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Daily news - 20th April 2022

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UK news

Innovative new projects to tackle reoffending and protect the public revealed

In the West Midlands, charity Change, Grow, Live is helping offenders who have grown up in the care system to live crime-free lives through peer-mentoring and support with housing and employment coaching. Former offender Ian Thomas is one of the mentors for the project who is inspiring others after leaving his life of crime, drugs and homelessness to return to university and become a qualified Social Worker | Ministry of Justice and The Rt Hon Kit Malthouse MP, UK

Tackling drug crime in local communities - debate pack

A debate on tackling drug crime in local communities will take place in Westminster Hall scheduled for Wednesday 20 April 2022, from 2:30pm. Marsha de Cordova MP will open the debate. This debate pack sets out the government’s current policy on drug crime and other resources in advance of the debate on tackling drug crime in local communities | UK Parliament, UK

Hepatitis C Trust and HCV Action publish 'Reframing Reinfection' report

The 'Reframing Reinfection: towards sustained hepatitis C elimination in the UK' report features specific, holistic recommendations tailored to tackle reinfections, and to ensure that we achieve sustainable elimination by the UK’s goal of 2030. These recommendations focus on the following five key areas which need urgent work and development... | Hep C Trust, UK

NHS urges people to attend vital lung cancer check-ups in England

Mobile trucks target areas with highest death rates in effort to reach those living with undiagnosed disease | Guardian, UK

Charities warn of the dangers of cocaine... and advise what to do if someone overdoses

Our investigations editor spoke to police, charities and council workers about the rise in cocaine deaths | Times and Star, UK

Teen taken to hospital after taking drugs in Plymouth

The force confirmed a number of teenagers were taking what was believed to have been ketamine on Hoe Road on Monday | BBC, UK

Police super-complaints: A new spotlight on old problems

[Free registration required] Established in 2017, the police super-complaint process allows designated bodies to raise concerns about policing practices which harm the public; policing expert Ben Twomey takes an in-depth look at the impact the new process could have, and also explores how the Criminal Justice Alliance super-complaint against s60 stop and searches has developed | Policing Insight, UK

The Rise of “Queer” Drugs - video

LGBTQ+ people tend to use drugs at significantly higher rates than straight people - why is this? In this episode, we speak to Jay Jackson from Volteface to explore how queer culture and drug culture are deeply entwined, and how maybe all drugs could be considered queer | VICE News, UK

90s rave crew DiY Sound System: ‘We definitely sacrificed our sanity’

In bridging the hippy free party scene and club culture, DiY were utopian adventurers who faced down the authorities – but drugs meant that darkness crept in | Guardian, UK

Episode 12 of Life with Alcohol and Drugs Now Live - podcast

In this episode we speak to Kirsten Holland, the Fife Family Support Development Officer here at Scottish Families. She updates us on the service and tells us about her exciting presentation with the Saga University Hospital in Japan | SFAD, UK

P&O Ferries: Agency staff sacked after breaching alcohol guidelines

P&O Ferries has confirmed seven agency staff were sacked after returning from shore in breach of guidelines on alcohol consumption | BBC, UK



International news

Covid-19: US sees increase in sexually transmitted diseases and teen drug overdose deaths

The prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and deaths from drug overdoses increased in the US over the past two years, showing the pandemic’s effect on public health | BMJ, UK

Move over, Giuliani: how loopholes sparked a golden age of cannabis in New York

With possession legalized, weed trucks and pop-ups are everywhere. But that could all change when the state swoops in | Guardian, UK

Switzerland to launch 1st cannabis sale pilot in summer

Swiss authorities have approved a plan for pilot testing the sale and use of cannabis for recreational purposes this summer in Basel, joining in on a debate over the pros and cons of selling cannabis legally | DW, Germany

Fruit snack or edible? Study finds some cannabis products look like popular snacks

Some cannabis edibles look remarkably like popular snack foods and may be easily confused for them, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU School of Global Public Health published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence | EurekAlert, USA

Smoking reduces wealth’s tendency to increase life expectancy

Smoking dominates other factors, including amount of wealth, in shortening lifespan, reports a study by researchers at Georgetown University and the University of California, Riverside | ScienMag, USA

Assessment of Community-Level Vulnerability and Access to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder

In this cross-sectional study of 32 604 zip codes tabulation area across the continental United States, communities with greater social vulnerability did not have greater geographic access to medications, and the mismatch was greatest in suburban communities. Rural communities had poor geographic access regardless of vulnerability | JAMA Network Open, USA

Exclusive Data Shows Canadian Cops Target More Black and Indigenous Folks for Drug Arrests

Data obtained by VICE World News through freedom-of-information requests reveals a vastly disproportionate number of drug possession arrests for Black and Indigenous people in Canada | VICE, Canada

Coca Growing, Cocaine Production Reach New Heights in Honduras

Coca farms and cocaine production camps are proliferating in Honduras, showing that the illicit crop has taken root in the country after years of low-level experimentation | Insight Crime, Colombia

Alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia

Alcohol, tobacco and other drug use is a major cause of preventable disease, illness and death in Australia. This report consolidates recent information on the availability and consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in Australia, and related impacts, harms and treatment | AIHW, Australia

‘Crisis looming’: GP calls for help as small band of doctors do heavy lifting on opioid treatment

“Almost all [opioid replacement treatment] prescribing has been done by ageing GPs such as myself,” he said. “Young doctors want nothing to do with addiction medicine. There is a crisis looming.” | The Age, Australia

Prescription meds and alcohol – what are the risks?

If you plan to drink alcohol while taking prescription medications, it’s important to know the risks | ADF, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Shining a light on international alcohol industry lobbying

Arguing against alcohol policy is big business. In a new analysis published in The Lancet Global Health, Pepita Barlow and colleagues reveal the global scale of alcohol industry attempts to disrupt national public health policies, deploying arguments—many employing motifs used for decades to fight tobacco control—in high-level World Trade Organization (WTO) discussions | Lancet editorial, UK

Drugs Policing Propaganda’s False Impressions of Success

Greater Manchester Police have again showcased their drug arrests on social media. It’s only one example of day to day media activity from British police, but it is notable how professional it looks | Volteface, UK

Is it better to vape than smoke? Definitely, but it’s still worse than quitting entirely

The new report into vaping, which resulted in calls to ban vaping entirely for younger Australians, still leaves a great number of questions | Guardian opinion, UK

Marijuana: 4 essential reads on the uses, effects and potential of cannabis

As states have legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, and federal law now allows sale of hemp-derived products, cannabis and its derivatives are getting more attention and study. The Conversation has compiled excerpts of articles from scholars who have been watching recent marijuana developments | Conversation, USA

Decriminalizing Cannabis Without Regulation Is Irresponsible

Legalizing recreational cannabis can work, but only if carefully regulated | Psychology Today, UK

Cigarettes in Africa

On October 21, 2021 here on Points Sarah Brady Siff drew attention to an important new book by the eminent historian of medicine, Keith Wailoo, Pushing Cool: Big Tobacco, Racial Marketing, and the Untold Story of the Menthol CigaretteIn this book, Wailoo documents in lucid prose the cynical campaign by tobacco companies to market cigarette products in minority communities at a time when growing awareness of the health repercussions of tobacco use had led to sharp declines in smoking among white middle class Americans | Points blog, USA

Vaping needs a balanced scientific debate

It is difficult to have a balanced scientific debate on tobacco harm reduction in Australia. Pro-vaping views are often rejected by Australian medical journals | Colin Mendelsohn blog, Australia