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Weekly news - 11th March 2022


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Cutting back on final drink of day ‘could improve brain health’

Study of UK adults shows negative effects of alcohol consumption grow stronger with each additional drink | Guardian, UK

Overdose prevention centres in the UK

In response to the drug related death crisis in the UK, more than 80 prominent medical, academic, and third sector organisations have called for the introduction of pilot overdose prevention centres (also called drug consumption rooms).1 The government, however, has repeatedly indicated it has no plans to introduce them, and overdose prevention centres are not mentioned in it's 10-year drug strategy. Here, we question the arguments used to defend this position with relevance for other countries debating the introduction of overdose prevention centres | Lancet comment, UK

Substance misuse: providing remote and in-person interventions

Guidance for alcohol and drug treatment services to help them get the balance right between providing remote and in-person interventions for service users | OHID, UK

Demand grows for UK ministers to reclassify psilocybin for medical research

People suffering debilitating cluster headaches say the active ingredient in magic mushrooms is a help | Guardian, UK

Government's drug and alcohol plans must be clearer, says report

The Scottish government must come up with a clearer spending plan for its "complex" drug and alcohol services, a watchdog has said | BBC, UK

Evaluating the impact of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) of alcohol in Scotland on cross-border purchasing

This report looks at the impact of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) on cross-border purchasing of alcohol. The report aims to find out if it is happening at a level that affects alcohol consumption, groups of people in Scotland, or retailers | Public Health Scotland, UK

Study finds cross-border alcohol buying is minimal

A study into the impact of minimum unit pricing of alcohol (MUP) in Scotland has found it did not fuel major bulk buying across the border in England | BBC, UK

DDN March 2022

Looking for an escape from reality drew Kelly into online bingo – a few games that led to an all-consuming gambling addiction and financial and emotional devastation (page 6). This addiction may be ‘invisible’ but the drivers can have much in common with any other form of compulsive behaviour that offers us time away from real life | DDN, UK

Women’s alcohol and drug treatment

For many women, turning up at drug and alcohol treatment services can be a daunting experience, especially as women’s needs are often very different from men. Women face different challenges to accessing services to start with, and their experiences once they are in a service can be different too | Collective Voice, UK

Today is the Day: No Smoking Day, 9th March 2022

This toolkit supports local campaign activity for No Smoking Day 2022. This year’s theme is: “Don’t give up on giving up. Every
time you try to stop smoking, you’re a step closer to success.” We are using the voice of health care professionals to communicate this message in the assets we have created | NHS, UK

Independent review of Smokefree 2030 policies: terms of reference

The independent review into smoking will provide advice that will inform the government’s approach to tackling the stark health disparities associated with tobacco use | OHID, UK

Javid calls on families to help NHS by pushing loved ones to improve health

Health secretary says people should help relatives quit smoking, adopt better diets and stop taking drugs | Guardian, UK

Industry influence: a barrier to progress in public health policy

The consumption of health harming commodities such as tobacco, alcohol and foods high in fat, salt and sugar are causes of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and drivers of health inequalities in the UK and worldwide. NCDs such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, liver and lung disease and stroke are estimated to account for 89% of all deaths in the UK | University of Edinburgh, UK

Call for alcohol addiction nurses at GP surgeries

Alcohol problems could be tackled by placing more specialist addiction nurses at GP surgeries in deprived areas, researchers have found | BBC, UK

Only 45% of smokers in hospital get advice on quitting – audit

The British Thoracic Society (BTS) said that more healthcare workers should be trained in how to help patients stop smoking | Yahoo News, UK

Association of quarterly prevalence of e-cigarette use with ever regular smoking among young adults in England: a time–series analysis between 2007 and 2018

[Open access] To assess how changes in the prevalence of e-cigarette use among young adults have been associated with changes in the uptake of smoking in England between 2007 and 2018 | Addiction, UK

New Yorkers With Marijuana Convictions Will Get First Retail Licenses

[Limited number of free articles per week] Officials intend to reserve the first 100 or more retail licenses to sell marijuana in New York for people who have been convicted of related offenses, or their relatives | NYTimes, USA

Ukraine’s opiate users: Russian invasion has severely disrupted access to drug-treatment services

About 317,000 Ukrainians inject drugs like heroin regularly. As of January, 14,868 of them were receiving substitute opiates such as methadone and buprenorphine | Conversation, UK

Hepatitis C in England and the UK

The number of people living with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in England has fallen dramatically, by 37% since 2015, to 81,000 in 2020, with many of those drawn from marginalised and underserved groups in society, such as people who inject drugs. In this report, we present the latest data on HCV, review progress towards World Health Organization (WHO) elimination targets, and highlight the actions needed to reach them | UKHSA, UK