Daily news - 22nd January 2021

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UK news

Drugs Policy

The next item of business is a statement by Nicola Sturgeon on the updating of the drugs policy. The First Minister will take questions at the end of her statement, so there should be no interventions or interruptions | They work for you, UK

£250 million funding pledged to address drugs death emergency in Scotland

The Scottish Government has pledged an extra £250 million over the next five years to address the current public health emergency of drug-related deaths | SDF, UK

ACEs Conversation Series 2021 - Trauma at the Heart of Scotland’s Drugs Deaths - video

Our ACEs Conversation Series 2020–2021 creates a space in which to explore a wide range of themes relevant to the Adverse Childhood Experiences movement. In this, the fourth in our Series, we reflect on the trauma that lies at the heart of Scotland’s high rate of drugs deaths | ACE-Aware Scotland, UK

£80 million for drug treatment services

The Government has announced that drug treatment services in England are to receive an extra £80 million as part of a larger investment to cut crime. Following the announcement of the £148 million package, the NHS APA supports the move that will take a system-wide approach to drug-related harm or the harms caused by drugs | NHS APA, UK

Driving under Influence: Death

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether the Government plans to increase to life imprisonment the maximum penalty for people who cause death by dangerous driving and death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs | They work for you, UK

A ‘wound aware’ drug service does X, Y and Z

People who inject drugs are at risk of serious and potentially life-threatening wounds, but often experience complex barriers to healthcare. New resource from Public Health England guides commissioners and providers to build ‘wound aware’ services – services that prevent infections, identify worsening injection sites, and provide advocacy and access to treatment. This includes a role for all staff to keep an eye on service users’ health and know who to tell or what to do if they spot a problem | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Dutch government set to offer six month reprieve for 'life saving' cannabis oil

Scottish families of children with debilitating illnesses were celebrating today after the Dutch government agreed to give a six month reprieve on the supply of 'life-saving' cannabis oils | Scotsman, UK

Work Gets Underway On Scotland’s First Medical Cannabis Cultivation and Production Facility

Scotland's first home-grown cannabis medicines could be in UK patients’ hands in early 2022 after work started on a new £15m cultivation and production facility in the Borders | Business Cann, UK

CBD gin ‘Colorado High’ breaches Code, says UK alcohol marketing watchdog

In the first decision of its kind, The Portman Group has upheld a complaint against CBD gin ‘Colorado High’ in the UK for both creating a link with an illicit drug and implying therapeutic qualities. But the craft distiller behind the gin argues adults know and understand CBD and its distinction from cannabis | Beverage Daily, UK

County lines drug dealing - audio

Norfolk is getting nearly five million pounds of funding to tackle the problem | BBC Radio Norfolk, UK

ISAM-NIG Talk Series: "In-Love with Addiction Neuroscience"-Dr. Silvia Cruz

Thu, February 11, 2021, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM GMT. The personal academic career journey of addiction neuroscientists and how this journey can inform others | ISAM-NIG, UK

Post-traumatic growth in recovery from addiction - survey

We are looking to understand people’s experience of positive life change (also known as ‘post-traumatic growth’) since being in recovery from problematic alcohol or drug use. We are also interested in factors that might be associated with personal growth such as your thoughts, past level of drug/alcohol dependence, social support, and length of time in recovery | University of Southampton, UK

Survey on the phenomenology of the nitrous oxide (N2O) experience

This survey is directed at English speaking adults who have used N2O in the last month | Goldsmiths University of London, UK

Large cannabis factory discovered near Bank of England

Following a tip-off about a "strong smell of cannabis", officers discovered 826 plants in the basement of a commercial building in Throgmorton Street, central London, on 14 January | BBC, UK

Harry Baker murder trial: Stabbed teen was 'head boy drug dealer'

A teenager who was knifed through the brain by an "armed and deadly gang" was the head boy drug dealer in Barry, a court has heard | BBC, UK


International news

Harm reduction in Europe: a framework for civil society-led monitoring

Civil society organisations (CSOs) play a vital role in developing and implementing effective measures to reduce the harms of drug use. They are also fundamental actors to monitor and evaluate programmes and policies for improvement. While harm reduction services are subject to monitoring, and international and European indicators exist, a framework for civil society-led monitoring does not exist. This paper analyses the challenges and added values of developing such a framework for the European region | Harm Reduction Journal, UK

