Daily news - 23rd February 2021

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UK news

Scotland drugs policy minister resolves to reduce horrific death toll

Angela Constance says she is committed to introducing full range of treatments in ‘national mission’ | Guardian, UK

Police should carry drugs overdose antidote, says senior officer

Exclusive: NPCC’s drugs lead backs wider supply of naloxone after successful trials | Guardian, UK

Big wins for Big Tobacco: vaping category report 2021

Lockdown has played into the hands of the tobacco giants, whose vape brands have seen soaring sales. So what’s happening here? | The Grocer, UK

MDMA could be used to treat alcohol addiction

[Limited number of free articles per week] The Class A drug is thought to suppress a region of the brain known as the amygdala, which allows patients to confront painful memories | Telegraph, UK

Request for Information - Addiction Psychiatry Tutor Network

There has been a significant reduction in addiction psychiatry consultants over the past decade, accompanied by a reduction in the number of training places providing experience in management of addiction. All psychiatrists need sound knowledge of addiction psychiatry to respond to the needs of the populations they serve | RPSYCH, UK

Exchange Supplies launches 2 modules from their level 3 NSP practitioner training

The level 3 course will build into a full training for specialist needle exchange workers, the ‘Foundations of good practice’ and ‘Historical Context’ modules were published this week in a move to make the training available as soon as it is ready, while the rest of the course and assessment are under construction | Exchange Supplies, UK

Wales to fine parents £100 for smoking at school gates and playgrounds

Parents who smoke outside school gates and in public playgrounds will have to cough up £100 | Metro, UK

No smoking at the hospital

Staff and the public will be banned from smoking at all health service premises from April 1 | IOM Today, UK

'I would go to bed praying not to wake up' - The heroin and crack addiction that controlled Adam's life for two decades

After several detox attempts, Adam woke up in hospital one morning and said “I’m done”.. Now he wants to help others in the grips of addiction | Manchester Evening News, UK

Resilient face of drug and alcohol treatment services in London amid the pandemic

Like every sector in the UK over the past year, substance abuse treatment services have had to adapt to the ongoing Covid pandemic | SW Londoner, UK

Webinar: Discussion - Preventing hepatitis C transmission and reducing reinfections

Thu, 4th March 2021, 12.30-14.30 GMT. This event will hear from experts in the field and encourage discussion from participants to identify challenges and solutions around prevention of hepatitis C | London Joint Working Group on Substance Use and Hepatitis C, UK

DARC Research Webinar Series 2021: March

Wed, 17 March 2021, 13:00 – 14:00 GMT. James Morris: Why harmful drinkers reject change: coping and cognition in maintaining heavy drinking | PSS Faculty, UK

Psychedelics and the Nature Connection with Dr Sam Gandy

Thu, 25 February 2021, 16:00 – 17:00 GMT. Dr Gandy will reveal how psychedelics can promote pro-environmental behaviours that are needed to prevent further ecological destruction | Drug Science, UK

Ex-drug cops slam Keir Starmer for his comments on cannabis

A group of police chiefs have slammed Sir Keir Starmer's comments on cannabis - plus his overall stance on drug criminalisation | Joe, UK


International news

El Chapo's wife Emma Coronel Aispuro arrested in US over 'drug trafficking'

The wife of jailed Mexican drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán has been arrested in the US on suspicion of drug trafficking, US authorities say | BBC, UK

Narcotic detector dog sniffs out cocaine covered cornflakes in Ohio

‘That’s not Frosted Flakes,’ customs authorities joked | Independent, UK

Overview of the major classes of new psychoactive substances, psychoactive effects, analytical determination and conformational analysis of selected illegal drugs

We describe different classes of these NPS drugs with emphasis on the methods used to identify them and the identification of their metabolites in biological specimens. This is the first review that thoroughly gives the literature on both natural and synthetic illegal drugs with old known data and very hot new topics and investigations, which enables the researcher to use it as a starting point in the literature exploration and planning of the own research | Open Chemistry, Serbia

What Parents Need to Know About Teen Vaping and What They Can Do About It

Vaping refers to using e-cigarettes that heat liquids to produce aerosol that users inhale into their lungs | JAMA Network, USA

Risk factors for opioid relapse differ between men and women

Multiple substance use disorders were deemed a serious risk factor for men, while women who relapsed tended to suffer from withdrawal symptoms and depression, a USC study has found | USC, USA

West Virginia’s enduring, intertwined epidemics: Opioids and HIV

Long before COVID-19 entered the picture, West Virginia had been battling two other major public health crises: opioids and HIV | WVU, USA

Legislation signed on Monday decriminalizes the use or possession of up to six ounces of cannabis, ending an era of disproportionate arrests in communities of color | NYTimes, USA

Quebec’s Curfew a Public Health Threat for People Who Use Drugs

In the six weeks since the Quebec-wide curfew went into effect, it has destabilized support systems for people who use drugs. Under the Coalition Avenir Quebec government, the 8 pm to 5 am curfew has now been extended until February 22, after which some restrictions will change | Filter Magazine, USA

LTC Expanded: For Community Residential Substance Use Facilities and Shelters for Those Experiencing Homeless

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected underserved people in Canada, including those who experience homelessness and/or substance use | CFHI, Canada

‘An overdose killed my son’: More families writing honest death notices about how their loved ones died

When her son Sam Stuart died of a drug overdose last May at the age of 44, Judith Stuart had to decide what to say in his death notice for the local paper | Globe and Mail, Canada

Sewage study shows Australia likes to party hard

The Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and the United States are consuming the highest amounts of designer ‘party’ drugs, according to wastewater samples taken from eight countries over the New Year period | University of South Australia, Australia

International Family Drug Support Day

Events are being held around the country to mark the International Family Drug Support Day | Family Drug Support Australia, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

As a sector we need to do more to widen access to drug support

Not enough people are able to get the help they need. This is the moment to be bold and ambitious in changing that | We Are With You, UK

The Guardian view on illegal drugs: the laws don’t work

A new minister in Scotland is on a mission to cut drug deaths. But a fresh approach to a complex problem is needed across the UK | Guardian, UK

‘Only junkies’: how stigma and discrimination link to rise in drug deaths among Scotland’s poor

For more than a decade, drug-related deaths (DRD) in Scotland have been rising – alongside evidence which suggests that the country has had much less success in treating and supporting people who use drugs compared to the rest of the UK and Europe | Conversation, UK

End of life care for people using substances: research challenges in lockdown

In this blog, Professor Sarah Galvani explains some of the research challenges posed by lockdown for research into end-of-life care for people using substances | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

Roughtly right is wrong

On Sunday, the Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer gave an interview which briefly covered drug policy. To many reformers his comments were dispiriting: asked for his views on decriminalisation of cannabis possession, he apparently rejected the idea - arguing instead that current drug policy was ‘roughly right’ | Transform blog, UK

What Popular Culture Misunderstands About Addiction

You might already know the story of Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance’s memoir that argues that a variety of social ills in Appalachia—low birth rates, declining religious affiliation, domestic violence—can be attributed to “hillbilly culture.” | The Nation, USA