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Weekly news - 17th June 2022


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National Drug Treatment Reporting System 2015 – 2021 drug treatment data

In this bulletin, trends in treated problem drug use (excluding alcohol) are described for the seven-year period from 2015 to 2021. The data are drawn from the National Drug Treatment Reporting System (NDTRS), the national surveillance system that records and reports on cases of drug and alcohol treatment in Ireland | HRB, Ireland

Drug workers warn heroin treatment shortage will cost lives

An "unprecedented shortage" of the heroin substitute diamorphine in England is putting hundreds of lives at risk, say drug workers | BBC, UK

Royal College of Nursing adds support for the introduction of safer injecting facilities

RCN Congress in Glasgow heard about the increase in drug-related deaths across the UK over the past decade, despite drug-related deaths being preventable. While the number of drug related deaths in Scotland fell for the first time in five years in 2021, there were still almost 1,300 suspected drug deaths. The Scottish government is exploring options for the introduction of safe injection facilities but disagrees with the UK Government about the legal changes required to allow for them in Scotland. Yesterday (8 June) RCN members voted to lobby the UK Government to support the introduction of safer injecting facilities | RCN, UK

Ease process for accessing medical cannabis, urges mother of boy with epilepsy

Charlotte Caldwell said just three children with severe epilepsy have been granted medical cannabis on the NHS, with others going private | Independent, UK

Karen Tyrell announced as Drinkaware’s new CEO

Karen Tyrell, will be joining Drinkaware as the new permanent CEO in early October. Karen brings over 20 years of experience across health and social care working with senior and executive teams.  She is currently working at the large national alcohol and drug treatment charity Humankind where she is Executive Director of Strategy, Culture and External Affairs | DrinkAware, UK

How much does smoking damage our mental health? - podcast

Last week, the UK government published the Khan review, an independent report looking at how England could become smoke free by 2030. One of the recommendations was to tackle the issue of mental health and smoking. Madeleine Finlay speaks to epidemiologist Dr Gemma Taylor about how significant this link is, what we can do to break it, and how to dispel the myth that smoking is a stress reliever | Guardian, UK

Vaping - is it a risk-free option?

They are brightly coloured, easy-to-use and come in flavours from cotton candy to blue raspberry - disposable vapes are surging in popularity | BBC, UK

Suspected drug deaths in Scotland: January to March 2022

In January 2021 the Scottish Government announced a National Mission to reduce Scotland’s unacceptable drug death rates. Part of this commitment is to improve data and surveillance. This report focusses on management information from Police Scotland on suspected drug deaths, to provide as timely an indication of current trends in drug deaths in Scotland as is possible. Statistics from the National Records of Scotland are also presented for wider context | Scottish Government, UK

Nearly 2,000 offenders to get alcohol tags when they leave prison

[Possible paywall] Criminals jailed for drink-related incidents will be fitted with sobriety monitors on release under plans to curb drinking and cut crime | Telegraph, UK

Drugs strategy guidance for local delivery partnersFrom harm to hope: A 10-year drugs plan to cut crime and save lives

Guidance outlining the structures and processes through which local partners in England should work together to reduce drug-related harm | Home Office, UK

Classification and scheduling of Brorphine and Metonitazene

Advice on the appropriate classification and scheduling of Brorphine and Metonitazene under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and associated regulations | Home Office, UK

Drugs Committee - video

Coverage of the Home Affairs select committee session on drugs policy with evidence from John Campbell, chief constable of Thames Valley Police, Serena Kennedy, chief constable of Merseyside Police, David Thorne, assistant police constable of South Wales Police, Andy Dunbobbin, north Wales police and crime commissioner, Zoe Metcalfe, police, fire and crime commissioner for North Yorkshire and the City of York and David Sidwick, police and crime commissioner for Dorset, from Wednesday 15 June | BBC, UK

The Loop details new MDMA pills in UK circulation as part of harm reduction initiative

The average strength of pills tested at last weekend's Parklife festival was 1.5 times that of the typical tablet | DJ Mag, UK

Drug supply and use bounce back after COVID-19 disruption

The rapid bounce back of drug supply and use following COVID-19 disruption is among the issues highlighted today by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) as it launches its European Drug Report 2022: Trends and Developments (1). The report delivers the latest overview of the drug situation in Europe, exploring long-term trends and emerging threats. At a time when the international situation raises new challenges, the report also looks at how ongoing global events may affect the dynamics of Europe’s drugs problem in future | EMCDDA, Portugal

What are the lessons to be learnt from the European Drug Report 2022?

The European Drug Report 2022: Trends and Developments arrives at a time when recent major global events have impacted profoundly on all areas of our life and, therefore, also have implications for the drug problems we are facing in Europe today. Our report is designed to help Europe be better prepared to meet these challenges. It does this by analysing both the trends that are shaping the current situation, and by identifying emerging threats that may impact on the drug problems Europe will face in the future | EMCDDA, Portugal

Contents unknown: How alcohol labelling still fails consumers (PDF)

This report is a follow-on to the Alcohol Health Alliance’s 2020 report Drinking in the dark: How alcohol labelling fails consumers.1 It looks at whether essential information, such as the low-risk drinking guidelines, ingredients, calories and other health information, is provided on alcohol labels | AHA UK, UK

Covid: Downers more popular than party drugs since pandemic

Drug users have switched from party drugs such as ecstasy to so-called "downers" since the pandemic, according to a top police officer | BBC, UK