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Daily news - 7th February 2022

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UK news

Government launches landmark reviews to tackle health disparities

The government announces leads for independent reviews into ethnic inequalities for medical devices and tobacco control | DHSC, UK

National Wound Care Guide: An introduction to recognising and assessing common wounds and injecting injuries in people who inject drugs (PDF)

This resource aims to help people working within harm reduction and injection equipment provision (IEP) services, and anyone who works with people who inject drugs, to assess injection sites and identify potential complications arising from injecting street drugs | SDF, UK

Alcoholism: Rehabilitation

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support residential and non-residential treatment centres that help people tackle alcohol addiction | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to (a) support people with problematic alcohol use and (b) prevent people from developing problematic alcohol use | They work for you, UK

Blackpool drug death: Warning as man dies and second hospitalised

A man has died and a second is critically ill after taking drugs at a gathering in Blackpool, prompting a warning to drug users by police | BBC, UK

'It was a nightmare that turned into a dream' - how drug addict changed his life to help others

Rafik, who is Muslim, spoke about the difficulties of his family accepting he was an addict needing help | Nottingham Post, UK

Wayne Rooney says he binged on drink to cope with pressures of football

Ex-Manchester United striker opens up on battle with alcohol, saying he would drink for two days on his own | Guardian, UK

The Temperance Movement - audio

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the British experience of teetotalism from the early 19th Century when abstaining from alcohol was a way for the new urban workers to get on in life | BBC, UK

A qualitative exploratory study into the experience of personal counselling of partners of addicts/alcoholics (PDF)

There is evidence that family members of loved ones with a substance dependency benefit from receiving personal counselling to support their own mental health and wellbeing and that this can then also lend itself to aiding the recovery of the individual with the dependency. There is limited research that explores the subjective experience of counselling of partners of addicts/alcoholics. Gaining a richer insight into how personal counselling is experienced by this client group is significant in informing the counsellors who find themselves working with partners of addicts/alcoholics, to ensure that they are supported effectively | UEL, UK

Full title of Project: “Alcohol Beliefs Study”

You are being invited to participate in this study about alcohol beliefs. The study aims to investigate beliefs around alcohol problems and will serve to create a measurement instrument for those beliefs | LSBU, UK

Whisky: Scotland

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the contribution the Scotch whisky sector can make in supporting the UK’s hospitability sector to recover from the covid-19 outbreak | They work for you, UK

Lorry driver who smuggled £480,000 of cocaine while delivering frozen potatoes is jailed

A lorry driver has been jailed for smuggling £480,000 worth of cocaine while delivering frozen potatoes | ITV, UK

Training dogs sniff out £1.3m cannabis factory in Leicester

Dogs trained by a security company ensured ruff justice for three men who were jailed after a £1.3m cannabis factory was sniffed out | BBC, UK


International news

Danny Kruger MP submits response to Council of Europe paper on ‘Addiction to Prescribed Medicines’

In 2013 Jim Dobbin MP, then chair of the forerunner of this group, the APPG for Involuntary Tranquilliser Addiction, submitted a motion to the CoE Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development to conduct an investigation... | APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence, UK

In too deep: the epic, doomed journey of Europe’s first narco-submarine

Former boxer Agustín Álvarez jailed for piloting a sub carrying 3,000kg of cocaine across the Atlantic | Guardian, UK

Southwest Airlines to resume alcohol sales on its flights after nearly two years

Carrier removed alcohol from planes in March 2020. Beer, wine and liquor will return from mid-February | Independent, UK

Two men arrested following discovery of €220k of cocaine and tablets in Dublin

Both are currently detained under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drugs Trafficking) Act, 1996 and can be held for up to 7 days | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Effect of Exposure to Visual Campaigns and Narrative Vignettes on Addiction Stigma Among Health Care Professionals

In this randomized clinical trial involving a national sample of 1842 health care professionals, exposure to visual campaigns combined with short narrative vignettes told from the perspective of a patient with OUD that emphasized the harm of stigmatizing language or the effectiveness of medications for treating OUD was associated with reduced levels of stigma | JAMA Network Open, USA

People high on pot used a driving simulator. Here's what happened

You smoked a joint an hour and a half ago. Now it's worn off enough that you feel fine to get behind the wheel | Medical Xpress, USA

