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Daily news - 6th April 2022

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UK news

The Scottish Pharmacy Alliance convenes to reduce drug deaths

University of Stirling Substance Use expert Professor Catriona Matheson is launching a new partnership with the pharmacy profession to help drive down drug deaths | University of Stirling, UK

Advocacy Project 6 Month Report

There are no specific advocacy service’s in the UK fighting for the rights of people seeking access to treatment & this service could easily be the start of a whole new desperately needed sector | FAVOR UK, UK

Female alcohol dependence: Mental health struggles in women

Participants in women-only meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous experience a strong feeling of loneliness and rejection, due to the social stigma tied to female alcohol dependence | Open Access Government, UK

Parent/caregiver attitudes, motivations and behaviours in relation to alcohol use among offspring aged 13–18 years: a qualitative study

Parental alcohol consumption and alcohol-related behaviour play a critical role in shaping adolescent alcohol use, but comparatively little is known about the perspectives of parents regarding adolescent alcohol use from qualitative studies in England. This study aimed to explore parental views and attitudes towards alcohol use during adolescence, among their offspring and among young people in general | BMC Public Health, UK

Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support children in education who have foetal alcohol spectrum disorder | They work for you, UK

QMJC March 2022: Using narratives to understand progress in youth alcohol and other drug treatment

The Qualitative Methods Journal Club met in March 2022 to discuss a study about young people’s stories of their progress through treatment, from initially ‘feeling disconnected’, to later ‘imagining a future’. | SSA, UK

The power of peer mentoring - podcast

Much of the UK’s criminal justice sector recruits people with lived experience of the justice system as volunteer supporters. These ‘peer mentors’ or ‘peer volunteers’ take on a range of different roles within organisations, both within prisons and in the community, hugely supporting services. Peer volunteers can benefit from the experience of giving back and improving their own self-confidence, and evidence suggests peer volunteering amongst prisoners can also prevent re-offending | Catch22, UK

Free Naloxone Training

Various dates. Location: Bristol. Learn how and when to administer Naloxone - come along to learn how to save a life! | BDP, UK

Applying for a Community Grant

Community Grant applications open 25 April 2022. Our Community Grants programme is all about supporting local charities, Cooperatives and Community Land Trusts to find local solutions to tackle the housing crisis. These organisations can apply for grants of up to £50,000 to fund projects which help people in housing need | Nationwide, UK


International news

Call to ban vaping for young Australians after review concludes it causes ‘acute lung injury’

Australian Council on Smoking and Health calls for ban on sale and promotion of e-cigarettes following most comprehensive study yet | Guardian, UK

How Cannabis Users Obtain and Purchase Cannabis: A Comparison of Cannabis Users from European Countries with Different Cannabis Policies

A survey was conducted in the Dutch coffeeshops among current cannabis users (n=1255) aged 18–40 from seven European countries with different cannabis policies. This study investigated whether acquisition methods and supply sources were associated with national cannabis policy, controlling for gender, age, and frequency of use | Substance Use & Misuse, UK

Good practices in managing infectious diseases in prison settings: a snapshot of responses to COVID-19 implemented around the globe between May and September 2020

This report captures various health-related policies and practices that were implemented inside prisons and other places of detention during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is intended as a resource for policy-makers, prison managers and health-in-prisons practitioners, highlighting the preparedness, responsiveness, risk assessment, risk mitigation and case management of COVID-19 inside prisons. The report presents good practices from countries and regions, selected according to specific criteria, in enhancement of health-care practices in prisons | WHO, Denmark

US warns of 'mass overdoses' from fentanyl-spiked drugs

The top US agency combatting drug trafficking warned on Wednesday of a surge of "mass overdose" cases involving drugs like cocaine spiked with deadly amounts of fentanyl | Medical Xpress, USA

Effectiveness of a Suicide Prevention Module for Adults in Substance Use Disorder Treatment

In this stepped-wedge cluster-randomized clinical trial including 906 participants at 15 treatment sites, the Preventing Addiction Related Suicide (PARS) prevention module produced consistently greater improvements compared with usual care in suicide knowledge and a greater reduction in maladaptive attitudes about suicide across all time points, and greater improvement in help-seeking by 6 months | JAMA Network Open, USA

