Reports: August

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Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales: 2020 registrations

In 2020, 4,561 deaths related to drug poisoning were registered in England and Wales (equivalent to a rate of 79.5 deaths per million people); this is 3.8% higher than the number of deaths registered in 2019 (4,393 deaths; 76.7 deaths per million) | ONS, UK

Smoking costs UK economy in excess of £19 billion a year, new report finds

Released following World Lung Cancer Day, ILC’s report ”Up in smoke” highlights the costs of smoking not just to individuals’ health, but to the sustainability of the broader healthcare system and to the public purse as the Government aims to “build back better” from the pandemic | International Longevity Centre, UK

A Broken System: Drug Control, Detention and Treatment of People Who Use Drugs in Sri Lanka

Over the past decade, the government of Sri Lanka has adopted a militarised approach to drug control, with the military playing an increasingly significant role in the ‘war on drugs’. This includes not only participation in anti-drug trafficking operations, but also in drug treatment and prevention | HRI, UK

The seven key messages of the alcohol industry

This revised publication is written for anyone who wants to learn more about the strategies that the alcohol industry applies worldwide, nationally and locally to improve their position and image. Practice has shown that this information can be of great value to professionals, politicians and other interested persons who are confronted for the first time with interventions from the alcohol industry in their work | European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing, The Netherlands

Spending Review 2021 Focused Policy Assessment of Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery: An analysis of expenditure and performance in the area of drug and alcohol misuse (PDF)

Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery 2017 to 2025 (RHSR), continues the work of previous strategies on reducing the harms associated with substance misuse in Irish society but places a greater emphasis on supporting a health-led response to drug and alcohol use, and a further move away from a criminal justice approach. Alcohol misuse is also included in RHSR | Government of Ireland, Ireland

Collaborative Research Project Published – The LUCID-B report

Last summer, our outreach team at BDP worked with colleagues from the Universities of Bath and Bristol to find out if people who inject drugs were being disproportionately affected by the virus, the fallout of lockdowns and social distancing. We wanted to know if service delivery could be adjusted to meet people’s needs under challenging circumstances | BDP, UK

Alcohol-specific deaths

This statistical report details information on the number of deaths that were registered in Scotland in 2020 which are classified as alcohol-specific. It also includes breakdowns by sex, age, cause of death and deprivation | National Records of Scotland, UK

A joint thematic inspection of community-based drug treatment and recovery work with people on probation

The findings in this inspection were consistent with the overall picture, with probation services often overstretched. Practitioners did not always have the time to examine individuals’ back stories and identify factors that could help support them into recovery, stay safe and move away from drug-related offending. Probation court teams made too few recommendations for treatment. [Press Release here] | HM Inspectorate of Probation, UK

Australian Burden of Disease Study 2018 – Key findings

In 2018, 38% of the burden of disease could have been prevented by reducing or avoiding exposure to the modifiable risk factors examined in this study. The risk factors contributing the most burden in 2018 were tobacco use (8.6%), overweight (including obesity) (8.4%), followed by dietary risks (5.4%), high blood pressure (5.1%), and alcohol use (4.5%) | AIHW, Australia

Alcohol and self-harm: A qualitative study (PDF)

This qualitative study was commissioned by Alcohol Change UK in Wales to explore how and why alcohol and self-harm are related, and how alcohol, self-harm, and related services, are experienced and understood. Eleven people who had experience with selfharm and alcohol use were recruited through mental health support organisations across England and Wales. Interviews invited participants to ‘tell their stories’ about self-harm, alcohol use, the relationship between the two practices, and their experiences with services in relation to these | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Trends in Nonfatal and Fatal Overdoses Involving Benzodiazepines — 38 States and the District of Columbia, 2019–2020

From 2019 to 2020, benzodiazepine overdose visits per 100,000 emergency department visits increased (23.7%), both with (34.4%) and without (21.0%) opioid co-involvement. From April–June 2019 to April–June 2020, prescription and illicit benzodiazepine-involved overdose deaths increased 21.8% and 519.6%, respectively. During January–June 2020, 92.7% of benzodiazepine-involved deaths also involved opioids, and 66.7% involved illicitly manufactured fentanyls | CDC, USA

Reported drinking and driving: data tables (RAS51)

Data about the reported drink drive accidents and casualties, produced by Department for Transport | Department for Transport, UK

Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2021

Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2021 reveals that more than 2,000 Australians have lost their lives to overdose for the sixth year in a row | Penington Institute, Australia