Daily news - 1st April 2021

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We hope you have a Happy Easter break. See you again on Tuesday


UK news

Reducing the harm caused by low level drug crime [Section in Independent report - Crime and policing ]

One of the themes from the Lammy Review which the Commission has aimed to build on includes the diversion of low-level drug offences outside of the criminal justice system | Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, UK

Decriminalise Weed in London, UK Government-Backed Race Review Says

Downing Street's controversial race report wants to pilot schemes in four police force areas that reduce impact of biased stop and search | VICE, UK

Misuse of illicit drugs and medicines: applying All Our Health

Evidence and guidance to help health professionals identify, prevent or reduce drug-related harm. Updated by adding a link to Opioids Aware under 'Professional resources and tools' | PHE, UK

Home Secretary tightens restrictions on GHB following horrific crimes

GHB and related substances will be moved from Class C to Class B, meaning they will be harder to access and result in tougher penalties for possession | Home Office and The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, UK

NDTMS: accreditation for software suppliers

Updated software supplier accreditation details | PHE, UK

New Leaf Opportunities: Listings & Acquisitions with Avihu Tamir

Volteface's Stakeholder Engagement Officer, Katya Kowalski sits down with Avihu Tamir (Founder and CEO of Kanabo) to discuss the recent listings and acquisitions in the UK medical cannabis sector and what this means for the industry moving forward | Volteface, UK

#33 - Trauma and Stress

This week’s episode features Dr Gabor Maté, a Hungarian-Canadian physician who’s main interests include childhood development and trauma, and their impact on lifelong physical and mental health | Drug Science, UK

Community Alcohol Partnerhsips 2020 Annual report (PDF)

Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) is a Community Interest Company the aim of which is to initiate and support local partnerships of councils, police, retailers, schools, health providers and other community groups to reduce alcohol harm among young people, improve their health and wellbeing and enhance their communities | CAP, UK

Launch of the Taking Responsibility – Responsible Regulation of Alcohol seminar series

As part of the celebrations of 25 years of the Portman Group Code of Practice we are launching the Taking Responsibility – Responsible Regulation of Alcohol seminar series. Over the course of the year, we want to take this opportunity to explore how alcohol is regulated, the key trends for the sector, and to provide greater transparency on the workings of the Code. | Portman Group, UK

Alcohol Alert – March 2021

Spring Budget sees in new financial year with another blanket freeze on alcohol duties, while research finds availability of alcohol amplifies associations with deprivation and violence | IAS, UK

Richard Bacon says cocaine scandal would be ‘more frightening’ today in social media age

Former presenter was fired from Blue Peter in 1998 | Independent, UK

Boston cannabis farm is Lincolnshire's 'largest'

Cannabis plants with an estimated street value of £6m were found in a 50,000 sq ft (4,650 sq m) industrial unit in the Fishtoft Road area | BBC, UK

'Drugs worth £12m' seized following NI-Belgium operations

Suspected drugs worth an estimated £12m have been seized following operations involving police in Northern Ireland and Belgium, the National Crime Agency and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs | BBC, UK



International news

Peer Works! | Webinar 1: OST Literacy and Rights

Thursday 1 April 2021 at 11am (UK time). OST Literacy and Rights webinar will include an overview of the project and introduction to the OST leaflet, followed by different stakeholders from the pilot countries discussing their work on the project. The webinar will be chaired by Annette Dale Perera, with speakers including Christos Anastasiou, Mat Southwell, Lee Collingham, Dirk Schäffer and Roberto Sandero | EuroNPUD, UK et al

Tobacco use up during early COVID-19 lockdown

Existing smokers or users of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) report increased use during the initial COVID-19 lockdown, according to a study published online March 1 in the International Journal of Drug Policy | Medical Xpress, USA

Researchers find large trade of opioids on the dark web

A string of opioid trade sites on the dark web have been uncovered by researchers with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Biomedical Informatics | University of Texas, USA

NC senators look to toughen penalties for the opioid that's causing the most overdoses

Nearly five North Carolinians died each day due to unintentional opioid overdoses in 2019, according to state data. Legislators in North Carolina are trying to make penalties tougher for possession and distribution of the opioid that is causing more overdoses than any other | MSN, USA

County launches online overdose dashboard

The Oneida County Opioid Task Force and its Overdose Response Team have launched a public-facing data dashboard that tracks key information pertaining to drug overdoses and trends in Oneida County | Rome Sentinel, USA

New York Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

New Yorkers will immediately be allowed to possess up to three ounces of cannabis for recreational purposes, as other facets of the law are phased in over several months | NYTimes, USA

New Mexico Passes Cannabis Legalization & Expungement Package in Special Session

With the New Mexico Legislature approving social justice-centered cannabis legalization during the special session today, Emily Kaltenbach, Senior Director for Resident States and New Mexico for the Drug Policy Alliance, released the following statement... | DPA, USA

Ineffective alcohol advertising watchdog says it was ok to stay in and drink up during pandemic

Twelve months since Australia first went into lockdown, Cancer Council has released a report demonstrating how industry codes failed to protect the community from harmful alcohol advertising during the COVID-19 pandemic | Mirage News, Australia

Opioids and antidepressants: which combinations to avoid

Some opioids such as tramadol, pethidine, dextromethorphan and tapentadol increase serotonergic activity. Fentanyl and methadone also do this but to a lesser extent | NPS, Australia

The Bulletin - March

In this edition we feature the extraordinary resilience of NSP workers around Australia overcoming the challenges created by COVID-19 | Penington Institute, Australia

Cancer Society launches petition to restrict number of tobacco sale outlets

Between 3000 and 4000 shops sell tobacco in New Zealand, but the society would like that to drop as low as 200 | RNZ, New Zealand



Blogs, comment and opinion

A System that Fails to Retain its History or Prepare for the Future

The other day I was on a zoom call and I could see a poster of local recovery history behind one of the persons I was talking to. I asked about it, and he told me he had stumbled on the poster when a local agency was cleaning out a condemned building | Recovery Review blog, UK

Elimination of hepatitis C in Australia by 2030: a decade and counting

Direct-acting antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus infection is one of the great advances in clinical medicine in recent decades.1 Several regimens have been licensed since 2014 which allow simple, once-daily oral dosing for 8–12 weeks | NPS editorial, Australia