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Daily news - 3rd August 2022

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UK news

Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales: 2021 registrations

Release date: TODAY at 09:30 Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales from 1993 to 2021, by cause of death, sex, age and substances involved in the death | ONS, UK

Heroin-related deaths growing across the UK - as government accused of not caring by one of its own drugs advisers

More people die from opioid abuse in the UK than anywhere else in Europe, and this number has been rising for a decade. At the same time, drug services have had their budgets cut by around a third | Sky News, UK

Drug deaths: Lives saved by new approach, says charity

Cullan Mais, who was addicted to heroin when he was 19, said having help with withdrawal gave him his identity back | BBC, UK

NHS help 15,000 pregnant women quit smoking as national rates plummet

The latest statistics show that midwives and other NHS staff have helped almost 15,000 expectant mothers quit smoking in the last three years | NHE, UK

Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE): August 2022 update

Update of indicators in the Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE) interactive tool | OHID, UK

Humankind - trustees wanted

An exciting opportunity has arisen for two trustees to join our incredible team here at Humankind. We are looking for people to take responsibility of Humankinds strategic direction and overall governance. You will also be integral in the development of Humankind’s objectives and goals, ensuring that you are operating within Humankind’s mission and vision, and reflecting our culture and values | Humankind, UK

Creative Communities on BBC Radio Bristol

Creative Communities have been back on the radio this weekend chatting with Laura Rawlings on BBC Radio Bristol. Sophie, our Creative Communities manager, was joined by group members Chris, Zoe and Rueben. The team spoke to Laura about what the Creative Communities groups mean to them | BDP, UK

Jamal Edwards: Cocaine sparked death of entrepreneur, coroner concludes

Cocaine sparked the death of entrepreneur and YouTube star Jamal Edwards, a coroner has concluded | BBC, UK

The Undercover Cop Infiltrating Britain’s Biggest Drug Gangs | News on Drugs - video

Neil Woods spent 14 years as an undercover detective infiltrating some of the most dangerous drugs gangs in Europe | VICE News, UK

Met Police investigated over two more child strip searches

The Met was placed under special measures last month after a series of failures and scandals | Independent, UK

Nitrous oxide: Laughing gas dealer caught with 25,000 cylinders jailed

He pleaded guilty to possessing a psychoactive substance with intent to supply; acquiring, using or possessing criminal property; and using a vehicle without insurance | BBC, UK

Rotherham: Police seize £11m of cannabis plants in 10 months

Cannabis plants with a street value of at least £11m have been seized in Rotherham over the past 10 months | BBC, UK

Serial Stirling drug dealer jailed after £93,550 heroin discovery

A convicted drug dealer has been jailed again after a £93,550 heroin stash was found hidden under bushes in Stirling | BBC, UK

‘I’m stunned’: 16% stout named Great British Beer Festival’s best home brew

Stephen Folland from Berkshire was chosen from more than 170 entries to win Camra award | Guardian, UK


International news

Fewer people tried to quit smoking during COVID-19 pandemic, study shows

A new study shows serious smoking cessation activity declined among adults in the United States immediately after the onset of COVID-19 and persisted for over a year. Declines in attempts to quit smoking were largest among persons experiencing disproportionately negative outcomes during COVID-19, including Black people, people with comorbidities, middle-aged people, and lower educated people | Science Daily, USA

Coolants in Puff electronic cigarettes present health hazard

Electronic cigarettes, or ECs, contain nicotine, solvents, and flavor chemicals, and are especially popular among young adults. In 2020, the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, banned cartridge-based flavored EC pods, but this ban did not extend to "disposable" flavored EC products, such as Puff ECs. Unfortunately, the chemical composition and toxicity of the fluids in Puff ECs are largely unknown | Medical Xpress, USA

Study defines how cannabis cells make cannabinoids

For the first time, plant biologists have defined the high-efficiency "hacks" that cannabis cells use to make cannabinoids (THC/CBD). Although many biotechnology companies are currently trying to engineer THC/CBD outside the plant in yeast or cell cultures, it is largely unknown how the plant does it naturally | News Medical, USA

Developing international consensus to address high-risk drug use and overdose

Among youth, there is high risk of mortality due to both substance use overdose and suicide. Addressing youth substance use and mental health can be challenging in clinical settings. Researchers in this study established an international consensus statement to guide the prevention, treatment, and management of high-risk substance use and overdose among youth | Recovery Research Institute | USA

Nurse practitioners play an important role in buprenorphine access

Most people with opioid use disorder do not receive treatment and even fewer receive evidence-based treatment with medications, such as buprenorphine. Uncovering factors associated with buprenorphine prescribing among providers can help identify health care policy targets to increase medication access. This study used Medicaid data from Virginia to examine factors associated with buprenorphine prescribing among eligible providers | Recovery Research Institute, USA

