Daily news - 4th November 2021

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UK news

Lord Advocate suggests fresh look at drug consumption rooms in Scotland

Dorothy Bain spoke in the context of Scotland having an appalling on drugs deaths | Daily Record, UK

IEP Guidance Launch Webinar - video

New guidance has been developed to support the development of the provision of injecting equipment and other harm reduction measures in Scotland. This is the first major publication of its kind in Scotland since the previous IEP Guidance was published in 2010 | SDF, UK

Lifesaving antidote to be given to drug users as they leave custody

West Midlands Police has begun offering people with Class A drug addictions a lifesaving overdose antidote as they are released from custody as part of our wider harm reduction strategy | West Midlands PCC, UK

Aylesbury MP's drug Bill "a terrible idea", experts say

The MP for Aylesbury has come under heavy criticism from drug experts for a proposed new law that would make drug-testing of recently-released prisoners staying in Approved Premises compulsory | Bucks Radio, UK

Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use (SDD) Among Young People in England Survey

Please lend your support and help to influence Government policies for young people. This major social study is the Government’s only source of national data on underage smoking, drinking and drug use. The findings are used to shape services and regulation that help to support and protect young people, such as the laws banning smoking in cars and plain packaging on cigarette boxes. The 2021 study will also help to identify some of the ways in which the pandemic has affected 11-16 year olds’ health behaviours | NHS Digital, UK

21/572 Increasing uptake of vaccinations in populations where there is low uptake

Closes: 13:00 on 05 April 2022. The PHR programme would like to commission research evaluating population level interventions delivered in non-NHS settings aimed at increasing ANY vaccine uptake in any populations, but particular in underserved communities and groups (e.g. ethnic minorities, gypsy, roma and travellers communities, home schooled children and populations where uptake has historically been low) | NIHR, UK

Build A BIGGER Table With ARCO

Fri, 19 November 2021, 10:30 – 12:30 GMT. If you are interested or curious about ARCO please join us for this opportunity to connect, collaborate and discuss how we can better support your RCO | Faces & Voices of Recovery UK, UK

Man admits drug conspiracy over amphetamine lab found near Redditch

A man has admitted to conspiring to supply drugs and money laundering after a "large scale" lab capable of producing amphetamine was uncovered | BBC, UK

Lancashire dad injected heroin into toddlers to 'get them to sleep'

A dad was found to have been injecting two toddlers with heroin to "help them sleep", a Child Safeguarding Practice Review has found | ITV, UK

Man admits drug conspiracy over amphetamine lab found near Redditch

A man has admitted to conspiring to supply drugs and money laundering after a "large scale" lab capable of producing amphetamine was uncovered | BBC, UK


International news

Global Drug Policy Index Launch

Mon, 8 November 2021, 16:00 – 17:30 GMT. The Global Drug Policy Index (GDPI) is an exciting new project supported by the Robert Carr Fund, and led by the Harm Reduction Consortium. The project will develop, launch and use a new “composite index” that scores and compares national government policies related to the illegal drug market | Recovering Justice, UK

‘Impossible to enforce’: Big Tobacco exploiting loopholes in European menthol ban

A breach of the menthol cigarette ban could potentially be a criminal offence, but nobody knows for sure what types are covered | i news, USA

Joint statement urging Singapore to halt impending execution of Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam for a drug offence

Nagaenthran, a 32 years’ old Malaysian citizen with an intellecutal disability, was arrested in 2009, and sentenced to death in 2011 for importing with intent of trafficking 42.72 grams of diamorphine. His execution has been scheduled for 10th November 2021 | HRI, UK

Alcoholic liver disease up 30% during pandemic perfect storm, says consultant

Study highlighted how rise in drinking at home in lockdown led to increase in illness | Irish Times, Ireland

Czech Journalist Prosecuted for “Inciting Toxicomania” – Interview with Robert Veverka

Robert Veverka, an activist, a politician and the editor of the most popular Czech cannabis magazine, Legalizace, is being prosecuted for “inciting and promoting toxicomania.” Read our interview with him | Drug Reporter, Hungary

CHECK – new magazine about (IL)LEGAL HIGHS

“CHECK” is a magazine for people who use drugs, experts and advocates working in the EECA region, and those who want to learn more about the drug policy and harm reduction in the region. It is published by the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) and the Eurasian Network of People Who Use Drugs (ENPUD) | Harm Reduction Eurasia, Lithuania

