Low socioeconomic status groups are more likely to drink at extreme levels, which may partially explain the alcohol harm paradox. Policies that address alcohol-related health inequalities need to consider extreme drinking levels in some sub-groups that may be associated with multiple markers of deprivation. This will require a more disaggregated understanding of drinking practices
Highlighting the complexities of policy responses to alcohol related harm.
Joint statement on e-cigarettes by Public Health England and other UK public health organisations.
"We all agree that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful than smoking. One in two lifelong smokers dies from their addiction. All the evidence suggests that the health risks posed by e-cigarettes are relatively small by comparison but we must continue to study the long-term effects. And yet, millions of smokers have the impression that e-cigarettes are at least as harmful as tobacco. Over 1.3 million UK e-cigarette users have completely stopped smoking and almost 1.4 million others continue to smoke. We have a responsibility to provide clear information on the evidence we have, to encourage complete smoking cessation and help prevent relapse to smoking. The public health opportunity is in helping smokers to quit, so we may encourage smokers to try vaping but we certainly encourage vapers to stop smoking tobacco completely."
Millar’s personal account of “Spice” is a useful reminder that, although drugs are used by people from all socioeconomic groups, they acutely affect those who are socially disadvantaged.1 We’re collectively ignorant about a range of factors related to synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (SCRAs) and traditional forms of cannabis. We don’t have reliable information on …
Around five per cent of the adult population, or nearly 250 million people between the ages of 15 and 64, used at least one drug in 2014, according to the latest World Drug Report released today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Although substantial, this figure has not grown over the past four years in proportion to the global population. The report, however, suggests that the number of people classified as suffering from drug use disorders has increased disproportionally for the first time in six years. There are now over 29 million people within this category (compared to the previous figure of 27 million). Additionally, around 12 million people inject drugs with 14 per cent of these living with HIV. The overall impact of drug use in terms of health consequences continues to be devastating.
Highlighting the need for increased investment in harm reduction and treatment services.
States are aggressively enacting laws aimed at curbing prescription opioid abuse and overdose. The laws appear to have no impact on hazardous prescribing for disabled workers, a large population with high opioid use. People in this group, presumably a population the laws aim to protect, are 10 times more likely than average to die of prescription opioid overdose.
This study highlights hazardous patterns of opioid prescribing for (and use by) adults with a disability, combined with higher rates of poverty, complex medical conditions and overdose fatalities.
Studies have shown that people who use substances tend to be more highly stimatized than other groups, and substance use is often attributed to moral failing rather than being recognized as a legitimate health condition. Stigma can even reduce help-seeking and act as a barrier to treatment and services. This study investigates this problem further by comparing people with substance use disorder (SUD) to those who smoke cigarettes or are obese to see which condition is most highly stigmatized. It also investigates if public opinion differs based on having an active disorder or one that is in remission.
While this study doesn't come up with any surprise findings for those familiar with the AOD field, it does highlight the fact that the experience of stigma associated with AOD use does not significantly diminish for people in recovery, and the obvious need to challenge public attitudes.
Recovery-oriented systems of care (ROSC) offer a promising approach to improving care for the millions of individuals who have substance use disorders and, very frequently, co-occurring mental health disorders, say researchers.
Close to 250 Canadian organizations have signed a statement urging federal and provincial governments to immediately implement prisonbased needle and syringe programs (PNSPs) in institutions across the country. Representing the views of a broad cross-section of Canadian civil society, the statement highlights the overwhelming scientific, empirical and human rights rationale for Canada’s governments to act without delay.
A new review examines three areas of study – one, the biological pathways of alcohol-linked breast cancer; two, the epidemiological risk relationship between drinking and breast cancer; and three, the global burden of breast cancer incidence and mortality that is attributable to drinking – with a focus on light drinking.
Study links co-consumption of alcohol and caffeine with significantly increased alcohol intake and BAC.
Despite a clear rationale for embedding brief interventions in community pharmacies, this UK trial found no evidence that they would reduce hazardous or harmful drinking.
Authors suggest more training for pharmacists could improve outcomes. Other studies indicate providing a brief warning about health impacts (and a brochure) might be just as effective as a more intensive brief intervention.
A meta-analysis of smoking cessation therapies, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), showed that clinicians should strongly consider varenicline as the first treatment option for women who are trying to quit smoking.
Study finds Varenicline, was about 1.4-fold more effective than bupropion or the nicotine patch for women, compared to men.
Engaging people with drug use experience, or ‘peers,’ in decision-making helps to ensure harm reduction services reflect current need. There is little published on the implementation, evaluation, and effectiveness of meaningful peer engagement
Highlighting the importance of a systematic approach to achieving meaningful Consumer Participation outcomes.
In 2014–15, around 850 alcohol and other drug treatment services provided just over 170,000 treatment episodes to around 115,000 clients. The top 4 drugs that led clients to seek treatment were alcohol (38% of treatment episodes), cannabis (24%), amphetamines (20%) and heroin (6%). The proportion of episodes where clients were receiving treatment for amphetamines has continued to increase over the last 10 years, from 11% of treatment episodes in 2005–06 to 20% in 2014–15. The median age of clients in AOD treatment services is increasing, 33 years in 2014–15, up from 31 in 2005–06.
New national data from the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare.
June 3rd, 2016 The medical examiner's report released yesterday said that Prince died from an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Prince was unlikely to have been prescribed fentanyl, a very powerful synthetic opioid originally created for palliative care (an investigation into how he obtained it
Stanton Peele considers the distorting effect of media coverage on public understanding of America's 'opioid crisis'.
Whether alcohol tax rises would be an acceptable and effective alternative could determine the legality under EU law of Scotland’s law permitting a minimum unit price for alcohol. This analysis predicts tax rises would curb consumption and save lives, but not without perhaps unacceptably hitting the pockets of non-harmful drinkers.
NPS (Novel Psychoactive Substances) have become a prison phenomenon, much more widely used on the inside than out. User Voice undertook a distinctly peer-led consultation in nine English prisons, on behalf of the NHS, exploring how prisoners understood the phenomenon of former ‘legal highs’ in prison.
User Voice consultation with prisoners estimates a third are using synthetics and highlights some of the impacts of their use within British prisons.
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