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Daily news - 28th April 2022

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UK news

Letter from the Minister of State for Crime, Policing and Probation to the Chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs

Government response to ACMD recommendations on GHB, GBL & related substances | Home Office, UK

Working with the police to improve public health: expansion of digital learning hub

The new section on Police Scotland aims to showcase the important role the police have in helping to improve health. It will strengthen learning within public services about the factors that affect health – such as the difficult conditions in which people live, and common signs of complex social circumstances such as poor mental health or problematic drug use | Public Health Scotland, UK

Make early diagnosis of liver disease routine

Three quarters of people with liver disease are diagnosed at a late stage when it is often too late for treatment or intervention. There are now 50% more liver transplants than ten years ago – but not everyone is lucky enough to receive a transplant | British Liver Trust, UK

Secondary School Educational Resources

For far too long school students have been denied access to the truth about drugs, which has undermined their trust in health information in general and put them at greater risk of harm. This new initiative sets out to rectify this failure by presenting teaching materials that are evidence-based, balanced and proportionate. In this way, we hope to minimise the harms from the use of all drugs, whether legal or illegal | Drug Science, UK

Smokefree 2030 — [Caroline Nokes in the Chair]

I beg to move, That this House has considered progress towards the Government’s smokefree 2030 ambition | They work for you, UK

Public Health: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the finding in the Health Foundation's report published on 5 October 2021 that public health grant allocations to local councils used to fund drug treatment and recovery have fallen in real terms from £4.2 billion in 2015-16 to £3.3 billion in 2021-22, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the Public Health Grant delivers a real term increase in funding for public health | They work for you, UK

South London clinics find the people lost to HIV care – and tell some of their stories

Better support for HIV patients' mental health needs will pay dividends, BHIVA conference told | NAM Aidsmap, UK

What makes peer support unique? - video

We asked people from across Scotland what makes peer support unique? This short animation highlights what they said | Scottish Recovery Network, UK

M4 crash: Sentence review welcomed for drink-driver who killed two children

The heartbroken family of two children killed by a drink-driver have welcomed a sentence review that could see him locked up for longer | BBC, UK

Police force uncovers 'largest' cannabis find in unused office building in Darlington

Durham Constabulary were called to reports of the drugs farm at a property on Valley Street, in the town, just after 2.15pm on Monday 25 April | ITV, UK

Cardiff: Boy, 13, arrested with suspected Class A drugs

Two teenagers allegedly found with drugs and a "Rambo-style" knife in Cardiff city centre have been arrested | BBC, UK



International news

Statement: Singapore Carries Out Second Execution for Drugs in a Month

Nagaenthran Dharmalingam was executed in Singapore today, despite international outcry and widespread condemnation from human rights activists, the Malaysian government, United Nations experts on human rights, the European Union and prominent personalities including businessmen Richard Branson and actor Stephen Fry | HRI, UK

Association of Opioid Dose Reduction With Opioid Overdose and Opioid Use Disorder Among Patients Receiving High-Dose, Long-term Opioid Therapy in North Carolina

 In a retrospective cohort study of 19 443 privately insured patients who received high-dose, long-term opioid therapy, rapid dose reduction or discontinuation (vs dose maintenance or increase or gradual reduction or discontinuation) was associated with increased risk of opioid overdose over 4 years of follow-up | JAMA Network, USA

The Long Road to Methadone Access in Rural America

The U.S. has treatments to help people dealing with opioid addictions but throws up hurdles to access | TNR, USA

[Podcast] Bridging the Gap Between Treatment and Recovery

Dr. Nora Volkow recently spoke to the SMART Recovery community about the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) holistic approach to helping those with substance use issues. As a follow up to that conversation, we talked with Dr. Wilson Compton, Deputy Director of NIDA, and Dr. Will Aklin, Director of the Behavioral Therapy Development Program, about research on the health aspects and treatment of substance use disorders | SMART Recovery, USA

This is What Recovery Looks Like - audio

In this month's episode, we continue our multi-part series on harm reduction with an international guest, Annemarie Ward, CEO of Faces & Voices of Recovery UK, to expand the scope of our conversation and find points of comparison between UK and US approaches to drug policy and recovery support | This is What Recovery Looks Like, USA

Addiction treatment may protect against the risk of opioid use disorder on suicidal behavior

The presence of co-occurring mental health conditions such as depression is high among individuals with substance use disorders, specifically those with opioid use disorder. Co-occurring mental health conditions and opioid use disorder may both increase the risk of suicidal behaviors. This study examined whether opioid use disorder is associated with increased risk for suicide among US adults and if receiving addiction, mental health, or both types of treatment might buffer against any additional risk | Recovery Research Institute, USA

Biden’s Clemency Announcement Falls Far Short

On April 26, President Joe Biden announced that he was using his clemency powers to pardon three people and commute the federal prison sentences of 75 others. Virtually all of them were incarcerated for nonviolent drug convictions | Filter Magazine, USA

One Drug Dominates Our Prison’s Supply. We Don’t Know What It Is

During the pandemic, the Michigan Department of Corrections suspended all Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, “substance abuse” classes and support groups, many of which have still not resumed. Our yard access was limited, our phone time reduced. Our visits with loved ones turned into partitioned visits with masks on, each prisoner’s 45 visitation hours each month cut down to six. They didn’t leave us with too legal many options for how to pass the time | Filter Magazine, USA

Knowing Your Limits with Cannabis: A Practical Guide to Assessing Your Cannabis Use

This publication helps people reflect on their cannabis use patterns while providing tips and strategies to encourage lower-risk behaviours to reduce harm. Individuals can use this independently or with the support of healthcare, mental health or addiction service providers | CCSA, Canada



Blogs, comment and opinion

Entertainment-education could be a more effective health communication channel for young people in the UK

Towards the end of the twentieth century, British society experienced an unexpected and disturbing increase in the number of excessive drinkers, with some scholars calling this dramatic change a new culture of intoxication, fuelled by a determination – particularly by young people – to get drunk and associate fun with excessive drinking | IAS blog, UK

Patients leaving hospital sometimes need opioids. Doctors can reduce risks of long-term use and dependence

Hospital patients are often given strong, opioid pain medicines when discharged home after surgery and other treatments. This can sometimes lead to long-term use and dependence | Conversation, Australia