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Daily news - 15th February 2022

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UK news

Labour will look at ‘naming and shaming’ scheme for people convicted of buying drugs

Chair of APPG on drugs and alcohol says it would ‘do little, if anything, to reduce drug usage’ | Independent, UK

E-cigarettes: Cardiff shops sell products to underage teens

E-cigarettes and liquid were illegally sold to under-18s in a Welsh city, an undercover BBC investigation has found | BBC, UK

Islanders in Guernsey asked views on drug punishments

The government in Guernsey has asked islanders for their views on alternative punishments for illegal drug use and possession. A survey is being used to gather views on alternative approaches | BBC, UK

Drug rehab centre confirmed for former Saltcoats nursing home

The building in Canal Street, which has lain empty since the Seabank nursing home closed in 2018, will be repurposed as Scotland’s first dedicated service for families affected by a parent’s mental health, drug and alcohol problems. Addiction recovery charity, Phoenix Futures, has now acquired the site and said it is “committed to engaging with the local community” to explain how the facility will benefit the Three Towns | Androssan and Saltcoats Herald, UK

'Life saving' service for young people battling drug and alcohol addiction praised by watchdog

Stockport council-run MOSAIC is now rated ‘good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following a recent review of its performance | Manchester Evening News, UK

SDF Research with Professor Catriona Matheson Published

Vulnerability, Risk and Harm for People Who Use Drugs and Are Engaged in Transactional Sex: Learning for Service Delivery has been published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | SDF, UK

ASH/NCSCT webinar: NICE guidance and community stop smoking support - video

This joint ASH/NCSCT webinar briefs local authorities on elements of the revised NICE guidance (Tobacco: preventing uptake, promoting quitting and treating dependence [NG209]) relating to the recommended model for supporting smokers to stop, and links them to some practical tools to support implementation | ASH, UK

Parkinson’s: The controversial remedy used by 70% of patients shown to ease symptoms

Parkinson's is a neurodegenerative disease. Every year thousands of Britons are diagnosed with a condition for which there is no cure. However, there are a few treatments that can slow it down including one controversial plant-based form | Express, UK

Met Police commander accused of taking magic mushrooms

A Met Police commander has been accused of taking cannabis, LSD and magic mushrooms while on holiday in France. Cdr Julian Bennett previously wrote the force's current drug strategy | BBC, UK

Belfast Harbour: Lorry driver in court over £1.8m drugs seizure

A lorry driver has been remanded into custody on charges connected to the seizure of nearly £2m worth of drugs at Belfast Harbour | BBC, UK

Bristol driver who smuggled £800k heroin on Amsterdam trip jailed

A man who falsely claimed to be on a day trip to Dunkirk when he was picking up £800,000 worth of heroin in Amsterdam has been jailed | BBC, UK

Nottingham: WhatsApp drugs gang 'right hand man' jailed

Nottinghamshire Police said the group, which had been tracked since May 2019, used WhatsApp to organise the supply of MDMA, cocaine, ketamine and cannabis | BBC, UK

Two more £165m Derby cocaine gang members sentenced

The 21-strong gang was at one point making £400,000 a day, police said | BBC, UK


International news

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 | Independent, UK

Swiss approve tobacco ad ban long after neighbours

Swiss voters have backed a ban on tobacco advertising anywhere young people might see it | BBC, UK

Grace Tame is back in headlines for an old bong photo – what actually happened?

A 2014 photo showing Tame sitting near a bong has sparked high-profile confessions and calls for a debate about legalising cannabis | Guardian, UK

Doctors warn of emerging public health issue from recreational use of laughing gas

Doctors at one of Ireland’s largest hospitals have warned that the increasing use of nitrous oxide as a recreational drug is an emerging public health issue as it can lead to the deterioration of a user’s nervous system and spinal cord | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking: Final Report

This final report describes items involving the illegal manufacturing and trafficking of synthetic opioids, as well as the deficiencies in countering their production and distribution, and includes action items directed to appropriate executive branch agencies and congressional committees and leadership | RAND Corporation, UK

Teenage fentanyl deaths are soaring, and Black teens are hit hardest

Overdose deaths linked to synthetic opioids like fentanyl tripled among teenagers and went up five times among Black teens in the past two years, according to provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Medical Xpress, USA

'Deaths of despair' on the rise in the US: Why here and not in other nations?

