Daily news - 26th October 2021

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UK news

NIN on drug health harms briefing – October 2021

This briefing summarises the topics covered at the October 2021 meeting of the national intelligence network (NIN) on the health harms associated with drug use, with updated information where appropriate | PHE, UK

Scottish National Naloxone Programme’s work showcased in new EU toolkit on overdose prevention upon release from prison

A hands-on toolkit has been designed for policymakers and practitioners which explains how to set up and run naloxone programmes for overdose prevention upon release from prison and other custodial settings | SDF, UK

Medicines associated with dependence or withdrawal symptoms: safe prescribing and withdrawal management for adults - Darft for Consultation

This consultation closes on 5pm, 02 December 2021. This guideline covers prescribing and managing withdrawal from opioids, benzodiazepines, gabapentinoids, Z-drugs and antidepressants. The guideline assumes that non-pharmacological treatment options have been discussed and offered where appropriate before these medicines are prescribed | NICE, UK

Alcohol Early Intervention Team Initial Report Published

The team has seen significant success in reduce and control in socially more mobile people. The programme has stigma busting qualities which has seen treatment naive people receive help to manage drinking within tolerable levels. A slide deck sharing data can be found here (PDF) | Alcohol and Drug Service (ADS) and Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, UK

The economic impact of a smokefree United Kingdom: technical report (PDF)

New analysis of national statistics published in advance of the budget and spending review recently finds major benefits to the UK economy if all expenditure on tobacco ended. UK smokers spend around £15.6bn a year on legal and illicit tobacco | Landman Economics, UK

Watch on Demand: Session 3 of the NHS APA Virtual Conference 2021

In this session, we are joined by members of the Addictions Service User Research Group (SURG). Jo, Paul and Mel discuss stigma within the treatment system, including what it feels like, how it can prevent people who are experiencing problems with alcohol and other drugs from accessing treatment and support, and what doctors and treatment providers might do to make health services more inclusive and welcoming | NHA APA, UK

Invitation to Membership of the Recovery Connectors Group

“A LERO is an organisation of lived experience committed to recovery with a focus on autonomy” The aim is to develop a Recovery Strategy that is signed up to by key leadership figures and organisations for (addiction) recovery in the UK. The focus will be on Lived Experience Recovery Organisations (LEROs), that has the idea of active citizenship at its core | CLERO, UK

Health experts urge action on cheap alcohol due to North East drink-related death rise

Health leaders are calling for action on cheap alcohol in the Chancellor’s autumn budget. The plea comes from experts in Cumbria and the North East - the region worst affected by record levels of alcohol-specific deaths during the pandemic | ITV, UK

Drug lords of Instagram exposed: Investigation reveals dealers are making fortunes by selling their wares online... and they even target children

Hundreds of drug dealers are using Instagram to peddle potent cannabis to children in a billion-pound industry, a Daily Mail investigation has found | Mail Online, UK

New Kirk moderator supports decriminalisation of drug possession

The new moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland believes drug possession should be decriminalised to help aid recovery | BBC, UK

New owners of popular Scottish hotel announce plans to stop selling alcohol

The chief executive said alcohol 'is a major negative contributing factor to the physical and mental wellbeing of a large proportion of society' | Daily Record, UK

Drug Policy and Children's Rights

Wed, 27 October 2021, 13:00 – 14:00 BST. Speakers: Damon Barrett - Damon is Associate Senior Lecturer, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Gothenburg where he is Director of the Master's Programme in Global Health. Angharad Williams (Choices Team Leader) & Jamie Harris (Service Manager, Barod Swansea). Choices (Swansea) is a young person’s service working with under 25s and their families to provide support for substance use and the potential harms | Swansea University, UK

Highpass 2021

Thursday 28th October Highpass 2021 launches this week with a panel discussion this Thursday then a best of bass showcase on Friday. Delving into the vital work The Loop do in providing drug safety testing, welfare and harm reduction services at nightclubs and festivals, this one-off conversation will center around how we can make nightlife better as a community| The Loop, UK

Trustees’ Week 

This year's Trustees’ Week takes place 1-5 November 2021. Whilst charities have risen to the challenges of the pandemic, this has not been an easy time to be a trustee | NCVO, UK


International news

‘Dangerous data’: drinking after dependence part 7. Who takes the decision and how?

