Substance Misuse Management in General Practice (SMMGP)

Substance Misuse Management in General Practice

News & Events

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Latest News from the SMMGP

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"Calling time on missed opportunities: commissioning alcohol services to reduce avoidable harm"

(Posted 21 April 2015)
The paper "Calling time on missed opportunities: commissioning alcohol services to reduce avoidable harm" has been published on the Guidelines in Practice website.

The document is also available (in Adobe Acrobat PDF format) from the Other Resources section:

Disclaimer: The content of this supplement was developed by an expert advisory group convened and supported by Lundbeck Ltd. Lundbeck Ltd provided financial support for meeting costs, honoraria, and administrative support of a medical communications agency, which included medical writing. Lundbeck Ltd has financially supported the publication of this supplement and has reviewed this document for factual accuracy only. The content of this supplement was produced independently of MGP Ltd and Guidelines in Practice. The views and opinions are those of the expert advisory group and not necessarily those of Lundbeck Ltd, or of Guidelines in Practice, its publisher, advisers, or advertisers.

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SMMGP Clinical Update #44 - March 2015 now online

(Posted 07 April 2015)
The SMMGP Clinical Update #44 - March 2015 is now available in the SMMGP Clinical & Policy Updates section in both online and downloadable versions.

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 Policy Update #41 - March 2015 now online

(Posted 07 April 2015)
The SMMGP Policy Update #41 - March 2015 is now available in the SMMGP Clinical & Policy Updates section in both online and downloadable versions.

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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ACMD Recovery Committee Survey: "How can we improve or optimise Opioid Substitution Treatment"

(Posted 06 March 2015)
The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) Recovery Committee is seeking information from "experts by experience" on how we can improve treatment for heroin users. Please help the ACMD Recovery Committee by providing answers to 10 simple questions. Your feedback is anonymous.

Please note that this survey is for "experts by experience" only!
You must have been in treatment, or still be in treatment, in order to participate. It is not for "staff professionals" (unless they have been or are in treatment).

Access the ACMD RC online survey here >>>

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Support materials published for drug driving legislation change

(Posted 25 February 2015)
New drug driving legislation is coming into force on 2nd March 2015 and the government awareness campaign to promote the change to the public has now been launched.

To assist pharmacy teams in understanding the implications of the legislation change for patients, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has produced a briefing on it:

The Department of Transport have asked that healthcare professionals help raise awareness with their patients with contractors being asked to display campaign materials (leaflets, stickers, posters, shelf displays, etc.) both in their pharmacies and online or via their social media accounts.

The relevant campaign materials can be downloaded from the PSNC web site.

Pharmacies can register as a campaign partner to order promotional materials free of charge and may find the accompanying partner pack useful for background information.

See also "Guidance for Healthcare Professionals on Drug Driving" in the Guidance Documents section of our site.

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PHE publishes advice on take-home naloxone for opioid overdose in people who use drugs

(Posted 19 February 2015)
Public Health England (PHE) has published advice for commissioners and providers on the provision of take-home naloxone for reversing overdose in people who use heroin and other opiates, now and following legislative change in October 2015 to make naloxone more readily available.

The document is available (in Adobe Acrobat PDF format) from the Guidance Documents section:

The PHE guide lists the free SMMGP e-learning module "SMMGP FreeLearn: Naloxone Saves Lives" as a resource.

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SMMGP supports Naloxone Action Group (NAG England) campaign to make naloxone more accessible

(Posted 19 February 2015)
SMMGP support the Naloxone Action Group (NAG England) campaign to make Naloxone more accessible. Below is the latest NAG England press release:

Why is a life saving, recommended and licensed medicine being ignored?

Experts on heroin use are concerned that drug users and their families in England are being denied access to a life-saving medicine: naloxone, an antidote to heroin overdoses.

The Office for National Statistics have reported that opioid overdose deaths in England have risen by 32% in 2013. Naloxone Action Group England (NAG) are calling for urgent action to ensure that overdose deaths return to the previous downward trend.

There is nothing to prevent those at risk of opiate overdose being prescribed naloxone now, and yet over 50% of local authorities, who are now responsible for commissioning drug treatment in England, do not currently provide it. Scotland and Wales both have national programmes, which are successfully reducing the number of opiate overdoses in those countries.

In May 2012 the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) advised that the Government should ease the restrictions on who can be supplied with naloxone and should investigate how people supplied with naloxone can be suitably trained to administer it in an emergency and respond to overdoses.

The government have now responded to this recommendation and have said that new regulations are being prepared by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) which will come into effect in October 2015.

