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Daily news - 21st April 2022

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UK news

APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence Press Release: New NICE guidance to tackle prescribed drug dependence fails to listen to patient evidence

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has today published new guidelines which are intended to support the safe prescribing and withdrawal of medicines that can cause dependence, including antidepressants, opioids, gabapentinoids and benzodiazepines | APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence, UK

Ensuring drug and alcohol support for people fleeing Ukraine

Ukrainians fleeing war in their country are entitled to free access of public services in the UK, including local authority commissioned drug and alcohol services | Collective Voice, UK

Smoke-free 2030 Target

What steps his Department is taking to meet its target of England being smoke-free by 2030 | They work for you, UK

Nutrition for Substance Use: A step by step workbook for people using alcohol and other drugs (PDF)

The revised edition of this workbook aims to help people who use alcohol or drugs to think about the importance of eating well and find ways to achieve a more balanced diet. If you use alcohol or drugs, please read on | Cranstoun, UK

Police watchdog: ethnic minorities need protection from unfair stop and search

IOPC condemns stops based on ‘stereotypes and racial bias’ and cites case of teenager reportedly stopped 60 times | Guardian, UK

Police arrest 10 revellers as crowds spill over into Oxford Street 'with a machete seen' after thousands of weed smokers descend on parks around the country on '420 day' to protest against cannabis laws

Police arrested 10 revellers as crowds spilled over into Oxford Street last night after thousands of weed smokers descended on parks across the country to protest against cannabis laws and mark '420' day | Mail Online, UK

Spiking: Alcoholic Drinks

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what (a) estimate she has made of the number of drink spiking-related offences in the last 12 months and (b) steps the Government is taking to tackle that offence | They work for you, UK

Kidderminster disabled strongman saved from life of drugs and alcohol - video

A man from Kidderminster who lost his leg in a motorcycle accident has said competing in a disabled strongman competition saved him from a life of drugs and alcohol | BBC, UK

'Sip and shop': The retailers tempting you in with alcohol

Going to a laundrette to get your washing done is not most people's idea of fun, but two friends want to change that. Sarah-Jane Adams and Dee Anderson are the co-founders of Laundry and Latte in the Essex town of Brentwood | BBC, UK

Small Grants Scheme

We are inviting applications from researchers – especially early career researchers – to our small grants scheme. This scheme will provide funding for innovative research ideas that can help inform public policy debates on how to tackle alcohol harm. Priority will be given to proposals that align with our organisational objectives, as outlined in our Strategy 2020–2023 | IAS, UK

UK Compulsory Sobriety Network Symposium

Tue, 7 June 2022, 09:30 – 16:00 BST. University of Leeds. Bringing together policy-makers, practitioners, academics, voluntary sector representatives and technology manufacturers, this one-day symposium will explore the latest thinking and evidence around the practice of mandating offenders to a period of monitored sobriety. Confirmed speakers include the Rt Hon Kit Malthouse MP (Minister for Crime and Policing), Amit Sethi (Head of European Operations, AMS Ltd) and Professor Anthea Hucklesby (University of Birmingham) | Dr Laura Bainbridge, UK

ASH webinar: Using e-cigarettes to support smoking cessation in the NHS

27/04/2022, 10:00 - 27/04/2022, 11:00. This ASH webinar will focus on the role that e-cigarettes can play in supporting smoking cessation in the NHS. It will also include updates on the latest evidence around e-cigarettes and case studies from areas using e-cigarettes to support patients and staff to quit smoking | ASH, UK

Racing greyhounds 'being drugged with cocaine', MSPs told

Greyhound racing in Scotland is "beyond reform" as some dogs are drugged with illegal substances such as cocaine, MSPs were told | Scotsman, UK


International news

The challenges of studying marijuana's effects on the heart and brain

Over the past decade, marijuana use, both recreational and medicinal, has grown as state governments across the U.S. have legalized its use. But while it might be legal for adults to light up, the question of whether it is harmful or helpful in many cases remains unanswered | Medical Xpress, USA