EMCDDA webinar: Cannabis control approaches across Europe

Recording of the EMCDDA webinar 'Cannabis control approaches across Europe' from 27 October 2021 | EMCDDA, Portugal

Recommended Scope for NPS Testing in the United States (PDF)

The objective of this report is to provide updated guidance in developing an appropriate analytical scope of testing for novel psychoactive substances (NPS) in the United States based on current trends and intelligence. This report is based on information available in Q3 2021 and is subject to change along with the drug market | cfsre / NPS Discovery, USA

Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) 33: Treatment for Stimulant Use Disorders

This updated TIP reviews what is known about treating the medical, psychiatric, and SUD-related problems associated with the use of cocaine and methamphetamine, as well as the misuse of prescription stimulants. The TIP offers recommendations on treatment approaches and maximizing treatment engagement and retention, and strategies for initiating and maintaining abstinence | SAMHSA, USA

Cannabis use disorder rising significantly during pregnancy

Columbia and Weill Cornell researchers found cannabis use disorders increased 150 percent in prenatal hospitalizations from 2010 to 2018 | EurekAlert, USA

Ketamine rapidly improves cognitive function, making those in suicidal crisis less likely to harm themselves

Ketamine, a drug used to treat mood disorders and severe depression, improved the thinking and reasoning of those who expressed thoughts of killing themselves within 24 hours, according to a Columbia University study | Medical Xpress, USA

Discrimination against transgender people associated with higher rates of substance use and treatment

Transgender people face discrimination in a variety of settings, including the housing market, employment, health care, and interactions with law enforcement. Building on earlier research, this study shows a positive correlation between the severity of discrimination faced by transgender people and higher rates of substance use, substance use disorder, and substance use disorder treatment | Recovery Research Institute, USA

Buprenorphine versus extended-release naltrexone: A focus on individuals experiencing homelessness

For individuals with opioid use disorder, initiation of the medication buprenorphine may be easier than use of the extended-release naltrexone medication because the latter requires a period of complete abstinence which can be challenging to achieve and an unpleasant experience | Recovery Research Institute, USA

Opioid Makers Win Major Victory in California Trial

[Free subscription may be required] In one of the first cases to be brought against drug manufacturers over the crisis, a judge ruled that there was “simply no evidence” the companies were liable in the epidemic | NYTimes, USA

Wins for Multiple Cannabis, Psychedelics Decrim. Measures on November Ballots

The November 2 elections brought troubling signs for Democrats hoping to retain control of Congress and criminal justice reformers alike. But several city-level drug policy reform ballot initiatives did perform well | Filter Magazine, USA

Ottawa Decriminalization Moves Accelerate Amid Shift to Meth

Ottawa may not have advanced as far as some neighboring municipalities—like Toronto or Montreal—when it comes to formal proposals for drug decriminalization. But Canada’s capital has nonetheless been discussing the approach, with Ottawa Public Health officially adding potential decriminalization to its 2019-2022 strategic plan for mental and substance-use health | Filter Magazine, Canada

Drug Users Are Nostalgic For ‘Old-School Heroin’ as Fentanyl Takes Over

In many former heroin strongholds in the U.S. and Canada, the opioid is disappearing, fueling fentanyl overdoses and prompting some users to push for a renaissance | VICE News, Canada

Vaping products are 'getting around' import ban and into the hands of children, AMA warns

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has raised concerns young people are continuing to access vaping products despite an import ban coming into effect | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Are They Listening?

On October 19th, during Addiction Awareness Week, Forward Trust joined charity partners to launch a campaign to raise public awareness about addiction. The ‘Taking Action on Addiction’ campaign will work to broaden understanding of the root causes of addiction, encourage people and institutions to show compassion and care to people struggling with it and their families, and promote and celebrate recovery in all its forms so that more people feel able to ask for help | Action on Addiction, UK

The proposed medicinal licensing of e-cigarettes is grotesque

The tobacco industry is attempting to align itself with the legitimate pharmaceutical industry and clean up its image... | Guardian letters, UK

SHAD Interview—”Problem Substances: Temperance and the Control of Addictive Drugs in Nineteenth-Century Australia” with Matthew Allen

During the second half of the long Australian nineteenth century (c. 1840–1914), drugs were subjected to increasing government control in a process largely driven by the temperance movement. Temperance activism and its highly public campaign against alcohol were the key to a profound shift in the social imaginary of drugs... | Points blog, USA