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Weekly news - 4th February 2022


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Listening to those with Lived and Living Experience

A new National Collaborative to ensure the views of people with Lived and Living Experience (LLE) are reflected in all aspects of the national mission on drug deaths will be chaired by human rights law expert Professor Alan Miller | Scottish Government, UK

Professor Alan Miller to chair national drugs collaborative

Professor Miller, an expert in human rights law, will head the collaborative, which has been formed to ensure that the experience and rights of people affected by drugs are reflected in all aspects of the mission | Scottish Legal News, UK

Ambulance service hands out 1000 naloxone kits to help save lives

It comes after the launch of a naloxone training programme last year, with a target being set of the distribution of 1000 of the Take Home Naloxone (THN) kits across the country by the service | STV news, UK

UK households’ spending on alcohol ‘up by 153% since 1987’

The increase in spending coincided with alcohol becoming 72% more affordable in the UK over the same period, according to the NHS Digital report | Independent, UK

Londoners back pilot cannabis education scheme

Half of those who would oppose fully decriminalising cannabis support the pilot scheme | YouGov, UK

5 Notable Takeaways from YouGov’s Big Survey on Drugs

The YouGov Big Survey on Drugs was recently  released attempting to examine attitudes towards and use of recreational and prescription drugs. The study was canvassed in September 2021, on a sample of 2,717 adults aged 16 and above | Volteface, UK

Major changes ahead for EMCDDA as it embarks on new work programme

I am proud to introduce today the EMCDDA’s Single Programming Document (SPD) for the period 2022–2024. This new programming period starts at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is still unfolding | EMCDDA, Portugal

Could COVID expand the future of addiction research? Long-term implications in the pandemic era

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted face-to-face research. This has propelled ideas and plans for more remote styles of research and provided new perspectives on conducting research. This paper aimed to identify challenges specific to conducting remote forms of experimental addiction research, although some of these challenges apply to all types of addiction research | Addiction, UK

Research analysis: Measuring the impact of Dry January

Despite a substantial increase in participation in the one-month challenge to go ‘alcohol free’, a study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence found no corresponding reduction in alcohol consumption across England. Natalie Davies takes a look at the research, and asks what the implications are for Dry January, which now reportedly attracts over 100,000 participants each year | SSA, UK

Gray report criticises No 10’s ‘excessive’ alcohol culture

There is a common element in the myriad reports of alleged parties inside Downing Street: alcohol. From the photo of Boris Johnson sitting by a wine bottle in his garden to the claims of a suitcase of booze being wheeled into No 10, governing the country is clearly thirsty work | Guardian, UK

Local Alcohol Profiles for England: short statistical commentary, February 2022

There were 318,595 alcohol-specific admissions in 2020 to 2021, a reduction in the rate to 587 (per 100,000 population) | OHID, UK

Alcohol related hospital statistics

This release by Public Health Scotland provides information on alcohol-related inpatient and day case activity within general acute and psychiatric hospitals in Scotland | Public Health Scotland, UK

Alcohol-related hospital stays fall during Covid pandemic

The rate of alcohol-related hospital stays in the first year of the Covid pandemic was down 10% on the previous 12 months, figures show | BBC, UK

Youth justice statistics: 2020 to 2021

Youth justice annual statistics for 2020 to 2021 for England and Wales. [Includes drug-related offences] | Youth Justice Board for England and Wales, UK

Northern Ireland bans smoking in cars with children - video

Cancer and health charities have welcomed a ban on smoking in cars with children in Northern Ireland | BBC, UK

Tainted cocaine kills 20 in Argentina with dozens more hospitalised

Local media reported the drug had been ‘cut’ with a toxic substance as authorities said it might have been intentional | Guardian, UK

Fewest under-18s on record getting addiction help in England

Thousands with drug and alcohol problems are feared to be missing out owing to pandemic and funding cuts | Guardian, UK

Scotland's drug deaths: Consumption room pilot on track despite warning over legal barriers

The new chair of the SNP’s drug deaths taskforce is confident legal barriers to setting up drug consumption rooms can be overcome as he insisted the facilities would not be a “free-for-all" or be a magnet for drug dealers after fears raised by a UK minister | Herald, UK

Examining the impact of the first wave of COVID-19 and associated control measures on interventions to prevent blood-borne viruses among people who inject drugs in Scotland: an interrupted time series study

[Open access] COVID-19 has likely affected the delivery of interventions to prevent blood-borne viruses (BBVs) among people who inject drugs (PWID). We examined the impact of the first wave of COVID-19 in Scotland on: 1) needle and syringe provision (NSP), 2) opioid agonist therapy (OAT) and 3) BBV testing | DAD, UK

Lockdown measures throughout 2020 have been linked to people in Scotland and England drinking more at home, according to new research

The study found that while people were broadly drinking the same amount of alcohol during periods of restrictions as they were when no restrictions were in place, lockdowns appeared to be linked to a shift in habits to at-home, late evening drinking | University of Glasgow, UK

Responding to the opioid crisis in North America and beyond: recommendations of the Stanford–Lancet Commission

Since 1999 more than 600,000 people in the USA and Canada have died from opioid overdose and a staggering 1.2 million more are estimated to die due to overdose by 2029 | Lancet, UK

Supermarket cameras to guess age of alcohol buyers

Major supermarket chains have begun testing an automated age-verification system, to avoid the wait for staff at self-checkouts when buying alcohol | BBC, UK

Seizures of drugs in England and Wales, financial year ending 2021

Police forces and Border Force made a total of 223,106 drug seizures in England and Wales in year ending March 2021, a 21% increase compared with the previous year (183,646); this is the third consecutive annual increase in seizures, reversing a downward trend since year ending March 2012 | Home Office, UK

Eurobarometer survey: European citizens concerned about impact of drugs

This week, the European Commission published the results of the latest Eurobarometer survey on the impact of drugs on communities in the EU. Between 30 June and 10 July 2021, 25 713 people were surveyed (Europeans aged 15 and over) across 27 EU countries | EMCDDA, Portugal