Daily news - 1st September 2020

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UK news

Britain’s top child epilepsy experts recommend cannabis for teen in first case of its kind

[First 3 articles a month usually free to read but may require free registration] Exclusive. Billy Caldwell, 15, suffers from refractory epilepsy and was at the centre of a high-profile campaign to legalise cannabis oil | Telegraph, UK

The Drugs Wheel: A new model for substance awareness - UK version 2.0.8 • 30/08/2020] (PDF)

The Drugs Wheel 2.0.8 is now out: ten substances of low prevalence have been replaced by synthetic cannabinoids and novel dissociatives, benzos and opioids | Mark Adley, UK

Exploring the Characteristic Profle and Parental Experiences of Child Criminal Exploitation Within Shropshire (PDF)

The research presented expands upon the existing evidence around County Lines by exploring the characteristic profile of those vulnerable to Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) in the previously unexplored rural region of Shropshire. The current research will also examine the role of parents within Criminal Exploitation by exploring the experiences of parents and those working closely with parents affected by CCE | We Are With You, UK

Covid-19 (Health Inequalities)

We have also provided additional support to protect some of our most vulnerable people, with over £2 million to ensure additional help and support for those at risk as a result of drug and alcohol use, and over £1.5 million to third sector organisations to provide emergency hotel accommodation and support for people who are experiencing, or are at risk of experiencing, homelessness during the pandemic | They work for you, UK

NHS Inpatient Network

The current NHS inpatient detox provision in England is at breaking point and there is a risk that patients living with the most life threatening addictions will not be able to access appropriate treatment in the very near future | NHS Substance Misuse Provider Alliance, UK

COVID-19 and alcohol harm - survey

COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of our lives, and we want to hear your experiences of how it has affected alcohol harm | AHA UK, UK

Take Drugs Seriously: Drugs, Trafficking and Exploitation - webinar

Sep 10, 2020 08:00 PM. Anyone’s Child: Families for Safer Drug Control and Transform Drug Policy Foundation are pleased to invite you to our upcoming webinar ‘Take Drugs Seriously: Drugs, Trafficking and Exploitation’. This webinar coincides with the launch of our new briefing ‘Reforming drug policies to reduce trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable people’ | Anyone's Child, UK

Coronavirus: Nine prohibition notices issued over guideline breaches

Police have issued prohibition notices to nine licensed premises in Northern Ireland for breaching the coronavirus guidelines | BBC, UK

'Sophisticated drugs operation' dealer jailed

A dealer who masterminded a "sophisticated drugs operation" has been jailed for seven years | BBC, UK

Man charged after operation against Lithuanian gangs

Nerijus Jankauskas, of no fixed abode, appeared via videolink at Belfast Magistrates' Court on six charges including being concerned in the supply of heroin | BBC, UK

Oswaldtwistle cannabis seizure: 'Strong smell' leads police to £4.5m drugs find

Cannabis with an estimated street value of £4.5m has been seized from a warehouse after "a strong smell" led neighbourhood police to the building | BBC, UK

Erlestoke Prison guard smuggled drugs in her underwear

Hannah Gaves, 27, from Bristol, was found carrying cocaine and cannabis on her way into work at Erlestoke Prison near Devizes | BBC, UK


International news

More than 2,000 Australians a year dying from drug overdoses

More than 2,000 Australians are dying from drug overdoses every year and there is a clear upwards trend in deaths, according to researchers, with most deaths unintentional and involving prescription medication | Guardian, UK

Canadian drug users and advocates call for access to regulated opioids

A growing number of policy experts, users and advocates argue that dramatically expanding access can save lives | Guardian, UK

Is What’s Happening in the Philippines a Genocide?

Just over two years ago, I found myself upstairs of a seedy karaoke bar on the northeast outskirts of Manila. Sat opposite me was a man dressed all in black, with a black balaclava and a backpack with a bullet hanging off one of the zippers | Talking Drugs, UK

UN: Human Rights Council Should Act on Philippines

Over 60 Groups Urge UN Body to Ensure Accountability | Human Rights Watch, UK

Deadly synthetic drugs 'now mixed with cocaine and ecstasy', addiction therapists warn

Deadly and extremely potent synthetic drugs are “quietly revolutionising” the Irish drugs scene with killer substances like fentanyl being mixed with cocaine and ecstasy, addiction experts have warned | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Drugnet: International Overdose Awareness Day

Resources to mark International Overdose Awareness day | EMCDDA, Portugal

Taking back what's ours: Episode 9. Russia. Georgia and Ukraine

In today’s episode of the oral history of the movement of people who use drugs, we travel to three Eastern-European countries, where activists effectively fight very restrictive drug policies | Drug Reporter, Hungary

Look beyond opioids to solve national substance use epidemic, study suggests

Overcoming the nation's opioid epidemic will require clinicians to look beyond opioids, new research from Oregon Health & Science University suggests | Medical Xpress, USA

Why 'one day at a time' works for recovering alcoholics

'One day at a time' is a mantra for recovering alcoholics, for whom each day without a drink builds the strength to go on to the next. A new brain imaging study shows why the approach works | Science Daily, USA

Problematic alcohol use linked to legal performance-enhancing substances

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics found that young adults aged 18-26 who used legal performance-enhancing substances were significantly more likely to report several problematic alcohol use and drinking-related risk behaviors seven years later | News medical, USA

Psychedelic Research Fundraising Campaign Attracts $30 Million in Donations in 6 Months, Prepares MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for FDA Approval

