Daily news - 7th September 2020

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UK news

Support and informational needs of ‘at-risk’ groups highlighted in new SDF report

A new report that identifies specific risks and informational needs of certain ‘at-risk’ groups in Scotland has been published. The Scottish Government-funded report (PDF) presents research that was carried out with particular at-risk populations who engage transactional sex, chemsex, or the use of image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs), with the aim of identifying specific risks in terms of drug use and sexual health, treatment and information needs | SDF, UK

'Surprise and disappointment' at UK drug response

A cross-party group of MPs has accused the UK government of the almost "wholesale rejection" of moves to tackle Scotland's record drug deaths | BBC, UK

Give cannabis to elderly people with chronic pain, doctors say

[Limited number of free articles can be read per month] Experts say cannabis-based medicines, including those that contain THC, should be used instead of opioids | Telegraph, UK

Associations between a smoke-free homes intervention and childhood admissions to hospital in Scotland: an interrupted time-series analysis of whole-population data

In Scotland, a public health mass-media campaign was launched on March 24, 2014, called Take it Right Outside (TiRO), with a focus on reducing the exposure of children to domestic second-hand smoke. In this study, our aim was to establish whether the TiRO campaign was followed by a decrease in hospital admissions for childhood asthma and other respiratory conditions related to second-hand smoke exposure across Scotland | Lancet, UK

Phoenix's Brand New Look

Since the end of last year we have been working away behind the scenes, crafting a new visual identity, that is a better reflection of who we are at Phoenix, - our culture, the breath of our services and our purpose | Phoenix Futures, UK

Sustainable Recovery - Our Strategy 2020

Our Chief Exec, Karen Biggs introduces Phoenix's 2020 strategy - Sustainable Recovery | Phoenix Futures, UK

Drug and alcohol problems in remote and rural Scotland: responding during Covid and beyond

Friday 11  September 13:00-14:00. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted positively and negatively on this service provision to some of the most vulnerable people in remote and rural Scotland. This webinar will hear from local service providers and policymakers about the challenges and opportunities presented and the changes they would want to remain in the future | SDF, UK

Problematic substance use in later life

Read the event report for Dr Hafford-Letchfield and Ms McQuarrie's webinar. This presentation covered the results of a systematic literature review that sought to assess the existing evidence for interventions with people experiencing problematic substance use in later life | SHAAP, UK

UK Drug Policy - How have we come to this situation, that children are at the frontline of the violent drug trade - video

The widespread corruption, an increase in violence, an increase in drug deaths and the exploitation of children. How bad do things have to get before we change direction with our current drug policy | MyPOV, UK

Police Routinely Use Drug Search Powers to 'Bully People', Says Former Chief Inspector

VICE News analysis shows police in the UK often use drugs as a pretext to stop and search people, despite three-quarters of these searches coming up empty | VICE, UK

Nightclubs in Glasgow can temporarily open as bars under new rules

Glasgow’s Licensing Board has agreed to cut the red tape to process licence variations faster | Glasgow Times, UK

‘I was hammered for the first month of lockdown’ – meet the people who quit alcohol in the pandemic

Despite the stories of people drinking more when confined to home, for many this has been a time to tackle their dependency | Guardian, UK

Six taken ill 'after taking LSD' at Stockport house party

Six people were hospitalised after taking what is believed to be LSD at a house party, the deputy mayor of Greater Manchester has said | BBC, UK

Leeds hospital trust bans smoking on grounds

Smoking has been banned in the grounds of Leeds hospitals, with people urged not to be rude to staff trying to implement the new rules | BBC, UK

Trans teen refused service in Glasgow pub for not looking like ID picture

A transgender woman has spoken of her upset after she was refused service in a pub because staff did not think she looked like the person on her ID | BBC, UK

How Victorian female brewers broke the (pint) glass ceiling

As more women take charge of commercial beer production, a new book reveals their pivotal role in the industry historically | Guardian, UK

Hooked: The Unexpected Addicts - gaming

Melissa and Jade learn about gaming addiction and how it can be treated | BBC, UK


