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Daily news - 16th February 2022

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UK news

Asymmetry in Psychoactive Research: A Bibliometric Study on 15 Psychoactive Drugs

[Open access] Although intended to avoid illicit drug use, national laws and international conventions have limited research on psychoactive drugs. To characterise the evolution of the literature on psychoactive drugs, a bibliometric study of 15 psychoactive drugs from 1960 to 2018 was conducted in which 956,703 academic publications were obtained from Web of Science | Journal of Drug Issues, UK

Manufacturing doubt: Assessing the effects of independent vs industry-sponsored messaging about the harms of fossil fuels, smoking, alcohol, and sugar sweetened beverages

[Open access] Manufacturers of harmful products engage in misinformation tactics long employed by the tobacco industry to emphasize uncertainty about scientific evidence and deflect negative attention from their products. This study assessed the effects of one type of tactic, the use of “alternative causation” arguments, on public understanding | SSM Population Health, UK

MEAM welcomes support for the MEAM Approach Network

The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded a grant of £1.1m to support the MEAM Approach network over the next two years and help shape a nationwide legacy for work on tackling multiple disadvantage | MEAM, UK

Darren Brown: Man died in police custody 'due to drugs'

A man died in police custody because his heart stopped due to a combination of drugs, an inquest has heard | BBC, UK

Telford woman's death was 'drug related', says coroner

A woman, whose death was initially treated as murder, died of drug intoxication, a coroner said | BBC, UK

Operation Venetic: London drug supply ‘fixer’ jailed

An Albanian drug supplier who arranged cocaine deals within the UK worth almost £1.4 million has been jailed for 10 years | NCA, UK

Men jailed after £10m cocaine found in Belgian waffle lorry

Four members of a serious organised crime group have been jailed after £10m of cocaine was found during a raid in Renfrewshire | BBC, UK


International news

International Women’s Day Online Conference, Harm Reduction for women who use drugs

Mar 8, 2022 01:30 PM in London. Women who use drugs face multiple barriers to accessing harm reduction services including stigma, gender-based violence, criminalisation, the experiences of selling and exchanging sex, sexual and reproduction health, and safe housing. Ultimately, there is a lack of gender specific information, resources and services for women who use drugs | SDF, UK

Singapore: Stop resumption of hangings after two years of no executions

Following more than two years of no executions in 2020 and 2021, it is appalling that the Singapore government is planning to resume this cruel practice imminently. Executing individuals who have been sentenced for drug related offences and to the mandatory death penalty is in breach of restrictions under international law | Amnesty International, UK

Juan Orlando Hernández: Police arrest Honduran ex-leader on drugs charges

Honduran ex-President Juan Orlando Hernández has been arrested on drugs charges | BBC, UK

Flavour ban on e-cigarettes could damage anti-smoking drive, Oireachtas health committee told

A flavour ban on e-cigarettes could damage tobacco harm reduction and consumer choice, the Oireachtas health committee was told today | Independent, Ireland

Vaping industry open to raising legal age for e-cigarettes 

The vaping industry has “no problem” with the minimum age for buying e-cigarettes being raised to 21, the Oireachtas health committee has heard | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Strategies to expand corporate autonomy by the tobacco, alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverage industry: a scoping review of reviews

Noncommunicable diseases contribute to over 70% of global deaths each year. Efforts to address this epidemic are complicated by the presence of powerful corporate actors. Despite this, few attempts have been made to synthesize existing evidence of the strategies used to advance corporate interests across industries. Given this, our study seeks to answer the questions: 1) Is there an emergent taxonomy of strategies used by the tobacco, alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) industries to expand corporate autonomy? 2) How are these strategies similar and how are they different? | Globalisation and health, USA

The Tobacco Giant That Won't Stop Funding Anti-Smoking Programs for Kids

Tobacco giant Altria, which owns the maker of Marlboro cigarettes and a stake in vaping company Juul Labs, has for years quietly funded substance-use-prevention training for middle and high school students, despite ample research suggesting that industry-sponsored school programs do not discourage teenagers from smoking—and may in fact do the opposite | TIME, USA

