Weekly news - 15th October 2021

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Shift in attitudes sees rising number of people rejecting alcohol and socialising while sober, experts say

Lucy Holmes, director of research and policy at charity Alcohol Change, said she had seen “a shift” in people rejecting marketing around alcohol | i news, UK

Proposed Right to Addiction Recovery (Scotland) Bill (PDF)

A proposal for a Bill to enable people addicted to drugs and/or alcohol to access the necessary addiction treatment they require. Consultation by Douglas Ross, MSP for Highlands and Islands (Region) | Parliament.Scot, UK

Drug Deaths

Every day in Scotland, four people lose their lives as a result of drug misuse. That is four lives every day cut needlessly short and families mourning the loss of loved ones every single day in Scotland | They work for you, UK

An Australian First – Fixed Site Pill Testing Announced

Pill Testing Australia (PTA) and Harm Reduction Australia (HRA) are pleased to advise that approval has been given by the ACT Government to pilot Australia’s first ever fixed site pill testing service | PTA, Australia

Evaluation of the impact of alcohol minimum unit pricing (MUP) on crime and disorder, public safety and public nuisance

Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) for alcohol came into effect in Scotland on 1 May 2018. This study looks at the impact of MUP on crime and disorder, public safety and public nuisance in Scotland | Public Health Scotland, UK

Minimum alcohol pricing in Scotland had 'minimal impact' on crime

The introduction of minimum unit pricing of alcohol (MUP) in Scotland had a minimal impact on drink-related crime, a new study suggests | BBC, UK

Combined treatments are the most effective to stop smoking, study finds

Combination therapies, particularly varenicline and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) combined, are the most effective tobacco cessation pharmacotherapies, the largest review to examine the effectiveness and safety of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and medicines that people use to quit tobacco has found | University of Bristol, UK

With government plans to ban laughing gas, Brits consider it less harmful than alcohol or tobacco

Among 12 substances asked about, laughing gas is considered the second least harmful, after marijuana | YouGov, UK

Drugs Wheels

Three new UK versions of the Drugs Wheel, with the following amendments made (post festival season) to adjust to shifting markets: Added Eutylone, 4-CMC, removed butylone, 4-MTA, 5-API, removed MXM, replaced MXiPr with MXPr. NPS Established (PDF), UK legislation (PDF), Club Drugs wheel (PDF) | Mark Adley, UK

University of Stirling experts explore framing of alcohol harm

Experts at the University of Stirling are leading a new research project aiming to create a better informed, more balanced and compassionate national conversation around alcohol harm | University of Stirling, UK

Lung cancer patient who had declined conventional cancer treatment: could the self-administration of ‘CBD oil’ be contributing to the observed tumour regression?

This case appears to demonstrate a possible benefit of ‘CBD oil’ intake that may have resulted in the observed tumour regression. The use of cannabinoids as a potential cancer treatment justifies further research | BMJ, UK [See also Expert reaction in blogs section below].

Effects of brief substance use interventions delivered in general medical settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis

[Open access] When delivered in general medical settings, alcohol-targeted brief interventions may produce small beneficial reductions in drinking (equivalent to a reduction in 1 drinking day per month). There is limited evidence regarding the effects of drug-targeted brief interventions on drug use | Addiction, UK

Schools asked to support survey on Smoking Drinking and Drug Use among young people in England

NHS Digital is calling on selected secondary schools across England to take part in a statistical survey that will measure the use of alcohol, nicotine and drugs in young people. Please lend your support to the research by encouraging schools in your area to participate. Schools can find out more by vising the Ipsos MORI website or by contacting Jamie Roberts on 080 8101 2066 or via email SDDsurvey@ipsos.com | NHS Digital, UK

Charities question ’inaccessible’ NHS services

The head of an addiction support organisation has said the people they work with are still struggling to access NHS services, claiming that the “covid card” is being used as an excuse for “complete inaccessibility”. | Health and Care.Scot, UK