Weekly news - 12th February 2021


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In date order, Monday to Friday:

Letter of recommendation to the ACMD

Dear Owen Bowden-Jones, I am writing on behalf of Drug Science in relation to the ACMD update report on medical cannabis last November. The Drug Science Medical Cannabis Working Group (MCWG) has now had time to discuss your report and I wanted to give you our feedback | Drug Science, UK

Nothing about us, without us (PDF)

Participation and involvement of drug users in health services and policy making | Correlation-European Harm Reduction Network, The Netherlands

Smoking and tobacco: working towards the endgame as a vital part of post-COVID-19 recovery

[Open access] As we enter 2021, it is essential that our profession reflects on the lessons learnt, and the opportunities and challenges we have faced to be able to actively respond to a world focused on COVID-19 recovery | BJN, UK

10% of teenagers have tried hard drugs by age 17

The research, published today in a briefing paper by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at the UCL Social Research Institute, examines engagement in substance use and antisocial behaviours among Generation Z as they reached late adolescence | UCL, UK

Covid: 'Let charities vaccinate the homeless'

Charities have urged the Welsh Government to allow them to administer the Covid vaccine to people who are homeless or addicted to drugs | BBC, UK

Police in the classroom Evaluation of a three-wave cluster-randomised controlled trial (PDF)

Can police officers build relationships and trust with students in schools? Using a clustered-block-randomised design and a three-wave panel with 13-15-year-old students from 81 schools across England and Wales, we test the impact of officers getting involved in school education, where they meet young people in their space, and present sessions designed to engage and encourage discussion | LSE, UK

What Happens When You Mix Antidepressants with Recreational Drugs?

Just under one in six of England’s adult population are on antidepressants, while one in ten admit to using illegal drugs. This crossover poses a few potential problems: when combined, antidepressants and recreational drugs come with their own set of side-effects and risks | VICE, UK

Harm reduction in Europe: a framework for civil society-led monitoring (PDF)

[Open access] Civil society organisations (CSOs) play a vital role in developing and implementing efective measures to reduce the harms of drug use. They are also fundamental actors to monitor and evaluate programmes and policies for improvement. While harm reduction services are subject to monitoring, and international and European indicators exist, a framework for civil society-led monitoring does not exist. This paper analyses the challenges and added values of developing such a framework for the European region | BMC, UK

Balancing access to opioid substitution treatment (OST) with preventing the diversion of opioid substitution medications in Europe: challenges and implications

This report reviews how opioid substitution treatment (OST) is implemented in European countries and examines the public health consequences of the diversion and misuse of prescription OST medications. It looks at how OST medications are diverted to the illicit market, the motivations behind diversion and misuse, and considers the measures to prevent diversion and how they must ensure that the treatment remains available and accessible for those who need it | EMCDDA, Portugal

Reported road casualties in Great Britain, provisional estimates involving illegal alcohol levels: 2019

Provisional estimates on personal injury drink drive accidents in Great Britain for 2019 | Department for Transport, UK

Record number of Brits take part in Dry January following spike in problem drinking

EXCLUSIVE: Figures have revealed that deaths caused by alcohol have reached the highest level since records began | Mirror, UK

Obesity 'bigger killer' than smoking in England and Scotland

University of Glasgow researchers looked at health surveys of nearly 200,000 adults. The team found that between 2003 and 2017 deaths from smoking decreased from 23.1% to 19.4% | BBC, UK

Cannabis oil: Fresh hopes for mum trying to obtain epileptic son's drug

A mother whose severely epileptic son relies on "lifesaving" medical cannabis oil hopes it can be produced in the UK after Brexit-related supply problems | BBC, UK

How do people who use drugs experience treatment? A qualitative analysis of views about opioid substitution treatment in primary care (iCARE study)

[Open access] This study included first-hand accounts of people who use drugs about what supports them in their recovery journey. The key lessons learnt from our findings indicate that people who use drugs value receiving treatment in humanised and destigmatised environments. We also learnt that a good relationship with primary care professionals supports their recovery journey, and that treatment plans should be flexible, tailor-made and designed with patients | BMJ Open, UK

Through a gender lens: women and tobacco in the WHO European Region (2021)

This report provides a brief summary of some of the challenges, old and new, that women and girls face in the context of the tobacco epidemic in the WHO European Region, outlining the gendered nature of tobacco use and exposure and how the tobacco industry continues to target them through gendered messaging | WHO, Denmark