Daily news - 21st May 2021

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UK news

Fierce Chemistry: A History of UK Drug Wars - promotional video

Our Director, Harry Shapiro, talks about his brand new book out today on the history of UK drug use | Harry Shapiro, UK

Drug Harms Assessment and Response Team (DHART) quarterly summary – May 2021

Quarterly update on the latest drug harms being reported in England, geared towards professionals working in the field | PHE, UK

50 years of the Misuse of Drugs Act - Early Day Motion

That this House acknowledges that the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is not fit for purpose; notes that for 50 years, it has failed to reduce drug consumption and that drug deaths are now at a record high; further notes that instead it has increased harm, damaged public health and exacerbated social inequalities; believes that an evidence-based approach which provides pathways for people with drug difficulties into treatment, rather than the criminal justice system should be prioritised... | UK Parliament, UK

COVID-19: guidance for commissioners and providers of services for people who use drugs or alcohol

Updated information about mutual aid and support groups | PHE, UK

As pubs re-open, one in four adults are concerned about their drinking habits

Drug, alcohol and mental health charity With You launches new campaign - Find The Right Moment - to support people to talk about alcohol worries | We Are With You, UK

Newsnight - 19/05/2021

Watch from 30.50 mins in. Discussion with Ian Hamilton and Amanda Feilding on whether psychedelic drugs can become a treatment for depression | BBC iPlayer, UK

Update Event: National Implementation of the Medication Assisted Treatment Standards for Scotland

Friday 11th June 2021 / 1:00pm-2:30pm. The Scottish Government has announced that national implementation of Scotland’s new Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Standards will be fully embedded by 2022. This event will describe progress on the implementation of the MAT Standards. There will be presentations on how local service planners and services are ensuring Standard-compliant provision with respect to Standards 1 – 5, in a mix of rural and urban settings across Scotland | SDF, UK

Drugs warning after cluster of deaths in Inverclyde

A cluster of recent deaths in Inverclyde could potentially be linked to illicit drugs, the local health board has said | BBC, UK

‘If we’re the forerunner, so be it’: Scotland’s first alcohol and drugs boss with lived experience appointed in Aberdeen

Scotland’s first alcohol and drugs boss with “lived experience” of addiction says the entire approach to substance misuse must change to halt the rise in deaths | Evening Express, UK

Barrie council to hear pitch for supervised consumption site next week

'We can’t wait any longer or add any more process steps. People continue to die from poisoned drugs… (so it's) time to make a decision,' says mayor | Barrie Today, UK

Inside the facility set to be Scotland's first medicinal cannabis farm

ITV News Border has been given access to what looks set to be Scotland's first medicinal cannabis farm | ITV, UK

Prince Harry says heavy drinking masked pain of mum Diana's death

The Duke of Sussex has said he used to drink a week's worth of alcohol in a day to try to deal with the trauma of his mother's death. Prince Harry was also willing to take drugs to "feel less like I was feeling" more than a decade after she died | BBC, UK

Graham Coxon says he was destined to become an alcoholic: “It was ready and sitting there”

The guitar icon says he started drinking to combat a lifelong struggle with anxiety | NME, UK

The variable and evolving nature of ‘cuckooing’ as a form of criminal exploitation in street level drug markets

[Open access] Combining qualitative data from two studies, this paper critically analyses the model of cuckooing and the experiences of those affected. In turn it explores the impact of County Lines on affected areas and local populations, a topic that has received little academic scrutiny | Trends in Organised Crime, UK


International news

Perceptions of cannabis health information labels among people who use cannabis in the U.S. and Canada

[Open access] The emergence of legal cannabis industries poses a new public health challenge. Health information labels are part of the public health strategy for tobacco and alcohol, but there is limited research on cannabis-related messaging. This study explored perceptions of cannabis health information labels among people who used cannabis in the last 12 months residing in the U.S. and Canada | IJDP, UK

