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Daily news - 26th April 2022

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UK news

Open consultation: Mental health and wellbeing plan: discussion paper and call for evidence

[Updated to extend closing date to 7 July.] The government is committed to improving mental health and wellbeing outcomes, particularly for people who experience worse outcomes than the general population. We want to ensure our new plan responds to the public’s priorities and set out what we can do as a whole society to drive better outcomes. Therefore, we are launching a discussion paper and call for evidence to ask the public a range of questions to help develop the new plan | DHSC, UK

Debate on progress towards the Government’s Smokefree 2030 ambition

A Westminster Hall debate has been scheduled for 9.30am on Tuesday 26 April 2022 on progress towards the Government's Smokefree 2030 ambition. The subject for the debate has been nominated by the Backbench Business Committee, and the debate will be opened by Bob Blackman MP and Mary Kelly Foy MP. A debate pack covering background to the topic is provided | House of Commons Library, UK

Fight against spiking hampered by lack of understanding and poor victim support

The Home Affairs Committee has warned that spiking will remain an invisible crime unless more is done to improve awareness and support victims. In a report published today the Committee finds that a lack of available data on spiking has made it difficult to get a clear picture of its true extent, and will remain a barrier to policing until data collection is improved | UK Parliament, UK

Impact of e-cigarette retail displays on attitudes to smoking and vaping in children: an online experimental study

Neither e-cigarette retail display visibility, nor the proportion of e-cigarette images displayed, appeared to influence susceptibility to smoking | BMJ Tobacco Control, UK

Funding boost will 'massively improve' drug addiction treatment in Yorkshire

The charity which provides treatment for people struggling with addiction across Yorkshire has welcomed plans to increase Government funding, but warned it is going to “take time” to reverse a worrying rise in drug-related deaths | Yorkshire Post, UK

Working in partnership to support people recovering from addiction

As part of a district wide focus on issues around addiction, Woodlands Methodist Church in Glasgow has partnered with charities, government agencies and academics in a symposium and exhibition, ‘Recovery Rising’, to outline a vision of what services could look like if they were reoriented from the culture of addiction, to a culture of recovery | The Methodist Church, UK

Football fans could be allowed to drink in their seats for first time in 37 years

[Limited number of free articles per month] Drinking alcohol in sight of the pitch at games has been illegal since 1985 but fan-led review has put forward the case for a pilot scheme | Telegraph, UK

Devon and Somerset roadshows share alcohol warning for rivers and lakes

Firefighters have warned about the "deadly" combination of alcohol and accidentally ending up in a river or lake | BBC, UK

Coronation Street’s Rovers Return to stock alcohol-free beer for first time

Heineken’s 0.0 tipple will be on the bar in two of Britain’s most loved pubs from next week in a bid to normalise drinking non-alcoholic pints | The Sun, UK

Peer led Overdose Prevention, Intervention and Naloxone for People who use/used drugs

27th April 2022. We are offering some free training in overdose response exclusively for people who use or have used drugs. People who use/used drugs are exceptionally well placed to save lives and often appear to be overlooked when training is offered | SDF, UK

SDF Webinar – Workforce Challenges for Drug and Alcohol Services in 2022

Friday 29 April 2022, 1.00pm – 2.15pm. Online. This webinar will explore the themes from the recent Scottish Government mixed methods study evaluating issues concerning the drugs and alcohol workforce in Scotland | SDF, UK

Bristol Sober Spaces launch

5th May 2022. Bristol Sober Spaces is a bold new innovation in big nights out! It's our mission to provide alcohol and drug free quality music experiences to anyone who is tired of the hedonistic cliches of going to a gig or club | Bristol Sober Spaces, UK


International news

How to regulate cannabis. 3rd edition

[PDF can be downloaded free of charge] This is the third edition of the guide to regulating legal markets for the non-medical use of cannabis. It is for policy makers, drug policy reform advocates and affected communities all over the world, who have witnessed the questions change from ‘Should we maintain cannabis prohibition?’ to ‘How will legal regulation work in practice?’, and now ‘What can we learn from the implementation of legally regulated markets?’ | Transform Drug Policy Foundation, UK

