Daily news - 22nd October 2021

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UK news

Revealed: The UK Government Ignored Its Own Experts' Advice to Decriminalise Drugs

In 2016, for the first time, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs explicitly recommended decriminalising drug possession and use | VICE, UK

Tony Adams warns football of future gambling 'epidemic' as well as gaming addiction

[Limited number of free articles per week] The former Arsenal captain and Sporting Chance founder said gambling is a far more common vice among active players than alcohol or drugs | Telegraph, UK

WDP & West London Alliance win MJ Award

WDP’s IPS into Work service and the West London Alliance (WLA) have won the ‘Transforming Lives’ award at the 2021 MJ Awards | DDN, UK

Two drug gangs jailed over £1.36m Lincolnshire cocaine plot

The men were part of two organised crime gangs which distributed an estimated £1.36m of the Class A drug in one year up to January 2020 | BBC, UK

Yorkshire forces target 'callous' county lines drugs gangs

Three Yorkshire police forces have made more than 80 arrests after a week of action targeting drug dealing | BBC, UK


International news

International Journal of Drug Policy

Open access issue on human enhancement drugs: Emerging issues and responses | IJDP, UK

DIVEST. REDIRECT. INVEST. The case for redirecting funds from ineffective drug law enforcement to harm reduction – spotlight on six countries in Asia

Each year more than USD 100 billion is estimated to be spent on global drug law enforcement. This is over 750 times the amount allocated to harm reduction services for people who use drugs. Despite overwhelming evidence in favour of following a health and human rights-based approach to drug control, governments around the world, including many in Asia, continue to prioritise punitive responses to drugs | HRI, UK

The Office of National Drug Control Policy must recognise its actions before creating any change

The ONDCP is situated within the executive branch and reports directly to the president. The agency sets policy goals and funds and coordinates drug enforcement efforts. For most of its existence, the ONDCP has dedicated the bulk of its resources to supply-side activities, both at home and abroad, with comparatively little focus on treatment and virtually none on harm reduction | Talking Drugs, UK

Merchant's Key: Annual Review

MQI supported over 9,882 unique individuals in 2020, which in the context of the Covid-19 restrictions remains very high and is only marginally down on the 11,641 reached in 2019 | Merchant's Key, Ireland

Opioids: health and social responses

The opioids miniguide provides an overview of the most important aspects to consider when planning or delivering health and social responses to opioid-related problems, and reviews the availability and effectiveness of the responses. It also considers implications for policy and practice | EMCDDA, Portugal

Trends and Disparities in Treatment for Co-occurring Major Depression and Substance Use Disorders Among US Adolescents From 2011 to 2019

This survey study including 136 262 adolescents aged 12 to 17 years found persistent treatment gaps for co-occurring major depression and substance use disorders. Unmet treatment needs were significantly higher among Hispanic and Asian, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander adolescents and uninsured adolescents | JAMA Network open, USA

Study illustrates the need to treat smoking and mental health problems together

Mental health problems are common among adults who smoke cigarettes and those with substance use disorders, illustrating a need for treating smoking and mental health problems together, according to a new study by Indiana University | Medical Xpress, USA

Combination nicotine replacement therapy, varenicline shows benefit for smoking cessation

Using a combination of nicotine replacement therapy and varenicline may be more effective as first-line therapy for smoking cessation than varenicline alone, according to data presented at the CHEST Annual Meeting | Healio, USA

Advil, Tylenol and Similar Painkillers Used to Replace Opioids Carry Risks

Over-the-counter analgesics can be quite effective, but high doses have downsides | Scientific American, USA

Books, internet, naloxone? How Utah libraries created a ‘culture shift’ around opioid addiction

Walking into a public library and requesting naloxone feels a bit like being in on a secret. But the experience is as normal as picking up a book on hold — except you leave with the ability to reverse an opioid overdose | Salt Lake Tribune, USA

Backlash Against the FDA Grows as Vape Company Ramps Up Legal Fight

On October 20, My Vape Order (MVO) petitioned a federal court of appeals for “an emergency motion for a stay pending a review and for expedited consideration” on the company’s vapor products that have been removed from the market | Filter Magazine, USA

Drug Checking Results

Welcome to the BCCSU Drug Checking Data "DrugSense" Dashboard. Use this summary tab to explore the drug checking dataset to visualize statistics and trends in the drug checking result database. Use the filters below to filter the drug checking samples and watch the charts update to display data from those specific samples | BCCSU, Canada

Trudeau urged to make decriminalization of illicit drugs a priority

Almost 70 organizations from across the country -- including the HIV Legal Network, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, and the National Association of Women and the Law -- have written a letter to Trudeau asking that he make drug policy reform a priority for his newly re-elected Liberal government | CTV News, Canada

‘We Haven’t Done the Most Basic Thing to Address This Crisis’

Vancouver’s top doctor says a safe supply of heroin, cocaine and meth is the only thing that will stop the overdose death toll. | The Tyee, Canada

Major changes in Australian drug use during 2021 says annual Drug Trends reports

The Drug Trends program at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at UNSW Sydney has released findings from annual surveys with hundreds of people who regularly use drugs in Australia | NDARC, Australia

Australian Drug Trends 2021: Key findings from the National Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) Interviews

The IDRS interviews people who inject drugs (PWID) from every capital city of Australia and provides an analysis and examination of indicator data sources related to illicit drugs. It is designed to be sensitive to trends, providing data in a timely manner, rather than describing issues in detail | NDARC, Australia

Make cigarettes nicotine-free and we’ll stub out smoking for good

A game-changing move to make cigarettes non-addictive will be a decisive nail in the coffin of smoking harm in New Zealand, write professors of public health Richard Edwards and Chris Bullen | Spinoff, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Grey-area drinking: pandemic’s heavy drinkers are ignoring the health risks

Increased drinking during the pandemic has created a group of people who don’t see themselves as alcoholics but have difficulty abstaining from alcohol for any length of time. This group, starting to be called grey-area drinkers, are at risk of alcohol-related health problems | Conversation, UK

Co-production and how not to embed pizza into research

There are many different flavours of co-production. Done well, co-production enriches research and implementation. Done badly, co-production reinforces the ‘top-down’ approach that it tries to address. In this blog, Rob Calder considers the importance of embedding research into practice rather than the other way round. He also tries to engineer a food-based analogy into a blog where it won’t quite fit | SSA Blog, UK

EDITORIAL: With new Maine law, harm reduction comes first

Jesse Harvey didn't have any patience for elected officials, the state bureaucracy or anyone else who didn't put saving lives absolutely first | Yahoo News, USA

NSW Government Proposes to Divert Certain Drug Offenders Away From the Criminal Justice System

The New South Wales Government is proposing to implement a new program across the state, which would give some drug offenders a second chance. It’s a sharp departure from the hardline stance of successive state governments, which have refused to decriminalise let alone legalise drugs and preferred a zero tolerance approach to drug possession offences | Sydney Criminal Lawyers, Australia