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Weekly news - 20th May 2022


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The characteristics of people who inject drugs in the United Kingdom: changes in age, duration, and incidence of injecting, 1980–2019, using evidence from repeated cross-sectional surveys

[Open access] Mortality and drug treatment data suggest that the median age of people who inject drugs is increasing. We aimed to describe changes in the characteristics of people injecting drugs in the United Kingdom | Addiction, UK

Labour 'Not Yet Convinced' Of The Need To Decriminalise Cannabis, Says Ed Miliband

The former leader spoke out after Sadiq Khan was hit by a shadow cabinet backlash | Huffington Post, UK

Dyfed-Powys Police chief calls for fresh drugs approach

Drug-related deaths in Wales "will continue to rise" unless a different approach is taken, according to Dyfed-Powys Police's chief constable | BBC, UK

British Army provides new funding to help soldiers recover from alcohol use and gambling

Project Reset – a scheme delivered by Humankind to help soldiers in North Yorkshire recover from problematic alcohol use and gambling – has received further funding from the British Army to continue its important work for another year | Humankind, UK

Legalising cannabis in Guernsey proposal submitted

Guernsey's Health and Social Care Committee has submitted its plan to look at legalising cannabis | BBC, UK

Publication of the drug misuse prevention review

The report "Preventing drug use among vulnerable groups of people", commissioned by the Home Office, has been published by the ACMD... | ACMD, UK

E-cigarettes ‘as safe as nicotine patches’ for pregnant smokers trying to quit

Pregnant smokers were more likely to quit when using e-cigarettes than patches after four weeks, study shows | Guardian, UK

Implementation of alcohol minimum unit pricing (MUP): a qualitative study with small retailers

[Open access] Minimum unit pricing for alcohol (MUP) came into effect on 1st May 2018 in Scotland, raising the price of the cheapest shop-bought alcohol. Small retailers are a key source of alcohol for communities, often located in areas of high alcohol-related harm. We sought to examine their experiences of MUP implementation and impact | DEPP, UK

Anabolic androgenic steroid use population size estimation: a first stage study utilising a Delphi exercise

[Open access] Harms associated with anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) use are well-established and a public health concern. Robust estimates of the numbers using AAS are needed to inform responses, however, in the UK these are lacking | DEPP, UK

The 'village' that got me off drink and drugs

At a time when deaths from drugs and alcohol are at an all-time high, a town in north-west England has caught the attention of the government's senior drug advisor. Birkenhead is trying a new way to support addicts and save lives | BBC, UK

Scottish drug misuse database

This release by Public Health Scotland presents the information available from the Scottish Drug Misuse Database (SDMD) on people presenting for initial assessment at specialist drug treatment services in 2020/21. Information from the full first year of the COVID-19 pandemic are presented and the impact of this is discussed in more detail within the full report | Public Health Scotland, UK

Building teenagers’ resilience to say 'No' to smoking

A training programme to help teenagers say “No” if they are offered a cigarette or asked to vape is being offered to schools under a licensing deal signed by the University | University of Leeds, UK

Darren McGarvey's Addictions - Drugs - video

Darren uncovers why Scotland has the highest drug-related death rate in Europe. He begins his journey on the front line of the drug crisis by spending a shift with the ambulance service during a busy Friday evening in Glasgow. He then travels to Fife, where he is trained to use Naloxone, a life-saving treatment that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, and meets Reece, who has been saved by the treatment twice | BBC, UK

Home Affairs Select Committee, Second evidence session of the inquiry into Drugs - 18th May - video

Witnesses include:  Dr Owen Bowden-Jones, Chair, Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs; Dr Emily Finch, Co-chair of the Recovery Committee, Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs; Professor Roger Knaggs, Chair of the Technical Committee, Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs; Professor Ornella Corazza, Professor of Addiction Science, Hertfordshire University; Professor Jo Neill, Professor of Psychopharmacology, Manchester University; Professor David Nutt, Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology, Imperial College; Professor Stuart Reece, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Western Australia | Home Affairs Select Committee, UK

Smoking and social housing: Supporting residents, addressing inequalities

A joint report published by ASH and the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN), setting out the case and opportunities for addressing smoking in social housing | ASH, UK

Neptune eLearning modules (newly revised)

In partnership with the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Project NEPTUNE has developed training modules to improve clinical practice in the management of harms resulting from the use of club drugs and novel psychoactive substances. These eLearning modules are accessible and easy to use for busy front-line clinicians and other practitioners, developed on the principles used by RCPsych for Continuous Professional Development (CPD). They include multi-media and interactive elements and are open access (free of charge) | Project NEPTUNE, UK

Legalising cannabis won’t tackle disproportionate policing outcomes for ethnic minorities, crime minister says

[Possible paywall] “We need to look at disproportionality in policing outcomes from a number of outcomes, but I don't think legalising cannabis is the way,” Mr Malthouse told The Independent. | Independent, UK

Middle-class drug users face random tests and electronic tags

[Limited number of free articles per month] Kit Malthouse plans escalating scale of sanctions that would create a sense of ‘pending catastrophe’ for users | Telegraph, UK