Reports: May

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Novel benzodiazepines: prevalence and harms in the UK

This report examines the evidence of prevalence and harms in the UK of several novel benzodiazepines and provides advice to the government | ACMD, UK

Safety of low dose cannabidiol (PDF)

Cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid derived from the Cannabis plant, is being supplied as a medicine in Australia, but often as a component of oils and extracts of cannabis. A purified product has recently been approved for treatment of certain paediatric epilepsies in the US and is under regulatory evaluation in Australia as a registered medicine | Australian Government, Australia

COVID-19 and the drug supply chain: from production and trafficking to use (PDF)

Drug trafficking relies heavily on legal trade to camouflage its activities and on individuals being able to distribute drugs to consumers. The measures implemented by Governments to counter the COVID19 pandemic have thus inevitably affected all aspects of the illegal drug markets, from the production and trafficking of drugs to their consumption | UNODC, Austria

State of the Sector 2019: Drug and Alcohol Family Support (PDF)

Almost one in three adults in Great Britain have been negatively affected by the substance use of someone they know, and one in ten describe themselves as currently affected. Providing support to families has been shown to improve the chances that their loved one will enter, and remain in, treatment. But equally important is the right to support for themselves. Adfam’s State of the Sector Family Support Survey aims to shine a light on current circumstances and practice | Adfam, UK

COVID-19: New EMCDDA study highlights drop in availability of drug services in Europe but increase in innovation

As Europe grapples with the unprecedented public health threat posed by COVID-19, how is the outbreak affecting drug users and service providers? In a new study published today — Impact of COVID-19 on drug services and help-seeking in Europe — the EMCDDA reports signs of a drop in the availability of drug services during the pandemic and in the numbers of those seeking help | EMCDDA, Portugal

Assessing the Evidence on Supervised Drug Consumption Sites

Current levels of opioid-related morbidity and mortality in the United States are staggering. Data for 2017 indicate that there were more than 47,000 opioid-involved overdose deaths (roughly similar to deaths from AIDS at its peak in 1995), and 1 in 8 adults now report having had a family member or close friend die from opioids | RAND, USA

Death of despair (PDF)

More Americans could lose their lives to deaths of despair, deaths due to drug, alcohol, and suicide, if we do not do something immediately. Deaths of despair have been on the rise for the last decade, and in the context of COVID-19, deaths of despair should be seen as the epidemic within the pandemic. The goal of this report is to predict what deaths of despair we might see based on three assumptions during COVID-19: economic recovery, relationship between deaths of despair and unemployment, and geography | Wellbeing Trust, USA

The UK Medicinal Cannabis Report: The Needs of A Nation - Part A: “The Current Landscape”

Free download on registration. This report intends to highlight some of the changes needed to achieve the aspirations behind the rescheduling of cannabis in 2018 | CDPG, UK

CND decision on international control of two fentanyl analogues enters into force - remaining decisions will enter into force in November 2020

The decision adopted by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) during its 63nd Session from 2 to 6 March 2020 to add Crotonylfentanyl and Valerylfentanyl to Schedule I of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, was communicated by the Secretary-General on 7th of May 2020 to all States Members of the United Nations... | UNODC, Austria

Adulterants, Contaminants and Co-occurring Substances in Drugs on the Illegal Market in Canada (CCENDU Bulletin)

Provides a snapshot of the contents of drugs on the illegal market in Canada using 2018–2019 data from drug seizures, drug checking services and a drug monitoring study. This bulletin is accompanied by a technical report featuring detailed research methods and data | CCSA, Canada

The cost of opioid use to Australia: $15.7 billion and 2203 deaths

The ‘extra-medical’ use of opioids is costing Australia around $15.7 billion and causing more than 2200 deaths a year. ‘Extra-medical’ opioid use includes the illegal use of heroin and the misuse of pharmaceutical opioids (use ‘not as prescribed’) | NDARC, Australia

Inequalities in victimisation: alcohol, violence, and anti-social behaviour

New findings show that alcohol-related violence affects the poorest in society to the greatest degree, with the most deprived groups experiencing as much as 14 times as many incidents of alcohol-related domestic violence every year, compared with the least deprived | IAS, UK

Testing for drug-related infectious diseases — a crucial step towards meeting international health goals

Testing for drug-related infectious diseases among people who inject drugs (PWID) is crucial if international health targets are to be met. This is among the conclusions of a new EMCDDA report out today | EMCDDA, Portugal

Clearing the Smoke on Cannabis: Edible Cannabis Products, Cannabis Extracts and Cannabis Topicals

Reviews research about edible cannabis products, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals. Findings of the report include the health and safety risks these types of cannabis products have that are different from the risks associated with dried cannabis. It also addresses the risks of over consumption, methods of use, unintentional ingestion — especially by children — and the psychoactive effects of these types of products | CCSA, Canada

County Lines after COVID - a new threat?

Since the COVID-19 lockdown began, the received wisdom reported in the media has been that the threat from county lines operated by organised crime groups (OCGs) and gangs would reduce | Crest Advisory, UK

Evaluating the impact of alcohol minimum unit pricing in Scotland: Observational study of small retailers

The Scottish Government’s minimum unit pricing policy has been implemented as intended by small retailers in Scotland, according to new research carried out by the University of Stirling | University of Stirling, UK

EU Drug Markets — Impact of COVID-19

What effect is COVID-19 having on the drug market in the EU? This joint publication from the EMCDDA and Europol analyses the impact of the pandemic on the market for the main drug types (cannabis, heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, NPS), including demand, production, trafficking and availability. It reports higher prices, local shortages and reduced purity for some drugs, while noting continued violence among suppliers and distributors. It also shows how organised crime groups remain active and resilient, by adapting transportation models, trafficking routes and concealment methods, even during the pandemic | EMCDDA and Europol, Portugal

Ganja Licensing in Jamaica Learning lessons and setting standards (PDF)

[From April 2020] For many years there has been disquiet in the countries of the English-speaking Caribbean about the disproportionate punishments for cannabis offenders, who in their thousands were being incarcerated for what were widely perceived as minor offences | GDPO, UK