High societies: International experiences of cannabis liberalisation

Across the world, approaches to cannabis regulation are changing. This report reviews evidence from jurisdictions that have liberalised cannabis, assessing how they have impacted health, crime, and economic outcomes, comparing them against the UK’s prohibition regime | Social Market Foundation, UK

Big Tobacco to be slapped with £700m tax to ease NHS smoking burden

[Limited number of free articles per month] Government considers radical proposals to support 2030 anti-smoking target | Telegraph, UK

Using a MDMA- and LSD-Group Therapy Model in Clinical Practice in Switzerland and Highlighting the Treatment of Trauma-Related Disorders

The Swiss Federal Act on Narcotics allows for the restricted medical use of scheduled psychotropic drugs in cases of resistance to standard treatment, and preliminary evidence of efficacy of the scheduled drug for the particular condition. Since 2014, the authors have obtained 50 licenses on a case-by-case basis and developed a psychedelic-assisted group therapy model utilizing MDMA and LSD | Frontiers in Psychiatry, USA

The Mission to Make Psilocybin Available to UK Cancer Patients

“I was involved in oncology when I was a medic,” Dr. Malcolm Barratt-Johnson told Filter, “and in all honesty, the depression that comes with cancer wasn’t really regarded as an important aspect, which is wrong.” | Filter Magazine, USA

Paying providers for good outcomes may be better in theory than practice

Many healthcare systems are shifting from a fee-for-service payment model, where providers are paid based on the volume of services provided, to a value-based payment model, where high-quality care that is cost efficient is incentivized. One type of value-based payment model is a pay-for-performance scheme that links payment to quality measures. This study evaluated the impact of implementing this type of scheme in England’s substance use disorder treatment system, where providers were paid based on treatment outcomes | Recovery Research Institute, USA

Public Safety and Cannabis: Taking Stock of Knowledge Since Legalization: A Virtual Cannabis Policy Research Symposium Report

Summarizes six research papers on various public safety aspects of cannabis legalization, which were presented at the Public Safety and Cannabis: Taking Stock of Knowledge Since Legalization symposium in January 2022. This report highlights accumulated data and knowledge of the impacts of the Cannabis Act on public safety | CCSA, Canada

Long-term trends in adolescent alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use and emerging substance use issues in Aotearoa New Zealand

This narrative review summarises the latest evidence on the causes and consequences of substance use in adolescence and describes long-term trends in adolescent alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use in Aotearoa | Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

UK Drugs Inquiry: Drug Science Response

Our 2022 response to the UK government’s call for evidence of the effectiveness of the current UK drugs framework has just been published onlineechoing many of the key points highlighted previously | Drug Science, UK

My brother died of an overdose. I used for twenty years. Now I’m giving people hope

Former drug user Steven Brown was in Glasgow at the weekend to share his experience and show how Scotland can tackle the scandal of drug related deaths | Scotland Can, UK

‘Words matter’: from pejorative to people-first, stigmatising to strengths-based

Natalie Davies writes about why it might be time to get rid of some words from the substance use vernacular | SSA blog, UK

Research about Recovery by People in Recovery (Best and Colleagues)

The international recovery advocacy (and peer recovery support) movement is marked by the proliferation of grassroots recovery community organizations (RCOs) that are distinct from traditional addiction treatment organizations and recovery mutual aid societies. ... Efforts in the UK involving people in recovery in the conduct and dissemination of such research are particularly noteworthy. The blog below by David Best and colleagues highlights the remarkable efforts of the College of Lived Experience Recovery Organisation (CLERO) | William L White papers, USA

The injustice of the death penalty for drug offenses

Is justice really ‘just’ when it puts to death the vulnerable and the powerless? | Open Global Rights, USA