Breaking Nicotine’s Powerful Draw

[Possible paywall] Millions of smokers could be forced to confront the agony of nicotine withdrawal as the F.D.A. weighs calling for a drastic reduction in the addictive lure of cigarettes | NYTimes, USA

Legalization Doesn’t Lead More Teens to Try Cannabis, Researchers Find

A perennial question around legalizing cannabis for adults is whether it leads to more young people trying the drug. According to a new study by Michigan State University researchers, the answer so far is no—although the policy change does seem to lift the number of adults picking up marijuana for the first time | Filter Magazine, USA

Methadone Clinics Step Up Their Backlash Against Reform

The members of the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD) are outraged. This national organization represents the interests of over 1,200 opioid treatment programs (OTPs), also known as methadone clinics | Filter Magazine, USA

CanTEST Health & Drug Checking

The ACT Government has launched Australia’s first fixed-site health and drug checking service as a six-month pilot. The CanTEST Health and Drug Checking Service is operated by Directions Health Services and CAHMA with technical assistance from Pill Testing Australia. This is a free service | CAHMA, Australia

Changes in the use of Melbourne’s Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR) over the COVID-19 pandemic

In this bulletin, we update findings from a previous IDRS Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) Bulletin that included information on the use of the North Richmond MSIR in 2019 to examine responses to the 2020 and 2021 IDRS surveys of people who inject drugs in order to examine any changes in MSIR use evident in the Melbourne IDRS samples over the COVID-19 pandemic | NDARC, Australia

Can a new formulation of opiate agonist treatment alter stigma?: Place, time and things in the experience of extended-release buprenorphine depot

Stigma has corrosive effects on all aspects of care and can undermine individual and population health outcomes. Addiction-related stigma has implications for opiate agonist treatment (OAT) and the people who receive, provide and fund it. It is important to understand how stigma is made in OAT and the political purposes that it serves, in order to change the relations of stigma and avoid the reproduction of stigma in the delivery of new treatment formulations, such as extended release buprenorphine | IJDP, Australia

The Bulletin - August 2022

Latest editon of the bulletin published in the run up to International Overdose Awareness Day, includes stories on: The waiting game: Australia’s capacity crunch for residential treatment and Co-occurring mental health and substance use crises: from ‘passing the buck’ to integrated care | Penington Institute, Australia

Yet another synthetic cannabinoid – Aotearoa’s first finding of MDMB-5Br-INACA

We sometimes call them MWP – mystery white powders. This sample was brought to us in the central North Island as “MDMA” but someone who took it reported extreme and rapid anxiety | Know Your Stuff, New Zealand



Blogs, comment and opinion

Can the ‘ageing cohort theory’ account for the increase in drug-related deaths?

Public health specialist Dr Dan Lewer writes for the SSA about whether the recent increase in drug-related deaths in the UK could be linked to an ageing cohort of people who use heroin. He considers factors such as the impact of long-term health conditions, the policy shift towards getting people in-and-out of treatment, and the trend towards poly-substance use | SSA Blog, UK

Alcohol packaging could have an important role in delivering health messaging

Alcohol packaging can be used to communicate the harms associated with consumption. Daniel Jones, a research assistant at the University of Stirling, assessed a sample of young adults’ exposure to, and engagement with, current messaging on packs, support for displaying product and health-related information, and reactions to novel warnings. In this blog, he reflects on the findings | AHA UK blog, UK

Our drugs policy simply isn’t working. Let me, a former addict, explain why

Home Secretary Priti Patel has said she wants to see people caught with drugs stripped of their passports, among other draconian measures | i news opinion, UK

Vicky Pattison: Alcohol, Dad and Me review – the reality star is an absolute gift of a presenter

The I’m A Celeb winner is a commanding, charismatic, honest and articulate host, as she tries to make sense of how her father’s drinking affected her upbringing | Guardian, UK

Julian Quintero: Interviewing the "Person who has Educated Colombians the Most about Drugs"

In a collaboration with Proyecto Soma, TalkingDrugs has had access to an interesting interview with one of the leading figures of the Colombian drug policy reform movement, who has some fantastic insights into the international power South America has on the global drug policy sphere. The original version is available in the Spanish version of our website | Talking Drugs blog, UK

U.S. Public Health Messaging is Guiding Consumers Toward Smoking

American Cancer Society study suggests that the public health community should be more careful about the messaging it delivers on the differences in harm between combustible tobacco and vaping products | Inside Sources, USA