Alcohol consumption has no additional preventative heart benefits in patients on cholesterol-lowering medication

A new study by researchers at Intermountain Healthcare finds that alcohol consumption does not provide additional heart benefits in cardiology patients already being treated with statins—the most commonly used drugs to lower cholesterol | Medical Xpress, USA

New app shows how cannabinoids could interact with other medications

A new web-based application developed by Penn State researchers could help pharmacists and other health care providers improve patient safety by reducing unintended interactions between medical and recreational marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD) products and other medications | Medical Xpress, USA

The Vape Company at the Center of the FDA Storm

On the outskirts of Dallas, Texas, at an unassuming warehouse, two young men in scrubs carefully weigh out liquid nicotine. All they do is measure, actually. They move back and forth in a clean room, a carefully engineered space intended to keep out unwanted airborne particles. It almost sounds windy when you open the door | Filter Magazine, USA

Smokers know best: Study shows tobacco users want bold approaches to end smoking

Smokers’ support for novel tobacco endgame policies ranged from 25 per cent to 64 per cent. Of six potential regulatory measures put forward in the ITC study, 64 per cent of smokers said they supported lowering nicotine levels in cigarettes to make them less addictive | International Tobacco Control (ITC) Project at the University of Waterloo, Canada

Lower vaccination rates among people who use drugs could lead to serious outcomes from COVID-19

As many jurisdictions in Canada begin to ease public health measures intended to limit serious cases and fatalities caused by COVID-19, new research from the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) and the University of British Columbia (UBC) suggests many people remain at risk of serious disease | BCCSU, Canada

Toronto hospital becomes first in Ontario to provide supervised consumption services

Casey House in Toronto, Canada’s first and only hospice for people living with HIV, is now the first in Ontario to offer on-site supervised consumption as part of its health care | Global News, Canada

Death penalty for drugs: Will 2022 signal sea change in ASEAN?

On March 30, Singapore executed Abdul Kahar bin Othman, a local man sentenced to death for drug offenses and the first person to be executed in Singapore since 2019. Othman had been unable to appeal his execution because he did not have a lawyer | Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Electronic cigarettes and health outcomes: systematic review of global evidence

This report aims to provide a systematic overview of the contemporary evidence on the health effects of nicotine and non-nicotine e-cigarette use, excluding where possible use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other illicit substances. The primary health outcomes of interest include, but are not limited to: dependence; cardiovascular disease; cancer; respiratory disease; oral diseases; reproductive outcomes; injuries and poisonings; mental health conditions; and environmental hazards with human health implications | Australian National University, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Why Centrists Should Support Drug Policy Reform

Arguments about drug policy reform often focus exclusively on the left and the right… yet, in all this we forget that whilst our political system may be split between two parties, a large section of the public identifies as centrists | Volteface, UK

Non-profit cannabis model key to success for Malta reform

Drug policy consultant Steve Rolles showers Malta’s drug reform with praise | Malta Today, Malta

Supervised Consumption Sites—A Tool for Reducing Risk of Overdose Deaths and Infectious Diseases in People Who Use Illicit Drugs

Supervised consumption sites, where people can use controlled substances while being monitored by staff equipped with and trained in the use of naloxone to reverse overdoses, are as varied as the communities in which they operate | JAMA News and Perspectives, USA

A damning review of e-cigarettes shows vaping leads to smoking, the opposite of what supporters claim

A major review on the health effects of e-cigarettes reflects what public health advocates have feared – escalating use of e-cigarettes in school-aged children, early warning signs of increased smoking rates in young Australians, and direct health harms of vaping in all ages | Conversation, Australia

Adolescent psychosocial alcohol-related harms increase risk of later alcohol use disorder

Alcohol-related harms are a broad range of negative consequences that can result from drinking alcohol. These can range from things that only affect your body, such as feeling sick or having a hangover, to things that affect you psychologically and socially, such as having problems with friends or getting into fights | NDARC blog, Australia