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Daily news - 4th August 2022

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UK news

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

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. 4,859 deaths related to drug poisoning were registered in 2021 in England and Wales, equivalent to a rate of 84.4 deaths per million people; this is 6.2% higher than the rate recorded in 2020 (79.5 deaths per million) | ONS, UK

There Were 112 Cocaine Deaths in England in 2011. Last Year There Were 840

Official data shows a record rise in drug deaths despite COVID-related lockdowns | VICE, UK

Cocaine and opiates drive drug deaths to record level in England and Wales

Data follows rising trend over past decade, with cocaine-related deaths increasing sevenfold since 2011 | Guardian, UK

Corner shop tobacco sales halved in three years

Sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products from UK convenience stores fell by almost half in three years, research shows | University of Edinburgh, UK

The Party Drug Paradox: Is it time we stop pretending drugs don't exist?

Drug-related deaths are rising, despite rules getting stricter – so, clearly, something isn't working. Alice Snape investigates the revolutionary new initiatives that make drug-taking safer... | Cosmopolitan, UK

Prescription Drugs: Addictions

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to page 125 of Public Health England's report entitled Dependence and withdrawal associated with some prescribed medicines, published in December 2020, for what reason a helpline or website has not been funded for people who are dependent on prescription drugs | They work for you, UK

Two drug arrests after MDMA found in pet food shipments

Two men have been arrested after eight kilograms of the drug MDMA was found in in two separate shipments of pet food | BBC, UK


International news

Amphetamine, Heroin and Cocaine with Prof Aldo Badiani - podcast

Professor Badiani conducts research in the field of drug addiction with the focus on the role of environmental factors in determining individual vulnerability to drug addiction in both humans and animals. In this episode of Drug Science podcast you’ll learn about the most recent research on the science of drug addiction from a leading expert in the field | Drug Science, UK

PSYCHOACTIVE - A podcast series with Ethan Nadelmann

Drugs, drugs, drugs. Almost everyone uses them. Almost everyone has an opinion about them. Drug policy pioneer Ethan Nadelmann gets to the bottom of our strange relationship to drugs by talking with those who love them, hate them, and study them | IDPC, UK

Why Cocaine Traffickers Love Bananas

There are many famous pairings in life: burger and fries; Lennon and McCartney; rich people and bad taste. Now there’s another one: bananas and cocaine | VICE, UK

Arkansas panel rejects recreational marijuana ballot measure

An Arkansas panel has blocked a recreational marijuana proposal from appearing on the ballot this fall | Independent, UK

Dublin professor concerned for young people as vaping promoted on TikTok

The professor believes that it’s becoming a child protection issue | Dublin Live, Ireland

HRB Newsletter - July

Our newsletter includes links to Irish and international publications related to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs | HRB, Ireland

Overdose reversal drugs gain support at music festivals, but not fentanyl test strips

A 26-year-old was found dead at his campsite during the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in 2019. The toxicology report linked his death to a grim trend that has only worsened since. In his system were both Ecstasy and fentanyl — a dangerous combination, especially if people don't know the party drug contains the highly potent synthetic opioid | npr, USA

Daily cannabis users less likely to view heavy cigarette smoking as dangerous

A growing number of Americans are using cannabis as it becomes legalized for recreational adult use in a rapidly increasing number of U.S. states. Questions abound about what impact legalization will have on adult and youth health | EurekAlert, USA

More women turning to medical cannabis for relief of menopause symptoms

New study finds that a growing number of primarily perimenopausal women are using medical cannabis to treat menopause symptoms such as sleep disturbance and mood/anxiety | EurekAlert, USA

On the road again: Drive times to opioid treatment programs in urban and rural counties in the U.S.

Methadone – a medication used to treat Opioid Use Disorder – is strictly regulated in the U.S. This medication can only be dispensed and administered by federally-certified opioid treatment programs (OTPs). Patients prescribed methadone are required to travel to an OTP, usually on a daily basis, to take their medication under the supervision of a physician. A shortage of OTPs nationwide, and in rural communities in particular, may create barriers to accessing this life-saving treatment | BASIS, USA

Medical cannabis for opioid use disorder: The association between state policies and dispensary marketing claims

Cannabis might have benefits for opioid use disorder treatment but it has yet to be FDA-approved for treatment in the United States due to a lack of rigorous research. Nonetheless, several states designate opioid use disorder as a qualifying condition for receiving legal access to medical cannabis | Recovery Research Institute, USA

Organizational change in community-based addiction clinics

Addiction services with programs that offer medication for opioid use disorder are informed by several stakeholders including researchers, policy makers, providers, and the patients themselves. Thus, with so many inputs, adapting services to meet changing needs can be complex. This study explored organizational functioning and the potential for change among staff at clinics in Ireland | Recovery Research Institute, USA

Is California bold enough to fight overdose deaths with harm reduction?

In 1986, when she was a twenty-something injecting cocaine and heroin in New York, a visitor from San Francisco taught her how to clean dirty needles using a bleach solution. Szalavitz credits this simple innovation with protecting her during an AIDS epidemic that killed many drug users | San Francisco Examiner, USA

Life as a Vaping Advocate Under India’s Prohibition

In late 2019, the Indian government issued a ban on vaping products. The ordinance, originally announced by the finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, and passed by parliament months later, not only disallows the sale, manufacturing, and distribution of e-cigarettes, but also their importation, exportation, transport, storage and advertisement | Filter Magazine, USA



Blogs, comment and opinion

‘A painful and powerful reminder’ - Mark Moody responds to drug-related death statistics

Mark Moody, Chief Executive of Change Grow Live, said:  Every one of these deaths is a tragedy, and the only reasonable response to today's statistics is to redouble our efforts to stop more people losing their lives to drugs... | Change Grow Live, UK

With You responds to new England & Wales drug-related death stats

Jon Murray, Executive Director of Services at drug, alcohol and mental health charity With You says: “The number of drug-related deaths in England and Wales are deeply concerning. 4,859 people lost their lives last year. That's more than 13 people every single day. Behind each death are stories of people who have experienced extreme trauma and resilience, have been dealt a difficult hand and did their best to survive | With You, UK

Rising number of drug related deaths represents a genuine public health emergency

Humankind believes that it is a tragedy that 4,859 people died in 2021 as a result of drugs. The drug related death data published by the Office of National Statistics today indicates that for the ninth year in a row the number of people that dying from drugs has increased, and that the North of England and Yorkshire continue to experience the highest rates of death | Humankind, UK

‘We’re British and we have a drink problem’: Why we all need to reassess our relationship with booze

I had a ‘typical’ university experience: if ‘typical’ means getting smashed at the student union bar five times a week | Independent voices, UK