Daily news - 28th January 2021

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Shooting Up: infections among people who inject drugs in the UK

Updated: Added December 2020 update report, data tables and links to the slide set and infographic | PHE, UK

Drug offences sentencing guidelines revised as offending changes

A comprehensive package of revised sentencing guidelines for drugs offences that reflect a change in the nature of offending and additional offences in relation to psychoactive substances has been published today by the Sentencing Council following consultation | Sentencing Council, UK

Black and ethnic minority drug dealers more likely to be jailed than white counterparts

Black and ethnic minority offenders convicted of supplying drugs are about one and a half times more likely to be immediately jailed than their white counterparts, research has found | Independent, UK

Response to the ACMD's advice on 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP)

The government’s response to the ACMD advice on DNP | Home Office, The Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, and Baroness Williams of Trafford, UK

Durham Police first to offer life saving drug to people released from custody

Durham Police, who pioneered the use of Naloxone by its custody officers and have since extended its training to include officers on the beat, are now distributing the life saving drug to people being released from custody | ITV, UK

The trickier the situation, the more the worker matters

Research-based understandings of therapy in a criminal justice or family protection context tempted formulation of a general rule: The greater the formal power a clinician/therapist/counsellor has over a patient’s life, the weaker their informal influence through therapy. Does it stand up to the ‘stress test’ of evidence, experience and logic? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

SUAB Webinar: Safe injecting facilities, with Peter Higgs and Peter Krykant - video

Recording of the webinar on Safe Consumption Rooms | MMU, UK

PhD Symposium Session 3.0: Interventions and Treatment

Session 3.0 of the PhD Symposium revolved around interventions and treatments for addiction. It brought together a variety of viewpoints and methods to explore how interventions may support people with addiction | SSA, UK

The Volteface Podcast: People, Dancefloors and Why Drug Reform Needs a Shake-up

In the latest edition of the Volteface podcast Paul charts with Dr. Giulia Zampini about the recently launched People and Dancefloors research project and have a heated discussion on why drug reform needs a shake up to better engage public, policy makers and politicians | Volteface, UK

Scottish Injecting Equipment Provision (IEP) Guidelines – Consultation launch and workshops

Fri, Feb 5, 2021 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM GMT. This webinar will be chaired by Jim Shanley, co-chair of the expert IEP guidance development group, NHS Lothian, and it will include presentations related to delivering injecting equipment and related paraphernalia | SDF, UK

Voices of people currently receiving medication for their drug problem sought for national study

The study, carried out by Scottish Drugs Forum in collaboration with the Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce, is seeking to speak to people in six health board areas who have started or re-engaged with a service in the last 18 months and are receiving Medication Assisted Treatment | SDF, UK

We are with you - website survey

Thank you for sparing some time to help We Are With You! This simple exercise takes about 10-15 minutes to do. It will help us to organise the advice pages on our website better | We Are With You, UK

Children aged 12 'among Middlesbrough drug den customers'

The den in a Middlesbrough house has been shut down by authorities, the local council said | BBC, UK

International news

EU mulls restrictions on vaping to create smoke-free generation by 2040 and reduce cancer rates

[Limited number of free articles per week] Other measures being considered in draft paper seen by The Telegraph include restrictions on promoting red meat and alcohol | Telegraph, UK

EMCDDA webinar — Responding to drugs and homelessness: innovative approaches in Europe

3 February,12.00–13.30 Lisbon time (13.00–14.30 CET). Length: 1.5 hours. The association between long-term homelessness, problem drug use and alcohol dependence is well documented. Evidence suggests that a relatively small, long-term and recurrently homeless population has a high prevalence of mental health problems and substance dependence | EMCDDA, Portugal

Commission envisages tobacco-free Europe by 2040 in leaked cancer plan

The much-awaited ‘Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan’ is being shaped with a strong push on prevention, targeting in particular alcohol and tobacco products, including novel tobacco products like e-cigarettes, EURACTIV has learnt | EurActiv, Belgium

Lisbon, Portugal, Brings Alcohol Harm Reduction to Unhoused People

Around the world, unhoused people lost access to drugs they need to survive as a result of disruptions to incomes and reduced retail hours caused by COVID-19 lockdown measures | Filter Magazine, USA