PhD Symposium Session 2.1: Alcohol and Opioids

The session began with a presentation from Martha Whitfield, from Queen’s University, Canada. Martha presented a protocol for a scoping review which will map the provision of Medication Treatment for Opioid Disorder by nurse practitioners in outpatient settings | SSA, UK

“Game changer” for the sector: First cannabis company expected to list on LSE next month

Kanabo, an Israeli medicinal cannabis company, is expecting to become the first cannabis firm to list on the London Stock Exchange | Cannabis Health, UK

Methamphetamine overdose deaths rise sharply nationwide

NIH-supported study finds biggest increase among American Indians and Alaska Natives | NIDA, USA

Medical terms for opioid addiction don't always reduce stigma, study finds

Opioid addiction is persistently stigmatized, delaying and preventing treatment for many—an urgent problem with overdose deaths continuing to rise | Medical Xpress, USA

Opiate overdoses spike in black Philadelphians, but drop in white residents since COVID-19

While it has been reported that opioid overdose deaths have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study looking at data in Philadelphia showed that this hardship has been overwhelmingly suffered by Black individuals | Medical Xpress, USA

All the cool kids are doing it: The influence of peer pressure and emotional detachment on teenager’s early substance use initiation

This week, STASH reviews a study by Martin Gallegos and colleagues that examined the role of emotional detachment from parents and peer pressure on the transition from alcohol, marijuana or tobacco use to the initiation of illicit substance use | BASIS, USA

Scientists discover link between nicotine and breast cancer metastasis

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States, and cigarette smoking is associated with a higher incidence of breast cancer spread, or metastasis, lowering the survival rate by 33% at diagnosis | Medical Xpress, USA

Addiction researchers recount creating virtual recovery meetings during pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has created new perils and challenges for people experiencing substance use disorders and addictive behaviors. Social distancing and isolation can trigger loneliness, anxiety and depression | EurekAlert, USA

BetterLife Pharma Is Developing Second Generation Psychedelics: Drugs That Leave Out The Trip

An increasing number of studies are showing the potential benefits of psychedelics, and while their results may be positive, a fact remains: no matter how much support this novel therapy may gain, some people will simply never be interested in the “tripping” part of a psychedelic experience | Forbes, USA

“I Want the Same Protection”—Canadian Peer Harm Reduction Workers Unionize

Like their counterparts in the United States and around the world, Canadian harm reduction “peer” workers have for decades been deprived of the labor protections often enjoyed by those considered professionals in the field, such as social workers | Filter Magazine, USA

Black market cigarettes a growing boom trade in WA, warns ex-top border cop

The founder of Border Force's illegal tobacco squad says one in five cigarettes smoked in Australia is illegal and demand has spawned a smuggling trade worth hundreds of millions of dollars each year, with a recent record-breaking case in Western Australia | WA Today, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The Black Review – a once in a generation opportunity to level up our treatment and recovery system

We welcome the enthusiasm and rigour Dame Black has brought as the Independent Reviewer, and her whole-person approach to treatment and recovery, acknowledging mental health support, housing and routes into employment as vital elements of an effective system, alongside the core of evidence-based pharmacological and psycho-social interventions | Collective Voice blog, UK

The Double Effect of COVID-19 Confinement Measures and Economic Recession on High-Risk Drug Users and Drug Services

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have a profound impact on the lives of high-risk drug users and on the services responding to their needs in at least two important ways: first, through the restrictive measures introduced to mitigate the spread of the virus and, second, as a result of extensive economic downturn. Currently there is great uncertainty as to the future intensity and duration of the pandemic | Karger, UK et al

The Trip Report 21/01

Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and SaferParty, we know a little more about the drugs in circulation. The report provided below is a summary of their findings over the last week | Cameron Scally, UK

In My Professional Opinion - Healing Sexual Trauma with Entheogens and Psychedelics

Laura Mae Northrup is a somatic psychotherapist and practices ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. She is the producer of the podcast Inside Eyes, a series about survivors of sexual trauma using entheogens and psychedelics in their healing | Drug Science, UK