Release’: Understanding access to health services after release from prison
A blog post from The Scottish Centre for Crime & Justice Research introduces a new research study which will explore how health services can better support people released from prison to help support a reduction in the number of drug-related deaths, overdoses and suicides. The study will be led by researchers at the University of Stirling and will involve experts with direct experience of prison, and academics from Edinburgh Napier University and the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde. The study will seek to understand how individuals released from Scottish prisons use health services and explore any barriers to accessing healthcare.
RADAR: Rapid Action Drug Alerts and Response
Public Health Scotland have produced an informational leaflet for Rapid Action Drug Alerts and Response (RADAR). RADAR aims to reduce the short, medium and long-term harms associated with drugs in the Scottish population through identifying trends, risks and clusters of overdose intoxication. RADAR also responds to new and emerging substances, changing harms and other relevant scenarios; advises on and implements immediate harm prevention and control measures; provides high-quality current public health information; and informs decision-making about resource allocation, prevention and service design and delivery. Find out more information here.
National benchmarking report on implementation of the MAT standards
Additionally from Public Health Scotland comes a report on the progress that alcohol and drug partnerships in Scotland are making to meet the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) standards. The standards aim to improve access, choice and care for people who experience drug problems. The report provides aggregate data on the progress of the implementation nationally, with a fuller report to be published in August 2022. Access the report here.
Launch of the ‘Reporting of Substance Media Toolkit’
Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol & Drugs and Adfam have launched the Reporting of Substance Media Toolkit. The online resource aims to support journalists and editors to report on alcohol and drugs with dignity and respect. The Toolkit sets out key recommendations such as appropriate imagery, avoiding stigmatising language and being respectful of people they interview. There is also the recommendation of including support information in every article that reports on alcohol and drugs. The Toolkit is available online at https://www.sfad.org.uk/reporting-of-substance-media-toolkit.
Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol & Drugs: Impact Report
Scottish Families have released their 2021/22 Impact Report, ‘Changing Lives and Saving Lives’. The report details their activity over the last year including information on their Click & Deliver naloxone service, Routes young persons’ project and the Holding On service. Access the report here.
Catalyst Service Recipes: Digital Solutions
The Catalyst Project is a network helping UK society grow their digital skills and processes. The work of this network feeds into the Digital Lifelines project DRNS is supporting. Catalyst have produced a number of ‘recipes’, developed in partnership with charities, which provide information and resources covering steps needed to implement quick digital solutions in a variety of areas. Some recipes of interest include:
ACMD review of the UK naloxone implementation
The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has undertaken a review of the availability and implementation of naloxone in the UK. Key takeaways include:
- The importance of naloxone is apparent, with evidence showing an association between administration of naloxone and a reduction of opioid overdose-related deaths.
- There has been an increase in the number of people who have been administered naloxone over the last ten years.
- More work is needed to widen access to, and increase uptake of, naloxone in community partnerships across the UK.
- Pharmacies are a key provider of take-home naloxone.
- Further research is needed to consider the efficacy of peer-to-peer naloxone within a range of contexts.
- Evidence suggests that the supply of take-home naloxone on release from prison is fragmented across the UK.
- There are multiple service pilot programmes across the UK which currently deliver intranasal naloxone.
- A national joined-up approach to promote the delivery of take-home naloxone across different sectors is necessary, supported by rigorous data recording to measure progress.
Access the full review here.
Mental Health and Substance Use Tayside Pathfinder Programme Newsletter
The Mental Health and Substance Use Tayside Pathfinder Programme released their latest newsletter in June. This newsletter includes:
- Programme updates
- Upcoming events
- Horizon scanning
Access the full update here via Sway, or download the PDF version.
Residential Rehabilitation Pathways: Lived experience interviews
The Scottish Government have recently released a publication exploring pathways into, through and out of residential rehabilitation. The report highlights the perspective of those with lived experience of having accessed residential rehabilitation. This will inform part of a wider body of research exploring residential rehab across Scotland. Access the document here.
Call to amend Misuse of Drugs Regulations
The Faculty of Public Health and Drug Science, the UK’s leading independent scientific body on drugs, have sent a letter to the UK Government, signed by nearly 100 organisations, calling for an amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations to make it easier to pilot overdose prevention centres. The letter is still open for additional signatures. For more information and to sign visit the Faculty of Public Health website.
European Drug Report
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction has recently released its European Drug Report for 2022. The Trends and Developments report presents latest analysis of drugs in Europe, focussing on illicit drug use, related harms and drug supply. Access the report here.
Alcohol and Other Drug use among Sexual Minority Women: Perspectives from two US researchers
The Research Centre for Health (ReaCH) based at Glasgow Caledonian University are hosting this seminar on the 12th July, 11:30am-12:30pm. Dr Tonda Hughes and Dr Laurie Drabble will provide an overview of key findings from research on Alcohol and Other Drug use among sexual minority women. They will discuss methodological challenges and innovations in sampling from their respective research. Register here.
AFINet Webinar: Family resilience in caring for drug addiction in Indonesia
The AFINet webinar series will continue on the 16th August 2022, 12:30pm with an overview of the situation related to problematic use of drugs, alcohol and gambling in Indonesia, and the resources available for affected family members. Dr Ira Kusumawaty will describe a qualitative phenomenological research study of mothers, caring for teenage children with drug problems. Register for the session here.
SDF Conference: Driving Change
On the 31st August 2022, the Scottish Drugs Forum will mark International Overdose Awareness Day with their first face-to-face live conference since Covid-19. Held in Glasgow, the event ‘Driving Change: Improving policy and practice to prevent drug deaths’ will explore policy and practice innovation and discussions will feature on drug death prevention including international perspectives, emergency service response, and the important role of living experience perspectives.
The Conference will be chaired by David Strang, Chair of the Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce. Speakers include:
- Fiona McQueen, Vice Chair of the Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce
- Alan Miller, Professor of Practice in Human Rights at the University of Strathclyde and Chair of Scotland’s Drugs Mission National Collaborative
- Naomi Burke-Shyne, Executive Director of Harm Reduction International
- Alex Stevens, Professor in Criminal Justice
- Dr Saket Priyadarshi, Associate Medical Director, Alcohol and Drug Recovery Services
- Tracey Clusker, Clinical Lead for the Medial Assisted Treatment Standards
- Jason Wallace, Senior Development Officer, SDF
- Wez Steele & KerryAnn Colquhoun, Peer Naloxone, SDF
Tickets will cost £65 for SDF members and £80 for non-members. More information and registration can be accessed here.
Cannabis use in the UK: A quantitative comparison of medical and recreational cannabis users
An MSc student at the University of the West of Scotland is seeking survey respondents as part of their study examining the differences between recreational and medical cannabis use in the UK. Participants must be 18 years or older, a current recreational cannabis user, and currently live in the UK. Additional information on the study and the survey can be accessed here.