Daily news - 15th September 2020

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UK news

Addiction services not equipped to treat the 8 million people drinking at high risk during pandemic, warns Royal College

Addiction services in England are not equipped to treat the soaring numbers of people drinking at high risk during the pandemic and must receive a multi-million-pound funding boost in the upcoming spending review, says the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The College’s new analysis of Public Health England’s latest data on the indirect effects of Covid-19 found that over 8.4 million people are now drinking at higher risk, up from just 4.8 million in February | Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK

'Soaring alcohol misuse' could overwhelm services

Addiction services in England could struggle to cope with "soaring" numbers of people misusing alcohol, the Royal College of Psychiatrists is warning | BBC, UK

Ministers seek to extend police stop and search in England and Wales

Proposals unveiled despite increased tensions between police and black communities | Guardian, UK

Inside Glasgow's Safer Drug Consumption Van

On Friday, activist Peter Krykant opened the doors of his mobile harm reduction facility to the city's drug users | VICE, UK

Skendleby: Drugs haul found in underground bunkers

Cannabis plants with a street value of more than half a million pounds have been found in underground bunkers constructed from shipping containers | BBC, UK


International news

Principles for the responsible legal regulation of cannabis

In recent years, discussions on the legal regulation of drugs – and in particular of cannabis – have moved in from the margins of drug policy debates. As of today, over 50 countries have adopted regulatory frameworks for medical cannabis, while a growing number of jurisdictions have regulated adult non-medical use, with many more poised to follow | ICPR, UK

Reforming drug policies to reduce trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable people (PDF)

This new briefing explores how drug policies have created opportunities to manipulate, exploit and enslave vulnerable people and proposes new ways of addressing these harms | Transform / Anyone's Child, UK

MySafe: When Technology and Drug Policy Meet

MySafe is an automated kiosk which provides patients with a safe supply of hydromorphone, a safer pharmaceutical alternative to fentanyl. MySafe has already implemented the world's first safe supply automated kiosk in Vancouver's infamous Downtown Eastside on the west coast of Canada | Talking Drugs, UK

£3.8 million funding boost to investigate alcohol misuse in humanitarian settings

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) have been awarded funding from the NIHR-Wellcome Partnership for Global Health Research to address alcohol misuse and associated adversities among conflict-affected populations in Uganda and Ukraine | LSHTM, UK

Cultural, Traditional and Indigenous Rights and the Legal Regulation of Drugs - webinar

23 September, 16:30-18:00 BST. For this second webinar, we dive into how the structures upholding the so-called ‘war on drugs’ are rooted in racism and imperialism. How do we ensure that the legal regulation of drugs decolonises these structures and places cultural, traditional and indigenous rights at the centre of reform? | ICPR et al, UK et al

Poster Contest: International Drug Users' Day 2020

International Drug Users’ Day is an immensely important event for the global community of people who use drugs, providing an opportunity for us to celebrate our history and affirm our rights. For 2020, we would like to ask our global community to help design a new poster commemorating this year’s International Drug Users’ Day | INPUD, UK

WHO cannabis rescheduling and its relevance for the Caribbean

Following its first-ever critical review of cannabis, in January 2019 the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a collection of formal recommendations to reschedule cannabis and cannabis-related substances. 53 member states of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), two of which are Caribbean states, are set to vote on these recommendations in December 2020 | TNI, The Netherlands

What microdosing did for the perception of psychedelics

Over the past decade, the phenomenon of ‘microdosing’ has had outsized implications for the perception of psychedelics. Before this phenomena, narratives around psychedelics always assumed a large dose and a full psychedelic experience | ICPR, The Netherlands

Europe E-Cigarettes Market, 2020-2025: Market to Witness a CAGR of 12.98% - Rising Dual-Use Among Consumers

Aiming to reduce their use of conventional/ combustible cigarettes, consumers in the region are increasingly using use e-cigarettes concurrently. Also, as e-cigarettes mimic the experience of smoking conventional/ combustible cigarettes, consumers are increasingly using them to satisfy their nicotine dependency | Research and Markets, USA

Substance use disorders linked to COVID-19 susceptibility

A recent study found that people with substance use disorders (SUDs) are more susceptible to COVID-19 and its complications. The findings suggest that health care providers should closely monitor patients with SUDs and develop action plans to help shield them from infection and severe outcomes | Science Daily, USA

Trends in Mortality From Drug Poisonings, Suicide, and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in the United States From 2000 to 2017

In this serial cross-sectional study using US mortality data from 2000 to 2017, including 1 446 177 drug poisoning, suicide, and alcohol-induced premature deaths, high drug poisoning death rates were clustered in the Northeast through Appalachia but high rates for suicide and alcohol-induced deaths were largely in the West. Death rates varied across these 3 causes by demographic characteristics, county-level characteristics, and over time | JAMA Network, USA

Virtual reality trains public to reverse opioid overdoses

The United States has seen a 200% increase in the rate of deaths by opioid overdose in the last 20 years. But many of these deaths were preventable. Naloxone, also called Narcan, is a prescription drug that reverses opioid overdoses, and in more than 40 states -- including Pennsylvania -- there is a standing order policy, which makes it available to anyone, without an individual prescription from a healthcare provider | EurekAlert, USA

One or more opioids involved in approximately 80 percent of OD deaths

More than 83 percent of overdose deaths during January to June 2019 involved illicitly manufactured fentanyls (IMFs), heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine (alone or in combination)... | Medical Xpress, USA

Lacking Access to Clean Needles, I Caught a Life-Threatening Blood Infection

Afew months ago I caught a life-threatening blood infection from a dirty needle. Well, probably. I don’t know that the infection came from the needle | Filter Magazine, USA

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Becomes First Jurisdiction to Provide Breaking Free from Substance Abuse Digital Behavioral Support Program for Incarcerated Individuals

Substance abuse and drug dependence affect more than 60% of incarcerated individuals; now those at ODRC have continuous access to effective support | GTL, USA

Drop in London naloxone distribution during pandemic raises concerns

Naloxone distribution has fallen from 16,000 kits a month to 12,000 after pandemic began | CBC News, Canada

Preventable injecting-related injuries and diseases reported by many people who inject drugs

In a new report by researchers at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), UNSW Sydney, data from 897 face-to-face interviews with PWID from the 2019 Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) were analysed | NDARC, Australia

Over-the-counter medicinal cannabis plan not what it seems, experts warn

Medicinal cannabis could be available over-the-counter in Australia by next year as the national medicines regulator weighs a proposal to allow it to be sold without a prescription, but some experts warn the approach could backfire | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Drugs, trafficking and exploitation

With a new paper on drugs and exploitation published by Anyone’s Child and Transform Drugs Policy Foundation, Mary Ryder explains a hope for change | One25.org, UK

Alcohol producers stepped up to support the industry and community during the COVID-19 lockdown

The world continues to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and this trying time saw alcohol producers big and small play their part to support frontline healthcare workers, the industry and local communities impacted by the closure of pubs and bars during lockdown | Portman Group blog, UK

Months after the ACT decriminalised cannabis possession, growers still face challenges

Late last year, when Anastasios Nomikos discovered Australian Capital Territory residents would soon be allowed to grow cannabis for personal use, he began planning his move up from Melbourne | abc.net.au blog, Australia