Weekly news - 5th November 2021

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In date order, Monday to Friday



MHRA publishes clear guidance to support bringing e-cigarettes to market as licensed therapies

The MHRA is committed to responding to the Tobacco Control Plan and supports the UK Government’s vision for a smoke-free generation by encouraging safe, high-quality and effective e-cigarette products to be licensed as medicines | MHRA, UK

Mental Health and Drugs Debate - video

The debate in the Scottish Parliament on a person-centred approach to mental health and substance abuse, from Tuesday 26 October | BBC, UK

The new alcohol duty system: Consultation

Alcohol duty is a long-standing system of taxes, with its origins in the 1643 Excise Ordinance levied by Parliament during the English Civil Wars. Today, it is composed of five individual taxes: beer duty, spirits duty, cider duty, wine duty and made-wine duty1. These duties collectively raise over £12 billion each year, providing important revenue to fund public services. At the same time, they also help address the harms caused to society and public health by excessive or irresponsible drinking | HM Treasury, UK

DDN November 2021

Maybe the pandemic has taught us something about the loneliness and isolation that can go hand in hand with stigma – about reaching out, and about joining in when we’re not necessarily invited | DDN, UK

Government announces support for rough sleepers over winter

Rough sleepers will be helped into safe and warm accommodation and treatment services for drug and alcohol dependency this winter, supported by an extra £66 million the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced | Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities , Department of Health and Social Care, Eddie Hughes MP, and Gillian Keegan MP, UK

Approved Premises (Substance Testing) Bill

Approved premises are essentially hostels which provide temporary accommodation for people who have been released from prison but are considered to present the highest risk to the community. Unfortunately, the number of deaths among approved premises residents has increased over recent years, and many of those deaths are believed to be related to taking drugs. As a result, the independent prisons and probation ombudsman has made repeated recommendations about the urgent need for a comprehensive drugs strategy for the approved premises estate | They work for you, UK

Some alcohol brands ‘should do more’ to cut chance of children seeing ads

Some alcohol brands could and should do more to minimise the chance of children falsely registered as adults seeing their ads on social media, a regulator has warned | Wales Online, UK

Cannabis treatment: Parents fear for teen's life without drug

The life of a teenager who can have hundreds of epileptic seizures a day "hangs in the balance" without cannabis treatment, his parents say | BBC, UK

On International Drug Users’ Day, UNAIDS calls for action against the criminalization of people who use drugs and for community-led harm reduction programmes

On International Drug Users’ Day, UNAIDS is calling for urgent action against the criminalization of people who use drugs, for the redress of criminalization’s negative effects on HIV, viral hepatitis and other health issues, for the respect of human rights and for more funding for community-led harm reduction programmes | UNAIDS, Switzerland

Overlooked: Why we should be doing more to support families and friends affected by someone else's drinking, drug use or gambling

This report examines Adfam's latest research with YouGov on the prevalence of people currently negatively affected by the drinking, drug use or gambling of a family member or friend in 2021, and the different challenges and impacts these families currently face. The report's findings highlight the need for more recognition of the impacts on families and friends and it includes recommendations on how to better support this overlooked group | Adfam, UK

Medical use of cannabis

This briefing provides an overview on the recent change in the law and debate on medicinal cannabis products | House of Commons library, UK

Medical Cannabis Awareness Week 2021

Medical Cannabis Awareness Week kicked off on Monday, marking three years since cannabis was legalised for medical purposes | Volteface, UK

Smoking Cessation: Prescription of E-cigarettes

(Urgent Question): To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to make a statement to the House on the Government’s announcement that e-cigarettes will be available on prescription | They work for you, UK [video of debate | BBC]

Lord Advocate suggests fresh look at drug consumption rooms in Scotland

Dorothy Bain spoke in the context of Scotland having an appalling on drugs deaths | Daily Record, UK

IEP Guidance Launch Webinar - video

New guidance has been developed to support the development of the provision of injecting equipment and other harm reduction measures in Scotland. This is the first major publication of its kind in Scotland since the previous IEP Guidance was published in 2010 | SDF, UK

Lifesaving antidote to be given to drug users as they leave custody

West Midlands Police has begun offering people with Class A drug addictions a lifesaving overdose antidote as they are released from custody as part of our wider harm reduction strategy | West Midlands PCC, UK

Aylesbury MP's drug Bill "a terrible idea", experts say

The MP for Aylesbury has come under heavy criticism from drug experts for a proposed new law that would make drug-testing of recently-released prisoners staying in Approved Premises compulsory | Bucks Radio, UK

Medical Cannabis under Prescription: Children with Epilepsy

I beg to move, That this House has considered medical cannabis under prescription for children with epilepsy... | UK Hansard, UK