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DrugWise Weekly - 1st December 2023




In date order, Monday to Friday

Tobacco firm calls for tougher rules on vapes

The London-based tobacco company BAT has called for “more stringent” regulations on vaping, including a licensing regime similar to alcohol and cigarettes | BBC, UK

400,000 pregnant women among 5.1m Brits who vape everyday, poll reveals

A survey by the UK Addiction Treatment Group, shared exclusively with ITV News indicated the scale of Brits hooked on vapes | ITV, UK

Fifteen new synthetic opioids to be made illegal

Following advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, 15 new dangerous synthetic opioids will become Class A drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Five other drugs will also be controlled as part of the recent ban, including cumyl-PeGaClone, a synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist which can cause complications such as seizures and liver failure. Three stimulants which create similar effects to ketamine - diphenidine, ephenidine and methoxyphenidine - will also be controlled as Class B drugs. Finally, a short acting benzodiazepine named remimazolam will also be controlled as a Class C drug. Its legitimate medical uses will then be enabled through amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 | Home Office and The Rt Hon Chris Philp MP, UK

RADAR A to Z: A guide to common drug names in Scotland

This guide has been produced by the RADAR Team at Public Health Scotland (PHS). The purpose of this document is to provide a resource for emergency service call handlers to appropriately identify, categorise and coordinate the response to emergency call outs involving drugs. It includes key street names of common drugs as well as brief descriptions of drug types and categories | Public Health Scotland, UK

UK hypnotherapists report rise in vapers seeking help to quit

Clients are mostly young women concerned about their health and environmental impact | Guardian, UK

European Drug Report 2023: Trends and Developments

The European Drug Report 2023: Trends and Developments presents the EMCDDA’s latest analysis of the drug situation in Europe. Focusing on illicit drug use, related harms and drug supply, the report contains a comprehensive set of national data across these themes and key harm reduction interventions | EMCDDA, Portugal

Homeless Deaths 2022

In 2022 there were an estimated 89 drug-misuse deaths of people experiencing homelessness. While this is a fall over the past year, drug-misuse accounted for 36% of all homeless deaths | National Records of Scotland, UK

Alcohol-related homeless deaths highest on record

New figures suggest 244 people died while experiencing homelessness in Scotland last year | BBC, UK

Vaping: Head teachers crack down on post-Covid e-cigarette spike

Schools have been clamping down on vaping following a rise in kids using e-cigarettes since the pandemic. Teachers have been left frustrated by the attractiveness and availability of the products to teenagers | BBC, UK

Elf Bar vape adverts banned in UK over ‘greener’ recycling claims

Ads gave misleading impression that recycling vapes is easy and can be done at home, says watchdog | Guardian, UK

Social media use and health risk behaviours in young people: systematic review and meta-analysis

Health risk behaviours were defined as use of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, electronic nicotine delivery systems, unhealthy dietary behaviour, inadequate physical activity, gambling, and anti-social, sexual risk, and multiple risk behaviours... Social media use is associated with adverse health risk behaviours in young people, but further high quality research is needed to establish causality, understand effects on health inequalities, and determine which aspects of social media are most harmful | BMJ, UK

Two thirds of the public back raising the age of sale to create a smokefree generation

A new YouGov poll for Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) finds that 67% of people in England back the Prime Minister’s plans to create a smokefree generation by raising the age of sale so that it will never be legal to sell tobacco to anyone born after the start of 2009 (14% oppose) | ASH, UK

Elfbar: Top vape firm drops sweet flavours over appeal to kids

The UK's leading vape brand Elfbar and its sister brand Lost Mary say they will drop dessert and soft drink flavours, which have been criticised for appealing to children | BBC, UK

Consultation on Restricting Alcohol Advertising and Promotion: Analysis of responses

Analysis (PDF) of responses to the public consultation on potential restrictions to alcohol advertising and promotion in Scotland | Scottish Government, UK

World AIDS Day: concerns over stimulant injecting and late HIV diagnoses in Europe

On the eve of World AIDS Day, the EMCDDA showcases the latest data on HIV among people who inject drugs (PWID) and explores how countries are performing on global health sector objectives to tackle HIV/AIDS. The data underscore growing concerns that a potential rise in stimulant injecting and delayed HIV diagnoses could jeopardise the slow, but constant, progress seen in recent years in HIV prevention and treatment in this population | EMCDDA, Portugal

Buvidal: is it really a ‘game changer’ in the treatment of problematic opioid use?

To overcome problematic opioid use, traditional forms of opioid substitution therapy, such as methadone and oral buprenorphine, have become valuable tools. Research shows that patients receiving substitution therapy are more likely to stay in treatment and stop using heroin than patients receiving treatments that do not involve substitutes – such as counselling or group therapy | Conversation, UK