SMMGP - Substance Misuse Management Good Practice

Substance Misuse Management Good Practice

Supporting good practice in drug and alcohol treatment

SMMGP News Archives - 2016

Please note that the older the news item the more likely it is that details such as contact names and addresses, or links to 3rd party web sites, may have changed.

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Etizolam and U47,700 and other designer benzodiazepines

(Posted 22 Dec 2016)
The following summary has been prepared by Home Office officials and is based on advice from the ACMD:

Following recent advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) we wanted to make you aware of the harms of (i) U47,700 which is an opiate and (ii) etizolam and some other related benzodiazepines.

U47,700

U-47,700 is a synthetic opioid, originally developed as a research chemical but with no legitimate use. Reportedly 7.5 times more potent than morphine it is a structural analogue of AH-7921. AH-7921 was controlled as a Class A drug in January 2015 following ACMD advice, particularly regarding its high addiction potential.

The ACMD is concerned that abuse of U-47,700 has the potential for severe harms, particularly following reports from the USA of more than 80 deaths attributed to this substance and that the patterns of abuse are mirroring those of heroin.

Users of U-47,700, particularly those who are using it for the first time, are likely to be at risk of developing substance use disorders, overdose and death.

Police Scotland made a total of six seizures of tablets containing U-47,700 which had the appearance of Diazepam tablets.

Etizolam and other benzodiazepines

The ACMD is aware of increasing reports of harms associated with designer benzodiazepines. These are substances which are not licensed medicines in the United Kingdom, but are imported specifically for abuse as Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS).

Of particular concern is Etizolam, which has reportedly become the predominant benzodiazepine misused within the illicit drug market across Scotland and has been implicated in several deaths across the UK.

Other substances with similar harms include: Adinazolam, Bromazolam, 4'-Chlorodiazepam, Clonazolam, Deschloroetizolam, Diclazepam, Flubromazepam, Flubromazolam, Fonazepam, 3-Hydroxyphenazepam, Meclonazepam, Metizolam, Nifoxipam, Nitrazolam and Pyrazolam.

Benzodiazepines can be misused in a variety of ways. Their effects are alcohol-like and they can be used instead of alcohol; more commonly they are used with alcohol to potentiate its effects. They can also be used to "come down" from stimulants, for example by clubbers wishing to sleep after a night out. Large overdoses and overdoses in combination with alcohol are used in suicide attempts.

A number of benzodiazepines are being sold as "street valium". When analysed, some tablets with the appearance of diazepam tablets were found to contain diclazepam, diazepam, a mixture of etizolam and the synthetic opiate U-47,700 or U-47,700 on its own.

If you do come across any of these substances please provide any information to: Karen.Lancaster@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

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"SMMGP News & Updates" Issue #9 (Dec 2016) now online

(Posted 13 Dec 2016)
This month's combined news, policy and clinical update newsletter "SMMGP News & Updates Issue #9 (Dec 2016)" is now available in the SMMGP Clinical & Policy Updates section in both online and downloadable versions.

If you find SMMGP publications useful please help us continue to produce them. Simply text SMGP01, followed by the amount you would like to donate (£5 or £10), to 70070. Thank you for your support.

If you would like to receive these Updates via e-mail as soon as they are released, please join the SMMGP. Membership is completely free, you can join instantly online, and there are lots of benefits - see the Free SMMGP Membership Application page for more details.

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SMMGP "refurbishment" means exciting opportunity for Clinical Update curator

(Posted 05 December 2016)
SMMGP is currently undergoing a major "refurbishing" in readiness for the launch of our new website and programme next year. We will be launching our redesigned website and will be moving to a new, improved format for our newsletters and updates.

Changes in the team have resulted in an exciting opportunity to appoint a curator for our respected Clinical Update as Dr Euan Lawson, who has been writing it on our behalf for many years, is stepping down to expand his other roles. The Clinical Update is included with the Policy Update in the regular SMMGP "News & Updates" release and is one of SMMGP's most popular outputs amongst our membership.

This is a paid freelance position (two sessions per update at £200 per session) and the position would appeal to someone who has a keen interest in the drug and alcohol field, a curiosity about current research in the field, the ability to write well and comment on papers, and preferably an interest in promoting SMMGP's profile with respect to the Clinical Update on social and networking media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter.

Clinical Updates are published approximately 6 times a year. Applications welcome from clinicians as well as non-clinicians.

Please see the full Job Advert for how to apply...

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Working together: SMMGP and Faces and Voices of Recovery UK (FAVOR-UK)

(Posted 29 November 2016)
SMMGP and Faces and Voices of Recovery UK (FAVOR-UK) are pleased to announce that our respective Boards have agreed in a Memorandum of Understanding, to explore opportunities to work together more closely in future. This will serve to enhance and strengthen our common aims which broadly are to:

This agreement brings together our two growing membership organisations to emcompass a large representative group: those who work in the field, standing alongside people in the UK who have personal experience of seeking a way out of addiction. We look forward to the opportunities that our new partnership will bring.