Having raised $30 million in non-profit donations in less than six months, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and the Psychedelic Science Funders Collaborative (PSFC) today announced the completion of the Capstone Campaign, a non-profit fundraising effort to fund the final research required to seek U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) | MAPS, USA

California Bans Sale Of Flavored Tobacco Products, Including E-Cigarettes

The state's new law will prohibit the sale of flavored cigarettes and vaping cartridges but exempts hookah products, loose-leaf pipe tobacco and premium cigars | Huffington Post, USA

Vaping ad tactics 'exploited' the pandemic, study says

Vaping companies -- long criticized for marketing that appealed to kids and implied their products were less harmful than smoking -- are now under the microscope for seizing on the Covid-19 pandemic to sell their products | CNN, USA

Pregnancy & Substance Use - A Harm Reduction Toolkit  

This information is intended for use by pregnant and parenting people who use drugs, their loved ones, and their service providers. Our goal is to promote the overall health and well-being of pregnant people who use substances and their families | National Harm Reduction Coalition, USA

Substance use disorder recovery – there’s an app for that… but who uses it and who benefits?

The authors conducted an analysis of Sober Grid, a popular substance use disorder (SUD) recovery smartphone application | Recovery Research Institute, USA

Does it matter where you get medication for opioid use disorder? A comparison of three types of clinics

Individuals receiving buprenorphine for opioid use disorder may or may not receive additional treatment, such as individual and group therapy, family services, and referral to mutual-help groups. This may depend in large part upon the philosophy and resources of the clinic in which buprenorphine is prescribed. Do substance-related outcomes vary across different types of community clinics? | Recovery Research Institute, USA

What Should “Overdose Awareness” Really Mean?

Fatal overdoses may be slightly declining in the United States, according topreliminary 2018 data, but they are not falling out of public discourse⁠—and nor should they | Filter Magazine, USA

Overdose Awareness Day: Drug Users Are Aware—What About Governments?

Every year we come together to remember the lives that have been lost due to overdose. International Overdose Awareness Day is recognized and marked around the world, and has been happening since 2001 in Australia. We’re grateful for that | Filter Magazine, USA

Global drug market shifts during the COVID-19 pandemic: Findings and Methods - Webinar

Sep 8, 2020 06:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada). This one hour webinar will present preliminary findings from the Global Drug Survey COVID-19 edition, an international web-based survey that was completed by tens of thousands of respondents from nations around the world | DPA, USA

Canada’s Prosecutors Take ‘Historic’ Step Towards Decriminalizing Drugs

The move comes as Canada grapples with a devastating opioid crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic | Huffington Post, Canada

Overdose awareness: Coping with a double-headed monster

During her most recent stay in hospital, a doctor told Tara Levis — whose addiction and mental-health issues have resulted in serious health complications in recent years — that he wasn’t sure if she’d make it out alive | Times Colonist, Canada

Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2020

Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2020 reveals that for the fifth year running, more than 2,000 Australians lost their lives to overdose in a single calendar year | Penington Institute, Australia

Hundreds of pairs of shoes tied to Burrard Bridge to mark International Overdose Awareness Day

"Logan Williams, age 16. Someone's son," among the hundreds of notes attached to shoes tied to the bridge | Vancouver Sun, Canada

NT judge weighs up deportation of Alice Springs man convicted of cannabis dealing

A Northern Territory judge has told a 63-year-old Alice Springs man who admitted to supplying cannabis that it would not be "much of a hardship" for him to be sent back to the Netherlands, despite him having left the country when he was six months old | abc.net.au, Australia

Cigarette sales down as vaping up, End Smoking NZ says, but Smokefree 2025 target won't be met

Cigarette sales are plunging faster than any time before as smokers turn to alternatives like vaping - with 410 million fewer smokes sold annually than just two years ago | NZ Herald, New Zealand

Drug reform warrior 'moving on' to top spot in public health

The man who has led New Zealand’s Drug Foundation for 16 years has revealed he’s leaving – but not before he’s seen New Zealand vote for the legalisation of cannabis in October’s referendum | Stuff, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Drinking in the dark: alcohol labelling is failing consumers

Our new research, produced in collaboration with the Alcohol Health Alliance, has found that alcohol labels in the UK do not contain the information consumers need, and calls for mandatory comprehensive labelling | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

Understanding Alcohol in the Pandemic

In the third week of March 2020 I went to the supermarket at the height of the pasta, paracetamol and toilet paper rush | SHAAP blog, UK

The Trip Report 31/08

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

I started lockdown with the focus of Sarah Connor in Terminator. Now I’m drinking more than ever

Life is still incredibly difficult out there, and the boon about working from home is that the sun is always over the yard arm | Guardian, UK

Smoked out: why me and a million others have given up nicotine in 2020

My lifelong love affair with cigarettes was so intense I could only have smoked more if I had slept less. But smashing my vape kit was the final straw | Guardian, UK

Minimum pricing will only further enrich drinks industry

The Republic's Programme for Government promises to "honour our longstanding commitment to introduce minimum unit pricing (of alcohol) in consultation with Northern Ireland." (page 51). The policy is a mistake | Independeny opinion, Ireland

Opioids continue to be the leading cause of overdose deaths in Australia. What else can we do?

In 2018, more than 2,000 people died from drug overdoses in Australia — about five each day | Conversation, Australia

The uncomfortable truth about drug overdose and suicide

For the fifth consecutive year, more than 2000 Australians have died as a result of a drug overdose, highlighting the urgent need to prioritise public health interventions and policies that work | Monash University, Australia