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Urgent call for review of alcohol harms

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More than 50 organisations along with MPs and Lords have written to the prime minister calling for an independent review of alcohol harm . Coordinated by the Alcohol Health Alliance and Drugs , Alcohol and Justice APPG chair Dan Carden MP , the signatories are calling for an alcohol equivalent of Dame Carol Black ’ s Independent review of drugs , which went on to shape the subsequent government drug strategy . The last UK government alcohol strategy was published a decade ago .

‘ Alcohol harm is a public health crisis that requires immediate government intervention ,’ said Mr Carden . ‘ With the highest alcoholspecific deaths on record , thousands of families destroyed and the enormous cost to the public purse , people are right to ask why there is no government plan to tackle alcohol harm . The financial and social uncertainty of the cost-ofliving crisis is expected to increase alcohol consumption at harmful
THE 2022 OPIUM CROP in Afghanistan is the ‘ most profitable in years ’, according to UNODC , with cultivation up by almost a third and ‘ prices soaring ’. This is despite a background of ‘ cascading humanitarian and economic crises ’ in the country , says Opium cultivation in Afghanistan – latest findings and emerging threats .
The report is the agency ’ s first on the country since the Taliban took over power last year and later banned opium cultivation . While this year ’ s crop was largely exempt from the ban farmers now face uncertainty around ‘ how the de facto authorities will enforce the ban ’ says UNODC . ‘ Afghan farmers are trapped in the illicit opiate economy , while seizure events around Afghanistan levels . Government must prioritise improving public health and evidence-based policies and move beyond simply reinforcing damaging ignorant rhetoric . An independent review of alcohol harm is the only way we can understand the scale of the problem and provide targeted recommendations to reduce the devastating harms of alcohol .’
Meanwhile , a new liver cancer support service has been launched by The British Liver Trust in response to rapidly rising cases of the disease . Liver cancer incidence rates have increased by 45 per cent in the last decade , while the death rate has increased by 40 per cent , making it the fasting rising cause of cancer death in the UK .
More than 6,000 people are diagnosed with liver cancer in the UK each year , with almost half diagnosed in emergency settings like A & E . The disease is most common in people who already have liver disease , especially cirrhosis , which is most often caused by alcohol , hepatitis or obesity . https :// livercanceruk . org /

Afghan opium up

suggest that opiate trafficking continues unabated ,’ said UNODC executive director Ghada Waly . Report at www . unodc . org
‘ Afghan farmers are trapped in the illicit opiate economy , while seizure events around Afghanistan suggest that opiate trafficking continues unabated .’
GADA WALY
‘ An independent review of alcohol harm is the only way we can understand the scale of the problem .’
DAN CARDEN

On safer ground

SAFE GROUND , which delivers group work across UK prisons to help reduce re-offending , is the latest charity to join the Social Interest Group ( SIG ), which supports organisations to maximise their income through the sharing of resources and learning .
‘ I am immensely grateful to Charlie Weinberg , CEO of Safe Ground , for building evidencebased programmes that make a difference in people ' s lives ,’ said SIG CEO Gill Arukpe . ‘ I am committed to supporting the good work of Safe Ground to ensure it continues to grow and make a difference in people ' s lives .’ www . socialinterestgroup . org . uk /
RESIDENTIAL POTENTIAL Phoenix Futures is joining forces with The Ley Community to develop a new residential service in Oxford . ‘ This is a partnership with huge potential ,’ said Phoenix chief executive Karen Biggs . ‘ This new service will offer vital additional residential treatment beds and lifesaving and life-changing opportunities for recovery .’
BOX CLEVER WDP service users in Redbridge will have access to free gym passes as part of the organisation ’ s Capital Card scheme , thanks to a partnership with sporting charity Box Up Crime . ‘ The young people we work with in Redbridge will really benefit from these inspirational sessions and access to their leisure facilities , to help improve both their physical and mental health and wellbeing ,’ said WDP ’ s Max Griffiths .
UNIQUE INSIGHTS More than 30 graduates of SDF ’ s addiction and recovery worker training projects celebrated their achievements at a ceremony in Glasgow , with almost all now in paid work . ‘ The unique insights offered by those with lived and living experience of substance use are critical to tackling drug deaths and harms ,’ drugs minister Angela Constance told the event .
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