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Weekly news - 4th March 2022


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Number of rough sleepers reaches 8-year low

£800 million has been invested this year alone to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping, with £2 billion committed over the next 3 years. This includes providing 6,000 long-term homes through the £433 million Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme and up to £52 million for rehab and detox services for people with drug or alcohol issues | Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, UK

‘Society judges women more harshly for addiction’: Women locked out of ‘intimidating’ drug treatment services

‘I would take what I needed to get to that place of complete oblivion,’ says Lara | Independent, UK

Cannabis: Medical Treatments

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Government's response to the Health and Social Care Select Committee’s report on Drugs Policy: Medicinal Cannabis, published in September 2019, what steps his Department has taken with the National Institute for Health Research to develop alternative research approaches to support children who are currently receiving cannabis-based products for medicinal use rather than randomised control trials, as set out in that response | They work for you, UK

Gardaí may be given heroin antidote to save lives

Frontline gardaí could be given medication to reverse heroin and methadone overdoses, cutting user deaths, under measures being examined by Garda HQ | Irish Examiner, Ireland

New section of the DrugWise website on Lived Experience

With the support of CGL, DrugWise is opening up a new area of our site called Lived Experience. This is a pilot project with the specific aim of providing signposts to help and advice for anyone who would identify themselves as having LE. Please look at the content so far and let us know your thoughts and suggestions at livedexperience@drugwise.org.uk | DrugWise, UK

Deaths related to volatile substances, helium and nitrogen in England and Wales: 2001 to 2020 registrations

Deaths related to volatile substances, helium and nitrogen in England and Wales registered between 2001 and 2020, by region, sex, age, substances involved and cause of death | ONS, UK

BuddyUp

The idea is simple, people who are using drugs alone can download the app and be connected to a Cranstoun volunteer, with whom they can build a rescue plan in the event of an emergency | Cranstoun, UK

Approved Premises (Substance Testing) Bill

The Approved Premises (Substance Testing) Bill is a private member’s bill that would create a statutory framework for drugs testing in approved premises, including testing for psychoactive substances and the abuse of prescription and pharmacy medicines. The bill received cross-party support in the House of Commons | House of Lords Library, UK

Deaths due to drug-related causes 2010 - 2020 - Press Release (PDF)

There were 218 drug-related deaths registered in Northern Ireland in 2020. Over half (55.5%) of these deaths were of men aged 25-44 | NISRA, UK

Drug-Related and drug-misuse deaths in Northern Ireland, 2020 (PDF)

This report presents statistics on Northern Ireland (NI) drug-related mortality in 2020. Figures are based on deaths registered in NI that are known to be drug-related or a direct consequence of drug misuse | NISRA, UK

National naloxone programme Scotland - Quarterly monitoring bulletin

During 2021/22 Quarter 2 (1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021) 7,219 Take-Home Naloxone (THN) kits were issued | Public Health Scotland, UK

Universities should be more tolerant of drug use if they are to keep students safe from drug harms

A new report from the Higher Education Policy Institute, Illicit drug use in universities: zero tolerance or harm reduction? (HEPI Debate Paper 29), suggests a zero-tolerance approach to illicit drug use may cause more harm than it prevents, as those who need help do not come forward for fear of punishment. Drawing on available evidence, the authors Arda Ozcubukcu and Professor Graham Towl argue that an approach based on public health and focused on harm reduction is a better way to deal with students who take illegal drugs | HEPI, UK

White people at much higher risk of most cancers in England, study finds

Lower levels of smoking among most black and Asian groups is one reason they are at lower risk of some lifestyle cancers - such as bowel, breast and lung - than white people, the study suggests | BBC, UK

Vaping on NHS backed by more than a third in survey

GoSmokeFree.co.uk questioned 1,200 respondents to gauge their views toward vaping as a means of helping smokers cut down their tobacco use and subsequently, reduce the overall harm to society | Scotsman, UK

My plan for pool tables in prisons will give inmates a better shot at rehabilitation, says Dominic Raab

[Limited number of free articles per week] Justice Secretary pledges an expansion of drug-free wings in jails, where offenders will be offered new privileges and help to find work | Telegraph, UK

FACT SHEET: Addressing Addiction and the Overdose Epidemic

Drug overdose deaths have reached a historic high, devastating families and communities. More than 104,000 Americans died due to a drug overdose in the 12-month period ending in September 2021. We grieve these losses, and commit to continuing our work to save lives | The White House, USA

Victimisation and its relationship to drug misuse, common mental disorder and well-being in England and Wales: year ending March 2021

An overview of drug misuse, symptoms of common mental disorder and personal well-being in adults who reported being a victim of crime in the last year. Data are from the Telephone-operated Crime Survey for England and Wales | ONS, UK

Introduce price cap on cigarettes to reduce smoking – study

A maximum price cap for cigarettes sold in the UK would help cut smoking rates, according to a study | Independent, UK