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Daily news - 11th February 2022

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UK news

Drugs inquiry launched

The Home Affairs Committee announces a new inquiry to examine illegal drug use in the UK and its effect on society | UK Parliament, UK

COA Week - 13th February - 19th February

In the UK, COA Week is led by the charity Nacoa UK who provide year-round support. Please join us in our 12th year in the UK. Together we can increase awareness of this hidden problem and the support available. Find out how you can help children of all ages know they are not alone | NACOA, UK

Drug- and alcohol-related homicides

According to the Homicide Index, in the last three years almost a third (32%) of homicide victims were thought to be under the influence of alcohol and/or illicit drugs at the time of the homicide | ONS, UK

Covid pandemic: Drinkers shun beer for wine and spirits

Beer sales plunged in the UK during the Covid pandemic as people avoided pubs and drank wine and spirits at home instead, industry analysis found | BBC, UK

UK to trial vape vending machines

Digital ID tech company 1account has launched a vape vending machine, which will be rolled out in supermarkets this spring | Charged Retail, UK

Electronic Cigarettes: Children and Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of trends in the number of under-18s taking up regular use of e-cigarettes; and what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of children taking up those products | They work for you, UK

Tobacco: Mortality Rates

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 15 December 2021 to Question 84415 on Oral Tobacco: Health Hazards, what the mortality rate is per 100,000 users as a result of the use of (a) cigarettes and (b) Swedish snus | They work for you, UK

Changing Unwanted BEhaviour clinic opens at UCL

A specialist mental health service has been launched by the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, in collaboration with UCL, to help support students who are experiencing lifestyle and addiction problems | NHS Central and North West London, UK

A supportive environment

In the first of a two-part article looking at the impact of menopause on colleagues and service users, Helen O’Connor talks about the importance of creating menopause-inclusive workplaces | DDN, UK

Street Drugs Discussions: Steroids

Thu, 24 Feb 2022, 09:00 GMT. Deep dive on steroids, considering harm reduction and policy options, with Professor Jim McVeigh and others | Drug Science, UK

Carlisle dealer snared by EncroChat sting jailed for eight years

A drug dealer who was caught when an encrypted global messaging system was cracked has been jailed for more than eight years | BBC, UK

Appeal court overturns drug supply conviction

A man jailed for drug trafficking has had his conviction overturned after the judge at his trial failed to give jurors proper instructions over an interview he gave to police | BBC, UK


International news

Annual Conference 2021: Addiction training opportunities in Europe

At the SSA Annual Conference in November 2021, Professor Colin Drummond chaired a session on addiction training opportunities in Europe, with speakers Professor Anne Lingford-Hughes, Professor Jørgen Bramness, and Professor Julia Sinclair. There is an early highlight in the session, when Professor Drummond presents an award for contributions to European addiction research | SSA, UK

Spanish police bust drug ring suspected of faking orca attack to aid smuggling

Group allegedly transported hashish on boats from Morocco then simulated accidents and asked to be towed to Spain | Guardian, UK

Citizens’ assembly on drug use to take place this year

Mr Martin was pressed on the timetable for the citizens’ assembly, promised in the programme for government, in the Dáil yesterday by Holly Cairns, the Social Democrats TD for Cork South-West | Irish Legal News, Ireland

Charity complains that alcohol ads visible during rugby matches

Alcohol Action Ireland (AAI) has lodged a formal complaint to the HSE alleging that alcohol advertising was evident during European Rugby Champions Cup games in Ireland | Journal, Ireland

Appeal after dangerous 'animal use-only' drugs stolen in Galway

They say the drugs are primarily for animal use only and could cause death or extreme illness, if consumed by humans | RTe, Ireland

CDC proposes softer guidance on opioid prescriptions

The nation's top public health agency on Thursday proposed changing—and in some instances, softening—guidelines for U.S. doctors prescribing oxycodone and other opioid painkillers | Medical Xpress, USA

How does cannabis use affect brain health? Caution advised, more research needed

Despite the perception that marijuana is harmless, there is some scientific evidence challenging that belief, and there are many unanswered questions about its impact on brain health, according to a new American Heart Association scientific statement published today in the Association's journal Stroke | Medical Xpress, USA

Exposure to Toxicants Associated With Use and Transitions Between Cigarettes, e-Cigarettes, and No Tobacco

In this large-scale, longitudinal cohort study, transitions from cigarettes or dual use to e-cigarettes or no use were associated with reduced exposure to toxicants. Switching from exclusive cigarette use to dual use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes was not associated with a decrease in levels of toxicant biomarkers in urine | JAMA Network Open, USA

A Bird’s Eye View of the World’s Largest Cannabis Markets

North America and Europe are home to some of the world’s most famous cannabis cultures, such as California and Amsterdam. However, even in these undoubtedly successful markets, cannabis legality varies by country—and as this graphic by Tenacious Labs explores, so does its subsequent market value | Visual Capitalist, USA

Outrage at Biden Administration Caving to “Crack Pipes” Pressure

In one of the most exasperating controversies of Biden’s presidency, elected Republicans and conservative talking heads whipped up a social media firestorm this week, accusing the White House of wanting to distribute the pipes nationwide | Filter Magazine, USA

Portland, Maine, Votes to Ban the Sale of Flavored Vaping Products

On February 7, City Council members in Portland, the largest city in Maine, voted unanimously to ban the sale of flavored “tobacco products.” The amendment bars the sale of all flavored nicotine products, including vapes. It does not exempt menthol. And it explicitly prohibits flavored products that use synthetic nicotine, like Puff Bar | Filter Magazine, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Making Rehab Work Blog – what does the guidance say about access to residential treatment?

Residential treatment is a clinically recommended treatment for people with multiple treatment needs. As a treatment, it is intensive, time-effective and cost-effective. Residential treatment provides an opportunity for people with a number of treatment needs to be comprehensively assessed, supported and treated in a single coordinated treatment episode | Phoenix Futures blog, UK

The Eternal Pricing Struggle of UK Medical Cannabis Patients

Despite becoming a legal medication available on prescription in 2018, patients continue to face challenges gaining access to medical cannabis. In 2019, Drug Science’s Project Twenty21 launched with the aim of providing patients with access to affordable legal cannabis. However, a recent announcement of a 40% price increase creates concerns for patients as participants in the project voice they won’t be able to remain a part of the study due to increased costs | Talking Drugs, UK

Opinion: Cannabis Requires an Interdisciplinary Approach

I started working at Volteface just over a year ago now, during a bizarrely unprecedented time. What I would have liked to be a front-facing position in the advocacy space, suddenly had to be performed from my bedroom, in the gloom and isolation of lockdown hibernation | Volteface, UK

Crack pipes are the least interesting part of Biden’s new drug policy

I saw an example of this kind of policy firsthand when I visited one of the first legal drug consumption sites in the US, at a former needle exchange in east Harlem. I watched a man inject heroin, mixed with fentanyl, in a private booth right in front of me | Independent voices, UK

Telling Methadone Stories: Men in Ties

Time has a way of turning lived experience into memory and from then into stories that seem, by turns, improbable and fantastical (yes, kids, I used a typewriter to prepare my college research papers!). In the improbable category, one might include my attendance at the Yale School of Medicine’s conference marking the centennial of heroin, held in New Haven from September 18-20, 1998 | Points blog, USA