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Daily news - 14th February 2022

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UK news

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

GPs issue 10,000 prescriptions per day for banned drugs

[Limited number of free articles per week] Almost £70million a year is being spent on medicines deemed 'potentially harmful' including deadly painkillers and unproven herbal remedies | Telegraph, UK

Drugs campaigner spearheads private bid to run authorised Overdose Prevention Centres in Scotland

Service provider Cranstoun claims Glasgow and Dundee could benefit - with facilities laid on faster and cheaper that NHS | Daily Record, UK

Regional healthcare services for homeless people to be rolled out across NI

Its aim is to help vulnerable people who are homeless, and who often slip through the gaps when it comes to healthcare | BBC, UK

Medicinal cannabis users turn to illicit markets over expensive prescriptions - and fear they face arrest

Use of the Class B drug for health purposes was legalised in 2018, but thousands of people are struggling to access it | Sky News, UK

Alcoholism: Rehabilitation

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will hold a consultation with (a) hon. Members and (b) Directors of Public Health on local approaches, initiatives and challenges for alcohol dependency, prevention and treatment | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Minimum Prices

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to monitor the (a) health and (b) other impacts of minimum unit alcohol pricing in Wales | They work for you, UK

London Drugs Commission

How do you square your plans for a London Drugs Commission with the comments of the London MP for Holborn and St Pancras? | They work for you, UK

What gambling firms don’t want you to know – and how they keep you hooked

From brain hacks to dark nudges and near misses – betting companies employ an arsenal of clever tricks to tempt punters into spending more money. Here’s how … | Guardian, UK

Police: Steroid Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police officers have been disciplined for (a) possessing and (b) failing a drugs test for anabolic steroids by police force in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement | They work for you, UK

Cumbria Police say county line gangs cut from 30 to three

Cumbria Police say investigations in the past year have seen 200 arrests and millions of pounds worth of drugs seized | BBC, UK

Belfast Harbour: Two arrests over £1.8m drugs raid

A 36-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman have been arrested on suspicion of possession of Class A and B controlled drugs with intent to supply | BBC, UK

Charges after police raids in Chesterfield and Sheffield

Derbyshire Police said cocaine and cannabis as well as designer items were found at addresses in Chesterfield and Sheffield | BBC, UK



International news

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

Teenager addicted to vaping on life support ‘toxic’ e-cigarette chemical damages lungs

According to Ms Roberts, x-ray images revealed that years of non-stop vaping had damaged her lungs, in addition to an adverse reaction to a “fake” disposable e-cigarette containing a “toxic chemical” resulting in pneumonia | Independent, UK

Flamur Beqiri: Swedish hitman guilty of doorstep murder

Flamur Beqiri, 36, was shot in the back of the head on the doorstep of his home in Battersea, south-west London, in front of his wife and toddler on Christmas Eve 2019 | BBC, UK

Guinea-Bissau's mystery deepens over drug-trafficking coup plot

At the beginning of the month, it looked like Guinea-Bissau was about to fall victim to what has been called West Africa's coup epidemic, but some are now doubting the official version of events | BBC, UK

The Mediating Roles of Mental Health and Substance Use on Suicidal Behavior Among Undergraduate Students With ADHD

The prevalence of suicide behaviors and NSSI were significantly higher among students with ADHD than those without. Mediation analyses indicated that ADHD directly and indirectly increased suicidal behaviors and NSSI. While ADHD increased suicidal behaviors and NSSI through depression, ADHD and the co-variates age and gender also had indirect effects on suicidal behaviors via substance use | Journal of Attention Disorders, Ireland

Researchers make non-alcoholic beer taste like regular beer

Finally, researchers have found a way to brew non-alcoholic beer that tastes just like regular beer. Even more, the method is far more sustainable than the existing brewing techniques. “It’s a game changer for non-alcoholic beer,” states researcher behind the new method | University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Germany's drugs czar wants higher age limits for alcohol

The German government's drugs czar has proposed raising the legal age when people can buy beer and wine from 16 to 18, and cracking down on alcohol and tobacco advertising | Medical Xpress, USA

Estimating naloxone need in the USA across fentanyl, heroin, and prescription opioid epidemics: a modelling study

The US overdose crisis is driven by fentanyl, heroin, and prescription opioids. One evidence-based policy response has been to broaden naloxone distribution, but how much naloxone a community would need to reduce the incidence of fatal overdose is unclear. We aimed to estimate state-level US naloxone need in 2017 across three main naloxone access points (community-based programmes, provider prescription, and pharmacy-initiated distribution) and by dominant opioid epidemic type (fentanyl, heroin, and prescription opioid) | Lancet, 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

Complicating the opioid epidemic: The many faces of fentanyl

While COVID has ruled the headlines for two years running, a different epidemic is claiming the lives of more than 100,000 Americans every year | Medical Xpress, USA

HIV incidence rising steeply among people who inject drugs in Tijuana

At the February 11, 2022 opening of the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infection, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine presented data that suggests a new HIV outbreak in Tijuana, Mexico, driven in part by "drug tourism," remains unabated by the closure of the international border due to the COVID-19 pandemic | Medical Xpress, USA

Washington State’s $125 Million Drug War Restitution Plan Is Only a Start

Washington Governor Jay Inslee (D) wants to invest $125 million each year, funded by cannabis tax revenue, into communities most targeted by the drug war. It’s an official recognition of the harms of decades of anti-drug enforcement. But how and where the money is spent will make all the difference. And prohibition of most drugs remains intact, for now | Filter Magazine, USA

‘The stigma holds you back’: Public mood shifts on illegal drugs

[Free registration may be required] Rebecca has seen and lived the dark side of drug addiction. She grew up in a violent home with a stepmother who was a heavy cannabis user | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

More than $2 million worth of vapes seized in state health crackdown

[Free registration may be required] Tens of thousands of nicotine vapes illegally being sold to children have been seized by state health authorities over the past 18 months as doctors raise concerns about rising uptake among school students | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Arresting Michael K Williams’ alleged drug dealers won’t solve the US addiction crisis

As a country we refuse to pursue policy reforms that might have saved the beloved actor and the many thousands of others who are dying of overdoses | Guardian opinion, UK

A Public Health Approach To Problem Gambling

Problem gambling has many negative consequences, such as poor mental health, increased rates of crime and reoffending, and other addiction issues | Russell Webster blog, UK

Interview with John Winslow – Founder of International Recovery Day

I have known JohnWinslow for the better part of twenty years. I kept running into him in DC and in my travels around the country. He is a person in long term recovery for over 46 years, and he has been in the field of helping people recovery for the vast majority of those years | Recovery Review blog, USA

'You don't deserve to live like this': 4 things a recovered drug addict says policymakers are doing wrong

"For those who currently use drugs, to their families and communities who care for them and spend sleepless nights worrying for them, I say I'm sorry. You don't deserve to live like this." | CTV News opinion, Canada