Daily news - 3rd November 2020

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UK news

DDN November 2020

Writing and reading about drug-related deaths is depressing for all of us – the inevitability year after year, when policy doesn’t follow the evidence. The question is (as raised on many pages of this issue) how can we affect the situation? How can we do things differently, and make others see things differently, to change these appalling statistics? It’s no mystery that tackling underlying healthcare discrimination should be a primary focus | DDN, UK

North Wales PCC calls for heroin injection scheme

Drug users could be given heroin in a bid to save lives and reduce crime, the North Wales police and crime commissioner has said | BBC, UK

Why are doctors not prescribing medical cannabis?

Medical cannabis, namely cannabis-based products for medicinal use in humans (CBPMs), has been moved from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 under the Misuse of Drugs Regulation 20011 in November 2018 following a very effective publicity campaign about two children with severe epilepsy | Volte Face, UK

Smokers are more likely to quit if they live near green spaces

People who smoke are more likely to successfully give up the habit if they live near green spaces, research suggests. Scientists have also found that those residing in leafy neighbourhoods are less likely to smoke | Science Focus, UK

Smoking causes 25% of NI cancer deaths: charity

Cancer Focus Northern Ireland launches their campaign to raise awareness around the harms of smoking as part of lung cancer awareness month this November | Belfast Telegraph, UK

Stormont to debate changes to NI alcohol licensing laws

Under the plans, pubs and nightclubs will be able to serve alcohol for an extra hour, until 02:00, almost every Friday and Saturday | BBC, UK

Lockdown: 'We will have to throw our beer down the drain'

"Anger, soul-destroying, disheartening, disillusioned": everything about the latest lockdown fills pub and brewery boss Jonathan Neame with dismay | BBC, UK

Coronavirus advice for people who use drugs

[updated] Using all drugs carries some level of risk. That risk is greater right now because coronavirus is affecting drug supplies. You might find that the drugs you’re picking up have a different purity level, or they could be a different substance to what you were expecting. The advice below will help you to stay as safe as possible while using drugs | Change Grow Live, UK

Cranstoun welcomes Charlie Mack as its new Chief Executive

Cranstoun’s Board of Trustees is delighted to announce the appointment of Charlie Mack as its new Chief Executive, following a rigorous selection process. Charlie previously held the same position at Extern, the leading social justice charity across the island of Ireland. Like Cranstoun, Extern supports people to overcome their challenges, empowering them to make positive change | Cranstoun, UK

System Leadership: Covid-19 and our manifesto for people with complex needs - webinar

Thu, 12 November 2020. 08:30 – 09:30 GMT. During the Covid19 pandemic the Golden Key Partnership has been collecting and considering learning about the impact on people with complex needs, both good and bad. On the back of this, we have written a manifesto for people with complex needs which we believe, if implemented, will result in improved services and wellbeing for our client group | Golden Key Partnership, UK

Love Makes You Family Launch

Wed, 25 November 2020. 12:00 – 13:30 GMT. This online event is an opportunity to have a first look at our new video, hear from the people behind it and participate in a relaxed and reflective small group discussion about what family means to us and our communities | SFAD, UK

Qualitative Methods Journal Club - Meeting 1 (hosted by GCU)

Wed, 11 November 2020. 14:00 – 15:30 GMT. We will be discussing the following open access paper: Lyons AC, Goodwin I, Griffin C, McCreanor T, Moewaka Barnes H. Facebook and the Fun of Drinking Photos: Reproducing Gendered Regimes of Power. Journal of Marketing Education. *** Please read and reflect on this paper before the meeting *** | SSA, UK

Forgotten 5 Million campaign

New campaign to raise awareness of the 5 million people in Great Britain who are negatively affected by the drug or alcohol use of a family member or friend | Adfam, UK

Bristol's drug hotspots: the city centre areas full of discarded heroin needles

It wasn't difficult to find public spaces where people had injected drugs and left paraphernalia behind | Bristol Post, UK

Moving On: Vacancy - Chair of Expert Citizens CIC Board

After being involved for more than three years I am stepping down from the chair-ship — and EC is therefore looking for a new chair! It is a wonderful organisation and I’m sure the right person is out there to help guide it to a bright and sustainable future. Could that person be you? | Oliver Standing, UK

