Daily news - 19th November 2021

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UK news

Calls to raise minimum unit alcohol price to 65p in Scotland

A group of charities and medical experts have urged the Scottish government to increase the minimum unit price (MUP) of alcohol from 50p to 65p | BBC, UK

Employees bullied or fired for vaping at work, study claims

In a new study, vapers in the UK reveal they felt anxious about returning to work due to workplace vaping restrictions and discrimination | Sky News, UK

Covid credited as stop smoking service reports rise in referrals

The number of people referring themselves to a service aimed at helping them stop smoking has increased rapidly since the start of the coronavirus pandemic | BBC, UK

New NHS clinic for treating cannabis psychosis overwhelmed by demand

NHS England has opened its first clinic dedicated to treating psychosis caused by smoking cannabis. Based at the Maudsley Hospital in London, it is already overwhelmed by referrals for treatment | Christian Institute, UK

‘How I bounced back from a drug overdose induced coma’

Billy speaks out about his recovery journey, and why it’s so important that support for addiction is out there | Bristol Cable, UK

SDF Webinar: Options and developments in residential rehabilitation and support

Friday 19th November 2021  13.00 – 14.30. There has been 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

Gary Seaman Award 2021

We are now accepting nominations for the Gary Seaman Award 2021. An annual award presented to an outstanding practitioner, or volunteer, who has made a real difference supporting family members affected by drugs, alcohol or gambling. All entries must be received by 12pm on the 1st of December - winners will be notified by the 3rd of December | Adfam, UK

Prisoners to be banned from drinking when freed and get sobriety tags to cut alcohol-fuelled crimes

Serious and prolific offenders to be tagged with devices which monitor alcohol levels | Independent, UK

Police powers and procedures: Stop and search and arrests, England and Wales, year ending 31 March 2021

Statistics on stop and search, arrests for notifiable offences | Home Office, UK

South Armagh: Underground cannabis factory 'worth £36k' discovered

Two men have been arrested following the discovery of an underground cannabis factory in south Armagh on Wednesday afternoon | BBC, UK

Drug dealer convicted of police officer murder bid

A drug dealer has been convicted of trying to kill a police officer after knocking him down during an arrest bid in Glasgow | BBC, UK


International news

Germany moves to legalise cannabis in economy-boosting bid after Merkel departure

Germany will decriminalise certain sale and consumption rules of cannabis in a significant drug policy change for the ruling coalition government, according to reports | Express, UK

Volteface Interview: Decriminalising cannabis in Malta, with Owen Bonnici

The long-awaited parliamentary debate on the Cannabis Reform Bill, which hopes to see cannabis decriminalised in Malta, kicked off on Tuesday | Volteface, UK

Police presence at music festivals can lead to ‘panic overdoses’ of drugs

People who have a fear of policing are more likely to take all their drugs before entering a festival, Australian study finds | Guardian, UK

Following Release of CDC Overdose Data, White House, Health and Human Services, and Justice Officials Discuss the Biden-⁠Harris Administration’s Work to Address the Overdose Epidemic

Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, hosted a press call with Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and other Biden-Harris Administration officials to discuss new and ongoing actions to address the overdose epidemic as well as the urgent need for Congress to fund President Biden’s FY 2022 budget to build on those actions | The White House, USA

Improved naloxone access can prevent prescription opioid overdose deaths

Making the opioid overdose antidote naloxone easily accessible and available free-of-charge to people who are prescribed opioids in Australia would be cost-effective and save hundreds of lives, new Burnet Institute research demonstrates | Medical Xpress, USA

Death from heart attack or stroke may be the first CVD event in some smokers

Death from a heart attack or stroke may be the first cardiovascular disease (CVD) event in some people who smoke cigarettes and CVD is the leading adverse health effect among smokers, according to new research published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association, an open access journal of the American Heart Association | News Medical, USA


BZO-CHMOXIZID is classified as a synthetic cannabinoid. Synthetic cannabinoids have been reported to cause psychoactive effects similar to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Synthetic cannabinoids have caused adverse events, including deaths, as described in the literature | NPS Discovery, USA

Irreversible Overdoses, Robberies, and Sex Assaults: The ‘Terrifying’ Rise of Benzo Dope

In some parts of Canada and the U.S., fentanyl is increasingly being cut with tranquilizers, fueling a dark new phase of the drug poisoning crisis | VICE, USA

New Efforts to Make Top-Level Policy and Research Welcome Drug Users

As the oft-cited mantra “Nothing about us without us” suggests, the involvement of people who use drugs in drug research and policymaking is essential | Filter Magazine, USA

Biden’s Overdose Prevention Plan Faces Social, State Barriers

The Biden administration’s sweeping plan to quell rising drug deaths in the U.S. could face roadblocks as treatment specialists grapple with limitations in tracking overdoses and varying state regulations | Bloomberg, USA

San Francisco Aims To Open Supervised Drug Use Site In Spring

To combat San Francisco’s high rate of overdoses, Mayor London Breed said Tuesday she hopes to open a center in the spring where people could use drugs under the watch of medical professionals—though drug use sites are illegal under federal law | Forbes, USA

Hydroponic Device for Growing Cannabis at Home Wins Annual BU Start-Up Competition

Alum Carl Palme nets $10,000 grand prize for entrepreneurial venture Annaboto | BU Today, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Letting people test their drugs will reduce the number of needless deaths

[Register for free to gain access] If we can provide important information about the contents of alcoholic drinks, says Ian Hamilton, why can’t we provide it for drugs like ecstasy? | Independent premium, UK

What is the impact of alcohol misuse on a family?

In this blog, Ruth, Area Manager at Aquarius, talks about the impact of heavy drinking on families | Alcohol Concern UK, UK

African countries perform badly when it comes to drug policies: a new index shows how

Awukye received a 10-year prison sentence in Ghana for cannabis possession. The experience, he said, shattered his family’s dreams. Michael Anami, a Kenyan, recalled the “multiple arrests, beatings, incarcerations, and untimely deaths” he had witnessed as a drug policy activist and former user | Conversation, UK


And finally...

I'll have Marlboro flight! Moment a cheeky magpie hops inside car and steals driver's cigarettes

This is the surreal moment a magpie raided a driver's car for cigarettes in China | Mail Online, UK