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Daily news - 10th February 2022

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UK news

Recreational drug use: what’s the harm?

In recent years, some in law enforcement and Government have associated recreational drug use, particularly among the middle classes, with increasing violence. This article looks at the Government’s plans to tackle the problem, responses to the proposals and Dame Carol Black’s recent independent review of drugs | House of Lords Library, UK

Student drug use: reducing harm and tackling supply

Universities UK (UUK) has today announced new work, in partnership with Unite Students, GuildHE and Independent HE, to set out a common approach to reduce harms from drug use and to better tackle supply. This comes as institutions are expressing concern about the impact of student drug use with associated risks of learning and mental health problems, of damage to future job prospects, of addiction and avoidable deaths | Universities UK, UK

Firefighters to carry life-saving naloxone

Firefighters are being offered the chance to become trained and equipped to help prevent drug deaths. They will be able to volunteer to carry naloxone - a nasal spray which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose -  as part of a £90,000 project funded by the Scottish Government | Scottish Government, UK

A third of smoking households in England are living in poverty with rates highest in the North

New analysis of national data commissioned by charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) finds that the proportion of smokers living in poverty is highest in the north and midlands | ASH, UK

Warning to drug users after Renfrewshire deaths

Early indications suggest non-prescribed street benzodiazepines – such as etizolam – may have been involved in recent deaths in the area | Planet Radio, UK

Alcoholic Drinks and Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what funding the Government provides to support local authorities and other agencies in drug and alcohol prevention | They work for you, UK

Blackpool's 'safe spaces for drug addicts' proposal fails to win government support

Such facilities are currently illegal in the UK, but a report updating the council’s adult social care and health scrutiny committee said Blackpool’s public health team had held talks with the Home Office about piloting such a scheme | Lancashire Live, UK

Are Psychedelics the Future of Pain Relief?

Some scientists believe that LSD and psilocybin could treat everything from cluster headaches to fibromyalgia | VICE, UK

Alcohol tests: blood, hair, different types, what’s best and what can throw the results

An individual’s drinking behaviour is an important factor in many family law cases, with a variety of measures used to test for chronic and excessive alcohol consumption | Family Law, UK

Wayne Rooney documentary: Record England goalscorer feared drinking could have led to death

Wayne Rooney says he feared he could have died or killed someone at the lowest point of his drinking problems | BBC, UK

Alcohol management in Deep End practices

Wed, 9 March 2022, 11:00 – 12:00 GMT. University of Stirling, University of Dundee and SHAAP report launch: Alcohol management in Deep End practices | SHAAP, UK

The best low-alcohol and non-alcoholic beers to drink in 2022, tried and tested

[Limited number of free articles per week] Low-alcohol and non-alcoholic beers, which are usually low-calorie too, are catching on in a big way. Here's our pick of the best buys | Telegraph, UK

Scotland Reducing Gambling Harm – opportunity for people with lived experience

The Scotland Reducing Gambling Harm programme are looking to increase their lived experience involvement | Alliance Scotland, UK

Members of organised crime group jailed over drugs

Leicestershire Police said the gang was followed by officers across the country before warrants were executed in 2019 | BBC, UK

Leeds house closed down after drug users formed queues outside

A drug dealers' house has been closed down after a court heard it attracted so many customers "McDonald's and Starbucks would be jealous" | BBC, UK

Kirkby drug dealer caught with £1m of cocaine stuffed in 'bag for life'

John Butler, of Kirkby, seemed to be "nervous" and was physically shaking when stopped by Merseyside Police as he drove through Netherton on 8 January | BBC, UK



International news

Capturing a semi-submersible loaded with cocaine - video

A semi-submersible vessel carrying four tonnes of cocaine has been seized by the Colombian navy | BBC, UK

White House blasts GOP for ‘political games’ for misrepresenting ‘life saving’ drug policy as free crack pipes

Republicans are characterising a Health and Human Services grant program as a crack pipe giveaway | Independent, UK

State Toolkit to End the Nation’s Drug Overdose Epidemic: Leading-Edge Actions and Strategies to Remove Barriers to Evidence-based Patient Care (PDF)

The 2022 AMA-Manatt Toolkit builds on the 2020 roadmap by providing actionable resources that states can use to take specific actions in six policy areas: • Increase access to evidencebased treatments to help patients with a substance use disorder (SUD). • Ensure access to addiction medicine, psychiatry, and other trained physicians. • Enforce mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) parity laws. • Improve access to multidisciplinary, multimodal care for patients with pain. • Expand harm reduction efforts to reduce death and disease. • Improve monitoring and evaluation | AMA, USA

Statement by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and ONDCP Director Rahul Gupta

Today, on the heels of organizations applying for grant money for harm reduction efforts, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and the Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Dr. Rahul Gupta released the following statement... | HHS.gov, USA

Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking

The Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking, established under Section 7221 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, was charged with examining aspects of the synthetic opioid threat to the United States—specifically, with developing a consensus on a strategic approach to combating the illegal flow of synthetic opioids into the United States. This is their final report | RAND Corporation, USA

Treatment of Tobacco Smoking

More deaths in the US are attributed to cigarette smoking each year than to any other preventable cause. Approximately 34 million people and an estimated 14% of adults in the US smoke cigarettes. If they stopped smoking, they could reduce their risk of tobacco-related morbidity and mortality and potentially gain up to 10 years of life | JAMA Network, USA

Why dentists are prescribing fewer opioids

If you've ever had a root canal or tooth extraction, you might have been handed a prescription for Vicodin or another opioid painkiller to help you recover after your procedure | Medical Xpress, USA

Can MDMA dave a marriage?

[Limited number of free articles] For some couples on the brink of divorce, taking the illegal psychedelic drug was a last resort — but it ended up being the only thing that worked | NYTimes, USA

Proposed Drug-Decrim Ballot Initiative All Set in Washington State

Washington State activists have filed a proposed ballot initiative that would remove criminal penalties for simple drug possession and direct nearly $150 million annually to expand substance use disorder treatment, with a focus on outreach and long-term recovery support | Filter Magazine, USA

How Halifax’s Safe Supply Hotels Brought Hope in the Early Pandemic

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, in April 2020, there was a confirmed case at a pop-up shelter in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The unhoused residents—initially around 35 people, including some of the city’s most marginalized people who use drugs—were then moved into a fancy hotel in the city center to isolate | Filter Magazine, USA

Smoking cessation drugs prescribed over the internet are as safe and effective as in-person treatment

Smoking-cessation drugs prescribed exclusively over the internet in a clinical trial were as safe and effective as when prescribed in a clinician's office, according to a newly published CAMH study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence | Medical Xpress, USA

BC Fails to Slow Rising Deaths from Toxic Drugs

Almost six years after declaring a public health emergency, more people died in 2021 than ever before | The Tyee, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Don’t Listen To The Alarmists – Legalisation Doesn’t Lead To More Young People Using Drugs

Much to the chagrin of ‘project fear’ prohibitionists, yet another study has found that legalising cannabis has no effect whatsoever on the number of young people who use it | Volteface, UK

How Psychiatry Shaped My View of Cannabis

The privilege granted psychiatrists to hear the most intimate facets of people’s lives, combined with the authority and responsibility to administer medications appropriately and safely, gives them a unique perspective on cannabis use | Psychology Today blog, USA