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Daily news - 3rd February 2022

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UK news

Fewest under-18s on record getting addiction help in England

Thousands with drug and alcohol problems are feared to be missing out owing to pandemic and funding cuts | Guardian, UK

Scotland's drug deaths: Consumption room pilot on track despite warning over legal barriers

The new chair of the SNP’s drug deaths taskforce is confident legal barriers to setting up drug consumption rooms can be overcome as he insisted the facilities would not be a “free-for-all" or be a magnet for drug dealers after fears raised by a UK minister | Herald, UK

Examining the impact of the first wave of COVID-19 and associated control measures on interventions to prevent blood-borne viruses among people who inject drugs in Scotland: an interrupted time series study

[Open access] COVID-19 has likely affected the delivery of interventions to prevent blood-borne viruses (BBVs) among people who inject drugs (PWID). We examined the impact of the first wave of COVID-19 in Scotland on: 1) needle and syringe provision (NSP), 2) opioid agonist therapy (OAT) and 3) BBV testing | DAD, UK

Lockdown measures throughout 2020 have been linked to people in Scotland and England drinking more at home, according to new research

The study found that while people were broadly drinking the same amount of alcohol during periods of restrictions as they were when no restrictions were in place, lockdowns appeared to be linked to a shift in habits to at-home, late evening drinking | University of Glasgow, UK

10 high impact actions for local authorities and their partners

Local authorities are at the frontline of national efforts to achieve the goal of Smokefree 2030. This short guide has been published to support members and officers in local authorities and their partners in the NHS and civil society to sustain and renew their commitment to this goal | ASH, UK

Supermarket cameras to guess age of alcohol buyers

Major supermarket chains have begun testing an automated age-verification system, to avoid the wait for staff at self-checkouts when buying alcohol | BBC, UK

Smoking and vaping regulations in Northern Ireland

Most enclosed public places and workplaces in Northern Ireland are smoke free. It is against the law to smoke in these places. You could be fined for smoking in enclosed public places | NI Direct, UK

Let's talk e-cigarettes podcast - Episode 12 with Dr Sharon Cox

In this episode Assistant Professor Jamie Hartmann-Boyce and Dr Nicola Lindson discuss the emerging evidence in e-cigarette research and interview Dr Sharon Cox | University of Oxford, UK

Episode 4: Recovery Services for the BAME Community (Part 1 of 2) - podcast

In this two-part discussion, hosts Andy and Sommer are joined by Sohan and David to discuss how we can create recovery services that are culturally responsive, particularly to the Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community. This first episode explores what recovery means to each guest, before giving a general overview of the specific issues facing culturally diverse people in recovery | Changing Lives, UK

WDP to provide drug and alcohol service in West Berkshire

Leading drug and alcohol charity WDP is delighted to announce that it has been successful in its bid to deliver a new integrated drug and alcohol service in West Berkshire. The new service will commence from 1 April 2022 and will be operational for an initial five-year term | WDP, UK

Loss through addiction cafe

Join the Good Grief Trust's 'Loss Through Addiction Virtual Café', starting from Thursday 10th February, 6-7pm, and then taking place every 2nd Thursday of the month. The virtual café provides a safe space where people who have been bereaved as a result of addiction can come together; to share their experiences, listen to others and share what they have found has helped them get through difficult times | Adfam, UK

Guernsey gives licence to cannabis product firm

The Bailiwick of Guernsey Cannabis Agency has issued its first licence in relation to CBD production | BBC, UK

Convicted murderer supplied drug to Dartmoor Prison inmates

A man in prison for murder supplied fellow inmates with psychoactive drug Spice and phones, a court has heard | BBC, UK


International news

Opioid overdose deaths to ‘grow exponentially’ without action – study

Report [see item below] warns opioid crisis has a ‘good chance’ of spreading globally as overdose deaths from all drugs increased during the pandemic | Guardian, UK

Responding to the opioid crisis in North America and beyond: recommendations of the Stanford–Lancet Commission

Since 1999 more than 600,000 people in the USA and Canada have died from opioid overdose and a staggering 1.2 million more are estimated to die due to overdose by 2029 | Lancet, UK

'They know we'll keep them alive': Inside America’s first supervised drug-injection site

Following a year of record overdose deaths in the US, a bold new experiment in New York aims to turn the tide | Independent, UK

Industry influence over global alcohol policies via the World Trade Organization: a qualitative analysis of discussions on alcohol health warning labelling, 2010–19

Accelerating progress to implement effective alcohol policies is necessary to achieve multiple targets within the WHO global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol and the Sustainable Development Goals. However, the alcohol industry's role in shaping alcohol policy through international avenues, such as trade fora, is poorly understood. We investigate whether the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a forum for alcohol industry influence over alcohol policy | Lancet, UK

