Daily news - 25th August 2020

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UK news

New Scottish Tory leader to canvas unions and drugs groups

The first of his events will focus on how to tackle the country’s drugs problem. The Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council had hoped to introduce a safer drug consumption facility in Glasgow to help stem the rising number of deaths linked to drugs in the city, but it was controversially blocked by the Conservative-led UK Government | Herald, UK

Having some caffeine in pregnancy 'is fine'

While mums-to-be and women trying for a baby should limit their caffeine intake, a couple of cups of tea or coffee a day is fine, say experts | BBC, UK

Criminal Exploitation Week - An Introduction by Sonya Jones - video

This week, starting the 24th August, we are launching our 'Exploitation Week'. What we have noticed, as a service working with young substance users, is that there is a particular concern about cannabis being used as part of grooming, targeting young people for the purpose of exploitation. Cannabis is the golden thread that brings young people together | MyPOV, UK

Why Drug Policy has become the most concerning issue for the people of Warwickshire

For too long we have allowed the growth of the drug industry to impact our community in Warwickshire. Severe cuts to services have resulted in a rise in crime and drug related issues, we need to act | MyPOV, UK

Would Drug Testing at Work Actually Reduce Drug Use? We Asked an Expert

The Conservative candidate for Mayor of London, Shaun Bailey, has called for “middle class” drug users to be tested at work, in a bid to stop gang violence. But are either of those issues actually connected? | VICE, UK

Protecting students from drug related harm in 2020 - webinar

Wed, 16 September 2020 - 16:00 – 18:00 BST. This free webinar will provide attendees with a full breakdown of our recent drug use survey among students and discuss in detail how Covid-19 has impacted on their patterns of drug consumption | Neurosight and SSDP, UK

Support for Charitable Infrastructure Organisations

Through our new funding programme, we hope to provide the breathing space local and regional infrastructure organisations need to develop new ways of working and to ensure that they can continue to advocate for small and local charities at this critical time | Lloyds Bank Foundation, UK


International news

SDF International Webinar - Changing Drug Policy: Networks of people who use drugs - video

This is the first of two webinars hosted by Scottish Drugs Forum for International Overdose Awareness Day 2020. Around the world, people who use drugs have, for many years, created unions, groups and networks to advocate for drug policies and practices that support harm reduction, health promotion and human rights. In this first webinar we hear about the history of the movement, the challenges and the progress made from advocates and activists in the Netherlands, Norway and Ukraine | SDF, UK

‘Societal discussion' on drugs decriminalisation needed amid surge in opioid deaths, Canada's health chief says

Dr Theresa Tam's comments echoed by Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police | Independent, UK

Prescription Opioid Misuse and Use of Alcohol and Other Substances Among High School Students — Youth Risk Behavior Survey, United States, 2019

Adolescence is an important period of risk for substance use initiation and substance use–related adverse outcomes. To examine youth substance use trends and patterns, CDC analyzed data from the 2009–2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey | CDC, USA

Monthly Patient Volumes of Buprenorphine-Waivered Clinicians in the US

Clinicians historically treat fewer patients with buprenorphine than their limit allows. Given efforts to increase buprenorphine use, this cross-sectional study examines the number of patients treated by waivered clinicians | JAMA Network, USA

Canadian Drug Users Need Us Doctors to Step Up With Safe Supply

The tennis player Arthur Ashe once said that to take on a challenge, “start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.” In the face of Canada’s national crisis of illicit drug poisoning, physicians and nurse practitioners who care for people who use drugs could consider Ashe’s advice | Filter Magazine, USA

Toxicology and prescribed medication histories among people experiencing fatal illicit drug overdose in British Columbia, Canada

[Open access] Since 2015, illicit drug overdose has been one of British Columbia’s most pressing public health issues. Our objective was to assess prescription history in the context of postmortem toxicology among people who had a fatal illicit drug overdose in BC | CMAJ, Canada

Alberta’s chief medical officer advises against smoking and vaping in battle against COVID-19

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health is recommending Albertans who smoke or vape take measures to quit the habits to decrease the impact of a coronavirus infection | Global News, Canada

International Overdose Awareness day - August 31st

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) began in Melbourne, Australia in 2001. Today it is a global campaign. Last year, 874 IOAD events took place in 39 countries, surpassing the previous record tally of 747, set in 2018. In 2020 – IOAD’s 20th anniversary year – the campaign is set to break its own record again. Find out how to participate here | Penington Institute, Australia

Hepatitis C elimination among people who use drugs: Are we there yet?

This seminar provides an update on efforts to eliminate hepatitis C infection among people who inject drugs, including interventions that have been effective to enhance HCV testing, linkage to treatment and care | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

A ban targeting only open‐system e‐cigarettes is unlikely to prevent a future EVALI‐like outbreak among e‐cigarette users

Strong evidence suggests that the national outbreak of electronic‐cigarette, or vaping, product use–associated lung injury (EVALI) was caused by use of vitamin E acetate in cannabis vaporizers, and not by nicotine e‐cigarettes | Addiction commentary, UK

'I was the king of sabotage': Ronnie O'Sullivan on controversy, comebacks and becoming a carer

The greatest, most charismatic snooker player of all time prefers long-distance running. He discusses drugs, breakdowns, victory – and his unexpected new career path | Guardian, UK




And finally...

Polish zoo to give elephants cannabis extract for stress relief

Animals at Warsaw Zoo are being given cannabis extract as part of a programme to investigate whether it can reduce anxiety. The first to receive the experimental treatment are the elephants | Notes from Poland, Poland