Weekly news - 11th June 2021


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In date order, Monday to Friday:

Drugs policy minister looks at ‘safe’ consumption and users’ checking centres to reduce deaths

Scotland’s new drug policy minister, Angela Constance, says she wants to introduce users’ checking facilities in Dundee and Aberdeen as part of a national effort to reduce the country’s shocking death toll | Courier, UK

DDN June 2021 - out now

Fifty years on, does anybody believe that the Misuse of Drugs Act is still fit for purpose? The verdict is not good (page 6). A dramatic failure, punitive (particularly to the most vulnerable in our society), neither fair nor evidence-based, a blunt policing tool that compounds damage… some of the words used in this issue | DDN, UK

MPs call for drug safety testing amid fears of rise in festival deaths

Bereaved mothers urge government to introduce service as committee warns of post-lockdown risk-taking | Guardian, UK

Recreational ketamine-related deaths notified to the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths, England, 1997–2019

Ketamine is a phencyclidine derivative with dissociative anaesthetic properties. Increasing numbers of individuals in England take ketamine recreationally. Information on deaths arising from such use in England is presented | Journal of Psychopharmacology, UK

Man and 15-year-old boy in hospital after eating cannabis sweets

Police warn ‘not to be tempted to try them as they are obviously causing substantial harm’ | Independent, UK

Delivering a Smokefree 2030: The All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health recommendations for the Tobacco Control Plan 2021 (PDF)

This report sets out the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health’s recommendations for the Tobacco Control Plan to deliver a Smokefree 2030. Government action to end smoking is both needed and wanted, with three quarters of the public supporting both the ambition and Government action to deliver it | APPG on Smoking and Health, UK

Raise age for sale of cigarettes to 21 and stop ‘tobacco epidemic’, say UK MPs

Making it illegal for more young people to buy cigarettes would help meet the government’s target of ending smoking by 2030, MPs say | Guardian, UK

Economies of ale: pubs in the time of COVID-19

Pubs were among those businesses forced to close during restrictions introduced to halt the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). In their own words, landlords shared their experiences of the effect of lockdown on their businesses | ONS, UK

London’s first dedicated detox unit for homeless people set to open

Service, led by PHE London, was set up in partnership with the Greater London Authority, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, borough councils and the City of London Corporation | PHE, UK

'Fake prescription drugs left my son brain damaged'

Joe began buying what he believed were genuine diazepam and Xanax pills from the internet to help with anxiety | BBC, UK

'Cannabis sweets': NI schools issue warning to parents

The Department of Education (DE) said a young child had to be assessed in hospital after they "inadvertently consumed cannabis" when eating the sweets | BBC, UK

European Drug Report 2021

Latest report on the drug situation in the European Union - Looks at: COVID-19 - How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected drug use and supply?;
Drug use and harms - What drugs are causing the most concern today?
Drug production - What are the latest trends in drug production and trafficking? | EMCDDA, Portugal

European Drug Report 2021: highlights - video

The European Drug Report provides a comprehensive analysis of patterns emerging across the EU, Turkey and Norway in the areas of drug supply, illicit drug use and associated public health problems. National data sets are also provided across these themes and on key harm-reduction interventions | EMCDDA, Portugal

New benzodiazepines in Europe – a review

This report provides a technical review of the current body of knowledge regarding new benzodiazepines that are monitored by the EU Early Warning System. The aims of this report are to strengthen situational awareness of new benzodiazepines in Europe, and to help stakeholders prepare for and respond to public health and social threats caused by such substances | EMCDDA, Portugal

Addiction treatment harder to get since councils took over, says Tory MP

Shift of responsibility from NHS has led to ‘serious shortcomings’ in service in England, ex-health minister finds | Guardian, UK

Price distribution of off-trade alcohol changes in Scotland, following implementation on MUP

The implementation of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) in Scotland on 1 May 2018 set a floor price for alcohol based on strength. Today Public Health Scotland published an analysis of alcohol price distribution data, which finds that the introduction of MUP was associated with changes in the volume of off-trade alcohol sold at different price bands in Scotland, compared to both England & Wales (where MUP did not apply in the timeframe considered) and Scotland before MUP | Public Health Scotland, UK