Daily news - 20th January 2021

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UK news

£148 million to cut drugs crime

The government has announced £148 million funding for new measures to tackle drug misuse, which includes the biggest increase in drug treatment funding for 15 years.

£80 million will be allocated to local authorities in the next financial year to improve access to community, residential and inpatient drug treatment, and to expand harm reduction interventions like naloxone and needle and syringe programmes.

A further £28 million is being invested in 5 areas with the highest levels of drug use harm (Blackpool, Hastings, Norwich, Middlesbrough and Port Talbot and Swansea). These areas are piloting Project ADDER (Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery), a new approach which brings together partners in local law enforcement, the justice system and public health and treatment services to respond to drug problems | Home Office

£80m for treatment services in drug crackdown

Drug treatment services in England are to receive an extra £80m as part of government's efforts to cut crime. This will mean more places for people released from prison and criminals handed community sentences | BBC, UK

New funding to tackle drug misuse 'a drop in the ocean', say experts

Government announces £80m for treatment including rollout of overdose medicine naloxone | Guardian, UK

People are dying – so I am pulling together a system-wide approach to the impact of illegal drugs

[Limited number of free articles per week] As Home Secretary, I am determined to cut crime and restore confidence in our criminal justice system. People must be able to live their lives knowing their family, community and country is safe | Telegraph, UK

A Breath of Fresh Air

Our report, A Breath of Fresh Air: research into the training needs of UK GPs on Very Brief Advice for smoking cessation, shows that not enough GPs are equipped to have effective conversations about smoking with patients | British Lung Foundation, UK

QMJC December 2020 - Alcohol in the life narratives of women: Commonalities and differences by sexual orientation

This qualitative paper explores the role of alcohol in the life narratives of women with different sexual orientations. The introduction explains that alcohol-related problems are higher among sexual minority women, compared to heterosexual women, and provides explanations for why this may be the case | SSA, UK

The Alcohol Education Trust Progress on Strategic Goals and Impact Report 2020 (PDF)

This year has tested the resilience and adaptability of organisations across the world. The AET is no exception and we have continued to support schools and settings that remained open looking after the children of key workers and the most vulnerable throughout successive lockdown. As a result, we have increased the number of vulnerable young people we have helped to make wise life choices this year, in more settings than ever... | Alcohol Education Trust, UK

Pavilion in the Park (PIP) – cafe and meeting hub build hand over to charity on The Great Field Poundbury

The building was handed over by builder C G Fry, who have built at cost, ready for fit out, with PiP café and community hub planning to open in early April | Alcohol Education Trust, UK

SUAB Webinar: The impact of parental substance use on children

Tue, 23 February 2021, 13:00 – 14:30 GMT. Hannah Todman, MMU, and Virginia Wright, PHE, will discuss the impact of parental substance use on children and young people | SUAB, UK

Re-Contextualising Cannabis Through Design

Fri, 5 February 2021, 16:00 – 17:30 GMT. The European Cannabis Advocacy Network holds its second public event focused on re-contextualising cannabis through design | Volteface, UK

Cannabis in 2021: Investment in the UK, the New Leaf of Opportunities

Thu, 28 January 2021, 18:30 – 20:00 GMT. An event to discuss the economic benefits of investment in the medical cannabis and CBD space | Volteface, UK

Senior Welsh Tory and Labour figures apologise for drinks event

Conservative leader in Wales, Paul Davies, among those at event days after Covid pub ban came into force | Guardian, UK

Eleven-foot snake found in search of suspected cannabis farm

Four snakes including an 11ft (3m) boa constrictor were found by police during a callout to a suspected cannabis farm | BBC, UK


International news

Italy smoking: Want to light up in Milan? Not any more, you can't

Smoking within a 10m (30ft) distance of other people is no longer permitted from Tuesday at bus and tram stops as well as in the city's parks and green spaces, sports and recreational grounds, children's play areas, stadiums and cemeteries | BBC, UK

Is hygienic injecting something everyone is able to practise?

Serious bacterial infections are among the most common medical complications in people who inject drugs, and can result in the need for urgent hospital care. US study investigated whether rolling out an injecting hygiene programme in hospital to people who inject drugs would reduce the rate of return visits. Strong argument for pragmatic and timely harm reduction, but not to be overlooked are the factors outside of individual behaviour that impact injecting hygiene | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

What if the therapist works for the jailer?