Metabolic 'fingerprint' predicts impairment from medical cannabis

Researchers have uncovered signature metabolites—much like fingerprints in the blood—linked to the cognitive dysfunction and impaired motor skills associated with medical cannabis treatment | Medical Xpress, USA

Synthetic Stimulant Market Rapidly Changing as N,N-Dimethylpentylone Replaces Eutylone in Drug Supply Typically Sold as “Ecstasy” or “Molly”

The objective of this announcement is to notify public health and safety, law enforcement, first responders, clinicians, medical examiners and coroners, forensic and clinical laboratory personnel, and all other related communities about new information surrounding the emergent synthetic stimulant N,N-dimethylpentylone | CFSRE, NPS Discovery, USA

More Doctors Recommending Vapes—Due in Part to Patients’ Prompting

Astudy published April 15 in JAMA Network Open found that more and more US patients who smoke are asking their doctors about e-cigarettes—and that, as a result, more and more physicians are recommending them. This is the case even though a majority of doctors remain misinformed about the basics of tobacco harm reduction | Filter Magazine, USA

As a Methadone Patient, I Demand No Return to the Pre-COVID Status Quo

COVID-19 made us rethink how and why we were doing all kinds of things simply out of routine. Why do office workers have to commute to a desk to make a phone call? Why do folks need to go in person to therapy or to benefit appointments, if they can be done virtually? | Filter Magazine, USA

India’s First Hemp Cafe Wants To Open up Conversations on Cannabis

In a country with conflicting legal and social attitudes to marijuana, this idyllic cafe wants to break the stigma around the persecuted plant | VICE, USA

Prevalence and characteristics of cannabis-induced toxicoses in pets: Results from a survey of veterinarians in North America

A survey of veterinarians in the U.S. and Canada highlights mounting cases of cannabis poisoning among pets and sheds new light on symptoms, treatments, and outcomes | PLOS One, USA

Identifying the changing age distribution of opioid-related mortality with high-frequency data

Opioid-related mortality continues to rise across North America, and mortality rates have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This study sought to provide an updated picture of trends of opioid-related mortality for Ontario, Canada between January 2003 and December 2020, in relation to age and sex | PLOS One, USA

Groovin the Moo cancels pill-testing at Canberra musical festival after insurers pull out

Canberra's biggest music festival will not provide a testing service for illicit drugs after insurers backed out just days before the event | abc.net.au, Australia

Rimworld no longer banned in Australia, media board decides

“The game includes fantasy drug use, but in the Review Board’s opinion, the game mechanic ultimately provides disincentives related to drug-taking behaviour, to the point where regular drug use leads to negative consequences such as overdose, addiction, and withdrawal.” … | Cog Connected, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Services need to understand underrepresented communities to better support them

Religion and psychology are often seen as separate or potentially opposing, but I don’t see it that way | With You, UK

The role of specialist Addiction Nurses in alcohol treatment

In Scotland, alcohol-related deaths are more than four times higher in the most disadvantaged areas compared to the least disadvantaged areas. A recent study from the University of Dundee and University of Stirling found that embedding specialist Addiction Nurses within GP teams can help address alcohol problems in deprived areas. In this blog, lead author Dr Andrea Mohan, examines why the role of the Addiction Nurse is so important | AHA UK blog, UK

Addicts and Those Who Love Them. Behind every addict is someone traumatised by loving them

An exhibition of portraits and words of addiction by Antonia Rolls. With photography by Michael McAlister, drawings by Marie Paul and the wall hanging “Stitch Away The Stigma” by textile artist Natalie Needham | Adfam blog, UK

It’s 420 – another reminder that Britain’s cannabis laws are not fit for purpose

We can learn from other countries who have legalised successfully | Independent voices, UK

Tourism is the missing piece of Canada’s cannabis legalization puzzle

Three years into the federal legalization of cannabis in Canada, almost all the pieces are in place for the growth of a robust cannabis tourism industry — except one | Conversation, Canada