Daily news - 8th November 2021

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UK news

Non-Communicable Disease Prevention: Priorities for 2021/22 Supporting people in Scotland to live healthy lives through tackling health harming products (PDF)

In 2020, non-communicable diseases were responsible for more than 40,000 deaths and in excess of 62% of all deaths. We know that one in five of these deaths are preventable through public health action. Scotland has often led the way with worldleading, population-level action that has positively impacted public health, such as minimum unit pricing of alcohol. But more is needed | Alcohol Focus Scotland et al, UK

FM to visit drugs project with Tory leader

The first minister and the Scottish Conservative leader have confirmed a joint visit to a drugs recovery group in Glasgow | BBC, UK

Take part in Alcohol Awareness Week: 15-21 November

Alcohol Awareness Week is an opportunity for charities, local authorities, GP surgeries, businesses and more to think and talk about alcohol harm with their communities | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Alcoholic Drinks and Drugs: Rehabilitation

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding he has made available for drug and alcohol services in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 | They work for you, UK

3 NHS Medical Cannabis Prescriptions in 3 Years - Alfies Story

By the time Alfie was 5 years old, he was having 150 seizures a week in aggressive clusters. His seizures started at 8 months old and got progressively worse with age | Drug Science, UK

Medical Cannabis: Alleviation of Health Conditions

I beg to move, That this House has considered the matter of the use of medical cannabis for the alleviation of health conditions | They work for you, UK

Lack of Government research into medical cannabis holding UK back, say experts

Experts say it is “short-sighted” that the UK Government is not investing in medical cannabis research | Cannabis Health News, UK

Let's talk e-cigarettes - podcast

Since coming on the market over a decade ago, e-cigarettes have divided opinion. A team of Oxford researchers are searching for new e-cigarette studies every month. In this podcast, Dr Jamie Hartmann-Boyce and Dr Nicola Lindson talk about what has been found, and how this changes what we know about e-cigarettes | Oxford University, UK

SDF Webinar: Options and developments in residential rehabilitation and support

Friday 19th November 2021, 13.00 – 14.30. There has a lot of discussion in recent years over the role of residential rehabilitation and care services for people with a substance use problem.  With the recent investment provided by Scottish Government, this webinar will explore the nature of the need for residential rehabilitation and care and how services may meet these needs | SDF, UK

New alcohol ‘early intervention’ service launches in Doncaster

A newly launched ‘early intervention’ service is aiming to help Doncaster people safely manage their drinking within safe limits to prevent it spiralling out of control | Aspire, UK

Recovering heroin addict relives trauma of sleeping rough in effort to help others in Glasgow

Richie Roncero is coining in cash for a cause close to his heart as he sets out on a journey to sleep rough for five weeks in five different cities across the UK | Glasgow Times, UK

County Lines

For each year, Aug 2015 to July 2016, Aug 2016 to July 2017, Aug 2017 to July 2018, Aug 2018 to July 2019, Aug 2019 to July 2020 and Aug 2020 to July 2021, for county lines, how many: • Arrests have been made • Children rescued from this crime • [County Lines have] Been broken? | They work for you, UK

UK stop-and-search data ‘withheld to hide rise in discrimination’

Figures delayed as police and borders bills pass through parliament | Guardian, UK

AlphaBiolabs enhances its SCRAM CAM® continuous alcohol monitoring service

As an authorised distributor of SCRAM CAM® in the UK, AlphaBiolabs has recently enhanced its continuous alcohol monitoring service by now offering free regular court-approved reports and a commitment to notifying a client of any alcohol consumption by the SCRAM CAM® user within 24 hours of that drinking event being confirmed | Family Law, UK

Drug dealer absconds from Sudbury open prison

The 28-year-old was convicted of the production and supply of cannabis, the supply of cocaine and possessing an offensive weapon, in June 2016 | BBC, UK


International news

You’ll never have a drug-free society, expert warns UK

Consortium on drugs policy blasts Home Office for approach to tackling narcotic abuse | Guardian, UK

Global Drug Policy Index - Launch events -  8 - 30 November 2021 

The Global Drug Policy Index is the first tool of its kind to document, measure and compare countries’ drug policies worldwide. The Index assesses both policies on the books and implementation on the ground. Countries are scored on the basis of transparent, up-to-date and reliable data. The higher the score, the more drug policy in that country aligns with the United Nations Common Position on drug policy | IDPC, UK

Meet the Global Drug Policy Index

The Global Drug Policy Index provides each country with a score and ranking that shows how much their drug policies and their implementation align with the UN principles of human rights, health and development. [The UK ranks 4th] | Global Drug Policy Index, UK

WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is his policy for the UK delegation to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Ninth Conference of the Parties to support any requests from countries on the formation of an intersessional Working Group to hear evidence on the use of vaping devices as harm reduction tools | They work for you, UK

The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Conference of the Parties (COP): an explainer

From 8 - 13 November 2021, government delegations from around the world will meet virtually to discuss tobacco and nicotine policy at the Ninth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Decisions taken at these meetings influence or determine how international tobacco control policies are implemented at a domestic level | GSTHR, UK

GERRY STIMSON | Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction | RegWatch - video

Is COP9 failing? | RegWatch at GSTHR in London, 2021. Interview with Gerry Stimson, Director at Knowledge-Action-Change (KAC), Emeritus Professor at Imperial College London | Regulator Watch, UK

Will the magic of psychedelics transform psychiatry?

