Weekly news - 14th February 2020

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In date order: Monday to Friday

Additional £12.7 million funding in Scottish Budget to address harm associated with drug or alcohol use

The Scottish Government has announced £12.7 million in additional funding to address the harm associated with drug or alcohol use | SDF, UK

Charity warns over ‘safe’ legalisation of cannabis

One in 20 adults would take cannabis on a regular basis if it were legalised, similar to the number of people who currently use it, according to a poll for a leading mental health charity | Guardian, UK

Government opens talks on cutting delays to provision of medical cannabis

Government bodies are discussing ways to mitigate delays in medical cannabis supply, which could involve allowing licensed wholesalers to hold reserve stock | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

From harm reduction to criminalising ‘street lifestyles’

How has the double jeopardy of homelessness and substance use problems been framed in UK policy? A new hot topic covers the range of approaches – including at the sharp end, policies zeroing in on the ‘antisocial’ nature of street drinking and public injecting | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Call for evidence: barriers to research with controlled drugs

Letter from the ACMD Barriers to Research working group to collect written evidence from researchers about barriers to legitimate research with controlled drugs | ACMD, UK

My Right to Healthcare

Groundswell and the LHHP have produced ‘My Right to Healthcare’ cards which explain to GP surgeries the rights of homeless people to register for primary care | PHE, UK

Chief Exec's Blog - Surely it’s time for the final whistle… please!

Phoenix Chief Exec Karen Biggs follows up her recent series of blogs ‘My Outrage’ by calling for the final whistle on politicising and stigmatising people who die from their drug use | Phoenix Futures blog, UK

Three reasons the Conservative government might legalise cannabis

The Conservative government abruptly and unexpectedly lifted restrictions on medicinal cannabis in 2018. This is viewed by some as a necessary prelude to a more liberal approach to recreational drug use. Certainly, recent opinion polls suggest the British public support legalisation - even if they are unsure of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s views on this | Conversation, UK

Spray for overdosed drug addicts trailed by North Wales Police

The North Wales force will train 12 officers in Flintshire to administer Naloxone via a nasal spray in a six-month trial starting in March | BBC, UK

Back from the brink of death: reversing a heroin overdose - audio

Anti-overdose drug naloxone has been in clinical use since the 1970s but not always where it’s needed most. The Guardian’s Jamie Grierson visited Redcar in North Yorkshire where a group of former drug users provide at-risk people with kits that could save their lives | Guardian, UK

E-cigarettes may be helping disadvantaged smokers to quit

New research confirms that low numbers of young people are vaping, with vaping more common in young people from disadvantaged households who had never smoked before | University of Glasgow, UK

Development and first validation of the Refined Alcohol Expectancy Task (RAET)

Addressing limitations of existing self-report measures of alcohol-related thoughts and behaviours, researchers have begun to measure these pictographically. To date, however, these novel measures have been developed somewhat unsystematically... This report therefore documents the development of a Refined Alcohol Expectancy Task through (1) selection (2) development and (3) testing of stimuli for inclusion of this pictograph-based tasks. It also provides initial validation data | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Medical cannabis and drug policy in the UK - free recorded webinar

Speaker: Professor David Nutt. Chair: Dr Steve Brinksman, Clinical Director SMMGP. This webinar covered policy regarding access to medical cannabis in the UK | SMMGP, UK

Fact Check: do the police spend over a million hours a year fighting cannabis?

Nick Clegg, former Liberal Democrat leader, commenting on Twitter on May 15 on the party’s election pledge to legalise cannabis. According to the authoritative Crime Survey for England and Wales, 6.5% of 16 to 59-year-olds use cannabis. But fewer people are using cannabis than in 1996, when information first became available | Conversation, UK

Psychoactive drugs linked to 95% of jail's ambulance callouts

Crews called to HMP Wealstun 200 times in six months over spice-like drug incidents | Guardian, UK

Scots drug summit to be held day before UK event

The Scottish government is to hold a drugs summit in Glasgow the day before a UK government conference on the same issue in the same venue | BBC, UK

Food Standards Agency sets deadline for the CBD industry and provides safety advice to consumers

The FSA has set a deadline for CBD businesses to provide more information about CBD products and their contents. It also advises vulnerable groups not to take CBD, and healthy adults to take no more than 70mg a day | FSA, UK

Hepatitis C in the East Midlands: annual reports

The aim of these reports is to describe the epidemiology of hepatitis C in the East Midlands. The reports provide updates on trends, areas of high burden of disease and at risk population groups and identify opportunities for interventions to reduce disease burden | PHE, UK

London mayoral race: Legalise cannabis, says Lib Dem candidate

A former civil servant who hopes to become mayor of London says she wants cannabis to be legalised, in a bid to tackle rising levels of knife crime | BBC, UK

The influence of drugs on murder rates is being overstated

The latest data on UK homicide rates shows that 31% of victims and suspects were “under the influence” of alcohol and other drugs at the time of death. Drugs and alcohol continue to be a convenient scapegoat when it comes to finding blame | Conversation, UK

Unsafe cannabis products are being pulled - but they've already flooded the market

It could take months until consumers know if their preferred CBD product will be formally green lit for sale. This is bound to create anxiety about the risks | Independent voices, UK