Drink and Drugs News DDN December 2019 - Page 4

NEWS ROUND-UP Drug misuse poisoning continues to rise Heroin assisted treatment pilot launches in Glasgow S cotland’s first heroin- assisted treatment service has been launched in Glasgow, the city council has announced. The Enhanced Drug Treatment Service (EDTS) will treat people with the most severe, long- term and complex problems with ‘pharmaceutical grade diamorphine’. 'This service is aimed at people with the most chaotic lifestyles and severe addictions who have not responded to existing treatments.' Susanne Millar The service is operated by the Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (GCHSCP) and has been licensed by the Home Office. Based in the city centre alongside homeless health services, the aim of the project is to reduce rates of overdose and public injecting, as well as the spread of blood-borne viruses. Clients will receive treatment for other health conditions, and there will be a ‘holistic assessment of their social, legal and psychological needs’. The £1.2m service is expected to treat around 20 clients per day in its first year and 40 in year two. Clients will need to attend twice a day, seven days a week and be ‘totally committed to the treatment’, says the council. Injectable heroin-assisted treatment will be supervised by trained nursing staff and restricted to people who are already involved with the city’s Homeless Addiction Team. While a pilot heroin-assisted treatment programme was recently launched in Middlesbrough (DDN, November, page 5), Glasgow’s plans to establish a drug consumption room have long been stymied by the Home Office’s refusal to change legislation to allow it, despite the backing of the Scottish Government. ‘Sadly, Glasgow suffered a record number of drug-related deaths last year and there was also an increased number of non-fatal overdoses,’ said interim GCHSCP chief officer Susanne Millar. ‘This challenging social issue demands innovative treatments and this gold standard service is leading the way in Scotland. It is aimed at people with the most chaotic lifestyles and severe addictions who have not responded to existing treatments.’ The service will be evaluated by scientists from Glasgow Caledonian University, who will be based at the facility for two and a half years to study its implementation, collate the views of service users and staff and develop good practice guidance. 4 • DRINK AND DRUGS NEWS • DEC 2019-JAN 2020 LAST YEAR saw more than 18,000 hospital admissions for poisoning by drug misuse in England, according to NHS Digital, an increase of 6 per cent on the previous year and 16 per cent since 2012-13. Admissions for drug-related mental and Latest statistics from PHE show a 7 per cent reduction in the number of young people in contact with alcohol and drug services, behavioural disorders fell by 14 per cent, however, to just over 7,300, although this is still 30 per cent higher than a decade ago. The latest statistics from PHE, meanwhile, show a 7 per cent reduction in the number of young people in contact with alcohol and drug services, to 14,485 – down 40 per cent from a decade ago. Almost 90 per cent of young people accessing treatment did so for cannabis, with 44 per cent for alcohol, 14 per cent for ecstasy and 10 per cent for powder cocaine. Less than 1 per cent sought treatment for opiates, although the number was up from 187 to 216 compared to the previous year. Statistics on drug misuse, England, 2019 at digital.nhs.uk; Young people’s substance misuse treatment statistics 2018 to 2019 at www.gov.uk Cocaine seizures highest since records began SEIZURES OF COCAINE in England and Wales are up 12 per cent compared to last year, according to Home Office figures, while seizures of crack increased by 20 per cent. More than 9,600kg of cocaine was seized in 2018-19, the largest quantity since records began in 1973, while the quantity of crack seized was the highest since 2004. The quantity of ecstasy seized was also the highest since 2006-07. Meanwhile, Europeans are spending at least EUR 30bn per year on drugs at retail level, according to an EMCDDA/Europol report. Almost 40 per cent of spending is on cannabis, just over 30 per cent on cocaine and a quarter on heroin. MDMA and amphetamines account for 5 per cent each. Seizures of drugs, England and Wales, financial year ending 2019 at www.gov.uk EU drug markets report 2019 at www.emcdda.europa.eu Alcohol deaths second highest since millennium LAST YEAR saw 7,551 alcohol- specific deaths registered in the UK, according to ONS. While this was lower than the previous year’s total of 7,697 it was still the second highest since the time series began in 2001. Alcohol-specific death rates remain almost double for men than women, and were highest among men aged 55-59. Scotland had the highest death rate, followed by Wales and England. The highest proportion of alcohol-specific deaths were the result of alcoholic liver disease. Alcohol-specific deaths in the UK: registered in 2018 at www.ons. gov.uk WWW.DRINKANDDRUGSNEWS.COM