John Jolly, Chair of NAG England, said:

"Local authorities in England can already take action to ensure that take home naloxone is made available in their area. But too many areas are failing to provide this life saving medicine and urgent action is needed to ensure wider access for those at risk of overdose, their peers, and families. That is why we are calling for the government to introduce a national programme as there is in the rest of the UK."

You can help by sending your MP a pre-worded e-mail asking them to sign the Early Day Motion 445 which calls on the Government to prioritise the roll-out of Naloxone across the whole of the UK.

Sign up to become a signatory showing your support for the NAG England campaign to make Naloxone more accessible.

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Professor Sir Ian Gilmore Praises SMMGP Alcohol e-Learning Modules

(Posted 06 February 2015)
Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Chair of UK Alcohol Health Alliance, has commented on the SMMGP Alcohol e-Learning Modules:

"SMMGP has a proud history and has made a real difference to the standard of care for patients with problematic use of alcohol managed in primary care. The e-learning project is a welcome addition and I am delighted to be associated with it. The web-based material is evidence-based, well referenced and presented in a way that makes it easy to learn. I can see real value in this resource for colleagues in primary, secondary and social care - indeed wherever patients with alcohol problems are presenting - and I wish it every success."

Our free-to-access e-learning module "SMMGP FreeLearn: Community Management of Alcohol Use Disorders" is open to anyone who wishes to learn more about management of alcohol use disorders, including how the commissioning process works. It will be of particular interest to GPs, nurses and pharmacists and other primary care practitioners.

The free module also serves as an introduction to our subscription only SMMGP Advanced Certificate in the Community Management of Alcohol Use Disorders.

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SMMGP Launches FREE e-Learning Module: "Community Management of Alcohol Use Disorders"

(Posted 03 February 2015)
SMMGP introduces a brand new free-to-access e-learning module "SMMGP FreeLearn: Community Management of Alcohol Use Disorders" open to anyone who wishes to learn more about management of alcohol use disorders, including how the commissioning process works. It will be of particular interest to GPs, nurses and pharmacists and other primary care practitioners.

Access "SMMGP FreeLearn: Community Management of Alcohol Use Disorders" Now >>>

Dr Steve Brinksman, SMMGP Clinical Lead says:

"SMMGP is pleased to be able to expand the free e-learning we offer with the addition of this Community Management of Alcohol Use Disorders course. It offers an insight into the role primary care services have in working with alcohol users and the vast potential benefits that engaging with this group can have not only on those individuals but their families and wider society. At a time when we need to be ever more aware of the constraints of NHS funding it is important that we engage much earlier with alcohol users to reduce the health harms that impact so heavily upon the NHS."

Rosanna O'Connor, Director or Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco Division at Public Health England says:

"Around one in five adults is incurring some level of health risk from their use of alcohol. Non-dependent, as well as dependent alcohol misuse, impacts greatly on people's health. It contributes significantly to over 60 conditions including cardiovascular diseases, depression, liver disease and some cancers.

Primary care and other community health services have a key role to play in identifying where patients' use of alcohol may be damaging their health and helping them to reduce their drinking and thereby, reduce the risk of further ill-health. The launch of this new course is timely and PHE is pleased to have been involved in its development."

The e-learning module also serves as an introduction to the subscription only SMMGP Advanced Certificate in the Community Management of Alcohol Use Disorders which was launched in December 2014.

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Adfam's Annual Stakeholders Survey 2015 has been launched!

(Posted 29 January 2015)
Every year Adfam runs a survey, and uses the evidence to review their relationships with their stakeholders. Your feedback is therefore always important, helping to inform them about your needs and what development they can make in the scope of the resources and services they provide.

Everyone who completes the survey has a chance to enter a free prize draw - the winner will receive £50 worth of Adfam publications as a thank you from them.

Please click here to complete the Adfam survey

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SMMGP Clinical Update #43 - December 2014 now online

(Posted 23 January 2015)
The SMMGP Clinical Update #43 - December 2014 is now available in the SMMGP Clinical & Policy Updates section in both online and downloadable versions.

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 Policy Update #40 - December 2014 now online

(Posted 23 January 2015)
The SMMGP Policy Update #40 - December 2014 is now available in the SMMGP Clinical & Policy Updates section in both online and downloadable versions.

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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Network #37 now online

(Posted 05 January 2015)
Issue 37 of "Network", the SMMGP Newsletter, is now available to read online, download in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, or browse as a "digital publication" from the Newsletters section in the Resource Library.

If you would like to receive copies of Network 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.