Weekly news - 30th October 2020


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Operator of Glasgow safe drug-use van charged over service

Peter Krykant, whose work has won MPs’ praise, cautioned under Misuse of Drugs Act | Guardian, UK

NHS inpatient detox units face closure without urgent funding reform

The five remaining NHS inpatient detox units (IPUs) in England could permanently close without urgent changes to the way they are funded, a group representing NHS addiction service providers has warned | NHS Addictions Provider Alliance (NHS APA)

Legal loophole allows children to get free vape samples

Health campaigners have expressed alarm after it emerged that a loophole in the law means it is legal for marketing companies to hand out vapes to children for free | Guardian, UK

Managing older people’s perceptions of alcohol-related risk: a qualitative exploration in Northern English primary care

[Open access]  Later life is a time when older people may be open to making changes to their alcohol use, particularly when suggested by practitioners. Older people can struggle to recognise potential risks or perceive little gain in acting on perceived risks. Such perceptions may be challenging to navigate in supportive discussions | BJGP, UK

Cannabis compound blocks pain pathway

Advocates of cannabis have long cited the drug’s benefits in pain management. Now, new research from Imperial could help to explain these effects, by showing how one of the key active compounds, cannabidiol (CBD), acts on nerve cells | Imperial College, UK

Isle of Man considers new market for cannabis products

The production and exportation of hemp and cannabis products could become legal on the Isle of Man under proposed changes to legislation | BBC, UK

Drug-related hospital statistics

Between 1996/97 and 2018/19, there was a greater than threefold increase in the rate of drug-related hospital stays in Scotland from 73 to 260 stays per 100,000 population | ISD Scotland, UK

Repeat heroin offenders could avoid jail if they stay in touch with police

Illegal drug users could avoid being prosecuted for repeat substance offences under a police force’s new plans | Yahoo News, UK

Drug crime: Statistics for England and Wales

This briefing paper looks at drug crime prevalence in England and Wales and the criminal justice outcomes for those found guilty of drug offences. It also covers the impacts of drug misuse | House of Commons Library, UK

Black people nine times more likely to face stop and search than white people

Figures for England and Wales show police use of powers at their highest for six years | Guardian, UK

Synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists

This report provides an updated harms assessment to the ACMD's previous reports on synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists | ACMD, UK

Crime in England and Wales: Quarterly data tables

Downloadable Excel spreadsheet including drug trafficking and possession offences. [Revels a rise in recorded drug offences during lockdown] | ONS, UK

'Ketamine is big here': why Bristol University is testing drugs for its students

Universities are waking up to the idea that it’s better to tackle student drug-taking through information, not punishment | Guardian, UK

The Global State of Harm Reduction 2020

The Global State of Harm Reduction is the only report that provides an independent analysis of harm reduction in the world. Now in its the seventh edition, the Global State of Harm Reduction 2020 is the most comprehensive global mapping of harm reduction responses to drug use, HIV and viral hepatitis | HRI, UK

Case study: The impact of smoke-free prisons in Scotland

NIHR-funded researchers find an 80% reduction in harmful second-hand smoke concentrations following smoking ban in Scotland's prisons | NIHR, UK

When the patient–practitioner interaction is intended to be the main active ingredient

Funded by Alcohol Change UK, Drug and Alcohol Findings’ refresh of its Alcohol Treatment Matrix entails a close look at psychosocial therapies (also known as ‘talking therapies’), the mainstay of alcohol dependence treatment in the UK | SSA, UK

New Zealand votes to legalise euthanasia in referendum

Results must be enacted by the new Labour government by November 2021, but second referendum on legalising cannabis fails to find support | Guardian, UK

Report 11 of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program

The eleventh report covers around 56 per cent of the population, which equates to about 13 million people. Fifty-five wastewater treatment plants across Australia participated in the April 2020 collection, which monitored the consumption of 13 substances. In June 2020, when only capital city sites were sampled, there were 20 sites covering approximately 48 per cent of the population | ACIC, Australia