Drink and Drugs News DDN June 2019 | Page 5

Read the full stories, and more, online www.drinkanddrugsnews.com BRITS ‘GET DRUNK’ MORE REGULARLY THAN OTHER NATIONALITIES BRITISH PEOPLE WHO DRINK GET DRUNK MORE REGULARLY THAN OTHER NATIONALITIES , according to the latest Global drug survey. Respondents in the UK reported getting drunk 51 times a year, compared to an average of 33 times. Participants from other English speaking countries such as the US, Canada and Australia also reported getting drunk regularly – at 50, 48 and 47 times a year respectively – while those in Chile reported getting drunk 16 times per year. Almost 40 per cent of participants who drank alcohol in the previous 12 months said they wanted to drink less in future. The survey compiles from data from just under 124,000 people across more than 30 countries. Almost 60 per cent of respondents were male and 87 per cent were white, with a mean age of 29. Sixty per cent said they went clubbing at least four times a year. Of the 20,000 people who completed the section on cocaine use, less than 9 per cent reported using the drug on a weekly basis, but 65 per cent said they’d used it up to ten times in the previous year. Just over 1 per cent had needed to seek emergency medical treatment following cocaine use, while more than 70 per cent of those who’d recently used it said they would support a ‘regulated fair-trade’ market, with most willing to pay more. Use of MDMA powder, meanwhile, is now as common as ecstasy pills, although almost three quarters of people who took MDMA reported doing so on ten or fewer occasions. Use of the ‘dark net’ to buy drugs was also on the rise, with more than a quarter of people who’d bought drugs that way doing so for the first time in 2018. MDMA, LSD and cannabis were the most frequently purchased substances. One third of female respondents reported having been taken advantage of sexually at some point while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and 8 per cent within the last year – the rates for men were 6 per cent and 2 per cent respectively. Alcohol was involved in almost 90 per cent of overall cases. Of the more than 52,000 respondents who with daily doses of almost double those commonly used in clinical practice required for optimal levels of methadone in the blood,’ said Aston University’s Dr Raj K. Singh Badhan. Study at www.journals.elsevier.com/drug-and- alcohol-dependence OECD OPIOIDS OPIOID-RELATED DEATHS ACROSS 25 OECD COUNTRIES INCREASED by more than 20 per cent between 2011 and 2016, according to an OECD report, with the rise most pronounced in the US, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Ireland and the UK. Opioid overprescribing is ‘considered one of the most important root causes of the crisis’, it says, with 240m opioid prescriptions dispensed in the US in 2015 – ‘nearly one for every adult in the general population’. Addressing problematic opioid use in OECD countries at www.oecd.org Respondents in the uk reported getting drunk 51 times a year, compared to an average of 33 times completed the survey’s policing section, almost a quarter reported that they had ‘encountered police’ in relation to their drug use in the last year, including stop and search, roadside testing and use of drug dogs. People in Australia and Denmark were most likely to have had dealings with the police, and those in New Zealand the least. Most people, however, had favourable attitudes towards the police, the document states. ‘For example 50 per cent of respondents (who are all people who use drugs) said police frequently/somewhat frequently treat people with dignity and respect. But those who have been recently policed had less favourable attitudes, and were less likely to report they would help the police if asked.’ Results at www.globaldrugsurvey.com CAPE CRUSADERS A NEW INITIATIVE TO HELP CHILDREN AFFECTED BY PARENTAL ALCOHOL MISUSE has been launched by the Children’s Society. CAPE (Children of Alcoholic Parents Engagement) provides training, workshops and free online resources to help professionals identify children at risk and increase awareness and understanding. ‘Having a parent or carer who is dependent on alcohol can be extremely distressing and isolating for a young person and have a huge impact on their welfare and wellbeing,’ said Children’s Society director of national operations Nerys Anthony. ‘Our new CAPE programme is designed to give anyone who works directly with a young person the expert tools and knowledge they need to support them, so that these vulnerable young people are recognised and receive the support they need.’ www.childrenssociety.org.uk/parental-alcohol- misuse GAMBLING GAINS DOSE DECISIONS STREET SCENES SUBMISSIONS ARE OPEN for this year’s Recovery Street Film Festival until 1 August. Films www.drinkanddrugsnews.com should be no longer than three minutes, with prizes for the top three winning entries. Full details at rsff.co.uk METHADONE DOSE OPTIMISATION is vital when treating people on opioid substitution programmes for tuberculosis (TB) and other conditions, according to researchers at Aston University in partnership with Addaction. Anti- TB drug rifampicin is known to increase the breakdown of methadone in the body, meaning that methadone levels need to be gradually increased and then decreased after the TB treatment ends, with a range of medications for HIV and epilepsy causing similar interactions. ‘We found that rifampicin significantly alters the level of methadone in the blood and necessitates dose adjustments, A COMPULSORY LEVY SHOULD BE PLACED ON THE GAMBLING INDUSTRY to support people with gambling problems, according to a report in the BMJ. The paper also wants to see the 2005 Gambling Act revised and responsibility for gambling moved from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). There are currently 33m active online gambling accounts in Britain, with the extent and cost of UK gambling ‘significantly’ underestimated. ‘Simply stating that gambling is a public health concern is not enough,’ says the report. ‘It must also be treated as one.’ Gambling and public health at www.bmj.com June 2019 | drinkanddrugsnews | 5