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Weekly news - 22nd April 2022


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In date order, Monday to Friday

Innovative new projects to tackle reoffending and protect the public revealed

In the West Midlands, charity Change, Grow, Live is helping offenders who have grown up in the care system to live crime-free lives through peer-mentoring and support with housing and employment coaching. Former offender Ian Thomas is one of the mentors for the project who is inspiring others after leaving his life of crime, drugs and homelessness to return to university and become a qualified Social Worker | Ministry of Justice and The Rt Hon Kit Malthouse MP, UK

Hepatitis C Trust and HCV Action publish 'Reframing Reinfection' report

The 'Reframing Reinfection: towards sustained hepatitis C elimination in the UK' report features specific, holistic recommendations tailored to tackle reinfections, and to ensure that we achieve sustainable elimination by the UK’s goal of 2030. These recommendations focus on the following five key areas which need urgent work and development... | Hep C Trust, UK

Barriers to management of opioid withdrawal in hospitals in England: a document analysis of hospital policies on the management of substance dependence

[Open access] People who use illicit opioids are more likely to be admitted to hospital than people of the same age in the general population. Many admissions end in discharge against medical advice, which is associated with readmission and all-cause mortality. Opioid withdrawal contributes to premature discharge. We sought to understand the barriers to timely provision of opioid substitution therapy (OST), which helps to prevent opioid withdrawal, in acute hospitals in England | BMC Medicine, UK

Jump-starting the conversation about harm reduction: making sense of drug effect

[Open access] This paper describes the history of the development of taxonomies of psychoactive drug use, and discusses the conceptualization of three recent taxonomies: comparing their features, and considering their application in education, treatment, and harm reduction settings | Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, UK

Council chiefs welcome £300m to tackle drug addiction

Council leaders have welcomed a Government announcement of additional funding for local areas to tackle drug dependency as an ‘important step forward’. | Local Gov, UK

How £3.99 party drugs made their way into mainstream culture

We spoke to clubbers and experts for the real facts behind the use of poppers | Liverpool Echo, UK

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia: early insights

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia: early insights presents key statistics about Australia’s publicly funded alcohol and other drug treatment services and their clients | AIHW, Australia

Tackling drug crime in local communities - debate pack

A debate on tackling drug crime in local communities will take place in Westminster Hall scheduled for Wednesday 20 April 2022, from 2:30pm. Marsha de Cordova MP will open the debate. This debate pack sets out the government’s current policy on drug crime and other resources in advance of the debate on tackling drug crime in local communities | UK Parliament, UK

NHS urges people to attend vital lung cancer check-ups in England

Mobile trucks target areas with highest death rates in effort to reach those living with undiagnosed disease | Guardian, UK

Alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia

Alcohol, tobacco and other drug use is a major cause of preventable disease, illness and death in Australia. This report consolidates recent information on the availability and consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in Australia, and related impacts, harms and treatment | AIHW, Australia

Groovin the Moo cancels pill-testing at Canberra musical festival after insurers pull out

Canberra's biggest music festival will not provide a testing service for illicit drugs after insurers backed out just days before the event | abc.net.au, Aus

APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence Press Release: New NICE guidance to tackle prescribed drug dependence fails to listen to patient evidence

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has today published new guidelines which are intended to support the safe prescribing and withdrawal of medicines that can cause dependence, including antidepressants, opioids, gabapentinoids and benzodiazepines | APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence, UK

Ensuring drug and alcohol support for people fleeing Ukraine

Ukrainians fleeing war in their country are entitled to free access of public services in the UK, including local authority commissioned drug and alcohol services | Collective Voice, UK

Nutrition for Substance Use: A step by step workbook for people using alcohol and other drugs (PDF)

The revised edition of this workbook aims to help people who use alcohol or drugs to think about the importance of eating well and find ways to achieve a more balanced diet. If you use alcohol or drugs, please read on | Cranstoun, UK

Police watchdog: ethnic minorities need protection from unfair stop and search

IOPC condemns stops based on ‘stereotypes and racial bias’ and cites case of teenager reportedly stopped 60 times | Guardian, UK

Drug Crime [Transcript of the Westminster Hall debate held on 20th April 2022]

I beg to move, That this House has considered the matter of tackling drug crime in local communities... | They work for you, UK

Smoking: Health Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, in the context of the 2030 smoke-free target, what plans he has to improve smokers’ awareness of (a) e-cigarettes, (b) heat-not-burn products and (c) nicotine pouches | They Work for you, UK

For those at risk, isolation can be fatal

Evidence is clear that isolation from friends, family and support can place people who use drugs at higher risk of a fatal overdose.  Equally, initial case studies have suggested that the distribution of digital devices and building the skills and confidence to use them can have a transformative effect | Digital Lifelines, UK

Inside the Bristol clinic offering ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for mental health and addiction

The evidence from the £6,000 treatment plans is encouraging despite a lack of large-scale studies, but questions remain around disparities of access | Bristol Cable, UK

Two leading social justice charities complete merger

The charity Swanswell has completed its merger with Cranstoun, which will see the continued delivery of life-saving services and support for people to rebuild their lives. The merger process began in 2016 and was finalised at a trustees meeting held earlier this month | Cranstoun, UK

FACT SHEET: White House Releases 2022 National Drug Control Strategy that Outlines Comprehensive Path Forward to Address Addiction and the Overdose Epidemic

[On April 21st], President Biden sent his Administration’s inaugural National Drug Control Strategy to Congress at a time when drug overdoses have taken a heartbreaking toll, claiming 106,854 lives in the most recent 12-month period. The Strategy delivers on the call to action in President Biden’s Unity Agenda through a whole-of-government approach to beat the overdose epidemic | White House, USA