Daily news - 16th November 2021

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UK news

Delivery of a new Tobacco Control Plan

A debate will be held in Westminster Hall at 9.30am on Tuesday 16 November 2021 on the delivery of a new Tobacco Control Plan. A Commons Library debate pack has been prepared for the debate | UK Parliament, UK

Drug users in Scotland encouraged to call advice phone line in bid to reduce deaths

The Never Use Alone phone line will be run by the charity We Are With You and is backed by £100,000 funding from the Scottish Government. The first of its kind in Europe - it will offer practical advice to drug users to ensure they remain safe while encouraging them to seek support for addiction issues | Daily Record, UK

LibDems want alcohol minimum unit price to be increased

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have appealed for a 15 pence increase in the minimum unit price for alcohol - insisting the SNP has allowed inflation to erode the impact of their flagship policy | Herald, UK

Is LSD Safe - Latest Research Findings

LSD, technically named lysergic acid diethylamide and also known as acid, is one of the most widely used psychedelic drugs. As it changes both your cognition and your perception, it’s natural to assume this comes with an element of risk and yet LSD is widely regarded to be very safe. But is LSD really safe? | DrugScience, UK

Where are we now? A reflection on Cancard and the last 3 years of cannabis legislation

The first week of November was Medical Cannabis Awareness Week, prompting an excellent time for Volteface to reflect on the past three years since medical cannabis was legalised. In this piece we have caught up with Carly Barton, patient advocate and visionary behind Cancard, regarding the current climate for medical cannabis patients, as well as the developments that have taken place since 2018 | Volteface, UK

British squaddie who got drunk and fell from hotel balcony 'died because military alcohol restrictions are too strict'

Corporal Ryan Lovat died from his injuries in August 2019 while on a break from army duties in Poland | Wales Online, UK

Shrewsbury family highlight danger of alcoholism in short film - video

The family of a man from Shrewsbury, who died in 2013 from alcohol abuse, have released an emotional documentary to highlight the dangers of the addiction | BBC, UK

Welcome to HMP Hooch: Almost 2,400 pints of illicit alcohol are seized from inmates in a single Surrey prison in just one year

Almost 300 gallons of illicit booze were confiscated from inmates in a single prison over a 12-month period | Mail Online, UK

Webinar: Lived experience and the substance misuse treatment system

Mon, 13 December 2021, 15:30 – 17:00 GMT. A panel of experts from across the treatment and recovery world will discuss how we can support lived experience to flourish in the system | Collective Voice, UK

Addiction and the Family International Network (AFINet) Webinar Series

AFMs and ‘study success’ - 23rd November 2021, 2pm UK time. This Webinar will describe an ongoing research project examining how a relative’s addiction (to alcohol, drugs, sleeping pills, opioid painkillers and gambling) affect the quality of life and level of ‘study success’ of young adult Affected Family Members (AFMs) | AFINet, UK

Copy of The Power of Community - Exploring Stigma and Adding Kindness

Wed, November 17, 2021, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM GMT. North Lanarkshire ADP invites you to a conversation about stigma and supporting change locally | North Lanarkshire ADP, UK

Manx border operation seizes more than £200k in drugs and criminal cash

Almost £219,000 in drugs and criminal cash has been seized by police since Manx Covid-19 border rules were eased | BBC, UK

Chesterfield arrests in county lines drugs investigation

Six people have been arrested after large amounts of drugs and cash were found in a Derbyshire town | BBC, UK

Man sentenced after 'WhatsApp drugs' package seized

A man has been sentenced after a parcel containing green ecstasy tablets shaped like the logo of messaging platform WhatsApp were intercepted | BBC, UK


International news

Last Night a DJ Saved My Life: Digital words with Constellations panellists

With the stellar HRI conference Constellations starting tomorrow, TalkingDrugs had the opportunity to catch up with some of the panellists for a talk that hands-down one of the best titles in drug policy discussions. Named “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life: A Meaningful Discussion on The Role Of Drugs And Pleasure On The Dancefloor”, this discussion will happen on Tuesday 23 November | Talking Drugs, UK

AI can quickly identify structure of drugs designed for ‘legal highs’

An artificial intelligence can identify designer drugs that have similar effects to substances such as cocaine and heroin, but which can’t be detected by current tests | New Scientist, UK