Dr Steve Brinksman
Clinical Lead, SMMGP

www.smmgp.org.uk

Annemarie Ward
Chief Executive, Faces and Voices of Recovery UK

www.facesandvoicesofrecoveryuk.org

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"SMMGP News & Updates" Issue #8 (May 2016) now online

(Posted 17 May 2016)
This month's combined news, policy and clinical update newsletter "SMMGP News & Updates Issue #8 (May 2016)" is now available in the SMMGP Clinical & Policy Updates section in both online and downloadable versions.

If you find SMMGP publications useful please help us continue to produce them. Simply text SMGP01, followed by the amount you would like to donate (£5 or £10), to 70070. Thank you for your support.

If you would like to receive these Updates via e-mail as soon as they are released, please join the SMMGP. Membership is completely free, you can join instantly online, and there are lots of benefits - see the Free SMMGP Membership Application page for more details.

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"SMMGP News & Updates" Issue #7 (Apr 2016) now online

(Posted 12 April 2016)
This month's combined news, policy and clinical update newsletter "SMMGP News & Updates Issue #7 (Apr 2016)" is now available in the SMMGP Clinical & Policy Updates section in both online and downloadable versions.

If you find SMMGP publications useful please help us continue to produce them. Simply text SMGP01, followed by the amount you would like to donate (£5 or £10), to 70070. Thank you for your support.

If you would like to receive these Updates via e-mail as soon as they are released, please join the SMMGP. Membership is completely free, you can join instantly online, and there are lots of benefits - see the Free SMMGP Membership Application page for more details.

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SMMGP to develop new training module

(Posted 12 April 2016)
Drug Misuse and Dependence: UK Guidelines on Clinical Management (2016)

SMMGP is delighted to have secured funding from Public Health England (announced earlier this year) to further our aims of supporting best practice in drug and alcohol treatment and making a contribution towards people overcoming their dependence on drugs and/or alcohol. The funding is earmarked for investment in updating and improving our website, including developing our popular e-learning site.

As part of the work funded we will develop an e-learning module on the review of the Drug Misuse and Dependence: UK Guidelines on Clinical Management (the "Orange Book") when it is published later this year. Our training course will be aimed at making the content of the guidance readily available in an easy-to-follow format for all interested parties including clinicians, non-medical prescribers, drug workers, nurses, people currently in treatment and those entering treatment.

The course will consist of an e-learning module plus a face to face training day (to be held early in 2017). The course will be endorsed by the RCGP Substance Misuse and Associated Health Unit and recognised by the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals (FDAP) as part of CPD.

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The Hepatitis C Trust Postcard Lottery is now live!

(Posted 7 April 2016)
Own an original Ben Eine, Gavin Turk or Schoony for just £10!

Art on a Postcard have teamed up with CultureLabel to offer you a rare chance to win new original postcard-sized artworks from world-renowned and collectable artists through a Postcard Lottery.

All artworks have been made and donated by these amazing artists especially for the lottery, all to raise money for The Hepatitis C Trust - the national UK charity for hepatitis C. Founded, led and run by people with personal experience of hepatitis C, Art on a Postcard's main objective is to eliminate hepatitis C as a major health concern by 2030.

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Purchasing a £10 lottery ticket enters you into a prize draw to win one of these original works. 90% of funds raised from lottery ticket sales will go to support The Hepatitis C Trust in achieving their goal.

The Lottery will run from 31st March to 30th April 2016.

Tickets are exclusively available here on CultureLabel.com.

Once you have purchased this lottery ticket your name will be entered into a prize draw to win one of these original works shown. Participants can buy as many cards as they would like to increase their odds in the draw. Winners will be notified on the 3rd of May which postcard sized originals they have won.

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"SMMGP News & Updates" Issue #6 (Mar 2016) now online

(Posted 8 March 2016)
This month's combined news, policy and clinical update newsletter "SMMGP News & Updates Issue #6 (Mar 2016)" is now available in the SMMGP Clinical & Policy Updates section in both online and downloadable versions.

If you find SMMGP publications useful please help us continue to produce them. Simply text SMGP01, followed by the amount you would like to donate (£5 or £10), to 70070. Thank you for your support.

If you would like to receive these Updates via e-mail as soon as they are released, please join the SMMGP. Membership is completely free, you can join instantly online, and there are lots of benefits - see the Free SMMGP Membership Application page for more details.

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SMMGP and National Substance Misuse Non-Medical Prescribing Forum in new partnership

(Posted 22 February 2016)
SMMGP announces with pleasure that the National Substance Misuse Non-Medical Prescribing Forum has formalised links with SMMGP in a new partnership to pursue our stated aims to uphold standards of quality as a hallmark of good clinical practice in the field of drug and alcohol treatment.

We are therefore delighted to welcome the 460 members of NMP prescribing nurses and pharmacists into SMMGP, taking our overall joint membership to 8290.

The overarching aim of both our organisations is to ensure the provision of quality, evidence-based treatment for the people in our care by providing education and training, peer support and resources to colleagues working in the field and to engage with key stakeholders, including those who are in treatment.

