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Weekly news - 24th June 2022


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ACMD Naloxone Review

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has undertaken a review of the availability and implementation of naloxone in the UK | ACMD, UK

Publication of the ACMD report into the availability and use of naloxone

Press release accompanying the new report on Naloxone | ACMD, UK

RADAR: Rapid Action Drug Alerts and Response

In an effort to respond to the public health emergency of drug-related deaths in Scotland, RADAR provides a structured way to collect, assess and communicate information about drugs, identifying risks quickly and informing rapid action to reduce harm and save lives | Public Health Scotland, UK

Latest information on alcohol consumption, price and harms in Scotland published

Public Health Scotland has published the MESAS Monitoring Report 2022, as part of the continued delivery of the Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) programme. This annual report provides the latest available information and key statistics on alcohol consumption, price, related harms and inequalities | Public Health Scotland, UK

Poorest Scots five times more likely to die of alcohol abuse

The Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland's Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) report 2022 found rates of alcohol-specific deaths were five times higher in Scotland's poorest communities | BBC, UK

Call to amend Misuse of Drugs Regulations to make it easier to pilot overdose prevention centres

In the United Kingdom, in 2020, there were 4,517 deaths related to illicit drug use; the highest rate of drug related deaths since records began. It is necessary to provide the full range of evidence-based drug treatment and harm reduction interventions to prevent these deaths. We call on the Government to amend the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 to make it easier to establish pilots of overdose prevention centres. This is an easy step that would not require primary legislation. It would help local agencies to build the evidence base and save lives | Faculty of Public Health, UK

Public Health and Smoking: A framework for action (PDF)

This report is a practical document, designed to drive action locally, regionally and nationally across sectors. It is for people and organisations developing plans and strategies to improve mental and physical health in our communities, particularly those working to implement public mental health approaches to prevent poor mental health in society | ASH et al

Is there a causal effect of smoking on Mental Health?

In this report, we summarise evidence around two key questions about smoking and mental health: 1) does smoking increase the risk of subsequent mental health problems, and 2) does quitting smoking improve mental health symptoms. Establishing whether or not these are true causal effects will help to better target successful public health policies and to hopefully increase life expectancy and improve health amongst individuals with mental illness | University of Bristol, UK

Reporting of Substance Media Toolkit

The Reporting of Substance Toolkit is a resource for journalists and editors looking to report on alcohol and drugs with dignity and respect. The toolkit contains 5 Key Recommendations to follow when reporting and also has interviews with family members and people in recovery, information about support services across the UK, photography advice and resources for further information | Adfam and SFAD, UK

Staff shortages undermining drug treatment, study reveals

A loss of skilled professionals and the fragmentation of services has proven a major barrier to tackling drug addiction, new research has found | LocalGov, UK

Perceived Stigma of Patients Undergoing Treatment with Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products

[Open access] Cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) are prescribed with increasing frequency. This study aimed to investigate the perceived stigma attached to patients prescribed CBMPs in the UK to establish its prevalence | Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, UK

No place for cheap alcohol: the potential value of minimum pricing for protecting lives

There has been growing interest in recent years in a relatively new form of pricing policy to decrease alcohol affordability and consequently consumption – minimum pricing. This report discusses this (‎as yet)‎ not widely used policy and its potential for improving public health andexamines how minimum pricing policies should be applied alongside alcohol taxation measures. It reviews the status of implementation of minimum pricing globally, provides an overview of the most recent evidence behind the policy, addresses its main strengths and limitations and offers practical considerations for countries | WHO, Denmark

This report, commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care, draws on 60 interviews with commissioners, providers, and Public Health England representatives to provide a detailed analysis of the first quarter in which funding was available. Prominent themes include: the treatment context prior to the arrival of additional funding; plans to deploy the funding; barriers to implementation (prominently including national shortages of skilled staff); identified solutions; the challenges of one-year fixed-term funding; and the sustainability of initiatives should one-year funding end | University of York, The Kings Fund, UK

Residential rehabilitation pathways: lived experience interviews

Explores pathways into, through and out of residential rehabilitation from the perspective of those with lived experience of having accessed residential rehabilitation. Part of a wider suite of research exploring residential rehabilitation across Scotland | Scottish Government, UK

Mental health: Turning to illegal drugs during support wait

There are concerns young people with mental health problems could be trying to "self-medicate" with illegal drugs rather than seeking help | BBC, UK

MUP - Letter to Convenor of Scottish Parliament’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee

This letter provides an update on the evaluation of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) for alcohol. It was sent to the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee of the Scottish Parliament in June 2022 | Public Health Scotland, UK

#StigmaKills: Free Downloadable Campaign Resources

Since its launch in February, we have seen our #StigmaKills campaign go from strength to strength, and the NHS APA would like to thank everybody who has supported us so far in our pledge to end stigma. So that you can show your support and share the important message of our campaign, we have created a host of assets available for you to download to further show your support across your websites, organisations and social channels | NHS APA, UK

Current status of implementation of new drug treatment standards across Scotland - news story

Public Health Scotland has published today a national report [see item below] that details the current status of the implementation of new treatment standards that aim to improve access, choice and care for people who experience drug problems | Public Health Scotland, UK

National benchmarking report on implementation of the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) standards - report

This is a benchmarking report on the progress that alcohol and drug partnerships in Scotland are making to meet the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) standards, April 2022. The report includes recommended actions to address gaps | Public Health Scotland, UK

Service user perceptions of smoking cessation in residential substance use treatment

Prevalence of tobacco smoking among adults in substance misuse treatment is much higher than the wider population, yet limited research is available, and residential treatment services have been overlooked as a potential setting for cessation interventions. Exploring the perceptions of service users about smoking cessation in residential rehabilitation is important to gain better understanding of this issue and identify ways to inform future intervention development | PLOS One, UK

Juul: US bans all products from leading vaping company

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it did not have enough data to be sure that marketing the firm's products was "appropriate for the protection of public health" | BBC, UK

EMCDDA launches foresight toolkit for the drugs field

Analysing potential futures to support decision-making today is increasingly used in a world characterised by rapid, volatile and complex change. More and more organisations, including EU bodies (1), are integrating foresight approaches into their activities. Against this backdrop, the EMCDDA is launching a new online toolkit today to help stakeholders in the drugs field implement their own foresight exercise | EMCDDA, Portugal