DDN ONLINE All the news and views www . drinkanddrugsnews . com
Urgent call for review of alcohol harms
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 .’
‘ An independent review of alcohol harm is the only way we can understand the scale of the problem .’
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 .
WWW . DRINKANDDRUGSNEWS . COM NOVEMBER 2022 • DRINK AND DRUGS NEWS • 5