With both objectives on the care-planning table, shared decision-making between client and patient has become the recommended way to decide between alternative treatment objectives, informed by official and unofficial guidance. The final part of Mike Ashton’s series on the controlled drinking controversy | SSA, UK

New Research on Canada’s Legalisation Experience

It is rare that governments pass laws that create entirely new public policy horizons, with accompanying challenges and opportunities. Canada’s decision to legalise cannabis for adult (non-medical) use in 2018 was one rare example. The Cannabis Act was the first time that a major industrialised country had chosen to create a legal, regulated market in what had been a prohibited drug for over ninety years | Public First, UK

Rhode Island to become first state nationwide to pilot safe-injection sites for intravenous drug users: 'There’s almost like a moral oxymoron going on here' says state representative as nation remains divided on taboo topic

The state is set to codify rules for operating supervised injection sites in a two-year pilot program by January, with locations to be agreed upon by March | Mail Online, UK

An Insight into Colombia’s Drug Policy

This is the first article of Mauro Echeverria’s “The Great Colombia: A Drug Policy Profile of Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador” series, investigating the development of Colombian drug policy in the recent years | Talking Drugs, UK

‘Nothing will change’: void left by Colombia cartel boss will quickly be filled, say experts

The capture of Ontoniel has been called a landmark victory against the drug trade. But he is ‘just one node of a network | Guardian, UK

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

In 1988 the U.S. Congress passed with bipartisan support the Anti-Drug Abuse Act. This omnibus bill cemented the country’s punitive and racially disparate treatment of people who use drugs (PWUD). To assist in the fight against drugs, which Americans at the time considered one of the greatest threats facing the nation, the package of legislation created the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) | Talking Drugs, UK

Menthol cigarette use in substance use disorder treatment before and after implementation of a county-wide flavoured tobacco ban

This study examined the impact of a San Francisco City and County ban on all flavoured tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, among clients in residential substance use disorder (SUD) treatment | BMJ Tobacco, UK

International Society of Substance use professionals newsletter - October

With October in full swing we are delighted to bring you news of the appointment of seven ISSUP members to a newly established National Chapters Advisory Committee. There is still time to submit proposals and abstracts to present at the ISSUP 2022 Annual Conference in Abu Dhabi. Finally, don't miss INL Webinar Week on 25 - 29 October | ISSUP, UK

Stimulants: health and social responses

The stimulants miniguide provides an overview of what to consider when planning or delivering health and social responses to stimulant-related problems, and reviews the available interventions and their effectiveness. It also considers implications for policy and practice | EMCDDA, Portugal

Prevalence of Adolescent Cannabis Vaping: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of US and Canadian Studies

This systematic review and meta-analysis reviewed 17 unique studies from the US and Canada, with a total of 198 845 adolescents, and found that the lifetime prevalence of cannabis vaping doubled from 2013 to 2020 (6.1% to 13.6%), past 12-month use doubled from 2017 to 2020 (7.2% to 13.2%), and the 30-day prevalence of cannabis vaping increased 7-fold from 2013 to 2020 (1.6% to 8.4%). Preference for cannabis products may be shifting from dried herb to cannabis oil | JAMA Network Pediatrics, USA

Assessment of Stimulant Use and Cardiovascular Event Risks Among Older Adults

In this cohort study of 6457 older adults who initiated stimulant use and 24 853 matched older adults who did not initiate such use, stimulant use was associated with a 40% increase in CV events within 30 days of initiation. Risk attenuated over time, with no association with increased risk at 180 days or 365 days after initiation | JAMA Network, USA

The 'Safe Supply' Movement Aims to Curb Drug Deaths Linked to the Opioid Crisis

On a morning Zoom call, a group of Canadian mothers give their full attention to a young man from the Drug User Liberation Front. At 26, Jeremy Kalicum is the age some of their kids would be if they had not died of accidental overdoses | TIME, USA

Naloxone Spray Global Market Report 2021: COVID-19 Implications And Growth

The global naloxone spray market is expected to grow from $285.09 million in 2020 to $351.39 million in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.3%. The change in growth trend is mainly due to the companies stabilizing their output after catering to the demand that grew exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 | Business Research Company, USA

Positive shifts since cannabis legalization, but more health data still needed, says researcher

Half of Canadian cannabis users report buying from black market some of the time: Jason Busse | CBC News, Canada

Vancouver's chief medical officer recommends compassion club model to reduce illicit drug deaths

Dr. Patricia Daly takes recommendations to city hall, reminds councillors opioid crisis still raging | CBC News, Canada

Posters and Poster Presentations - The 2020 Annual NDARC Research Symposium

Videos of the poster presentations from the recent symnposium | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The Trip Report 25/10

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

Some young Nigerians say heavy drinking is fun: controls must keep pace with culture

Alcohol consumption has a long history in Nigeria, especially in the southern region, where it was not forbidden by religion. In the past, only adult men were culturally allowed to drink. It was taboo for young people to drink alcohol because it was generally believed that “drinking was a sign of being an elder”. | Conversation, Nigeria