DDN April2022 April 2022 | Page 4


Met should carry naloxone , says London Assembly Health Committee

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London ’ s mayor should work with the Metropolitan Police to ensure that its officers routinely carry naloxone spray , according to a new harm reduction report from the London Assembly Health Committee . Police Scotland recently announced that it was rolling out its naloxone programme across the whole of the country ( DDN , March , page 4 ), following successful pilot schemes .

Naloxone is ‘ not as readily available as it should be ’ in the capital , says Reducing drug deaths in London , which also calls on the government to introduce a nationwide naloxone programme in England to end the ‘ postcode lottery of provision ’. The committee also want to see consumption rooms piloted in London , and for drug-checking services to be provided at clubs , music events and other venues .

‘ Considerable progress ’

Just under 10 per cent of Londoners report previous-year drug use , the document states . ‘ As a diverse city , with pockets of both extreme wealth and extreme poverty , London has highly contrasting drug use scenes , which differ by local area and by socioeconomic , cultural and ethnic groupings ,’ it says . Earlier this year , the mayor ’ s office was forced to defend its as-yet unapproved diversion scheme in three boroughs for young people caught with cannabis , after media reports that it was planning to ‘ decriminalise drugs in London ’. ‘ Too many people are still dying from drug-related causes in London ,’ said committee chair Caroline Russell . ‘ We investigated how to address this tragedy and find out what practical , life-saving interventions could be used to reduce drug harm in our city . Our investigation found that naloxone could save someone ’ s life if it ' s used quickly after an opioid overdose . That is why we are urging the mayor to ensure the Met routinely carry naloxone , a simple and proven way to reduce opioid deaths .
Additional measures ... such as a pilot for safe drug consumption rooms and the introduction of drug checking services , can start to bring down the growing numbers of people sadly losing their lives ...
Additional measures recommended in our report , such as a pilot for safe drug consumption rooms and the introduction of drug checking services , can start to bring down the growing numbers of people sadly losing their lives due to problematic drug use .’ Document at www . london . gov . uk

Sky Betting fined towards eliminating hep C

BONNE TERRE LIMITED , which trades as Sky Betting and Gaming ,
THE PREVALENCE OF CHRONIC HEPATITIS C in England was just over 80,000 in 2020 , according to UKHSA , down from almost 130,000 in 2015 – a fall of nearly 40 per cent . The figures show that there has been ‘ considerable progress ’ towards the target of eliminating hep C as a public health problem by 2030 , the agency states .
Deaths from hep C related advanced liver disease also fell from 482 to 314 over the same period , which exceeded the WHO target of a 10 per cent drop by 2020 . The reduction in prevalence is largely a result of improved access to treatment , with almost 60,000 treatments taking place between April
2015 and March 2021 .
Of the 81,000 people in England estimated to be living with hep C , around 27 per cent are thought to be people who have recently injected drugs , while more than 60 per cent are people with a past history of injecting .
More than half of people who inject drugs may have a chronic hep C infection and remain unaware of it , UKHSA estimates , and despite the ‘ huge progress ’ challenges remain .
‘ While effective treatments are available , we need to stop people becoming infected in the first place ,’ the agency states . Hepatitis C in England 2022 : full report at www . hcvaction . org . uk has been fined just under £ 1.2m for sending promotional emails to customers who had self-excluded or opted out of receiving marketing , the Gambling Commission says .
The company distributed a Sky Vegas promotional offer of ‘ Bet £ 5 get 100 spins ’ to more than 41,000 customers who had self-excluded and almost 250,000 who had unsubscribed from marketing emails , the regulator states .
Self-exclusion is used by people who feel they are struggling to control their gambling to request that the operator refuse their custom , a facility the Gambling Commission requires all operators to offer .
Contacting these customers constituted a breach of licensing conditions aimed at ‘ ensuring gambling in Britain is socially responsible ’, the commission said . ‘ Self-excluded customers are likely to be suffering gambling harm and should absolutely not be sent direct marketing that could tempt them back into gambling ,’ said Gambling Commission chief executive Andrew Rhodes .