Q&A: How addictions have been affected by COVID-19, good and bad

In addition to the public health crisis that is the COVID-19 pandemic, the turmoil of the past two years has caused widespread challenges to mental health and well-being. The picture of its long-term consequences—including the effects on substance use and addiction—is still developing, and can be cloudy at best | Medical Xpress, USA

Investigating the ‘skunk’ smell and other emissions caused by cannabis

What exactly causes that ‘skunky’ odour emitted by cannabis production facilities, and what do these emissions mean for air quality, workers, and the general public? | EurekAlert, USA

Psilocybin treatment for major depression effective for up to a year for most patients, study shows

Previous studies by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers showed that psychedelic treatment with psilocybin relieved major depressive disorder symptoms in adults for up to a month. Now, in a follow-up study of those participants, the researchers report that the substantial antidepressant effects of psilocybin-assisted therapy, given with supportive psychotherapy, may last at least a year for some patients | Medical Xpress, USA

Prisoner Who Sued for Access to OUD Meds Is in Solitary as “Retaliation”

The man at the center of a pivotal legal battle over access to methadone while incarcerated has been held in continuous solitary confinement for more than five months, in what the New York Civil Liberties Union alleges is retaliation for taking legal action | Filter Magazine, USA

If the Government Wants Harm Reduction, It Must Resist the Backlash

In what can only be described as racist dog whistles, conservatives recently accused the Biden administration of spending millions on glass pipes to be distributed to people who smoke stimulant drugs | Filter Magazine, USA

What is safe supply? A look at what B.C. drug users, advocates are demanding

Postmedia spoke with experts to talk about safe supply and what could be on the horizon | Vancouver Sun, Canada

The Long, Tragic Road to a Killing on a Summer Night

Donaghy was a popular peer worker, and his death brought an outpouring of emotion from people who knew him and calls for improved safety for people working at overdose prevention sites | The Tyee, Canada

Participants needed: People with a lived experience of problem alcohol or other drug us e (PDF)

We are inviting people with lived experience of problem alcohol or other drug use to complete online surveys | University of Melbourne et al, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

We're in danger of missing the target for a smoke-free Britain

2022 is a crucial year for health policy in the UK. As we look to put covid behind us, the attention of health chiefs turns to battling against the backlogs of rearranged operations, whilst Ministers debate what measures can be undertaken to keep the nation healthier and less in need of a hospital bed | Express comment, UK

Naming and shaming drug users is focus group fodder – Labour must do better

A Labour government would “absolutely look” at a scheme “naming and shaming” those convicted of buying illegal drugs, new Shadow Justice Secretary Steve Reed has told The Mirror | Labour list, UK

How Drug Policy and Policing Harm Children in Rio de Janeiro

A new report by the Centre for Security and Citizenship Studies (CESeC, in Portuguese) shows that 1154 primary schools in Rio de Janeiro were affected by shootouts during police operations that targeted drug dealers in 2019. All of these schools are located in destituted areas of the city, where the state only marks its presence in the form of police and armed forces | Talking drugs, UK

Poacher Turned Gamekeeper: Why We Must Recruit Drug Dealers into Legal Markets

Illicit market operators are perfect candidates to recruit into recreational cannabis markets, representing an opportunity to place social justice at the core of the industry | Volteface, UK

What I learned about addiction from a Czech crystal meth cook

The rural back yards of the Czech Republic hide Europe’s biggest methamphetamine problem. Users like Lenka have a complex story to tell | Guardian, UK

“I envision the methadone clinic as we now know it disappearing”: The promises and failures of methadone and LAAM

I’ve watched Methadone: An American Way of Dealing five times now. Each time, I’m taken aback by how skillfully directors Julia Reichert and James Klein present this moment—a period of peak tension in the addiction treatment community | Points blog, USA