Whilst maintaining our separate work streams, we look forward to working much more effectively and more closely with our nurse and pharmacist colleagues in the NMP Forum this year and into the future.

Dr Steve Brinksman, SMMGP Clinical Lead, says:

"We believe in the value of national clinical networks and the joining up of our two long-established organisations signals our commitment to continue to further our common goals, serve our membership and strengthen our leadership position in the field. Nurse prescribers and pharmacists are vital and valued members of drug and alcohol treatment teams and we look forward to the coming year with enthusiasm and confidence and welcome our NMP colleagues to the SMMGP community."

Mike Flanagan, Chair of the National Substance Misuse Non-Medical Prescribing Forum says:

"The NMP Forum is extremely enthusiastic about joining forces with SMMGP. Despite having no formal funding the national NMP forum has grown over the last 10 years. This alliance will really help secure our position into the future, and together with SMMGP we will reach more members and continue supporting safe and effective clinical care across the drug and alcohol treatment sector."

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"Investigating the role of benzodiazepines in drug-related mortality" NHS Scotland report available

(Posted 16 February 2016)
NHS Health Scotland has produced a report Investigating the role of benzodiazepines in drug-related mortality: a systematic review undertaken on behalf of The Scottish National Forum on Drug-Related Deaths.

"Owing to a lack of research on benzodiazepines, the National Forum on Drug-Related Deaths commissioned work addressing why benzodiazepines are common in DRDs and what role they play in such deaths, particularly at the high doses often reported. This Report presents the findings of a systematic review of evidence in relation to the use and misuse of benzodiazepines and highlights significant gaps in knowledge."

This paper presents new developments in relation to the use and misuse of benzodiazepines and highlights significant gaps in knowledge. In particular:

The report is available below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, as well as from the Other Resources section and the Scottish Public Health Observatory (ScotPHO) web site:

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"Commissioning Alcohol Identification and Brief Advice" resource now available

(Posted 11 February 2016)
The Health Innovation Network has produced an Alcohol Identification and Brief Advice (IBA) toolkit to promote the commissioning of alcohol brief interventions.

It brings together in one place evidenced based resources, as well as guidance and case studies to help commissioners to commission effectively.

The free toolkit aims to support commissioners in a number of ways. For example, it provides:

The toolkit is available below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, as well as from the Guidance Documents section and the Health Innovation Network South London web site:

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"SMMGP News & Updates" Issue #5 (Feb 2016) now online

(Posted 8 February 2016)
This month's combined news, policy and clinical update newsletter "SMMGP News & Updates Issue #5 (Feb 2016)" is now available in the SMMGP Clinical & Policy Updates section in both online and downloadable versions.

If you find SMMGP publications useful please help us continue to produce them. Simply text SMGP01, followed by the amount you would like to donate (£5 or £10), to 70070. Thank you for your support.

If you would like to receive these Updates via e-mail as soon as they are released, please join the SMMGP. Membership is completely free, you can join instantly online, and there are lots of benefits - see the Free SMMGP Membership Application page for more details.

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CQC inspections of substance misuse services - understanding people's experiences of care

(Posted 12 January 2016)
The Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator for health and adult social care services in England. They inspect hospitals, GPs, care homes and a wide range of other services. This includes services for people with mental health issues, including specialist services for people who have problems with drugs and alcohol.

The CQC have issued a letter concerning an inspections of substance misuse services:

"Do you support people who need or use substance misuse services? Can you tell us what is good about the substance misuse services in your area and what could be improved? Can you help encourage people with personal experience of using substance misuse services to share their experiences?

Our inspection teams are now inspecting independent substance misuse services across the country. We may also inspect other substance misuse services in response to risks we identify or that we are alerted to. A list of the inspections we have announced can be found here.

What we ask?

Our inspectors want to know:

Who we want to hear from?

Our inspectors are particularly interested in hearing about the experiences for people who are in the most vulnerable circumstances using substance misuse services.

Depending on the services this may include:

Please pass on this request to other service user and support groups and networks. You can also use Twitter: @carequalitycomm

If your group can share any feedback to help our inspection teams you can:

Please encourage people using substance misuse services to contact us using our phone number or share your experience form.

Questions or queries about this letter can be sent to engagementandinvolvement@cqc.org.uk"

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"SMMGP News & Updates" Issue #4 (Jan 2016) now online

(Posted 8 January 2016)
This month's combined news, policy and clinical update newsletter "SMMGP News & Updates Issue #4 (Jan 2016)" is now available in the SMMGP Clinical & Policy Updates section in both online and downloadable versions.

If you find SMMGP publications useful please help us continue to produce them. Simply text SMGP01, followed by the amount you would like to donate (£5 or £10), to 70070. Thank you for your support.

If you would like to receive these Updates via e-mail as soon as they are released, please join the SMMGP. Membership is completely free, you can join instantly online, and there are lots of benefits - see the Free SMMGP Membership Application page for more details.