Forensic lab prioritising large drug seizures over personal use cases

Forensic Science Ireland is under increasing pressure to test drug samples as huge numbers of seizures are made | Journal, Ireland

“I walked through Recovery’s door”: Margaret’s story of fighting drug addiction after prison

Feelings of loneliness and abandonment can overcome a person struggling with addiction in prison. Reconnecting people who live in prisons to their families, friends and communities can break barriers and save lives. Margaret shares her story of escaping from a cycle of drug addiction that led to repeated prison sentences, and reveals how writing poetry helped her to find a new, meaningful life | WHO, Denmark

The obscure UN conflab that seeks to cut off the world from vaping and harm reduction

While most popular attention this month has been on the vital discussions at the United Nation’s COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, there is an equally important UN conference happening in Geneva that also contemplates the fate of millions of lives | Parliament Magazine, Belgium

Opium production in southern Afghan regions is increasing

According to TOLOnews, amid the gravest economic crisis in the country opium poppy cultivation is the only opportunity to make a profit for the locals, including Kandahar and Helmand provinces | TASS, Russia

Cannabis use during pregnancy impacts the placenta and may affect subsequent child development

Women who use cannabis during pregnancy, potentially to relieve stress and anxiety, may inadvertently predispose their children to stress susceptibility and anxiety, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the City University of New York | Medical Xpress, USA [See expert reaction in blogs section below]

Can Vaping Help You Quit Smoking? - podcast

Vaping among teenagers declined sharply in 2021, the second consecutive year to see a big drop. With research and debate continuing about whether using e-cigarettes can actually help a person quit smoking traditional cigarettes BU Today spoke with Andrew Stokes, a BU School Public Health assistant professor of global health | Boston University Today, USA

Public Policy Enters The Digital Realm: A New York Good Samaritan Bill Helps Launch CrowdLobby

Led by Manhattan Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal, Assembly Bill A6179 would require instruction in senior high schools regarding calling 911 when witnessing or experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose | Forbes, USA

'I Wouldn't Risk Lives Like That Now' – Drug Dealers On Their Worst Regrets

There’s nothing quite like a searing flash of regret to make you absolutely hate yourself. You will know that feeling well, I’m sure. Your day is going alright – fine, even! – and suddenly a memory intrudes: the time you drank eight pints to “calm your nerves” before a job interview and ended up starting on the HR rep. Or, you know, similar | VICE, USA

Austin, Indiana to Restart Syringe Access After Scott County Shutdown

On November 9, city council members in Austin, Indiana, voted to approve a syringe service program (SSP). The news, which barely seemed to sneak out of the state, was a victory for harm reduction activists. It effectively reverses a much-criticized decision in Scott County to shutter the services | Filter Magazine, USA

North Bay hospital wants to create area for addictions, mental-health patients to smoke

Ann Loyst, vice-president of mental health and addictions, told councillors that the smoking ban has created issues for patients receiving treatment | CTV News, Canada

Assessing Drug Consumption Rooms and Longer Term (5 Year) Impacts on Community and Clients

Drug consumption rooms (DCRs) and supervised injecting facilities (SIFs) provide a safe environment in which people who inject drugs (PWIDs) can inject under hygienic and supervised conditions. Numerous reviews have documented the benefits of these facilities; however, there is a lack of clarity surrounding their long-term effects | Dove Press, Australia

Review continues to strengthen the case for decriminalisation

“An interim review, visit external website of 2019 changes to the Misuse of Drugs Act that increased police discretion shows that we haven’t got our drug laws right, and despite some modest progress, we haven’t made the shift to a health-based approach that whānau and communities need | NZDF, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

How can the government reduce alcohol harm in the UK?

Alcohol causes cancer – but there are 3 clear ways to reduce the harm done by alcohol in the UK | WCRF, UK

The Trip Report 15/11

Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and SaferParty, we know a little more about the drugs in circulation. The report provided below is a summary of their findings over the last week | Cameron Scally, UK

Peers Who Volunteer: A Guide On How To Support People With Lived Experience

New co-produced best practice guide and website to support people with lived experience who volunteer (or work) in the social justice sector | Russell Webster, UK

Expert reaction to a study looking at maternal cannabis use and anxiety in offspring

A study published in PNAS looks at maternal cannabis use and offspring anxiety | Science Media Centre, UK