Daily news - 12th March 2021

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UK news

JCVI advises prioritising homeless people and rough sleepers for COVID-19 vaccine

The JCVI has advised the government to prioritise people experiencing homelessness, including those sleeping rough, for the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine | PHE, UK

Fears alcoholics are being ‘bombarded’ as they struggle to hide Instagram adverts

People recovering from alcohol addiction have raised concerns Instagram may not be doing enough to help users avoid being targeted by advertising | Metro, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the role that heated tobacco products have to play in helping to achieve England's 2030 smoke-free target; and if he will make a statement | They work for you, UK

Psilocybin Treatment for Depression - Clinical Insights

Psilocybin for depression is one of the most promising applications of psychedelic therapy. In particular, psilocybin therapy is being studied as an alternative to antidepressants in the treatment of treatment-resistant depression | Drug Science, UK

The Politics of Being an "Expert": A Critical Realist Auto-Ethnography of Drug Policy Advisory Panels in the UK

The work of ‘experts’ with policy advisory panels plays an important part in the making of illicit drug and other policies. This article explores what is involved in this work. It uses critical realist auto-ethnography of the author’s experience over five years of working with the UK’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee | QC, UK

Sexualised drug use, chemsex and treatment access: Dr Matt Hibbert talks to the SSA

In a recent paper published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, Dr Matt Hibbert explored barriers to treatment for men who have sex with men and who engage in sexualised drug use. The SSA talked to Dr Hibbert about his findings and the implications for policy and treatment | SSA, UK

People with experience of substance use problems offered first step towards a career in social care

Scottish Drugs Forum are delighted to announce that we are now taking applications for our two life-changing employability projects that support people with a history of drug or alcohol problems to take the first steps towards securing a paid job within the social care field | SDF, UK

Bristol City Council approves first-ever advert ban on fast food, alcohol and gambling

Campaigners have welcomed a Bristol City Council ban on adverts for junk food, alcohol, gambling and pay-day loans – but want it to go further | ITV, UK

Exclusive: The Met Police Are More Likely To Publish Your Mugshot If You're Black

Our analysis reveals how the UK's biggest police force is contributing to racist narratives about the criminality of Black people | Huffington Post, UK

Andover mum Tara Stiles died 'after taking drugs cocktail'

Ms Stiles had been diagnosed with a personality disorder, anxiety and depression but had "worked hard at abstaining" from drink and drugs, the inquest heard | BBC, UK

Ramsey man jailed for smuggling cannabis has sentence cut

A man who had nearly £10,000 worth of cannabis posted to his home has had his prison sentence cut after it was deemed "manifestly excessive" by two judges | BBC, UK



International news

A ‘bottom-up’ response to two epidemics

North America’s first women-only drug consumption room was opened in
2017 in response to an epidemic of fatal drug overdoses and an epidemic of violence against women. Through interviews with 45 women and 100 hours of observation inside the safer injecting facility, study highlights some of the benefits of a women-only service, and points to the ways that mixed services can respond to gender inequality both to protect the dignity and safety of women and to ensure services reach their potential for women | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

BAT buys £126m stake in Canadian cannabis firm OrganiGram

Big tobacco makes further forays into cannabis industry with stake close to 20% in US-listed company | Guardian, UK

Cannabis 2.0 – Vaporizing: The Future of Cannabis?

In light of shifting use patterns for cannabis with less emphasis on smoking, the author takes a look at alternative routes of administration and discuss the future with the CEO of Zeus, a leading vaporizer company based in Germany | Volteface, UK

Four men found guilty over 'extraordinarily barbaric' Queensland toolbox murders

People in court’s public gallery break down as verdicts delivered at drugs-related trial involving victims being put in toolbox and dumped in lagoon | Guardian, UK

Drug trafficker says he bribed Honduras president

A convicted Honduran drug trafficker and former leader of a cartel has testified in United States federal court that he paid now President Juan Orlando Hernández $250,000 for protection from arrest in 2012 | Independent, UK

Covid-19 pandemic accelerates 'uberisation' of drug market in France - video

In France, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced drug dealers to find new ways of selling their wares | France24, France

More heart infections and strokes in the U.S. linked to national opioid epidemic

The ongoing U.S. opioid epidemic may have led to an increase in the number of strokes due to more bacterial infections of the heart, or infective endocarditis, according to preliminary research to be presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2021 | Medical Xpress, USA

How is e-cigarette use impacting sleep health?

In this week’s ASHES, we review a study by Emma Brett and colleagues that examined the association between e-cigarette use and sleep health in college students | BASIS, USA

Forced Coca Eradication Could Undermine Colombia’s Peace

If President Ivan Duque has his way, Colombia will soon resume aerial fumigation of coca plantations for the first time in over five years. It paused the spraying in 2015 due to growing health and environmental concerns over the herbicide glyphosate, which the World Health Organization classifies as a likely carcinogen. Colombian courts have subsequently set strict conditions for future fumigation | WPR, USA

‘Deeply problematic’: AmerisourceBergen rewards its CEO despite the ravages of the opioid crisis

In one of the more startling examples of tin-ear syndrome, AmerisourceBergen wants its shareholders to bless a $14.3 million pay package for chief executive officer Steven Collis. Not only is this a hefty amount of money, but it represents a 26% boost over the previous year | STAT News, USA

What Made This Rhode Island Legislator Change Her Mind About Vaping?

In September 2019, when cases of “EVALI” lung injuries peaked in the United States and news outlets began aggressively covering the subject, Rhode Island Congresswoman Julie Casimiro did what many politicians had done: She called for the prohibition of flavored vaping products | Filter Magazine, USA

Greens Grill NDP over Delays to Safe Supply and Decriminalization

More than 700 people have died of poisoned drugs since a health order to address the crisis was made last fall | The Tyee, Canada

When pills stopped working, Andrew Robb looked to magic mushroom therapy

When his daily pile of antidepressant pills stopped working, former Liberal Party director and trade minister Andrew Robb began researching psychedelic therapy as an option to send his depression into remission | abc news, Australia

Iranian meth imports to Australia are rising. Experts say some can be linked to this bush

An evergreen shrub that grows in the mountains of central Afghanistan is causing major problems for those battling to stop methamphetamines hitting the streets in Australia, experts say | abc news, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

A Chance To Get Their Life Back: Perspectives on Rehab and Recovery in the UK

In the UK, cuts of £162m to drug and alcohol services in the last three years have led to many residential or ‘day care’ rehabs closing or severely reducing services. Fewer people are accessing these services due to cuts and high thresholds, but still drugs deaths are at a high | Talking Drugs, UK

WHO should not support alcohol industry co‐regulation of public health labelling

The World Health Organization (WHO) is undertaking important work to develop a new action plan on alcohol for 2022–30. However, the WHO's published proposal for the action plan envisages that the alcohol industry be a co‐regulator with government of consumer information, including health warnings, on alcoholic beverage labels | Addiction editorial, UK

Mexico’s Marijuana Legalization

Late [Wednesday] night, lawmakers in Mexico’s lower house overwhelmingly approved a bill to legalize the use, cultivation, and sale of recreational marijuana. Observers expect the higher chamber to pass the bill by a comfortable margin and be signed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador | CATO Institute blog, USA