Weekly news - 7th May 2021


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In date order, Monday to Friday:

In date order, Monday to Friday:

Correspondence: ACMD advice on Sunosi

Letter from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to the Minister of State for Crime Reduction and Policing on Sunosi advice | ACMD, UK

ITV reports on the alarming rise in alcohol-related deaths in the UK

The British Liver Trust are aware that many people have been drinking more alcohol since March 2020 when the first lockdown began. We have had an increased number of calls to our Helpline – both from people who have alcohol related liver disease, who are in recovery and who are struggling to continue to abstain but also from people who are worried that lockdown has changed their alcohol habits and they are putting their livers at risk | British Liver Trust, UK

Minimum price of alcohol in Scotland should increase to 65p, say campaigners

Alcohol Focus Scotland say a move to increase the price Scots pay for booze would help to save more lives across the country | Daily Record, UK

Spice deaths in Newcastle prompt bad batch warning

Three people have died and 11 have been taken to hospital after taking what is believed to be the drug Spice | BBC, UK

Children who ate ‘cannabis sweets’ risked serious harm, say Surrey police

Investigation begins after two boys, 12 and 13, and a girl, 12, were taken to hospital after falling unconscious | Guardian, UK

Billy Caldwell has been seizure free for a whole year after being given medical cannabis, his mother says

Charlotte Caldwell said her 15-year-old son Billy’s life has been transformed by cannabis oil | i news, UK

Impact of COVID-19 on drug markets, use, harms and drug services in the community and prisons

Since early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the way we live, with European countries having to introduce unprecedented measures to protect public health. As with all areas of life, drug consumption, related harms and drug markets have been impacted, as have the services established to respond to drug-related problems | EMCDDA, Portugal

DDN May 2021 issue out now

‘The healthcare system doesn’t care. It sees me as an unnecessary expense.’ Hearing feedback from people who are perceived as ‘hard to reach’ (p10) gives direction on offering more effective treatment. But more than that, it gives clues on why people often don’t connect with the most appropriate service to help them move forward | DDN, UK

Standard Operating Procedure for using evidence in ACMD reports

A document developed by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to outline the governing process for preparing evidence-based advice. Revised document published with new chapter 4 on scheduling | ACMD, UK

Cocaine drives supporters’ aggression in football - study

Cocaine-use may be associated with aggression between rival football fans, according to a new paper published by Dr Martha Newson, an expert in group bonding and conflict with the Universities of Kent and Oxford | University of Oxford, UK

Republic of Ireland to push ahead with alcohol minimum pricing

The Republic of Ireland's cabinet is expected to push ahead with alcohol minimum unit pricing, despite opposition from retailers | BBC, UK

Substance misuse: January 2013 to December 2020

Data on clients seen at drug and alcohol treatment agencies for January 2013 to December 2020 | Wales.gov, UK

Hundreds seek medical cannabis after Scotland’s first clinic opens

Sapphire Medical Clinics said 500 patients sought treatment at its Stirling office in its first week of opening | STV News, UK

Quarterly alcohol-specific deaths in England and Wales: 2001 to 2019 registrations and Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) to Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2020 provisional registrations

Provisional data for England and Wales show there were 7,423 deaths (13.0 per 100,000 people) from alcohol-specific causes registered in 2020, a 19.6% increase compared with 2019 (6,209 deaths; 11.0 per 100,000 people) and the highest annual total in our time-series (beginning in 2001) | ONS, UK

Deaths from alcohol misuse in England and Wales hit 20-year high in 2020

ONS figures show death rate starting to rise at beginning of first lockdown and increasing sharply each quarter | Guardian, UK

Green shoots: Sowing the seeds of the new UK cannabinoid market (PDF)

Demand for CBD Soars During Lockdown As UK Market Now Estimated at £690 Million [Press release here] | Centre for Medicinal Cannabis, UK