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Daily news - 25th February 2022

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UK news

Alcohol addiction: Trying to go sober without any funding

Organisations which provide treatment say their funding has not kept up with demand and has been slashed nationally over the last five years | BBC, UK

Open consultation: Provider Selection Regime: supplementary consultation on the detail of proposals for regulations

The proposed Provider Selection Regime will be a new set of rules replacing the existing procurement rules for arranging healthcare services in England. The proposed rules will be introduced by regulations made under the Health and Care Bill. This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 28 March 2022 | DHSC, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to page 112 of the Levelling Up in the United Kingdom White Paper, how much and what proportion of the total £100 million investment in Project ADDER (Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery) has been allocated to Newcastle | They work or you, UK

Medical Cannabis (Guidelines on Prescriptions Sent by Post)

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will work with Police Scotland to provide clear guidelines on legal medical cannabis prescriptions sent to patients by post via Royal Mail | They work for you, UK

Generation medication: how London got addicted to prescriptions

Post-pandemic London has been left in the grip of a great anti-depression, with prescription drugs readily available on the streets and social media. Martin Robinson gets inside our city’s prescription addiction | Evening Standard, UK

Phoenix Futures Saltcoats: Drug charity explain their plans for centre

THE charity behind plans to bring a national drug rehab centre to Saltcoats has this week shed more light on how the facility will benefit the Three Towns and beyond | Androssan and Saltcoats Herald, UK

'£15 million saved' as police offer Black Country drug addicts help instead of jail

Drug addicts caught with cannabis and Class A drugs by police in the Black Country are being offered help instead of being arrested in a policy said to be saving police millions | Express and Star, UK

'Incredible' student, 20, died after taking MDMA and ketamine at Warehouse Project

James Diss fell ill immediately after taking the drugs, an inquest heard | Manchester Evening News, UK

Warrington woman, 108, hails red wine as secret to long life

A woman celebrating her 108th birthday has said a daily glass of red wine is the secret to her long life | BBC, UK

Isle of Man drug dealer's sentence cut due to pregnancy

A woman who was sent to prison for dealing cocaine has had her sentence cut by seven months on appeal after it emerged she was pregnant when jailed | BBC, UK

Stop and swab by police

On 2 January 2022 at 5 pm the Twitter account @MetPoliceUk tweeted a film of Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers stopping and swabbing people for drugs on a night out in Shoreditch. The tweet drew so much attention that 24 hours later an explanation was issued to answer the many questions it prompted around the legality and purpose of the exercise | They work for you, UK


International news

Impact of introducing a minimum alcohol tax share in retail prices on alcohol-attributable mortality in the WHO European Region: A modelling study

Alcohol use and its burden constitute one of the largest public health challenges in the WHO European Region. Raising alcohol taxes is a cost-effective “best buy” measure to reduce alcohol consumption, but its implementation remains uneven. This paper provides an overview of existing tax structures in 50 countries and subregions of the Region, estimates their proportions of tax on retail prices of beer, wine, and spirits, and quantifies the number of deaths that could be averted annually if these tax shares were raised to a minimum level | Lancet, UK

New WHO signature initiative shows raising alcohol taxes could save 130 000 lives per year

Alcohol taxation is one of the most cost-effective policies for lowering drinking levels and attributable harm. To enhance the untapped power of health taxes, the WHO Regional Director for Europe’s Advisory Council on Innovation and Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD Advisory Council) has proposed a new signature initiative on taxation for countries to consider in their fiscal policies | WHO, Denmark

Over 1.6 million units of illegal medicines detained by HPRA

The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) today stated that the volume of detained illegal medicines in 2021 remained at a near record high, with its enforcement section detaining 1,604,589 million dosage units of falsified and other illegal products in 2021 | HPRA, Ireland

'Cocaine supermarket' in Limerick continues to operate despite garda raids

The house where the drugs are said to be prepared and sold has been reinforced to make entry to the house more difficult | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Celebrating Women in Recovery on International Women's Day

Tue, 8 March 2022, 14:00 – 16:30 GMT. Celebrating women in recovery on International Women's Day. Please join us for refreshments and some very interesting conversations | Trinity College, Ireland

Risk of Opioid Overdose Associated With Concomitant Use of Oxycodone and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

In this cohort study of more than 2 million US adults, use of SSRIs that are potent inhibitors of oxycodone metabolism at the time of oxycodone therapy initiation was associated with a small but significantly higher risk of opioid overdose compared with the use of other, noninhibiting SSRIs | JAMA Network Open, USA

Secret pacts between tobacco companies and retailers are a bad bargain for public health

Tobacco companies handsomely incentivize retailers around the world to follow harsh requirements related to selling and marketing tobacco products through contracts that fly under the radar of both consumers and policymakers | Medical Xpress, USA

Refelonizing Fentanyl After Tragedy Will Worsen Colorado’s Overdose Crisis

The political response to a tragedy in Colorado threatens incremental drug policy progress in the state. On February 20, five people in an apartment in Commerce City died of apparent drug overdose. Police are linking their deaths to fentanyl—but that’s not an established fact, as no autopsy or toxicology reports are yet available | Filter Magazine, USA

San Francisco Hospital Program Offers Harm Reduction to Patients

In some hospitals in the United States, doctors will send people home with prescriptions for opioid use disorder medications like methadone and buprenorphine after they are discharged | Filter Magazine, USA



Blogs, comment and opinion

Lessons learnt as addictions researchers during a global pandemic

Dr Basak Tas, Dr Amir Englund and Dr Stephen Sharman are all researchers in the Centre for Addiction Research, King’s College London. Recently they published an article where they discussed the challenges and advantages that the pandemic has brought through the shift to more remote research. In this blog they summarise their conclusions | NIHR blog, UK

Want To Put An End To Human Trafficking? Reform Drug Policy

There are unimaginable amounts of money to be made through covertly manufacturing and transporting drugs. When that takes place in the shadows, outside civilised society and free of law and order, it inevitably results in brutality and tragedy | Volteface, UK