs, alcohol and tobacco.” He previously worked for Drugscope and its predecessor the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence | Points blog, USA