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Weekly news - 23rd April 2021

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In date order, Monday to Friday:

Middlesbrough drugs overdose kit hailed as 'lifesaver'

Street wardens with drug overdose kits are believed to have helped save the lives of 12 people in Middlesbrough in the past year | BBC, UK

Scottish election 2021: Drugs activist Peter Krykant criticises Scottish Government for 'causing pain to thousands'

A Holyrood candidate standing on a platform to tackle Scotland’s drugs deaths crisis has said Scottish Government decisions to slash funding for rehabilitation and outreach work has "caused pain to thousands of families" | Falkirk Herald, UK

Women in England almost twice as likely as men to be prescribed opiate painkillers

Experts worried about high use of drugs such as codeine and tramadol after prescriptions rose during Covid pandemic | Guardian, UK

Tobacco Harm Reduction: A Burning Issue for Asia

Sixty per cent of the world’s smokers live in this region and almost half the global deaths from smoking occur here. Asia is also home to nine in every ten users of smokeless tobacco, leading to high rates of oral cancer. In a number of countries, public health is severely undermined where governments either control or have a significant stake in domestic tobacco companies. New solutions are needed to tackle the public health threat from smoking and tobacco use - but safer nicotine products are banned in many countries. Would tobacco harm reduction improve public health in Asia? And if so - what are the obstacles that stand in its way? | GSTHR, UK

Sex, drugs and rock’n’roll’? Link between taking illegal drugs and non-traditional sex found

People who take mulitple illicit drugs are significantly more likely to engage in non-traditional sexual activities such as sex with a friend or stranger, anal sex and BDSM, according to a UK study by academics from the University of Roehampton, The University of Liverpool and Bournemouth University | University of Liverpool, UK

Covid: North East alcohol consumption 'a tsunami of harm', campaigner fears

A "tsunami of harm" could hit the North East in terms of alcohol consumption during the Covid-19 pandemic, an outgoing health campaigner fears | BBC, UK

Alcohol affordability: implications for alcohol price policies. A cross-sectional analysis in middle and older adults from UK Biobank

Increasing the price of alcohol reduces alcohol consumption and harm. The role of food complementarity, transaction costs and inflation on alcohol demand are determined and discussed in relation to alcohol price policies | Journal of Public Health, UK

Commission on Alcohol Harm: ‘It’s Everywhere’—Alcohol’s Public Face and Private Harm

A recent report by the Commission on Alcohol Harm highlighted the damage caused by alcohol abuse. Setting out a number of recommendations, it called for the Government to publish a new comprehensive alcohol strategy. This article provides a brief overview of the report and the Government’s current policy on alcohol | House of Lords Library, UK

Heavier social media use linked to more frequent drinking in young people

Heavier social media use is associated with more frequent alcohol consumption among young people in the UK, according to a new study co-authored by ICLS researchers Yvonne Kelly and Noriko Cable | UCL, UK

The beauty ideal fuelling an illicit drugs trade

It’s widely available online. But a new BBC Three documentary, Dangerous Curves: Get Thicc, Get Sick?, reveals that many don’t realise Apetamin is actually an unlicensed medicine - and its misuse is causing serious harm | BBC, UK

Barriers to research beyond cannabinoids: call for evidence

The call for evidence on barriers to research beyond cannabinoids has been extended to 31 May 2021 | ACMD, UK

New IAS-led research on the appeal of alcohol adverts to underage adolescents out today

A new study published in the journal Alcohol & Alcoholism today has found alcohol adverts may commonly appeal to underage adolescents. Half of 11-17-year-olds surveyed reacted positively to the adverts featuring Fosters and Smirnoff brands (53% and 52% respectively), and a third reacted positively to an advert featuring the Haig Club brand (34%) | IAS, UK

Bath scientists receive £1.3 million grant to develop a portable spice-detection device

University of Bath scientists have been awarded a research grant of £1.3 million to develop a portable device to detect the street drug ‘spice’ on the spot. They expect the new technology to be ready for use in clinical settings, prisons and across police services within three years | News Medical, UK

Scottish Drugs Forum Launch Manifesto - Drugs: Policy and Aims – A Manifesto for Scotland

This manifesto recommends that prevention of problem drug use involves addressing its origins and that there should therefore be more support to parents, families and vulnerable young people; improvement in health and other services’ engagement with people in need of support and in addressing Scotland’s social, income and health inequalities that result from poverty | SDF, UK

Covid: Nearly one in four Scots found to have been problem drinking during pandemic

Nearly one in four Scots have been found to have been problem drinking during the pandemic while nearly half have said they have consumed more alcohol than usual, a new survey has revealed | Herald, UK

Covid: Welsh pubs and restaurants to open indoors in May

People in Wales could be able to have a pint of beer or glass of wine inside a pub or restaurant for the first time in five-and-a-half-months from 17 May | BBC, UK

Change Grow Live launches country-wide homeless outreach initiative

Eighteen new homelessness outreach services, employing 130 staff, have been launched across England by Change Grow Live. Alongside access to drug and alcohol treatment, the specialist teams will offer wraparound holistic support including wider mental and physical health, as well as help with housing and benefits | DDN News, UK