Daily news - 12th January 2021

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UK news

Wound aware: a resource for drug services

A new PHE briefing on wound care describes how drug services can be ‘wound aware’ by helping people who inject drugs (PWID) prevent injection-related wounds, by identifying wounds early and supporting access to treatment. The briefing also covers barriers to treatment and care and includes case studies, practice notes and links to other useful resources | PHE, UK

Nearly 200 naloxone kits provided through ‘click-and-deliver’ service during pandemic

Exclusive: Since May 2020, a charity in Scotland has issued 187 naloxone kits — an emergency antidote for overdoses caused by heroin and other opioids | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Why are drug-related deaths among women increasing in Scotland? A mixed-methods analysis of possible explanations

[Open access] Drug-related deaths have increased significantly in Scotland in recent years, with a much greater percentage increase in deaths among women than among men | DEPP, UK

Preventing further alcohol-related offences by preventing drinking?

From 2016, judges across London were able to issue an Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirement to people who committed alcohol-related offences. Two-year study captured the early results of the sentencing power before the UK Ministry of Justice decided to roll out the programme nationwide in 2020 | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Government working to ‘find a solution’ after Brexit halts medical drug supply for epileptic children

Supplies of prescribed medical cannabis set to run out in a matter of weeks, affecting up to 40 children | Independent, UK

How hopes for Kind Consumer’s alternative to cigarettes went up in smoke

[Free one month trial available] Of all the many business collapses of 2020, perhaps one of the most disappointing was the demise of a smoking-cessation start-up backed by a colourful cast of big City names | The Times, UK

Dr. Matt Field - Compulsive and Choice Models of Addiction

There are two competing paradigms attempting to explain the phenomena of addiction: Addiction as compulsion and addiction as choice | Dr. Matt Field, UK

Families as Lifesavers: Support project for families of drug addicts to begin

Families as Lifesavers, which is being funded through the Drugs Deaths Taskforce, helps family members to increase their understanding of drug addiction while building coping strategies and helping them to continue to support their relative | National, UK

Short Date Nyxoid 1.8mg Naloxone Nasal Spray

We again have a limited stock of Nyxoid with an expiry date of January 2021. This product page is for the short-date stock only. Now free (you only pay shipping). Max 5 units per order | Exchange Supplies, UK

Heroin Assisted Treatment

Wed, 27 January 2021, 14:00 – 15:30 GMT. Middlesbrough has been operating England's only Heroin Assisted Treatment programme for 18mths with some fantastic early findings. The programme has seen dramatic increase in individual participants health and well being and a significant reduction in crime. Come and listen to Daniel describe the programme in detail and talk about the impact its having in the lives of people who use it , their families and communities | Recovering Justice, UK

Leaving No Smoker Behind

Tue, 19 January 2021, 14:00 – 16:30 GMT. This event is for anyone who is interested in finding solutions to smoking-related death and disease in adults presenting with substance use, mental illness and homelessness | London South Bank University, UK


International news

Foreigners face ban from Amsterdam's cannabis cafes

Proposals would allow only Dutch residents to enter city’s 166 marijuana-selling coffee-shops | Guardian, UK

Spanish police seize record haul of synthetic drugs

More than 800,000 ecstasy tablets among largest such confiscation in country’s history | Guardian, UK

Euro-DEN Plus network prepares to expand beyond the EU

Data from hospital emergency departments show that every year in Europe thousands of individuals experience drug-related toxicity and other harms, resulting in emergency presentations to hospital | EMCDDA, Portugal

EHYT noted a 30 per cent increase in the number of answered calls and a 40 per cent rise in attempted calls over the course of the year | Helsinki Times, Finland

Alcohol sales ban extended to limit trauma cases at hospitals

President Cyril Ramaphosa says it is crucial to protect health services during the pandemic, which is why the alcohol sales ban will continue to limit trauma cases at hospitals | News24, South Africa

Associations between baseline opioid use disorder severity, mental health and biopsychosocial functioning, with clinical responses to computer-assisted therapy treatment

Increasing rates of opioid-related overdose have been identified globally. Treatment for opioid use disorders (OUD) includes medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) alongside behavioral support. Novel approaches to behavioral support should be explored, including computer-assisted therapy (CAT) programs | AJDAA, USA

NIH study suggests using cannabis while trying to conceive may reduce pregnancy chances

Women who use marijuana could have a more difficult time conceiving a child than women who do not use marijuana, suggests a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health | EurekAlert, USA

Autism may raise risk for substance use disorder

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have an increased risk for substance use disorder (SUD), according to a study published online Jan. 4 in JAMA Pediatrics | Medical Xpress, USA

Physician-pharmacist collaboration may increase adherence to opioid addiction treatment

A collaborative approach to treating opioid use disorder that relies heavily on community pharmacists is feasible and may increase adherence and participant satisfaction, according to a pilot study published today in Addiction | Medical Xpress, USA

How New Haven Harm Reductionists Reach Sex Workers in the Pandemic

In November, Sex Workers and Allies Network (SWAN) unveiled a new mobile-outreach van. Our street-based outreach team distributes free harm reduction supplies throughout New Haven, Connecticut. We serve survival sex workers—those who rely on sex work to provide basic needs like food and shelter—and/or people who use drugs | Filter Magazine, USA

Airdrie cancer patient first Albertan to undergo legal magic mushroom therapy

After what he described as an 'incredible adventure,' White said the therapy brought emotional and physical relief that's proven stunning and still tangible six days later | Regina Leader Post, Canada

Exploring the place of alcohol and other drug services in the mental health system

This report outlines: Current health service gaps in relation to complex or ‘co-morbid’ clients experiencing both alcohol and other drug and mental health issues. The current issues in integrating AOD and mental health sectors at a system, service and treatment level. Alternative models for responding to co-morbidity whilst maintaining seperate specialisations | 360edge, Australia

New figures show dug checking services have reduced harm - but more could be done

New figures released by KnowYourStuffNZ, visit external website show the vast majority of people who attended drug checking chose not to take the harmful cathinone eutylone, where it turned out they had unwittingly purchased it | NZDF, New Zealand

'I was too scared to move': Alarming reports of drug reactions at New Year festivals

Hundreds of New Year festival-goers have reported alarming symptoms – including paranoia, seizures, severe nausea and inability to sleep for days – after taking chemicals sold to them as MDMA, or ecstasy | NZ Herald, New Zealand

Cocaine, aunties and $100,000 drops: How a Kiwi drug syndicate hid their cash

When a student named in court documents simply as ‘Ms Do’ walked into the ASB branch on Auckland’s Queen St and paid $100,000 cash into her account, it was “nothing more than an informal transfer system”. | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

At the root of the opioid crisis is our belief that Big Pharma can cure pain. Can we kick that habit?

Overdoses are a deadly epidemic that we’ll still have to live with after COVID-19 is gone, but without similar promises of vaccination and return to normal – only the hope that we can change our attitudes | Globe and Mail, Canada

Where Has All the Legal Medicinal Cannabis Gone?

A patient who uses medicinal cannabis to treat their ailments recently remarked in a social media forum that at present it’s taking their chemist at least two weeks from payment to fill their prescription for cannabis medicine | Sydney Criminal Lawyers, Australia