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Daily news - 1st April 2022

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UK news

Drug-Related Deaths are at a Record High - We Must Now Take Collective Action

A public health emergency is occurring in England – each year thousands of people are dying from drug-related causes. Stigma, discrimination, disinvestment and the erosion of wider support systems have taken their toll on a group of people who are developing multiple health challenges as they get older. Over 4,500 people died in 2020, a truly intolerable statistic, and one that is likely to continue rising without swift and targeted action | NHS APA, UK

Minimum Unit Pricing: Qualitative Study of the Experiences of Homeless Drinkers, Street Drinkers and Service Providers (PDF)

Alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) was introduced in Scotland in May 2018. Existing evidence suggests MUP can reduce drinking in the general population, but there is little evidence regarding its impact on vulnerable groups. This qualitative study aimed to capture the experiences of MUP among homeless drinkers, street drinkers, and the support services that work with them | CSO, UK

Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families indicators 2022

There are 9 indicators and underlying measures used to track national progress in tackling the disadvantages that affect families and children’s outcomes, including indicator 4: Parental Drug and Alcohol Dependency | DWP, UK

Say bye bye to boozy buys – CMA warns about dangers of late-night shopping

A new poll of 2,000 UK adults has revealed that over half (54%) of late-night online shoppers said they had done so while drinking alcohol and more than 8 in 10 (86%) shopped while distracted watching TV, leaving them vulnerable to misleading sales tactics | CMA, UK

Join the Board of Collective Voice

Collective Voice is seeking to appoint three new independent trustees to join its board. As the national alliance of drug and alcohol treatment and recovery charities we work towards a vision in which a thriving treatment and recovery field – and voluntary sector – enable anyone in England to access evidence-based and person-centred support | Collective Voice, UK

Empowering connections guide (WORD)

This guide provides tips for running online peer support groups. It is a result of the wealth of shared learning and experiences of over 400 participants | Scottish Recovery Network, UK

Guidance note: hard seltzers (PDF)

This guidance is intended to help drinks producers comply with the Portman Group’s (PG) Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks (Code) | Portman Group, UK

60. Ketamine, Cannabis and Alcohol with Prof Celia Morgan

This week we’re talking about ketamine with Professor Celia Morgan, a Professor of Psychopharmacology at the University of Exeter and the academic lead for Exeter Translational Addiction Partnership (ETAP) and Ketamine for Reduction of Alcoholic Relapse (KARE) | Drug Science, UK

Alcohol Alert - March 2022 - podcast

Podcast on 'dry months'; WHO looks to strengthens alcohol plan; Government's "dismal record" on 2012 strategy; NICE says pregnant women should be asked how much they drink | IAS, UK

Made of Stone Trailer - video

Trailer that details a personal battle with mental health and addiction before going on to achieve a double Guinness World Record of 70 consecutive 70.3mile triathlons in 70 days | Triathlon Guinness World Record, UK

Alcohol Occasionals - Youth drinking in decline

Wed, 20 April 2022, 12:30 – 14:00 BST. Dr Inge Kersbergen and Dr Laura Fenton on the implications of the decline in youth drinking for policy and practice | SHAAP, UK

Hanley cannabis farm: Hundreds of plants discovered in disused building

About 250 plants were found in the property at the corner of Pall Mall and Piccadilly in Hanley on Wednesday | BBC, UK

South Yorkshire Police: Former Barnsley PC in court charged with drugs charges

PC Nabeel Khan was arrested in February 2021 following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and South Yorkshire Police | BBC, UK



International news

Number of fentanyl-filled pills seized by US law enforcement up 4,850%

A study found that more than 2m counterfeit pills were confiscated in the last quarter of 2021 alone | Guardian, UK

The Indigenous tribe fighting back against the addiction epidemic

The Lummi Nation, on the US west coast, has faced addiction issues for decades. Now they are utilizing a combination of culturally-based healing and western approaches | Guardian, UK

Cannabis sprouts in New Zealand parliament garden in protesters’ parting pot-shot

Seedlings, apparently planted by anti-Covid mandate protesters, have been removed after speaker asked for ‘weed to be weeded’ | Guardian, UK

Recreational settings and drugs: health and social responses

This miniguide is one of a larger set, which together comprise Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide. It provides an overview of what to consider when planning or delivering health and social responses to drug-related problems in festivals, nightlife and other recreational settings, and reviews the available interventions and their effectiveness. It also considers implications for policy and practice | EMCDDA, Portugal