International news

Combatting Overdose: The Road to Evidence Based Drug Policy

International Overdose Awareness Day began as a way to address the stigma surrounding drug-related death and as a means of raising awareness | Talking Drugs, UK

Call to uphold the rights of people who use drugs and harm reduction in the new UNAIDS Strategy

Ahead of the UNAIDS Multi-Stakeholder Consultation on 16 September, 33 civil society and community-led organisations working on drug policy and harm reduction are urging the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (UNAIDS PCB) to uphold the rights of people who use drugs and harm reduction in the new UNAIDS Strategy | HRI, UK

Tel Aviv: Drone filmed dropping suspected cannabis over city

A quadcopter has been recorded releasing a payload of little bags, which Israeli police suspect contained "a dangerous drug", over Tel Aviv. It followed activists who seek to legalise the drug in Israel promising free cannabis from the air on social media | BBC, UK

Health Ministry introduces sweeping new cannabis reforms

The new amendment removes CBD from Israel's Dangerous Drug Ordinance and is expected to lower prices of medical cannabis and cannabis products for the Israeli public | Y net, Israel

Assessment of Probable Opioid Use Disorder Using Electronic Health Record Documentation

This cross-sectional study demonstrated that DSM-5 criteria for opioid use disorder can be extracted through review of electronic health records and that patients who are part of a drug monitoring program had a higher mean prevalence of opiod use disorder and a higher mean number of psychiatric comorbidities associated with opioid use disorder | JAMA Network, USA

Flavourings in e-cigarettes might mix in unexpected, harmful ways

Flavorings combine with solvents in e-cigarettes to produce new toxic chemicals that irritate the airways, triggering reactions that can lead to breathing and heart and blood vessel problems, according to new research presented at the "virtual" European Respiratory Society International Congress | Medical Xpress, USA

Saudi Arabia, a world leader in executions, weighs ending capital punishment for drug crimes

Saudi Arabia is considering ending the use of the death penalty for drug-related offenses, a change that could spare the lives of dozens of prisoners in the kingdom every year, according to a Saudi official and human rights groups that monitor capital punishment in the country | Washington Post, USA

Safe drug supply key to fighting overdoses: Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa is moving forward “aggressively” on ensuring a safe drug supply amid an ongoing overdose crisis that’s claimed more than 900 lives in B.C. alone this year | City News, Canada

Harm-reduction group wants permission to give free cannabis to opioid users

A group that provides harm-reduction and advocacy for drug users is applying for a rezoning that would allow it to legally give out free cannabis to help people reduce their opioid use and alleviate withdrawal symptoms | Times Colonist, Canada

Treating mental illness with mushies and MDMA: The regulator wants to know what you think

In recent years, groundbreaking research into the therapeutic benefits of psychoactive drugs has opened up the possibility that psilocybin (found in magic mushrooms) or MDMA could be used to treat mental illnesses | abc.net.au, Australia

Factsheet: How many people use crystal methamphetamine?

Infographcs on methamhetamine prevalence and use demographics | Cracks in the ice, Australia

Matters of Substance

August edition of the Matters of Substance including topical features on drug policy and practice based stories | NZDF, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Britain has to overhaul its attitude to drug use – moralising isn't the solution

Vilifying recreational use and addiction won’t alter behaviour in a pandemic. We need a more honest conversation about drugs | Guardian, UK

The Truth About Why The NHS Is Refusing to Prescribe Medicinal Cannabis

The reason it is impossible to get medicinal cannabis prescribed on the NHS is not really about doctors’ clinical judgement | Peter Reynolds, UK

South Africa’s coronavirus death toll is far lower than the UK’s. Could the alcohol ban be something to do with it?

The divergence between the two countries suggests we should pay more attention to what has happened there if we truly want to be ‘world leading’ | Independent voices, UK

Anthony Fay: Government passes parcel to Citizens' Assembly to consider drugs use policy 

Any plan to legalise drugs must be done in the context of wider societal reform | Irish Examiner opinion, Ireland