Daily news - 18th March 2021

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UK news

Preventing and reducing drug-related harm

Information and resources to support commissioners, service providers and others to reduce harm and prevent deaths related to substance misuse | PHE, UK

Alcohol and drugs evidence reviews and inquiries

Reports and reviews relating to substance misuse | PHE, UK

Alcohol and drug misuse prevention and treatment guidance

Updated: Added some new groups and publications: "COVID-19: guidance for commissioners and providers of services for people who use drugs or alcohol", "ASSIST-Lite screening tool: how to use", and links to NHS alcohol brief advice tool and cannabis health check-up tool in "Drug and alcohol screening and treatment tools" section | PHE, UK

E-cigarette marketing in the UK: Evidence form adult and youth surveys and policy compliance studies (PDF)

This report brings together two complementary studies to provide a description of e-cigarette advertising spend, advertising content, compliance with advertising regulations, and reported noticing and appeal of e-cigarette marketing | Cancer Research UK, UK

Festivals: 'Grave concerns' over drug safety this summer

The government has "grave concerns" about the potential for deaths from illegal drugs at festivals this summer | BBC, UK

Met may change stop and search tactics on cannabis possession

Reforms are part of London mayor’s plans amid concerns police powers damaging race relations | Guardian, UK

Effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for reducing parental substance misuse

Parental substance use is a substantial public health and safeguarding concern. There have been a number of trials of interventions relating to substance‐using parents that have sought to address this risk factor, with potential outcomes for parent and child | Cochrane Library, UK

Looking Beyond the Provision of Injecting Equipment to People Who Use Anabolic Androgenic Steroids: Harm Reduction and Behavior Change Goals for UK Policy

[Open access] Understanding of the choices and motivations of people who use anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) for muscular enhancement has increased greatly in the past thirty years, along with understanding of a wide range of health harms associated with this form of drug use in the community | Contemporary Drug Problems, UK

Calls backed for European-style shooting galleries where addicts can take their own heroin

Experts say the rooms can help cut both drug related deaths and offending | Teesside Live, UK

Legalise medicinal cannabis plans 'not a priority' for IOM

Focussing on dealing with the ongoing Covid pandemic has meant plans to allow doctors on the Isle of Man to prescribe medicinal cannabis have been paused | BBC, UK

Sarah Harding reveals past cocaine struggles and stints in rehab: ‘It was a case of do or die’

Girls Aloud star, who is fighting breast cancer, spoke about her personal difficulties in new book | Independent, UK

Turning 12-Year-Olds Into Drug Dealers | The War on Drugs - video

For the past decade, the UK has been horrified by the phenomenon of County Lines – big city criminal groups using kids as young as 12 to take over the drug supply of smaller towns and villages. It’s taken years for the police to even begin to understand... | VICE, UK

Vietnamese ‘Drug Kingpin’ Jailed for Smuggling Migrants Onto Cannabis Farms

An investigation found several illegal cannabis operations throughout northwestern England | VICE, UK

Qualitative Methods Journal Club - Meeting 5 (hosted by GCU)

Wed, 24 Mar 2021, 14:00 GMT. We will be discussing the following paper: Brierley-Jones L, Ling J, McCabe KE, Wilson GB, Crosland A, Kaner EF, Haighton CA. Habitus of home and traditional drinking: a qualitative analysis of reported middle-class alcohol use. Sociol Health Illn. 2014; 36(7) | SARN, UK


International news

Beyond the patient: treatment’s impacts on family and community

Final row of the Alcohol Treatment Matrix defocused from the patient to ask what treatment can do for the rest of us. Core theme was the playing out of the contradictions between segregation and punishment and reintegration and rehabilitation | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

County Donegal: Gardaí seize €2.8m of cocaine in Milford

Gardaí (Irish police) have seized 41kg of cocaine with an estimated value of €2.8m euros (£2.4m) in County Donegal | BBC, UK

Australian government backs psychedelic drug clinical trials to treat mental illness

$15m grant comes despite TGA’s failure to reschedule MDMA and psilocybin from a prohibited substance to a controlled medicine | Guardian, UK