The paper in question examines the National Academy of Science’s (NAS’s) report about mortality rates in the U.S. Currently, the U.S. has higher mortality rates than 16 other industrial nations | MNT, USA

Illicit amphetamine ('speed') use linked to 5-fold heightened risk of psychosis

The illicit use of amphetamines, the stimulants commonly known as 'speed', is linked to a 5-fold heightened risk of psychosis, finds a 10 year study published online in the journal Evidence-Based Mental Health | Medical Xpress, USA

Kids' poisonings rise as more parents bring pot edibles home

Edibles. In adults, they can be used recreationally or to help manage pain, nausea and anxiety. But these THC-loaded products, often sold as gummies, cookies and brownies, have fueled a four-year increase in the number of emergency calls for young children who mistakenly think they're yummy treats | Medical Xpress, USA

ASHES, Vol. 18(2) – Support for tobacco control policies among daily smokers

Tobacco control policies correspond with a reduction in smoking prevalence and tobacco-related harms. Adoption of such policies is influenced by public opinion. Lobbyists who oppose tobacco control policies often claim these policies lack public support. But do they? This week, ASHES reviews a study by Tracy T. Smith and colleagues that examined the level of support for different tobacco control policies among daily cigarette smokers in four countries | BASIS, USA

Arizona May Enact 35-Year Mandatory Minimum for “Drug Trafficking Homicide” of Kids

Akid dying of an opioid-involved overdose is a tragedy. Thankfully, it is comparatively rare, if increasing, according to an article published by JAMA Network Open at the end of 2018 | Filter Magazine, USA

As People Who Use Drugs, We Are the Safer Supply Experts—Not Physicians

Safer supply saves lives. It’s that simple. People who use and sell drugs have long known this, and academic research is catching up too—demonstrating that safer supply reduces mortality rates and improves quality of life | Filter Magazine, USA

Cocaine Deaths Linked to Opioid 100 Times More Powerful Than Fentanyl

More details are emerging in Argentina about the contaminated cocaine that killed 24 people earlier this month | VICE, USA

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

Opioid epidemic type and how naloxone is accessed have large effects on the number of naloxone kits that need to be distributed, the probability of naloxone use, and the number of deaths due to overdose averted. The extent of naloxone distribution, especially through community-based programmes and pharmacy-initiated access points, warrants substantial expansion in nearly every US state | Lancet, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

“None of them will ever get better”

“None of them will ever get better”, the addiction doctor said to me of her patients, “As soon as you accept that, this job gets easier.” | Recovery Review blog, UK

We Need To Talk About UK Office Drinking Culture

Questions about harmful workplace drinking culture in the UK seem old school – recall the big workplace drinking rethink of 2019 whereby lauded bastion of London finance booze culture, Lloyd's, banned alcohol consumption between nine and five | Refinery29, UK

The Trip Report 14/02

Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and SaferParty, we know a little more about the drugs in circulation. The report provided below is a summary of their findings over the last week | Cameron Scally, UK

I’m an addiction researcher and therapist. Here’s why promoting sober ‘dry months’ bothers me

Campaigns that challenge people to abstain from alcohol for one month — often in support of a good cause — have emerged across the globe over the past decade. Dry January officially launched in 2013 with a public health campaign by British charity Alcohol Change | Conversation, Canada

Where Grief Meets Rage

Thousands in BC have died of toxic drugs since 2016, including my brother. When will this nightmare end? | The Tyee opinion, Canada

Opioids ease osteoarthritis pain only slightly. Their deadly risks need to be weighed against any benefit

Osteoarthritis is one of the leading causes of disability, affecting more than 500 million people globally.Most doctors encourage physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight and short-term use of a simple painkiller like paracetamol to manage the pain | Conversation, Australia