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Reports: November


Peer-led COVID19 Impact Survey 2020

Many Drug and alcohol users struggle at the best of times – so what was the impact when the whole country went into lockdown? Could they still buy drugs? Could they still shoplift to fund their use? What was the impact on their family? Did they relapse? Did their alcohol use increase with the rest of the population? These were the questions we wanted to ask, to help us plan our response if the anticipated ‘second peak’ arrived | FAVOR, UK

Local tobacco control profiles for England: November 2020 update

An overview of the extent of tobacco use, tobacco related harm and the measures being taken to reduce this harm at a local level in England | PHE, UK

Covid-19 public health road map: Alcohol consumption (PDF)

This roadmap aims to support health officials to consider changes to alcohol consumption that may have occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic and to use psychologicallyinformed behaviour change approaches to optimise health improvement and mitigate increases in alcohol use | BPS, UK

EMCDDA initial report on the new psychoactive substance MDMB-4en-PINACA

Methyl 3,3-dimethyl-2-(1-(pent-4-en-1-yl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido)butanoate (MDMB-4en-PINACA is a synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist. Similar to other synthetic cannabinoids, it is sold as a ‘legal’ replacement for cannabis and controlled synthetic cannabinoids. Because of their high potency, synthetic cannabinoids can pose a high risk of severe poisoning, which in some cases can be fatal | EMCDDA, Portugal

EMCDDA initial report on the new psychoactive substance 4F-MDMB-BICA

Methyl 2-({[1-(4-fluorobutyl)-1H-indol-3-yl]carbonyl}amino)-3,3-dimethylbutanoate (4FMDMB-BICA) is a synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist. Similar to other synthetic cannabinoids, it is sold as a ‘legal’ replacement for cannabis. Because of their high potency, synthetic cannabinoids can pose a high risk of severe poisoning, which in some cases can be fatal | EMCDDA, Portugal

Burning Issues: The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction 2020

The central theme of this report, enshrined in many international treaties, is the universal right to health, including for those who for whatever reason continue to engage in risky behaviours. Harm reduction refers to a range of pragmatic policies, regulations and actions which either reduce health risks by providing safer forms of products or substances, or encourage less risky behaviours. Harm reduction does not focus primarily on the eradication of products or behaviours | KAC, UK

Drug Policy and the Development Fallacy (PDF)

Today the causes of illicit drug cultivation are, at least on paper, almost universally recognised to have socio-economic causes: the recourse to illegal activity is considered to be a response to poverty, marginalisation and a lack of economic opportunities | GDPO, UK

Small change: alcohol at pocket money prices AHA pricing survey 2020

The cost of alcohol to our health and society is significant: alcohol is the leading cause of ill-health, early mortality, and disability among 15-49-year-olds in England.1 The harmful use of alcohol is associated with more than 200 health conditions, including seven types of cancer and heart disease | AHA UK, UK

Exploring the factors that influence harmful alcohol use through the refugee journey: a qualitative study

Drawing on interviews with people with current experience of seeking asylum in the UK, the report sheds light on a little understood topic, and highlights how refugees and asylum seekers who do experience harmful alcohol use in the UK do not arrive with these issues, but rather develop them as a result of destitution, or being placed under a condition of 'No Recourse to Public Funds' (NRPF) | SHAAP, UK

Saving a lost decade: How a new deal for public health can help build a healthier nation

In this report, we argue that the decision to remove health protection functions from Public Health England to a new National Institute for Health Protection presents an opportunity to reimagine and design a better public health system | Policy Exchange, UK

Preliminary patterns in circumstances surrounding opioid-related deaths in Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic

Within Ontario, the first wave of the pandemic was managed with public health restrictions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which included physical distancing measures that resulted in reduced capacity for pharmacies, outpatient clinics, and harm reduction sites providing care to people who use drugs. Despite the intention to reduce the impact of COVID-19, there is concern that these measures could lead to unintended harms | ODPRN, Canada

Prevention and Treatment of HIV Among People Living with Substance Use and/or Mental Disorders

This guide reviews interventions for people living with substance use and mental disorders who are at risk for or living with HIV. Selected interventions are in alignment with goals of the federal “Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America” (EHE) initiative | SAMHSA, USA

Childhood vulnerability to victimisation in England and Wales: year ending March 2017 to year ending March 2019

Victimisation and negative behaviours of children aged 10 to 15 years living in a household with an adult who reported experiencing domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental ill-health (the so-called "toxic trio" factors) based on findings from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) | ONS, UK

Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England April 2019 to March 2020

51% of people successfully quit (self-reported). Of 221,678 people setting a quit date, 114,153 were successful. Of those successfully quitting, 62% had their results confirmed by Carbon Monoxide verification | NHS Digital, UK

ESPAD Report 2019

The report is based on the findings of a 2019 survey of 15- to 16- year-old students in 35 European countries and provides a unique insight into substance use and other forms of risk behaviour. It includes comparable data on illicit drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, e-cigarettes and social media as well as gaming and gambling | ESPAD and EMCDDA, Portugal