Minimum unit pricing for alcohol set to be in place by Christmas

Cheap drink in supermarkets and off-licences blamed for alcohol-related deaths | Irish Times, Ireland

Decriminalisation Insights for Advocates (PDF)

This paper provides some key insights from this event, and from conversations which followed it, with largely the same group of advocates. The target audience is primarily people who are advocating for decriminalisation in their own jurisdictions, or who are considering doing so. Public health, community safety and criminal justice stakeholders more generally may also find it of interest | Ana Lifey Drug Project, Ireland

The reciprocal relationship between substance use and insomnia

Have you ever noticed that smoking cigarettes before bed makes it harder to fall asleep? Or felt a craving for nicotine to relieve grogginess? In this edition of STASH, we review an open-access study by Joëlle Pasman and colleagues that evaluated whether insomnia causes substance use and vice versa | BASIS, USA

Recreational cannabis use among adults in the home is on the rise, but what about the children?

Among adults with children living in the home, cannabis use was more common in states with legalized cannabis use, according to a new study by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia Irving Medical Center and the City University of New York | EurekAlert, USA

Tobacco Harm Reduction Group Calls for Sensible Policies

Blanket bans on electronic nicotine-delivery systems (ENDS) are a detriment to low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), according to the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organizations (INNCO) | Tobacco Reporter, USA

Biden’s Likely “Drug Czar” Presided Over Destruction of WV Syringe Program 

President Joe Biden is planning to announce Dr. Rahul Gupta as his pick for the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), otherwise known as the nation’s drug czar, sources close to the White House tell Filter | Filter Magazine, USA

Public Policy Statement on Advancing Racial Justice in Addiction Medicine (PDF)

This is the first of a series of policy statements on racial justice through which ASAM reiterates the fundamental axiom that systemic racism is a social determinant of health that has had profound, deleterious effects on the lives and health of BIPOC | ASAM, USA

Anxiety drug increasingly found in opioid supply of overdose victims

A class of drugs commonly used to treat sleep and anxiety disorders is increasingly being found in the illicit opioid supply, raising the risk of overdose, producing complex overdoses that are more difficult to reverse and rendering medications used to treat substance use disorders ineffective in some cases | Globe and Mail, Canada

The impact of childhood trauma on performance-enhancing substance use

New research shows that adverse childhood experiences are linked with performance-enhancing substance use in young adulthood | EurekAlert, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Collective Voice holds webinar on Tier 4 services

Within a treatment system that has faced significant cuts to funding in recent years, detox and rehab services have fared particularly badly. Vital pathways have suffered from the critical combination of reduced budgets and fragmented commissioning, leading to service closures across the country and a steady erosion of expertise and experience | Collective Voice blog, UK

Refelections on Dame Carol Black's address to the APPG for complex needs

Clare Taylor National Director of Operations reflects on a presentation to the APPG on Complex Needs from Dame Carol Black and the likely recommendations from her forthcoming review of the drug treatment system | Turning Point blog, UK

Election time in Wales: time to talk about alcohol?

On 6 May, voters in Wales elect the Members of the Senedd – the Welsh Parliament – for the next five years; Alcohol Change UK and five other charities are taking this opportunity to talk to politicians about alcohol harm | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

Courage and Cannabidiol

The story of how brave British small-businesses created a £1.7 billion market and now face destruction at the hands of the overbearing Food Standards Agency and its big business sponsors | Peter Reynolds, UK

Disposable E-Cigarette Use among U.S. Youth — An Emerging Public Health Challenge

Previous increases in the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) by youth were driven by multiple factors, including advertising, the use of appealing flavors, and the introduction of new devices with prefilled pods or cartridges and high nicotine levels, such as Juul | NEJM, USA

The Way Back Machine—Marsha Rosenbaum: Women on Heroin at 40

When Richard Nixon declared drug abuse “public enemy #1” in 1971, the assumed abuser was male—probably a man of color, possibly a poor white man, but almost certainly a man. Women were known to use and abuse narcotics, but their numbers were small | Points blog, USA