Psychedelics have come a long way since their hallucinogenic hippy heyday. Research shows that they could alleviate PTSD, depression and addiction. So will we all soon be treated with magic mushrooms and MDMA? | Guardian, UK

Characteristics associated with suicide among people who use drugs in Ireland 2015 to 2017: a repeated cross-sectional study

Substance use disorder is widely recognised as important risk factor for suicide. The study aims to identify the characteristics of people who use drugs who died by suicide in Ireland | SSA, UK

Critics say Biden’s drug czar pick at odds with push for ‘harm reduction’ policies

Concern over role Rahul Gupta played in shutting down West Virginia’s largest syringe service program in the state’s capital | Guardian, UK

NYC's latest 'crack alley': Manhattan's Tompkins Square Park is OVERRUN by homeless encampment where bookseller says he carries bag full of NARCAN to revive his heroin-addict friends when they overdose

Grim photos show a homeless encampment that has sprung up in a leafy Manhattan park close to an outdoor drug den known as the 'crack alley,' as the NYPD seeks to control the city's homeless crime wave and its vagrant population doubles to 50,000 | Mail Online, UK

How Asian Americans are blazing a new path in a blooming pot industry

Cannabis has been used in traditional Asian medicines for millennia, yet the weed business is still raising eyebrows within some families | Guardian, UK

TikTok videos humanise Colombia's cocaine workers

Viral social media videos in Colombia reveal how the people on the lowest rung of the cocaine industry work and live | BBC, UK

Outrage as Singapore prepares to execute man with learning disabilities over drugs charges

Decision to execute Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam widely condemned by rights groups | Guardian, UK

Demand for addiction services in the Midwest doubles in just one year

Ana Liffey's annual report details the spike in the number of people it is working with, and a surge in the use of crack cocaine | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Limerick is in the eye of a dangerous drugs storm

Chief Executive of the Ana Liffey Drug Project, Tony Duffin, said they have provided 1,433 sterile crack pipes in Dublin since 2020, while around 4,600 have been distributed in Limerick over the same period | Limerick Post, Ireland


Fluclotizolam is classified as a novel benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants. Novel benzodiazepines, typically defined as emergent benzodiazepines not used medicinally, are often pirated from early drug discovery or pharmaceutical studies. Fluclotizolam was first identified in Europe in 2017. Data suggest that fluclotizolam may be 2-3 times more potent than etizolam | NPS Discovery, USA

San Francisco's new rapid response teams race to save lives as ODs dramatically rise

It's a sun-filled, fall day and Nicholas is strapped to an ambulance gurney near 8th and Market streets in downtown San Francisco, dazed and barely conscious. Plastic IV tubes snake around his left hand where L-O-V-E is tattooed just below his knuckles | npr, USA

Psychedelic experience dose-dependently modulated by cannabis: results of a prospective online survey

Classic psychedelics are currently being studied as novel treatments for a range of psychiatric disorders. However, research on how psychedelics interact with other psychoactive substances remains scarce | Psychopharmacology, USA

Detroit votes to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms

Detroit voters decriminalized therapeutic mushrooms – also known as psychedelic or "magic" mushrooms. On Election Day Tuesday, voters were asked to vote on Proposal E, which would make "the personal possession and therapeutic use of entheogenic plants by adults the city's lowest law-enforcement priority." | CBS News, USA

Oregon’s Drug Decriminalization Has Raised Over $300 Million for Treatment and Services

In the year since Oregon decriminalized possession of all state-banned drugs, hundreds of millions of tax dollars have been redirected to funding community treatment and harm reduction services | Filter Magazine, USA

Results of clinical trial will impact treatment for opioid dependence in Australia and internationally

The results of a clinical trial of extended-release buprenorphine injections (BUP-XR), an opioid agonist treatment (OAT), demonstrate high retention and treatment satisfaction | NDARC, Australia

Moderate drinking of alcohol is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and a lowering of mortality from all causes landmark study in older people reveals

A landmark study by Monash University researchers has found that moderate drinking of alcohol is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and a lowering of mortality from all causes - when compared to zero alcohol consumption | Monash University, Australia

Organised crime is overpowering authorities in drug war, says veteran investigator

Sophisticated organised crime networks are overpowering authorities as government “insanity” on drug policy fails to tackle the popular demand underpinning the trade in illicit substances, a veteran investigator has warned | SMH, Australia

Major change to drug laws still needed despite Police report showing some progress

The NZ Drug Foundation says a Police report into the impact of changes to drug laws in 2019 shows that despite some positive improvement, huge inequities remain, and major change is needed for New Zealand to take a health-based approach to drugs | NZDF, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Insight: Why drugs is a health issue first, a criminal one second

Jack - a frail-looking man with an armful of tattoos - is sitting hunched up on the low bench of his cell at the state-of-the-art custody suite in Oldbury in the West Midlands | Scotsman, UK

It's time to end smoking for good in the UK - with a vaping revolution

This week, the attention of the world has been focused on the United Kingdom. Whatever your take on the climate debate, one thing that has impressed me, is the leadership shown by the UK in tackling an issue that requires global action | Express opinion, UK

Harm Reduction Is Essential to Protect Young People During the Opioid Epidemic

With youth drug use on the rise, community-based organizations are taking steps to provide resources and support | Progressive Magazine, USA

Let me be the one to break it to you, Tim Smith, alcohol is a drug

For me, the best bit of Tim Smith’s “I will reflect” press conference this week was his reaction when asked if he’d taken a drug test after getting boozed and smashing up his car and career | The Age opinion, Australia