Tainted cocaine kills 20 in Argentina with dozens more hospitalised

Local media reported the drug had been ‘cut’ with a toxic substance as authorities said it might have been intentional | Guardian, UK

A New Drug That Contains Meth and Heroin Is on the Rise in Afghanistan

Experts say “tablet K” pills could be the world’s first black-market drug containing both depressants and stimulants | VICE, UK

Royal Mail investigates video of staff eating hash brownies at work

The footage showed staff apparently under the influence of cannabis goods from an unclaimed parcel | Guardian, UK

Four charged in drug death of The Wire actor Michael K Williams

Police in New York and Puerto Rico have arrested four men who allegedly sold the drugs that actor Michael K Williams took before his overdose death | BBC, UK

Research Webinars. Webinar One

15th February 2022 from 11am - 12.30pm (London), 6am (New York), 10pm (Sydney). SMART Global Research Advisory Committee (GRAC) formally invites you to join the first annual SMART Recovery Research webinar series. Each webinar will feature members of GRAC as they provide exciting overviews of SMART Recovery research now in progress, critical updates on the latest findings, and look forward to where SMART Recovery research is going in the future | SMART Recovery, UK

Three quarters of Dutch e-cigarette users would still smoke without the e-cigarette

Three quarters of e-cigarette users would still be smoking if they had not encountered the e-cigarette. That is the outcome of a large survey among 2,981 Dutch e-cigarette users by consumer organization Acvoda and trade association Esigbond | Esigbond, The Netherlands

Suicides by drug overdose increased among young people, elderly people, and Black women, despite overall downward trend

A new study of intentional drug overdose deaths, or suicides by an overdose of a medication or drug, found an overall decline in recent years in the United States, but an increase in young people aged 15-24, older people aged 75-84, and non-Hispanic Black women | NIDA, USA

ACEs and alcohol use: Predictors of intimate partner violence among Black men

No one can control the types of things we are exposed to as children; however, these experiences impact the way we live our lives as adults | BASIS, USA

“Being present for your life again”: Young adults’ views of recovery

In this study, researchers explored perspectives of recovery among young adults with substance use disorder to better understand some potential ways to reach this population and address barriers to engaging them in treatment and recovery support services | Recovery Research Institute, USA

In young adult heavy drinkers, does naltrexone work better for those drinking for reward compared with those drinking to cope?

 In this study researchers examined whether the use of naltrexone, an opioid antagonist medication that works by blocking the pleasurable, rewarding effects of alcohol use, might reduce heavy drinking in young adults, and if so, which types of drinkers benefit the most | Recovery Research Institute, USA

Mississippi becomes the 37th state to legalize medical marijuana

Mississippi is legalizing medical marijuana for people with debilitating conditions such as cancer, AIDS and sickle cell disease | npr, USA

Yukon has joined B.C. in declaring a substance use emergency. What does that mean?

Emergency declaration gives 'more political power' to take action, says former B.C. official | CBC News, Canada

Native American tribes win $590 million opioid settlement

Native American tribes have reached a landmark $590 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson and three major US drug distributors over the devastation caused to indigenous people by opioid addiction | Calgary Monitor, Canada

Cannabis will be taken off WADA banned list, says top sports doctor

The sports doctor who advised Lauren Jackson on using medicinal cannabis as part of her comeback says the star basketballer has a straightforward case for an exemption, and believes cannabis will eventually be removed from anti-doping banned lists because it is not performance enhancing | The Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Scottish and UK governments must work together to reduce drugs deaths and tackle criminal gangs that profit from misery and death – Kit Malthouse MP

The damage and devastation inflicted by illegal drugs is seen and felt throughout the UK | Scotsman opinion, UK

AHA responds to the Levelling Up White Paper

On 2 February 2022, the Government released the Levelling Up White Paper which sets out the Gover | AHA, UK

Portman Group research shows a significant increase in consumer appetite for low and no alcohol

Our latest research report provides an in-depth look at the Portman Group’s fourth annual survey exploring UK consumer attitudes to low and no alcohol. It highlights a significant increase in the popularity of these products across adults of all ages | Portman Group blog, UK

The tortured double-think of the new drug strategy

The UK government’s new drug strategy, and the media and political debate that has accompanied it, provides a stark illustration of the tensions between enforcement and public health led responses to drugs | Transform blog, UK

Ketamine for suicidal ideation

The repurposing of ketamine for use in mental disorders is a noteworthy yet disputed development in psychiatry over the past two decades. Ketamine has an antidepressant effect that is unconventionally swift and that does not apparently involve monoaminergic pathways. Ketamine could also rapidly reduce suicidal ideation in a way that is at least partially independent from its effect on mood | BMJ editorial, UK



And finally...

Swedish firm deploys crows to pick up cigarette butts

Clever corvids become newest weapon in Södertälje’s war against street litter | Guardian, UK