Breaking Free group partners with Ten16 Recovery Network to strengthen addiction recovery services across Michigan

Breaking Free Group has formed a partnership with Ten16 Recovery Network to enable Breaking Free from Substance Abuse, its evidence-based digital solution, to support communities across Michigan, including Midland, Clare, Gladwin, and Mecosta | Breaking Free, UK

Older adults with functional impairments linked to prescription drug use/misuse

In a study published in the  American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine found that functional impairments among adults aged 50 and older are associated with a higher risk of medical cannabis use; and prescription opioid and tranquilizer/sedative use and misuse | Medical Xpress, USA

Comparison of Methods for Alcohol and Drug Screening in Primary Care Clinics

How are commonly used screening methods for alcohol and drug use associated with implementation outcomes among adult patients in primary care clinics, and what is the best approach for implementing electronic health record–integrated screening? | JAMA Network, USA

The American Rescue Plan Seeks to Curb Overdose Deaths

Experts say it will take careful spending by states on evidence-based strategies to save lives | Arnold Ventures, USA

Aiming to reduce overdose deaths, LA County expands Naloxone distribution among homeless

Supervisors also agreed to expand other "harm reduction programs," such as medication-assisted treatment and syringe programs for people experiencing homelessness | LA Daily News, USA

In a Florida “Recovery” Hub, a Syringe Program Finds Its Place

Organizers at Rebel Recovery Florida say their slogan is simple: “We love you.” | Filter Magazine, USA

Voices for Non-Opioid Choices Applauds Reintroduction of Landmark Opioid Addiction Prevention Bill

The NOPAIN Act works to prevent opioid addiction through increased access to non-opioid pain management approaches for acute pain | CISION PR Newswire, USA

The Vaping Fix - podcast

Two young Silicon Valley entrepreneurs set out to rid the world of smoking with an incredible new product. The device stands to disrupt the tobacco industry and make them rich, until it falls into the wrong hands and lives are ruined. From classrooms to hospitals, boardrooms to the Oval Office, what can be done to protect teenagers and is it too late? | Wondery, USA

How Juul Got Vaporized

On June 7, North Carolina attorney general Josh Stein will enter a Durham courtroom with a mission: proving that the e-cigarette company Juul Labs purposely targeted teenagers with its nicotine-rich products | TIME, USA

Opioid-related deaths in Ottawa nearly double during pandemic

123 people died from overdoses in 2020, 65 in 2019: Ottawa Public Health | CBC News, Canada

Overcoming Stigma: Online Learning

We have developed three learning modules on the topic of stigma associated with substance use. These modules have been made with both the general public and professional audiences in mind | CCSA, Canada

The need for publicly funded research on therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs

If psychedelic drugs are introduced in clinical practice, there is a risk that their use will get ahead of the evidence on their safety and efficacy, in much the same way that “medical cannabis” has done, Emeritus Professor Wayne Hall from UQ’s Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research has cautioned | University of Queensland, Australia

‘Act of vandalism’: Council fight looms over CBD safe-injecting room

A Melbourne city councillor has moved a motion opposing a safe-injecting room anywhere in the CBD, arguing such a centre would cause the city’s “economic decimation” | The Age, Australia

Prescribing changes for nicotine vaping products

Cancer Australia, a part of the Department of Health, advises that resources to raise awareness amongst the GP community about the regulatory changes to e-cigarettes and nicotine vaping products are now published on the NPS MedicineWise website | Mirage, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

The 64th Session of CND: ‘An African war on Africa’

Every year, governments worldwide gather at the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna for debates about the global drug situation. This year's session (12-16 April) was a unique one, as it turned out to be the first-ever virtual session of the CND | IDPC blog, UK

Why the TGA should reschedule MDMA and psilocybin for the treatment of mental illness

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is considering rescheduling psilocybin and MDMA from their current classification as Schedule 9 prohibited substances to Schedule 8 controlled substances | Conversation, Australia