New report on Scotland’s crisis in mental ill health, alcohol and drug use
The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland have released this report exploring the combination of mental illness and substance use, and asks if care, treatment and support are in place for people struggling with these issues. The report finds that currently services are not meeting the needs of people who have both mental ill health and problems with substance use. Strategies, standards and guidelines are in place, but are not being translated into practice. The report makes recommendations to health and social care partnerships and NHS Education for Scotland, as well as to the Scottish Government. Access the report here.
Result4addiction: Practical skills and good practice pointers
Be sure to explore the result4addiction website to access information especially useful for practitioners working in the addiction field. The website provides access to resources to allow addiction professionals to keep up to date through a range of skills based resources. This includes information on 12 step approaches, low mood and addiction, and prescribing for alcohol relapse prevention.
Life with Alcohol and Drugs: Hour by Hour with Holding On
In the latest episode of Scottish Families Life with Alcohol and Drugs podcast, stories are shared from the Hour by Hour with Holding On Campaign that was launched in July as a response to the 2021 drug death statistics. Each story reflects the level of complexity that comes with supporting a loved one with a substance use problem, and echo the words of thousands of families across Scotland who are affected by a loved one’s substance use. Listen here.
Podcast: Wearable technologies and overdose prevention
In this SSA podcast, Dr Alexis Roth provides a preview of her talk set to be delivered at the SSA Annual Conference in November discussing the UnityPhilly app and wearable and other technologies that are being developed to help prevent opiate overdoses. Listen here.
AFINet Webinar Series
The AFINet webinar series continues on the 18th October, focussing on ‘Effectiveness of the ‘Strengthening Families Programme 10-14′ in the UK at preventing substance misuse in 10-14 year olds: A pragmatic RCT’. This webinar will see Dr Jeremy Segrott present the findings from a randomised controlled trial, including background to the programme, and the main trial results.
A second webinar will take place on 8th November at 3pm, this time exploring ‘Mothers experiences of caregiving for their adult children with substance use disorder’. This session will be chaired by Dr Oona St-Amant, Toronto Metropolitan University, who will discuss problematic historical representations of mothers from the literature that have informed medical discourse today. You can register for the sessions here.
Health of people affected by severe and multiple disadvantage
This webinar, taking place on 12th October 12-1pm, will explore the health of people affected by severe and multiple disadvantage. This includes invdividuals experiencing overlapping homelessness, involvement in the criminial justice system, substance use and severe mental illness. Dr Emily Tweed, Clinical Research Fellow at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow will present recent research on this topic, shared in last months newsletter, followed by a Q&A. Register here.
Using/Alone: The role of loved ones in preventing unwitnessed overdose
This event led by researchers on the Relations Study offers a summary of findings from a series of linked qualitative, community-based participatory action research studies conducted in British Columbia, Canada, examining the reasons people decide to use drugs alone, the social-relational contexts in which these decisions are made, and implications for overdose prevention. The webinar aims to bring together parents, practitioners, policy-makers and researchers to share insights and knowledge. The session will be held on the 19th October at 4pm. Register here.
NHS Addictions Provider Alliance: 2022 Annual Conference
The NHS Addictions Provider Alliance is hosting its free online Conference on 8th November 2022. The Conference aims to build upon the success of the ‘Stigma Kills’ campaign to put strategies for tackling stigma into action. The day will include a range of speakers from clinical professionals, third sector leaders and people who have lived experience of stigma. Topics include:
- How we can challenge and reduce the impact of stigma in services and in society
- How we can educate ourselves and others on issues related to stigma
- The impact of stigmatising language on people living with addiction, and how we can address it
For more information and to register visit: https://www.nhsapa.org/conference-2022
Harm Reduction Conference 2023: Strength in Solidarity
Registration for the Harm Reduction International Conference 2023 is now open. The event will be taking place in Melbourne, Australia across the 16th-19th April 2023. Early bird registration to attend in-person can be accessed here. More details on how to attend the Conference virtually will be released in due course. Early bird pricing structure is as follows:
- £595, High Income Countries
- £495 Low Income Countries
More information on the Conference, including the theme, scholarships and the awards scheme can be accessed here.
LGBTQI+ Substance Use: An introduction
A free to access e-learning course on LGBTQI+ Substance Use has been launched by the Scottish Drugs Forum in partnership with Glasgow Council on Alcohol, Kinder Stronger Better, and Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership. This course is aimed at those working in substance use and LGBTQI+ services, and aims to increase knowledge and awareness of how this population use substances, the health inequalities they experience, and the specific barriers they encounter when trying to get support. Access the course here.
Call for interest in academic advisory group for the National Collaborative
The First Minister has appointed Professor Alan Miller to lead the National Collaborative process to integrate human rights into drug and alcohol policy development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The National Collaborative is inviting academics with experience in research on human rights, engagement with people with lived and living experience of problem substance use, community mobilisation and peer research to join an Academic Advisory Group. More information on the National Collaborative is available here.
The group will be called upon to inform and guide the National Collaborative process and in particular to help co-design the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan with the Change Team (who will be mainly people with lived and living experience of problem substance use).
The group will also have the opportunity to help shape a related research project led by the Centre for the Study of Human Rights Law at Strathclyde Law School. The proposed research aims to assess how a human rights-based approach operates in the context of the National Collaborative by looking at how different people engage with the process. The research will contribute towards the evidence base on the human rights-based approach and identify successes and challenges that will be valuable to other sectors seeking to implement this approach.
The Group will be an informal reference point for the National Collaborative so there is no formal membership. The National Collaborative support team will seek advice and contribution from the Group on an ad hoc basis during the development of the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan. The Group will also be able to call for updates and discussion from the Change Team and National Collaborative support team. It is anticipated one or two meetings will be held between October-December 2022 after which quarterly meetings can be expected (this is subject to progress of the Change Team). Meetings will be held virtually.
If you would like to contribute to the Academic Advisory Group, email NationalCollaborative@gov.scot. There will be an open door policy to individuals who want to get involved throughout the lifetime of the National Collaborative (Oct 2022-Dec 2025) but an initial meeting will be convened in November with all those who are interested to determine next steps. If you would like to attend this meeting please email the above address by 14th October 2022.
Home Office open consultation: New consequences for drug possession
Earlier this year the UK Home Office published a white paper, ‘Swift, Certain, Tough’ which proposes a new three-tier framework for adult drug possession offences, and advises that tiers 1 and 3 proposals may apply to Scotland. More information, and access to the paper, can be found here. There is also opportunity to share your views on the proposals outlined in the white paper through a Home Office consultation, which closes on 10th October 2022.