Local, Regional & National Policy Research and News


Information and links to the latest in legislation, policy and research across Scotland and the UK.


13/1/16 Scottish Parliament's Health and Sports Committee does not support The Alcohol (Public Health & Criminal Justice) (Scotland) Bill. Read Scottish Families comments at: /userfiles/files/Alcohol Bill.pdf


11/1/16 UK Chief Medical Officers' Alcohol Guidelines Review. A summary of the proposed new guidelines is available here



22/12/15 Effectiveness of Scotland's national naloxone programme for reducing opioid-related deaths


22/12/15 A briefing paper from DrugWatch entitled: A Simple(ish) Guide to the Psychoactive Substances Bill 


19/11/15 Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act  A GCVS Briefing paper summarising the Act.


16/11/15 FOUR NATIONS How Evidence-based are Alcohol Policies and Programmes Across the UK. A new report available here


10/11/15 Dead on Arrival? Evaluating the Public Health Responsibilty Deal for Alcohol

A report from the Institute of Alcohol Studies available here


6/11/15 Research shows that people who inject drugs are at significant risk of fatal overdose in the first four weeks following discharge. The full story available here


6/11/15 UK Government response to theHouse of Lords EU Committee Report: A new EU Alcohol Strategy?


1/10/15  Take Home Naloxone from 1st October 2015.


In 2014 the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) consulted on a proposal to make naloxone more widely available. On 1 October 2015, new legislation comes into force that enables naloxone to be supplied to individuals by drug treatment services without prescription.

Naloxone remains a Prescription Only Medicine (POM), however the legislation change allows people working in lawful drug treatment services to supply naloxone without a prescription to anyone requiring it to prevent an opiate overdose.

Who can supply Naloxone:


Persons employed or engaged in the provision of drug treatment services provided by, on behalf of or under arrangements made by one of the following bodies–


            (a) an NHS body;

            (b) a local authority;

            (c) Public Health England; or

            (d) Public Health Agency.”


Naloxone can be supplied by a drug treatment service commissioned by a local authority or the NHS to any individual needing access to naloxone for saving a life in an emergency. The supply shall be only in the course of provisions of lawful drug treatment services and only where required for the purpose of saving life in an emergency. “Lawful drug treatment services” are defined as:

Specialist drug treatment services

Primary care drug services

Needle and syringe programmes, including those provided from pharmacies

A pharmacy providing supervised consumption of opioid substitute medication

There is no legal exemption for other services. Naloxone cannot be supplied by a service that is not a commissioned drug treatment service


2/7/15 New Psychoactive Substances

Briefing paper from the House of Commons library available here


2/7/15 New Ethical Framework for the Counselling Profession 

The framework will be formally adopted on 1st July 2016 and is available here


9/7/15   Psychoactive Substances Bill


10/7/15 The Royal College of Emergency Medicine have released: Alcohol- a toolkit for improving care



Alcohol's harm to other's is a new report from the Institute of Alcohol Studies and shows that over half of Scots and three quarters of people from North East England have been harmed by another's alcohol use.


14/7/15 The international evidence on the prevention of drug and alcohol use. Public Health England has published a summary of this and examples of implementation in England. The briefing can be found here

6/8/15 Alcohol Pricing and purchasing among heavy drinkers in Edinburgh and Glasgow- A study by Edinburgh Napier and Queen Margaret University



13/8/15 Drinking guidelines are a poor fit with Britain's heavy drinking habits    

This study from the University of Sheffield explored how drinkers make sense of current Uk guidelines which suggest men should not regularly exceed 3-4 units of alcohol a day and women not more than 2-3 units of alcohol a day.  


20/8/15 Research published in the BMJ on the effects of Light to moderate intake of alcohol, drinking patterns, and risk of cancer: results from two prospective U.S. studies available here

November 2015 - Exploring the impact and harms on families of those experiencing substance misuse: anxiety, depression and mental wellbeing.  A report commissioned by SFAD and conducted by Edinburgh University available here