Reports: April

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Smoking, employability, and wages (PDF)

In 2018, smoking killed almost 100,000 people across the UK. But the costs of smoking don’t stop there. Smoking also has a destructive impact on both individuals and the economy – depriving smokers of work, driving down their wages and costing the UK economy billions in lost productivity. To measure the impact of smoking on employment, earnings and productivity, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) commissioned Landman Economics to analyse Understanding Society, a UK longitudinal dataset | ASH, UK

Nonfatal Drug Overdoses Treated in Emergency Departments — United States, 2016–2017

From 2016 to 2017, the nonfatal overdose ED visits rates for all drugs, all opioids, nonheroin opioids, heroin, and cocaine increased significantly, whereas those for benzodiazepines decreased significantly | CDC, USA

International standards for the treatment of drug use disorders (PDF)

This document is the work of UNODC and WHO to support Member States in their efforts to develop and expand effective, evidence-based and ethical treatment for drug use disorders. The Standards are intended for all those involved in the policy development, planning, funding, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of treatment services and interventions for drug use disorders. This document is based on currently available scientific evidence on treatment for drug use disorders and sets out a framework for the implementation of the Standards, in line with principles of public health care | UNODC and WHO, Austria and Switzerland

Britain’s drinking habits are changing under lockdown

With Britain’s pubs, bars and restaurants shut down, the nation’s drinking patterns have changed as a result, with almost a quarter of the population (24%) buying alcohol online in the past two weeks, and with more planning to in the coming weeks, new research shows | CGA, UK

Clinical guide for the management of people with alcohol dependence during the coronavirus pandemic (PDF)

As clinicians, we all have general responsibilities in relation to coronavirus and we should seek and act on national and local guidelines. We also have a specific responsibility to ensure that essential care continues with the minimum burden on the NHS. We must engage with those planning our local response | NHS, UK

COVID-19: guidance for commissioners and providers of services for people who use drugs or alcohol

This guidance outlines COVID-19 advice for commissioners and service providers involved in assisting people who are dependent on drugs or alcohol or both | PHE and DHSC, UK

The opioid crisis and community-level spillovers onto children’s education

ecent high-profile litigation and settlements among states and local governments with drug companies have highlighted the costs of the opioid epidemic on communities. The dollar amounts discussed in some of these cases have been huge | Brookings, USA

Drinking during lockdown: headline findings: New research reveals how UK drinking habits have changed during lockdown

Alcohol Change UK commissioned new research from Opinium to find out whether people’s drinking habits have changed during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) lockdown | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

COVID-19 and Increased Alcohol Consumption: NANOS Poll Summary Report

This report highlights the results of a Nanos poll commissioned by CCSA during the COVID-19 pandemic. The poll focuses on whether people are staying at home more during the pandemic, whether their alcohol and cannabis use has increased because of this and, if it has, the reasons behind the increase | CCSA, Canada

A Tale of Two Countries Racially Targeted Arrests in the Era of Marijuana Reform (PDF)

This report updates our previous findings through an analysis of marijuana possession arrests and attendant racial disparities from 2010 to 2018, and provides specific analysis on states that have approved legalization and decriminalization laws | ACLU, USA

EMCDDA initial report on the new psychoactive substance N,N-diethyl-2-[[4-(1-methylethoxy)phenyl]methyl]-5-nitro-1H-benzimidazole-1-ethanamine (isotonitazene)

Isotonitazene is a synthetic opioid analgesic monitored by the EMCDDA as a new psychoactive substance through the European Union Early Warning System since 2019. Based on potential public health risks, an initial report has been prepared and submitted to the Commission and the Member States, in accordance with Article 5b of Regulation (EC) No 1920/2006 (as amended) | EMCDDA, Portugal

Street tablet use in Ireland: A Trendspotter study on use, markets, and harms (PDF)

In the Republic of Ireland, converging signals of the ongoing non-medical use of pharmaceuticals (‘street tablets’) among clients of community-based, drug harm reduction service agencies in Dublin were noted in 2018. These included significant levels of street tablet use among service clients, an increase in the prevalence of pregabalin in drug-related deaths data since 2015, and reports of online purchasing of tablets for the Irish market. To understand these recent trends, the present study was deemed necessary | Anna Lifey Drug Project, Ireland

Seoul Searching: South Korea’s AI Counter-Cryptomarket Capability and Associated Privacy Dilemmas (PDF)

The Republic of Korea (ROK) has been quietly developing – in conjunction with domestic academic and corporate partners – highly sophisticated counter-crypto capabilities. By March 2020, ROK technologies were so advanced that Seoul-based S2W Lab were invited to enter a technology-for-data partnership with Interpol | GDPO, UK

What's in Toronto?s Drug Supply? (PDF)

Drug samples expected to be opioids were more contaminated than other expected drug types. This report amasses results from 543 samples for a variety of unregulated drugs checked by the service from its launch date on October 10, 2019 until March 31, 2020 | Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation, Canada