EMCDDA Best Practice Update

In this issue: drug consumption rooms – how to interpret the evidence | EMCDDA, Portugal

Spotlight on... Drug checking

[Updated] Drug-checking services provide individuals who use drugs with information on the chemical content of their drugs as well as advice and, sometimes, counselling or brief interventions. Service priorities vary and may include information collection, harm reduction and early warning | EMCDDA, Portugal

The Impact of the War on the Prospects for Harm Reduction and Civil Society in Russia

How will the current war affect harm reduction in Russia? We asked two experts, Michail Golichenko and Alexei Lahov, to share with us their prognosis | Drug Reporter, Hungary

Growing Number of Pills Containing Fentanyl Seized by Law Enforcement

Law enforcement seizures of drugs containing fentanyl—especially pills—are increasing in the United States, according to new research published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. The number of seized pills containing fentanyl has climbed dramatically: more than 2 million fentanyl-laced pills were confiscated in the last quarter of 2021, nearly 50 times the number seized in early 2018 | NYU, USA

New study explores relationship between psychedelics and consciousness

Psychedelic drugs like psilocybin, an ingredient found in so-called magic mushrooms, have shown promise in treating a range of addictions and mental health disorders. Yet, there's something mysterious and almost mystical about their effects, and they are commonly believed to provide unique insights into the nature of consciousness | Medical Xpress, USA

Houston city council unanimously bans vaping, e-cigarettes in public spaces

The city of Houston outlawed vaping in public spaces Wednesday, amending its smoking ordinance to include electronic cigarettes | Houston Chronicle, USA

Raid Highlights Role of Bolivia Private Aerodromes in Cocaine Corridor

A major anti-drug operation at an aerodrome in Bolivia has drawn attention to the role private air facilities play in the cocaine trafficking corridor through the country | Insight Crime, USA

Alcohol advertising patterns and harm-reduction messaging

This presentation focussed on the strategies used by alcohol marketers to promote their products, impending trends in alcohol distribution, effective approaches for messaging about alcohol-related harms, and public support for a range of alcohol control policies | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Should families do more to help with addiction?

Sajid Javid, the UK’s health secretary, recently spoke at the Royal College of Physicians to outline his plans for healthcare reform. He covered a lot of ground, including his vision for the part that families should play in facilitating disease prevention and interventions for their relatives, helping them to recover from illnesses like depression and drug addiction. Sajid Javid shared a personal story of how his mother had helped his father quit smoking by reminding him that his sons could lose their father unless he stopped. It seems that this was enough for Javid’s father to abstain there and then | BMJ opinion, UK

Online alcohol sales: a problem on our doorstep?

Online alcohol sales are booming. In 2017, more than a fifth of UK customers had bought alcohol online, the third highest proportion in the world. That trend accelerated over the past two years, as we spent more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

Women in an open prison: Can we make alcohol screening and brief interventions work for them?

This blog post reports on a research study undertaken by Dr Jennifer Ferguson that examined what factors need to be considered when designing and implementing alcohol screening and brief interventions (ASBIs) within a female open prison in England | SHAAP blog, UK

High Pride: Cannabis Must Be Inclusive

“I don’t think there is proportional representation as far as the industry goes. When I go to conferences, I tend to be the only gay in the village.” | Volteface, UK

Stigmatising language, drugs, twitter and tea-breaks

Stigmatising language about drug use is everywhere and it can stop people getting the best treatments. Discussing language often means having difficult conversations; some of which are with yourself | SSA, UK

In Brazil, 80,000 Incarcerations in One Year is What the UNODC Calls ‘Excellent’

Early last year, TalkingDrugs reported on the partnerships between UN agencies and the Brazilian government in an attempt to breathe fresh life into the failed campaign for a drug-free society. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are sponsoring President Jair Bolsonaro’s bloody drug wars with funds and human resources, working together with the Brazilian government to establish the Centre of Excellence for Illicit Drug Supply Reduction (COE) | Talking Drugs, UK

Opinion: She was paid to stay off drugs. Here’s why this approach could help others

When I first crossed paths with Anileah Buswell, she was living with her infant daughter in Nashua, N.H., and trying to stay off meth. And for the first time in many years, she was succeeding | Washington Post opinion, USA

Criminalizing Addiction in Motherhood: A Modern Phenomenon

The third post in this three-part series on Drugs, Women, and Families is based on the valuable research of Jamie Feyko, who during my drug law seminar investigated how pregnant women with substance use disorders are treated in the United States | Points blog, USA