Daily news - 30th March 2021

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UK news

GHB to become class B drug in UK after use in high-profile rape cases

Drug and those similar to it reclassified with harsher penalties for those in possession of it | Guardian, UK

Transforming the public health system

Sets out reforms to the public health system in England to transform our national health protection capabilities, put health promotion at the heart of government, and more deeply embed prevention and health improvement expertise across local and national government and the NHS | DHSC, UK

Medication Assisted Treatment MAT Standards for Scotland Access, Choice, Support (PDF)

Scotland has a high level of drug-related deaths. In 2019 1,264 drug-related deaths were registered in Scotland, 6% (77) more than in 2018. Based on the evidence that Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is protective against the risk of death, the Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce and the Scottish Government has prioritised the implementation of MAT standards for people experiencing problems with their drug use. The standards aim to ensure that MAT is safe, effective, acceptable, accessible and person centred | Scottish Drugs Death Task Force, UK

COVID-19: advice for smokers and vapers

Advice for people who smoke or vape during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak | PHE, UK

Homelessness and unstable housing are associated with increased HIV and HCV risk among people who inject drugs

Homelessness and unstable housing are associated with a substantial increase in HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) acquisition risk among people who inject drugs, according to research led by the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Behavioural Science and Evaluation at the University of Bristol | University of Bristol, UK

March 2021 with special guest Dr Caitlin Notley - audio

Jamie Hartmann-Boyce and Nicola Lindson discuss emerging evidence in e-cigarette research and interview Dr Caitlin Notley | University of Oxford, UK

Smoking Cessation and Hospitalized Patients: A Missed Opportunity to Avoid Premature Deaths

Professor Sir Richard Doll, in collaboration with Professor Sir Austin Bradford Hill, were the first to quantitate the relationship of cigarette smoking with lung cancer. Later, Doll aptly stated, “Death in old age is inevitable, but death before old age is not.” | Ochsner Journal, UK

NHS To Launch Its First Evidence-Based Cannabis Patient Data Registry This Week

The UK’s first National Health Service patients registry will start collating data from Thursday this week in a significant move for medical cannabis in the country | Business Cann, UK

“Breaking down barriers”: Parents welcome new NICE guidelines on medical cannabis

The parents of three-year-old Charlie Hughes have welcomed new guidelines clarifying that clinicians can prescribe medical cannabis | Cannabis Health, UK

‘Dangerous data’: drinking after dependence revisited

Updates an exploration begun two months ago of the history of research on controlled drinking as a treatment goal. Developed along the way, if you read it back in January, try revisiting it now | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Current Issues in Drug Use and Treatment

Thursday, 15 April 2021 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm. This webinar will provide attendees with up-to-date knowledge from Public Health England about emerging areas of drug treatment or trends in drug use that Social Workers may encounter in different areas of front-line practice.  There will also be discussion on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on patterns of drug use and drug harms | BASW, UK

Swindon drugs raids: £1m of cannabis seized by police

Six victims of human trafficking, all men aged between 19 and 28, were taken into care by Wiltshire Police | BBC, UK

Harry Baker: Teen's drug dealing murder 'too hard to bear'

A mother has spoken of her devastation after her teenage son was killed in a row over drug territories, as seven men are jailed | BBC, UK


International news

Publication of HRB evidence review on drug treatment services for people who are homeless

Tue, Mar 30, 2021 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM BST. The Department of Health and the Health Research Board invite you to a webinar, which marks the publication of a HRB evidence review of treatment services for people who are homeless and use drugs. Members of the research team will present the findings of the review and provide an insight into recent international evidence in this area | DoH and HRB, Ireland

35% of Cork prison population seeking drug treatment in jail

More than a third of inmates at Cork Prison are either getting methadone treatment for opioid addiction or are on a waiting list for treatment | Echo, Ireland

C-EHRN Framework Partnership 2020: Evaluation Report

This month, Richard Braam, an independent researcher, completed the evaluation report on our work, accomplished in 2020. It has not only given us even more ideas for our future plans but also a great reminder of our efforts from a most challenging year. Below are a few of the affirming, confrontational and thought-provoking quotes from the Report. | Correlation – European Harm Reduction Network (C-EHRN), The Netherlands

France begins first medical marijuana trial

A doctor in France wrote the country's first prescription for therapeutic cannabis last Friday, kicking off a two-year trial involving 3,000 patients that could lead to marijuana's legalisation for medical use | RFI, France

Younger age of first cannabis use or prescription drug misuse is associated with faster development of substance use disorders

A new study shows that in the time after first trying cannabis or first misusing prescription drugs, the percentages of young people who develop the corresponding substance use disorder are higher among adolescents (ages 12-17) than young adults (ages 18-25) | NIH, USA

Did COVID-19 stress, uncertainty stall anti-smoking push?

 year after COVID-19 upended life for millions of Americans, there are troubling signs that the coronavirus may have also slowed progress against another deadly health threat: smoking | WSOC, USA

Illinois Methadone Patients Could Be First to Have Privacy Rolled Back After SAMHSA Rule-Change

An Illinois Senator appears to be the first state lawmaker to push for a bill that would make a controversial federal rollback of opioid use disorder patients’ privacy rights mandatory at the state level | Filter Magazine, USA

In Upstate New York, a Jail Keeps Blocking Access to Lifesaving OUD Meds

In 2019, the local jail in Broome County, home of Binghamton, was one of several county jails in upstate New York to begin offering medication for opioid use disorder | Filter Magazine, USA

Safe drug supply program still not reaching enough people in B.C., say advocates

The province says 3,329 people are now receiving hydromorphone as a safer alternative to toxic street drugs | CBC News, Canada

Concerns raised over B.C. funding for addiction treatment in facilities requiring 12 step programs

As need grows for treatment, 1/3 of beds funded in February require 12-step participation | CBC News, Canada

Canada’s hidden crisis: How COVID-19 overshadowed the worst year on record for overdose deaths

Opioid toxicity deaths were falling across the country prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. But when provinces entered lockdown in March 2020, progress was lost almost instantly. April to June 2020 marked Canada’s deadliest quarter to date, with 1,628 fatalities | Calgary Herald, Canada

Big tobacco eyes Canadian cannabis for future of industry - audio

Since the 2018 legalisation of cannabis for recreational use in Canada, major multinationals have been eyeing local producers for investment opportunities | abc.net.au, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Welcome to the Dissociation Generation

Psychedelics are hardly strangers to party dance floors, but it wasn’t until earlier in this pandemic, when L.A. lifted its first lockdown, that Iwas invited to my first ’shroom party | The Cut, USA

Children of addicted parents need their own form of recovery

"Sherilynn” — a 5-year-old Baltimore City girl I met after her mother was released from jail and referred to a treatment facility — like all children about to enter kindergarten, is wide-eyed about her hopes for the future | The Hill opinion, USA

Should medicinal cannabis be used to treat chronic pain?

According to pain specialist Associate Professor Michael Vagg, evidence is lacking | News GP, Australia

The seen and unseen threat of fentanyl: OPINION

When my sister Denise was found dead in the summer of 2019 due to an apparent overdose, my family demanded to know why -- and how | abc news, Australia