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Daily news - 8th February 2022


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UK news

DDN February 2022

Service user involvement, co-production, peer-led initiatives – whatever the terminology, we’re glad to see the renewed efforts to make the voice of experience a vital part of the infrastructure of services. Almost two decades ago when we started DDN, the two-year rule – a nebulous guideline about an amount of time required to be drug-free and therefore stable enough to enter full-time work, and grasped by many as a reason not to put service users on an equal footing – was a real barrier to admitting people back into employment and an equal status | DDN, UK

The NHS Addictions Provider Alliance’s ‘Stigma Kills’ campaign calls for a change in attitude towards addiction

The NHS Addictions Provider Alliance (NHS APA) is launching a public campaign today (Tuesday 8th of February) called ‘Stigma Kills’. The campaign aims to reduce the stigma of addiction by asking individuals and organisations to stop defining people by their addiction and see the person behind it | NHS APA, UK

Assessing the feasibility, acceptability and accessibility of a peer-delivered intervention to reduce harm and improve the well-being of people who experience homelessness with problem substance use: the SHARPS study

[Open access] The study established that a peer-delivered, relational harm reduction intervention is acceptable to, and feasible and accessible for, people experiencing homelessness and problem substance use. While the study was not outcomes-focused, participants did experience a range of positive outcomes. A full randomised controlled trial is now required to assess intervention effectiveness | Harm Reduction Journal, UK

Worrying numbers of older children having energy drinks regularly

Up to a third of UK children - mostly young teens - consume at least one energy drink a week, while some are having them almost daily, new research suggests | BBC, UK

Consumption and effects of caffeinated energy drinks in young people: an overview of systematic reviews and secondary analysis of UK data to inform policy

 This overview and analysis of UK datasets was commissioned by the UK government to address concerns about children’s consumption of caffeinated energy drinks and their effects on health and behaviour | BMJ Open, UK

Cannabis-based epilepsy medicine Epidyolex approved for use on Scottish NHS

Scottish epilepsy patients as young as two could be given new cannabis-based medication today approved for use on the NHS | Press and journal, UK

STAMP OUT STIGMA: I beat my alcohol addiction but stigma made it hard for me to get the support I needed

When Michaela Jones started binge drinking in her early teens to block
out the pain of childhood trauma and sexual abuse, she had no idea that
alcohol would cost her everything - almost her life | Scottish Sun, UK

Drymester

#Drymester is here to inspire and support you to go alcohol free when pregnant or planning a pregnancy. There's lots of different advice out there. Our message is simple and based on the facts – when it comes to alcohol, there's no safe time and no safe amount to drink during pregnancy | Drymester, UK

Podcast: The February take-home with guest Dr James Morris

This month’s guest on the SSA podcast is Dr James Morris from London South Bank University who hosts The Alcohol Problem podcast. James joins the podcast regulars Dr Rob Calder and Dr Carol-Ann Getty to talk about the latest news, research, policy and debates relating to addiction | SSA, UK

SHAAP Managed Alcohol Programme (MAP) Webinar

Wed, 23 February 2022, 14:00 – 16:00 GMT. Managed Alcohol Programme (MAP) Knowledge Exchange Webinar with international colleagues | SHAAP, UK

Peer Chat launches with Rai Waddingham!

The Peer Chat podcast brings you insights and inspiration from people using their lived experience to support others and develop peer approaches | Scottish Recovery Network, UK

 

International news

Youth drinking in decline: What are the implications for public health, public policy and public debate?

[Open access] Youth drinking has declined across most high-income countries in the last 20 years. Although researchers and commentators have explored the nature and drivers of decline, they have paid less attention to its implications. This matters because of the potential impact on contemporary and future public health, as well as on alcohol policy-making. This commentary considers how youth drinking trends may develop in future, what this would mean for public health, and what it might mean for alcohol policy and debate | IJDP, UK

Justice Department evaluating safe injection sites for drugs like heroin

The sites aim to mitigate overdoses by providing safe places for individuals to use the drugs | Independent, UK

Kush: Sierra Leone's new illegal drug - video

Kush - a cheap new illegal drug, is ravaging communities in Sierra Leone. The BBC has heard reports of young people killing themselves or harming themselves and others | BBC, UK

Weeding out the issues: preparing Brazil for cannabis growing

Sérgio Rocha breeds fast-growing marijuana plants at Viçosa University | Nature, UK

Ana Liffey Drug Project: Request for Expressions of Interest

Request for expressions of interest to evaluate efforts to decriminalise possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use in five jurisdictions | Active Link, Ireland

Justice Dept. signals it may allow safe injection sites

The Justice Department is signaling it might be open to allowing so-called safe injection sites, or safe havens for people to use heroin and other narcotics with protections against fatal overdoses | abc news, USA

Effectiveness of e-cigarettes as aids for smoking cessation: evidence from the PATH Study cohort, 2017–2019

[Open access] Sales increases in high nicotine e-cigarettes in 2017 did not translate to more smokers using these e-cigarettes to quit smoking. On average, using e-cigarettes for cessation in 2017 did not improve successful quitting or prevent relapse | BMJ Tobacco Control, USA [See also blog section below]

Evaluation of Self-reported Cannabis Vaping Among US Youth and Young Adults Who Use e-Cigarettes

E-cigarette use, or vaping, has gained much public attention because of its rapidly increasing popularity among adolescents. Besides its use for vaping nicotine, vaping devices, such as e-cigarettes and vape pens, can be used to vape cannabis by heating a liquid or oil containing delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, little is known about cannabis vaping, and many people may mistakenly interpret vaping as just nicotine vaping | JAMA Network Open, USA

Study finds unexpected benefits of 'drug checking' programs

A recent study has found that so-called "drug checking" programs have unexpected benefits, allowing public health programs to reach and work with people who use drugs who would otherwise not access services such as HIV testing | Medical Xpress, USA

Over 40% of drivers with past-year alcohol and cannabis use report driving under the influence

In a study of drivers with past year alcohol and cannabis use, researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health found that two in five drivers reporting alcohol and cannabis in the past year drove under the influence of alcohol, cannabis or both. Approximately one-half of the participants in each category reported this pattern | EurekAlert, USA

Should We Be Worried About Australia's Off-Label Drug Prescriptions?

With increasing restrictions towards prescription opioids and benzodiazepines, new prescription medicines are filling the hole they’ve left | VICE, Australia

 

Blogs, comment and opinion

Should we not be assessing the services suitability to treat women, and not the suitability of women?

My name is Florence Fowler, and I am a Quality Improvement Lead at Phoenix Futures. I have worked in the Recovery Field for around 25 years however, on reflection, my desire to care for and assist disadvantaged others began at an early age and has matured with me | Phoenix Futures blog, UK

National Apprenticeship Week 2022: Building a Better Future

It's National Apprenticeship Week 2022 and at Forward we are celebrating the great work of apprentices, their employers and the families and networks that support them | Forward Trust blog, UK

Expert reaction to ecigs for quitting

A study, published in Tobacco Control, looked at ecigs for quitting smoking | Science Media Centre, UK 

Alcoholism and me: ‘I was an addicted doctor, the worst kind of patient’

My drinking and drug use pushed me over the edge into a complete breakdown. Then a stint in rehab made me question how much we really understand about addiction | Guardian, UK

Nora Volkow on More Realistic And Pragmatic Addiction Treatment

A recent Health Affairs article by Nora Volkow about non-abstinence endpoints for addiction treatments has received a lot of attention. Some are hailing it as a long-overdue change of course and others have expressed concern that it represents a step in the direction of abandoning recovery | Recovery Review blog, USA