The title poses the dilemma for alcohol treatment staff (seen as) working for authorities controlling or punishing the ‘client’ or deciding on removing their children. In these situations, exceptional abilities are needed to forge productive relationships. Effectiveness Bank Alcohol Treatment Matrix cell B5 | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Real‐world effectiveness of pharmacological treatments of alcohol use disorders in a Swedish nation‐wide cohort of 125 556 patients

[Open access] Pharmacotherapy for alcohol use disorder (AUD) is recommendable, but under‐used, possibly due to deficient knowledge of medications. This study aimed to investigate the real‐world effectiveness of approved pharmacological treatments (disulfiram, acamprosate, naltrexone and nalmefene) of AUD | Addiction, UK

Meth Use Is on the Rise in Southeast Asia – And COVID Is To Blame

An excess of drugs in the Golden Triangle region due to COVID export restrictions has led to an increase in meth use among young people and workers | VICE, UK

Spike in people caught driving while on cocaine after State entered first lockdown

Cannabis remains most commonly detected substance by gardaí targeting drug-driving | Irish Times, Ireland

How did the Dutch lockdown influence cannabis use and addiction?

Covid-19 lockdown measures introduced substantial psychosocial stressors in everyday life. Did changes in mental wellbeing lead to more cannabis use and more severe cannabis disorders? A study among near daily cannabis users concludes that while cannabis use increased at the group level, the effect of the first lockdown months on the addiction severity varied significantly between individuals | Uniuversity of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Is France moving towards legalising cannabis for recreational purposes?

When French newspaper Le Parisien rang up 36 elected officials across the greater Paris Île-de-France region to ask their opinion on whether or not cannabis should be legalised for recreational purposes, only 22 percent said no | The Local, France

Association of Cannabis Use With Self-harm and Mortality Risk Among Youths With Mood Disorders

This population-based cohort study of Medicaid-enrolled youths with mood disorders found that the presence of cannabis use disorder was significantly associated with an increased risk of nonfatal self-harm, all-cause mortality, and death by unintentional overdose and homicide | JAMA Network, USA

E-cigarettes stress and inflame the lungs, impair key regulatory proteins

The results suggest that common compounds in the electronic alternative to conventional cigarettes are not without their own harms | News Medical, USA

NYC Public Housing Residents Denounce Crackdown on Smoking in Their Own Homes

“You either become somebody who lays down and takes it, or you just get to that point that you can’t take it anymore and you have no choice but to stand up and fight back.” | Filter Magazine, USA

Could Biden Make His Country’s Global Drug War Even More Imperialist?

As President Joe Biden takes office, he has before him a proposed plan to reinvigorate the global war on people who use and sell drugs, with a bent towards enriching corporations and refining imperialist strategies | Filter Magazine, USA

Saudi Arabia Curbs Death Penalty in Move to Soften Image

Saudi Arabia said Monday it had imposed a moratorium on capital punishment for drug-related offenses that led to an 85% reduction in executions, as the conservative Muslim kingdom seeks to soften its image to attract Western tourists and foreign investment | Wall Street Journal, USA

Windsor firefighters will soon be carrying naloxone kits to reverse overdoses

City council voted to put nasal spray naloxone kits on fire trucks in Windsor | CBC News, Canada

Former Defence Force chief Chris Barrie supports increased accessibility of psychedelic drugs

The retired admiral was advocating for the drugs' authorised use based on a belief psychedelics offered the "only possibility of a cure for post-traumatic stress disorder" | Canberra Times, Australia

WA Libs promise jail time for meth dealers

The West Australian opposition will introduce Australia's toughest penalties for meth dealers, with some facing at least 15 years behind bars, if it wins the March state election | The West Australian

Drug Supply Charges Dismissed Due to Illegal Search

At 10.22 am on 10 August 2017, ten NSW police officers conducted a raid of the Grime2Shine carwash in the western Sydney suburb of Blacktown. The business was co-owned by the brothers Danny and Ranny Shaitly, who’d both fallen short of the law in the past | NSW Courts, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Cleaning up the science: the need for an ontology of consensus scientific terms in e‐cigarette research

Hall et al. provide a detailed account of the US public health response to the e‐cigarette or vaping associated lung injury (EVALI) cases, including how a spurious association with the concurrent increases in youth e‐cigarette use in the United States meant that e‐cigarettes were considered the primary cause of the injuries | Addiction commentary, UK

What are ‘Darknet Markets’?

An Australian man stand accused of being the mastermind behind the darknet’s biggest marketplace | Sydney Criminal Lawyers blog, Australia