Reports: September

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Drug Law Reform Report

This report explores how existing legislation and its use impacts on the current situation amid the changing landscape of Scotland’s unique drug deaths challenge. It looks at how changes in three key areas could enable a more effective national response | Drug Deaths Taskforce, UK

Drug-related deaths in Ireland: key patterns and trends 2008-2017. Drug insights report 1

In Ireland, since 2004, the Health Research Board (HRB) have produced the National Drug-Related Deaths Index (NDRDI). This compiles information on drug related deaths. This insights report will examine drugs deaths with a view to informing policy and facilitating the implementation of existing strategies such as the National Drug and Alcohol Strategy (Department of Health, 2017). It will present data covering 2008-2017 for poisonings and non-poisonings | Health Service Executive, National Office for Social Inclusion, Ireland

The illicit trade of cocaine from Latin America to Europe – from oligopolies to free-for-all?, Cocaine Insights 1

Well-defined locations of production in South America and large consumer markets in the Americas and Europe lead to trafficking routes from a circumscribed origin to specific, even if far-flung, destinations. While some parts of the world play a crucial role as transit regions, the routes, modalities and networks employed by criminal actors continue to evolve, diversify and become more efficient | UNODC and Europol, Austria

Number of Australians drinking wine, spirits and RTDs up significantly in 2021 while beer drinking holds steady

New data from Roy Morgan’s Alcohol Consumption Report shows the proportion of Australians who drink alcohol increased by 4% points to 69.7% in the 12 months to June 2021 driven by increases in the number of Australians drinking wine, spirits and RTDs | Roy Morgan, Australia

Increases in Availability of Cannabis Products Containing Delta-8 THC and Reported Cases of Adverse Events

The purpose of this Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory is to alert public health departments, healthcare professionals, first responders, poison control centers, laboratories, and the public to the increased availability of cannabis products containing delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the potential for adverse events due to insufficient labeling of products containing THC and cannabidiol (CBD) | CDC, USA

Suspected drug deaths in Scotland: April to June 2021

Suspected drug deaths during the first six months of 2021 fell very slightly but were at a similar level to those recorded during the first six months of 2020. Overall, there continues to be an upward trend in suspected drug deaths over the period for which data is available | Scottish Government, UK

Legal regulation of drugs through a social justice lens

15 key priorities to be included in legal regulation policy that will directly impact and strengthen sustainable development and global equity | Health Poverty Action, UK

Health Profile for England 2021

Alcohol-specific mortality increased by around 20% between 2019 and 2020, driven chiefly by increases in mortality from alcoholic liver disease. Alcohol-specific mortality rates had been increasing prior to the pandemic, but this represented a significant acceleration in the upward trend. Drug misuse deaths have been on a general increasing trend since 2012, and in 2020 they were the highest they have ever been. One possible explanation for this general increase is an increasing number of long-term heroin users with failing health that are at greater risk | PHE, UK

Report of the Emerging Drug Trends and Drug Checking Working Group 2021 (PDF)

An emerging stimulant and poly drug culture among new user groups are currently major issues of concern. Compared with European counterparts, there are limited localised studies on the area of drug use in nightlife settings. As well as this, a gap in service provision has been identified and there are currently no tailored services to meet the needs of young people who use drugs | HSE, Ireland

5000 alcohol-related cancer deaths could be prevented every year by doubling alcohol taxes in the European Region, says WHO/Europe

An estimated 10 700 new cancer cases and 4850 alcohol-related cancer deaths could be avoided annually in the WHO European Region by doubling current excise duties on alcoholic beverages. The United Kingdom, the Russian Federation and Germany – which together account for nearly 40% of all potential lives saved – would be among the main winners of this economic measure | WHO, Denmark

National overprescribing review report

The findings and recommendations of the national overprescribing review led by Dr Keith Ridge, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England | DHSC, UK

New WHO report sheds light on the dark impact of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products

Novel and emerging tobacco products are the subject of a new WHO report that looks at a range of issues, from the harm caused by toxic ingredients and nicotine exposure to how, with hardly any regulation, new nicotine and tobacco products are aggressively marketed to potential users, including children and adolescents | WHO, Denmark

A new way of working: ending rough sleeping together (PDF)

The Kerslake Commission examined lessons from the emergency response which supported people sleeping rough during the Covid-19 pandemic. Their learnings aim to help all agencies involved in supporting those who are rough sleeping, or homeless and at risk of rough sleeping, to understand what worked during the pandemic and what is now needed to embed the good practice that was shown during the past year | Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping, UK

Implementing quality standards for drug services and systems: a six-step guide to support quality assurance

This publication provides a practical introduction to the area of quality standards and quality assurance mechanisms and the key steps involved in their implementation in drug services and systems. The primary audience for this guide is those responsible for commissioning, planning or providing quality assurance processes at the national or local level. It may also be of interest to recipients of interventions, service users or advocacy groups | EMCDDA, Portugal

Notes from the Field: E-Cigarette Use Among Middle and High School Students — National Youth Tobacco Survey, United States, 2021

Since 2014, e-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. youths. In 2020, an estimated 3.6 million (13.1%) U.S. middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes within the past 30 days (current use); more than 80% of current users reported flavored e-cigarette use | CDC, USA

Methamphetamine from Afghanistan: ‘signals indicate that Europe should be better prepared’, says new EMCDDA report

Europe should be better prepared for the prospect of methamphetamine coming from Afghanistan, according to a new report published today by the EU drugs agency | EMCDDA, Portugal

Alcohol marketing during the 2020 Six Nations Championship: A frequency analysis (PDF)

Alcohol marketing appeared frequently in televised broadcasts of the 2020 Six Nations Championship. The data have mixed implications for Ireland’s scheduled restrictions on advertising during sporting events | IAS, SHAAP, Alcohol Action Ireland, UK and Ireland