Weekly news - 21st May 2021


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In date order, Monday to Friday:

New toolkit for practitioners working with those affected by someone else's co-occurring mental ill-health and substance misuse conditions

The toolkit has been produced by Adfam and family members with lived experience. It is designed for practitioners who support those caring for a loved one who is having difficulties with their mental health and substance use. This will include substance use and mental health practitioners, family support workers, housing officers and advocacy practitioners, among others | Adfam, UK

Hepatitis C elimination initiatives: monitoring and evaluation

A resource guide to support providers, commissioners and other organisations undertake useful evaluations of hepatitis C elimination | PHE, UK

I am Billy Campaign Launches: Charlotte Caldwell Calls for Study to Break “Medical Cannabis Deadlock”

Charlotte Caldwell, mother of Billy – the boy who changed the law, announced the launch of the I am Billy campaign. This groundbreaking campaign is asking for the Government’s support in taking crucial steps towards improving patients’ access to cannabis medicines prescribed by the NHS | Volteface, UK

Primary care-based drug treatment: we need to promote its advantages

The 1999 Orange Book acknowledged the role of primary care in the treatment of people with drug problems.  In the early 2000s the National Treatment Agency encouraged primary care to become involved in the treatment of drug users and as a result ‘shared care schemes’ proliferated with up to 40% of GPs in every area being involved at various levels by 2006 | Addiction Professionals, UK

The Forward Trust and Action on Addiction join forces to reach more people

The Forward Trust and Action on Addiction have joined forces to expand much-needed addiction recovery services in the UK | DDN, UK

Covid limit on support groups to be lifted from 17 May

From Monday 17th May, support groups – which include those supporting people “with, or recovering from, addictions (including alcohol, narcotics or other substance addictions) or addictive patterns of behaviour” – will be able to meet with up to 30 participants | Collective Voice, UK

Medical cannabis 'saved my life'

Just a couple of years ago, Lucy Stafford was in such agonising pain that she was willing to treat it by any means possible | BBC, UK

Could magic mushrooms cure depression? Possibly

[Free one month trial available] He was sacked for saying that cigarettes did more harm than LSD. Now David Nutt wants Chris Whitty to approve Class A drugs to treat mental health | The Times, UK

Failure To Fund: The continued crisis for harm reduction funding in low- and middle-income countries

Governments have committed to ending AIDS and tuberculosis, eliminating viral hepatitis and providing universal access to health care by 2030. We will not reach these goals without the leadership of people who use drugs and a fully funded harm reduction response | HRI, UK

Spotlight on our activities: Impact of COVID-19 in ENP countries - video

In March 2020, the way we live and the way we work changed. Hear from the coordinator of the EU4 Monitoring Drugs project about the lessons learnt from carrying out trendspotter studies in European Neighbourhood Policy countries to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the drug situation | EMCDDA, Portugal

Any amount of alcohol consumption harmful to the brain, finds study

UK study of 25,000 people finds even moderate drinking is linked to lower grey matter density | Guardian, UK

In-store vape clinics with 'smoking cessation coaches' planned by Edinburgh firm

Edinburgh-based vaping firm VPZ has announced record sales and outlined plans for “vape clinics” to help more smokers quit | The Scotsman, UK

Wastewater analysis and drugs — a European multi-city study

Analysing communal wastewaters for drugs and their metabolic products in order to estimate their consumption in the community is a developing field, involving scientists working in different research areas, including analytical chemistry, physiology and biochemistry, sewage engineering, spatial epidemiology and statistics, and conventional drug epidemiology. This page presents the findings from studies since 2011 | EMCDDA, Portugal

Open consultation: NDTMS datasets: proposed changes to datasets

Public Health England (PHE) are currently consulting on proposed changes to the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) datasets which would be collected from 1st April 2022 as Core Dataset Q. This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 11 June 2021 | PHE, UK

The Psychedelic Drug Trial - video

With exclusive access to a ground-breaking trial, this film asks if psychedelic drugs combined with psychological support can help tackle one of the biggest medical challenges we face – depression | BBC, UK

Drug Harms Assessment and Response Team (DHART) quarterly summary – May 2021

Quarterly update on the latest drug harms being reported in England, geared towards professionals working in the field | PHE, UK

50 years of the Misuse of Drugs Act - Early Day Motion

That this House acknowledges that the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is not fit for purpose; notes that for 50 years, it has failed to reduce drug consumption and that drug deaths are now at a record high; further notes that instead it has increased harm, damaged public health and exacerbated social inequalities; believes that an evidence-based approach which provides pathways for people with drug difficulties into treatment, rather than the criminal justice system should be prioritised... | UK Parliament, UK

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

Updated information about mutual aid and support groups | PHE, UK

Prince Harry says heavy drinking masked pain of mum Diana's death

The Duke of Sussex has said he used to drink a week's worth of alcohol in a day to try to deal with the trauma of his mother's death. Prince Harry was also willing to take drugs to "feel less like I was feeling" more than a decade after she died | BBC, UK

Fierce Chemistry: A History of UK Drug Wars - promotional video

Our Director, Harry Shapiro, talks about his brand new book out today on the history of UK drug use | Harry Shapiro, UK