Jukkie: Grime artist admits supplying drugs

Jukkie, whose real name is Laurent Mondo, admitted two counts of supplying crack cocaine and diamorphine between June and December last year | BBC, UK


International news

Biden’s ‘green wave’: Swing state Arizona may legalise marijuana as well as turn Democrat

Voters rejected a previous legalization effort in 2016, but plenty has changed in four years | Independent, UK

Van Gogh: Artist experienced 'delirium from alcohol withdrawal'

The artist Vincent van Gogh is likely to have experienced two episodes of delirium caused by alcohol withdrawal, new research has shown | BBC, UK

Consultation Feedback Form National Clinical Guideline – Stop Smoking Guidelines

The Health Service Executive (HSE) Tobacco Free Ireland Programme is seeking your feedback on this draft National Clinical Guideline as part of a formal consultation process in preparation for submission of this draft guideline to the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee, National Patient Safety Office, Department of Health for ministerial endorsement | HSE, Ireland

Deputy Minister for Social Development launches South African Network for people who use drugs - video

[Video starts 29 minutes in] Established in 2017, SANPUD aims to support its members, regional networks of people who use drugs by providing them with financial; logistical; administrative and technical support | Dept of Social Development South Africa, South Africa

In SA, a company has been ordered to reinstate employee fired for smoking cannabis before work

South Africa’s labor dispute resolution body, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), has ruled that an employee, who was fired after he admitted smoking cannabis before reporting for work, should be reinstated | Face to Face Africa, South Africa

Addressing excessive alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic

Alcohol consumption is a common coping response to stress, and historically, it has increased in the United States following catastrophic events, such as terrorist attacks and large-scale natural disasters | Medical Xpress, USA

New review offers evidence-based advice for addressing cannabis use and cannabis use disorder

A new review provides practical advice for physicians on how to care for patients using cannabis and those with cannabis use disorder. The review offers evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about cannabis use, including the health consequences, medical benefits, legal issues, and available treatments | Medical Xpress, USA

Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Health: Current Evidence

Latest edition of the newsletter covering clinically relevant research on alcohol, illicit drugs, and health, through summaries of important research from peer-reviewed journals and more | Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, USA

Opioid crisis sees First Nations deaths double during pandemic

Dr. Theresa Tam, the country’s chief medical health officer, recently released her report on the state of public health in Canada for 2020 which describes the worsening of the opioid crisis | APT National News, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Our Environmental Sustainability Strategy

As we’ve been developing our approach to environmental sustainability we’ve been asking ourselves some important questions about ourselves and our responsibilities. Other people might have similar questions about why a charity that supports people with substance use and mental health problems has been so focussed on environmental sustainability | Phoenix Futures blog, UK

The Trip Report 02/11

Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and SaferParty, we know a little more about the drugs in circulation. The report provided below is a summary of their findings over the last week | Cameron Scally, UK

Legally regulating stimulants: It’s been done before

Legally regulated sales of stimulant drugs is a groundbreaking idea — except, of course, that it’s been done before. In our new book, How to regulate stimulants: a practical guide, we discuss how New Zealand became the first country in the world to formally (albeit briefly) regulate a synthetic pharmaceutical stimulant for non-medical use: Benzylpiperazine or ‘BZP’. | Transform blog, UK

Alcohol and COVID-19: How Do We Respond to This Growing Public Health Crisis?

Before the onset of COVID-19, the USA was experiencing rising rates of alcohol use, high-risk drinking, and alcohol use disorder (AUD) with negative consequences including increases in alcohol-related morbidity and mortality | Journal of General Internal Medicine viewpoint, USA

Day drinking during COVID-19

Global patterns of drinking alcohol earlier in the day during COVID-19 restrictions – who is doing it and what does that mean? | University of Queensland blog, Australia

Medicinal cannabis users in Victoria could soon be allowed to drive with THC in their system. Is it safe?

Around 25,000 Australians currently use medicinal cannabis products. They may be prescribed to relieve symptoms and pain associated with certain chronic medical conditions, for chemotherapy-induced nausea, or during palliative care | Conversation, Australia