ESPAD 2019: European Schools Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs in Ireland (PDF)

This report presents key findings from the 2019 ESPAD survey in Ireland and provides information on prevalence of substance use (alcohol, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, illicit drugs, inhalants and new psychoactive substances), perceived availability of substances, age of initiation of substance use, and prevalence of internet use, gaming and gambling. Associated factors including gender, social class, familial and peer variables are also examined for each behaviour | Tobacco Free Research Institute Ireland, Ireland

Report on the risk assessment of N,N-diethyl-2- [[4-(1-methylethoxy)phenyl]methyl]-5-nitro-1Hbenzimidazole- 1-ethanamine (isotonitazene) in accordance with Article 5c of Regulation (EC) No 1920/2006 (as amended)

This publication presents the data and findings of the risk assessment on N,N-diethyl-2-[[4-(1-methylethoxy)phenyl]methyl]-5-nitro-1H-benzimidazole-1- ethanamine (isotonitazene), carried out by the extended Scientific Committee of the EMCDDA on 26 May 2020 | EMCDDA, Portugal

Alcohol related hospital statistics

In the financial year 2019 to 2020 there were 35,781 alcohol-related hospital admissions (stays) in general acute hospitals in Scotland | ISD Scotland, UK

Two thirds of serving or ex-Service personnel with a current or prior alcohol problem are not seeking help

A new report launched today (17th November) by the University of Liverpool and King’s College London shows that more than two thirds (71%) of serving and ex-Service personnel who self-reported a current or prior alcohol problem, have not sought help | University of Liverpool, UK

Supervised Injection Facilities and Other Supervised Consumption Sites: Effectiveness and Value (PDF)

The purpose of this assessment is to evaluate the health and economic outcomes of a SIF. This review seeks to answer the question: What is the net health benefit of implementing a SIF (which includes an SSP) versus an SSP alone? | ICER, USA

WHO/Europe highlights how alcohol undermines sustainable development across the WHO European Region

A new factsheet, “Alcohol consumption and sustainable development”, prepared by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, draws attention to the barriers alcohol consumption presents across the Region to achieving 13 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) | WHO, Denmark

STEPS survey reveals high prevalence of noncommunicable disease risk factors in Ukraine

Over one third of Ukrainians were tobacco smokers in 2019, according to the results of the first nationwide, large-scale STEPwise approach to surveillance (STEPS) survey on the main risk factors for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in Ukraine. The data also demonstrate a large gender gap: 50.3% of men smoked compared to 16.7% of women | WHO, Denmark

Exploring substance use in prisons: a case study approach in 5 closed male English prisons

Research involved case study methodology, exploring factors associated with substance use in 5 English prisons | MoJ, UK

More than four million over 50s are binge drinking at least once a week during lockdown

More than one in two (51.2%) over 50s are drinking at a level that could cause health problems now or in the future, with nearly one in four (23.7%) classed as high risk or possibly dependent | We Are With You, UK

Forward Trust Social Impact Report

The report showcases the wide range of support that we provided to over 16,500 clients in 2019/20, covering the reach and impact of five main areas of work: drug and alcohol recovery, health and wellbeing, housing, employment and connections with friends and family | Forward Trust, UK

50.6 Million U.S. Adults Currently Use Tobacco Products

Findings from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released today show that approximately 1 in 5 U.S. adults reported currently using a tobacco product in 2019, with about 80% of those adults reporting that they use combustible products such as cigarettes | CDC, USA

An assessment of the harms of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), and closely related compounds

This report provides an updated harms assessment of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and related substances | ACMD, UK

Emerging evidence of Afghanistan’s role as a producer and supplier of ephedrine and methamphetamine

This paper provides an analysis of the available data that suggest that a methamphetamine industry is rapidly being established in Afghanistan. The analysis provided is based on information from key informants, documentary sources and the analysis of satellite imagery. The paper also highlights an expanding market for ephedra that links the mountainous central region of Afghanistan to the former deserts of the south-west | EMCDDA, Portugal

Health at a Glance: Europe

Harmful consumption of alcohol is responsible for another 255 000 to 290 000 deaths per year across EU countries. While alcohol control policies have reduced overall alcohol consumption in many countries over the past decade, heavy alcohol consumption remains an issue. One-third of adults report at least one “binge drinking” event in the past month, and more than one‑fifth of adolescents aged 15 years old report having been drunk more than once in their life | European Commission, Belgium

Alcohol deaths

There were 1,020 alcohol-specific deaths registered in Scotland in 2019, 10% fewer than in 2018 and the lowest annual total since 2013 (1,002).
2019 represents the first substantial decrease in recent years, after a period of general increase since 2012. It also represents 28% fewer deaths than the peak of 1,417 registered in 2006 | National Records of Scotland, UK

Veterans’ substance use has devastating impact on family members

The families of veterans with substance use problems struggle with high levels of isolation and loneliness and experience extreme distress and despair, a new report has revealed | University of York, UK