Biden Is Opposing a Promising Step Toward Buprenorphine Deregulation

In the final week of former President Trump’s term, the US Department of Health and Human services (HHS) announced a practice guideline that would exempt physicians from the “X-waiver” requirement for prescribing buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) | Filter Magazine, USA

Legal cannabis stores linked to fewer opioid deaths in the United States

Access to legal cannabis stores is associated with a reduction in opioid related deaths in the United States, particularly those linked to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, finds a study published by The BMJ | Medical Xpress, USA

The dangers of drugged driving are outpacing drunk driving

A recent study of drugged driving, by a team of University of Cincinnati researchers, shows that a sizable percentage of individuals reported the use of marijuana and other illicit drugs while operating behind the wheel | Medical Xpress, USA

Study: Adults with cognitive disabilities were twice as likely to use e-cigarettes

In the first study to assess national use of e-cigarettes among adults with disabilities, George Mason University's College of Health and Human Services researchers found that adults with disabilities were twice as likely to use e-cigarettes (8.4%) than adults without disabilities (4.8%), but the prevalence of e-cigarette use varied by type of disability | News Medical, USA

Western Australian Drug Trends 2020: Key Findings from the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) Interviews

The Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) is an illicit drug monitoring system which has been conducted in all states and territories of Australia since 2003, and forms part of Drug Trends | NDARC, Australia

Forum aims to help GPs with ‘connecting the disconnected’

The International Medicine in Addiction conference offers a collaborative and educational platform for GPs and GPs in training | News GP, Australia

Targeted health messaging needed in era of vaping, researchers say

Health authorities should develop targeted health messages for vaping product and e-liquid packaging to encourage smokers to switch from cigarettes to e-cigarettes and to prevent non-smokers from taking up vaping, a researcher at the University of Otago, Wellington says | Mirage News, Australia

Australia tops global survey in alcohol drank during COVID-19, while 35 per cent gained weight

A global survey has listed Australia as the biggest drinkers during COVID-19 while a large number of Aussies also said they gained weight | news.com.au, Australia

Alcohol-related admissions at Alice Springs Hospital dropped sharply after introduction of alcohol policies, study finds

Alcohol-related admissions at Alice Springs Hospital's intensive care unit fell almost 40 per cent after a series of alcohol reforms were introduced in 2018, a new study reveals | abc.net.au, Australia

MDMA and magic mushrooms considered as treatments for mental illness by TGA

The use of ecstasy and magic mushrooms to help treat mental illness is currently being considered by the national medicine regulator in Australia, but Tasmanian psychiatrists say they are currently wary of psychedelic therapies | Examiner, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Stories that save lives

Something has been happening in Scotland over the last few years. A campaign, as significant and ultimately revitalising, as any social change campaign in recent years. For many people, the most significant. The campaign to stop the world-record rise in drug related deaths reached a key milestone on 20th January when Scotland’s First Minster Nicola Sturgeon announced an additional £250m in funding for drug treatment in Scotland over the next 5 years | Phoenix Futures blog, UK

Residential rehabilitation: powering up in 2021

“Rehab? What’s the point of it? There’s no evidence that it works. I don’t refer anyone to rehab. Do you?” | SHAAP blog, UK

Will the Netherlands become the next casually negligent ally of the cigarette trade? Twenty-four experts advise a rethink

The government of the Netherlands,  led by Paul Blokhuis, State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport, is in imminent danger of fooling itself into becoming an unwitting ally of the cigarette trade | The Counterfactual blog, UK

Death Prevention: A Community Responsibility

In 2018, a total of 67,367 drug overdose deaths were recorded in the United States (CDC). Simultaneously, most people here have at least heard of Naloxone, if not seen it, been trained on it, or even used it | EPi, USA

SHAD Interview: “The Drug War Dialectic in Early Twentieth-Century Chicago” with Richard Del Rio

Today we feature Dr. Richard Del Rio, a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow within the Department of Behavioral Science and Social Medicine at the Florida State University College of Medicine | Points blog, USA