The struggle to define psychedelics

Psychoactive drugs include all manner of hallucinogens, deliriants, hypnotics and psychedelics. But what is a psychedelic, really? Insofar as many in the field are now moving toward bringing new molecules with presumably desirable introspective properties into a larger, potentially druggable populace, there is a palpable need for increased clarity | Medical Xpress, USA

We’re Ignoring What CBD Could Do for COVID—at Our Own Peril

Let’s get this out of the way now: You should not take CBD to prevent COVID-19. You should not smoke weed to prevent COVID-19—in fact, that will probably make things worse. You definitely should not drink CBD seltzers or take gummies to protect yourself from a virus that has the potential to kill you—especially when there are vaccines that are proven to protect you | Daily Beast, USA

A BC Safe Supply Program Pushes the Medical Model as Far as It Will Go

In 2019, Canada funded an expansion of safe supply and put out a call for pilot programs. Of particular interest to the federal health department was an emerging approach it identified as a “flexible” model: community-based, low-threshold public health initiatives that suggested a “strong potential for scaling up” and reaching people left out by more structured programs | Filter Magazine, USA

Can microdosing psychedelics boost mental health? Here’s what the evidence suggests

Taking tiny doses of drugs like psilocybin, LSD, and ayahuasca is gaining popularity. But the benefits are still being investigated | National Geographic, USA

S2 Ep5: Treatment considerations for co-occurring substance use disorders -podcast

Evidence-based treatments often focus on a specific type of substance, like opioids or stimulants. However, many people have more than one substance that they use frequently. In this episode, Dr. Lindsay Mackay, David Ball and their guests talk about co-occurring substance use and its implications in clinical care. In particular, they discuss co-occurring substance use as it relates to gender and to stigma in the clinic | BCCSU, Canada

'The system failed him': Inquest called into overdose death of Manitoba man who was turned away from detox facilities

Relief and hope—that is how Carol Packer felt after learning Thursday that Manitoba's Chief Medical Examiner is calling an inquest into the death of her younger brother, Lee Earnshaw | Virgin Radio, Canada

Evaluation of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme subsidised take home naloxone pilot

This report presents the final evaluation findings, covering the pilot in NSW, SA and WA from commencement on 1 December 2019 up until 30 June 2021 | Australian Government, Department of Health, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Back to the future – drug strategies and deja vue (PDF)

DrugWise hasn’t ‘spoken’ for some while because to be honest, there hasn’t been that much to speak about regarding UK drug policy. Now we have the Dame Carol Black review and the government’s response. This is not a detailed resume of the contents of either as I’m sure many of those reading this will be well acquainted with both documents. This is more by way of some personal top line observations... | DrugWise, UK

Can the way we talk about alcohol harm help us tackle the rise in harmful drinking?

Despite how common heavy drinking can be, we still have a long way to go in addressing the stigma around alcohol use disorders. In this blog, Dr James Morris, Research Fellow at London South Bank University’s Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research and host of The Alcohol ‘Problem’ Podcast, argues that it’s time to change the way we all speak to each other about alcohol and its harms | AHA UK blog, UK

The ‘Levelling up’ Agenda Must ‘Level Down’ Drug Deaths

If the Government is serious about addressing regional inequalities, there can be few higher priorities than ending the drug death epidemic plaguing our ‘left behind towns’. | Volteface, UK

I want supermarkets to move their alcohol aisles to help addicts like me

I had to get out of the house, my head was a mess and there was no tea | Metro, UK

I was shooting coke between chapters of Dostoevsky – but eventually books would save me from addiction

At first, I could hardly get through a novel. But slowly reading – and writing – saved me from a life of drugs, rehab and jail | Guardian, UK

Sweeping social change often begins as a ripple in quiet places: conversations around the kitchen table, in church basements, on school campuses, and the like. For the recovery movement, conversations between concerned family members, teachers, rehab counselors, emergency medical technicians and street medics, and many others who are part of recovery community organizations are helping undertake a massive shift in the perception of addiction in the U.S. | STAT news opinion, USA

Letters responsing to the opinion guest essay: “A Novel Drug Decriminalization Plan,” by Maia Szalavitz | NYTimes letters, USA

Opinion: We’re Waging the Wrong Battle Against Opioids

Despite new research, popular culture and the news media continue to cling to an outmoded anti-drug narrative | Undark magazine, USA

Working Out a Multi-Year Support Structure

Lately I’ve been working out a practical structure1 for a 5-year model of clinical involvement for patients with addiction illness (not less severe presentations) | Recovery Review blog, USA