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Weekly news - 6th August 2021

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In date order, Monday to Friday:

Drug-related Deaths in Scotland in 2020

Statistics of drug-related deaths in 2020 and earlier years, broken down by age, sex, substances implicated in the death, underlying cause of death, and NHS Board and Council areas | National Records of Scotland, UK

Six ways to tackle Scotland's drugs crisis

In January, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced £250m in extra funding over five years to tackle the rising number of fatalities after admitting that her government should have done more. But almost three years after the deaths were declared a public health emergency, what can be done to tackle the problem? | BBC, UK

Consideration of barriers to research: part 1

Recommendations to reduce barriers to research, using compounds described by the third generation synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists generic definition | ACMD, UK

Has the increased participation in the national campaign ‘Dry January’ been associated with cutting down alcohol consumption in England?

[Open access] Dry January is a national multimedia campaign in the UK that encourages people to abstain from drinking alcohol during the month of January. The population-level campaign makes extensive use of email and social media to support participants and has reported a substantial increase in participation since 2015 | DAD, UK

Government consults on increasing access to lifesaving overdose medicine

Consultation launched to make lifesaving medicine which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose available to more frontline workers | Department of Health and Social Care, The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, and Jo Churchill MP, UK

Statistics on Alcohol: England

This note provides a summary of statistics on alcohol consumption among adults and children in England. Data on alcohol-related hospital admissions in England and alcohol-related deaths in England, the UK and worldwide is also shown | House of Commons Library, UK

The Right to Recovery Bill explained

The Bill enshrines in law the right to seek treatment and that treatment to lay out ALL appropriate treatments options that the COUNTRY has at its disposal | FAVOR, UK

Tragic Deaths in London & Bristol as Clubs Reopen Across the UK

The return of night life sadly comes with the return of increased drug-related harm. Over the weekend two young people died in Bristol and London from what is believed to be high strength MDMA pills | Volteface, UK

Smoking-related cancer twice as prevalent among poor in England

Overall cancer rates are higher among the wealthy, finds Cancer Research UK – but smoking and its cancers are now concentrated among the poor | Guardian, UK

Black Review recommends additional £1.78 billion for treatment and recovery

As noted previously Collective Voice strongly welcomes Dame Carol Black’s Independent Review of Drugs and its call for increased funding. In conversation with some colleagues we have noted confusion as to the headline amount called for by the author. We offer a short clarification below | Collective Voice, UK

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

Drug poisoning deaths in England and Wales reach record high

Charities warn of a public health emergency after data shows 4,561 deaths in 2020 – up 3.8% on previous year | Guardian, UK

Drugs minister promises action on 'national shame'

Scotland's drugs minister has promised to make tackling drugs deaths a priority", describing the latest figures as a "national shame." However, Angela Constance would not commit to supporting a Right to Recovery Bill being proposed by the Scottish Conservatives | BBC, UK

Could drug checking help prevent harms in Scotland?

A team of experts working in partnership with the University of Stirling is exploring how drug checking services could be developed for Scotland in order to reduce harms | University of Stirling, 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

Sativex brain tumour trial fundraising launched

A bid to fund a medical trial of a cannabis-based mouth spray in treatment of the most aggressive form of brain tumour has been launched | BBC, UK

Boris Johnson 'not in favour' of drug consumption rooms

The prime minister told BBC Scotland that he was "not in favour of encouraging people to take more drugs". And he instead urged the Scottish government to sign up to Project Adder, which takes a "tough approach" to drug couriers and dealers | BBC, UK

Alcohol linked to more cancers than thought, study finds

Imperial College London researchers also find that drinking coffee protects against liver cancer | Guardian, UK

LGA – Licensing powers need to cover public health

Giving councils the powers to consider the public health impact of licensing decisions is vital to protect communities from harm, reduce NHS costs and save lives, the Local Government Association says today | LGA, UK

Proposal to give more nurses right to hand out overdose-reversal medicine

The government wants to give more nurses access to a life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, in a bid to curb spiralling numbers of drug-related deaths | Nursing Times, UK

Drug user survives as Cambridgeshire Police use Naloxone spray - video

Footage of an unconscious drug user coming round after being administered a life-saving nasal spray has been released by Cambridgeshire Police | BBC, UK

As Bristol’s latest drug death rocks the city, can getting your drugs tested save lives?

The Cable speaks to Bristol Drugs Project about their harm reduction efforts amid safety concerns about young people partying after the recent reopening | The Bristol Cable, UK

Could psychedelic drugs revolutionise mental health care in the UK?

The UK’s first psychedelic assisted therapy clinic of its kind plans to open its doors to the public this autumn | ITV, UK