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Daily news - 7th January 2022

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UK news

Naloxone: Prisoners' Release

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of issuing guidance to ensure that offenders with a history of opiate use are issued with Naloxone prior to release from prison | They work for You, UK

Prisons: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish a breakdown of drug incidents in prison since 2010 by (a) drug type and (b) overall weight substances | They work for You, UK

Hundreds of babies born addicted to drugs and alcohol

A total of 173 such births were recorded in both 2019-20 and 2020-21, down from 205 in 2018-19 and 249 in 2017-18 | Independent, UK

One in three UK drinkers now regularly choose low or no alcohol products

Almost one in three (32%) UK drinkers now ‘semi-regularly’* consume low and no alcohol products compared to one in four (25%) in 2020. Furthermore, a fifth (20%) of those who have tried low and no alcohol say they are more likely to drink these products now compared to a year ago, almost double the number saying this in last year’s survey (11%) | Portman Group, UK

Has minimum unit pricing had the desired effect in Scotland since it was introduced? - audio

With the introduction of minimum unit pricing still the source of much debate, we hear from Scotland, where the policy has been in place since 2018. Alison Douglas, Chief Executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland spoke to Jonathan on the show | Newstalk, UK

Collective Voice Webinar: Lived Experience, Treatment and Recovery - video

Our latest webinar held on 13 December 2021 hosted a panel of experts to discuss the question: How can we all support the full range of lived experience leadership and expertise to thrive in the treatment and recovery system? | Collective Voice, UK

An Analysis of Creative Citizens Project

In Cahootz is an arts company based in Glasgow. We have always used the arts to engage marginalised people who don't feel included in society or experience stigma. Creative Citizens is our project that works with marginalised adults in Glasgow, specifically adults in recovery from addiction | Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce, UK

Jersey rules on cannabis growing too weak says panel

Scrutiny politicians say the rules governing Jersey's emerging medicinal cannabis industry are too weak. A panel said it was "extremely concerning" the island did not have specific regulations for the sector | BBC, UK

Volteface Spotlight on Women in medical cannabis: Interview with Dr Mala Mawkin

We have the delight of meeting Dr. Mala Mawkin, Head of Market Development at Leva Clinic and founder of the Women in medical cannabis leadership network | Volteface, UK

The hidden garden at the back of Cabot Circus helping people put down roots

'When people come here, they really blossom' | Bristol Post, UK

Marketing and Consumption of No and Low Alcohol Drinks in the UK

Thu, 27 January 2022, 10:00 – 11:00 GMT. Join us for the launch of a new report that looks at No and Low Alcohol (NoLo) products in the UK | IAS, UK

Alcohol Occasionals 2022 – Call for proposal submissions

Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) and the Scottish Alcohol Research Network (SARN) invite researchers to submit their research proposals for the 2022 Alcohol Occasionals series | SHAAP, UK

Project Twenty21 in 2022: A Message for Patients

Thanks to your involvement in our study, and to the thousands of patients enrolled, you have helped us raise awareness of medical cannabis and the issues hampering patient access | Drug Science, UK

Shoreham man James Beeby jailed over cocaine cutting agent supply

A man has been jailed for running an operation supplying materials to create cocaine worth up to £20m | BBC, UK



International news

Russia orders health and drug checks for foreigners

Anyone staying for over 90 days will be checked for sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis and drug use | BBC, UK

The women filling jails in Argentina for drug offences – a photo essay

Nearly half the female prisoners in Argentina are serving time for drug possession. Photographer Magalí Druscovich visited the Unit 47 prison in Buenos Aires to find out their stories | Guardian, UK

Opioid and analgesic utilization in Ireland in 2000 and 2015: A repeated cross-sectional study

In recent decades, opioid use has increased internationally and is a major public health concern. This study aims to characterize changes in opioid and other analgesic prescribing in Ireland over a 15-year period (2000–2015) | BPS, Ireland

Ditching cigarettes for smokeless tobacco can help cut cardiovascular risks, study finds

Regular smokers are at heightened risk of developing cardiovascular disease, but crushing the butts in favor of a “smokeless” alternative like chewing tobacco, snuff or tobacco lozenges may go a long way toward bringing the danger down to a more normal level, a new UCLA-led study shows | EurekAlert, USA

Feds Announce Funds For Drug Harm Reduction Studies, Including On Decriminalization And Safe Consumption Sites

A top federal health agency is seeking to promote studies into the efficacy of a variety of harm reduction policies—including decriminalization and safe consumption sites—as part of a push to combat the overdose epidemic | Marijuana Moment, USA

NYC Vending Machines to Distribute Free Naloxone and Other Supplies

Before the end of 2022, New York City residents should be able to access naloxone, sterile syringes and other harm reduction supplies from a handful of public vending machines—for free. It’s a new approach from the city, where drug overdoses are continuing to rise, especially for Black residents | Filter Magazine, USA

New York Prisons Punished 1,600 People for False Drug Test Results

On January 5, New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang released a report that showed more than 1,600 incarcerated people were penalized after receiving false positives from faulty drug tests | Filter Magazine, USA

Beyond The Treatment Center: Investing In Long-Term Addiction Recovery

Sitting in an AA meeting in 2017, Sharon Ewer was in a dark place. Despite long term sobriety, Ewer did not feel healthy, physically or emotionally. “As a mom, and just as a person, I was struggling. I was overwhelmed by stress and I weighed over 300 pounds,” said Ewer. “I was sitting there at a table in an AA meeting, feeling mortified, and Ian came up to me and said hi.” | Forbes, USA

UBC study reveals link between medically prescribed opioids and injection drug use

Patients receiving chronic prescription opioid treatments for non-cancer pain are about eight times more likely to start injection drug use, according to a new study from researchers at the UBC Faculty of Medicine and BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) | University of British Colombia, Canada

$14.8 million for innovative mental health clinical trials

...there is growing evidence that substances such as psilocybin, and 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and cannabidiol (CBD) when used in a controlled environment and supported by psychological/ psychiatric care, may help treat mental illness that has not responded to other treatments | Department of Health, Australia

85 people arrested at Sydney’s Field Day festival as cops crack down on drugs

Several people have been arrested at a popular New Year’s event as cops cracked down hard on illegal drug possession | news.com.au, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Making The New Drug Strategy Work

This is the fifth and final in a short series of posts looking into the detail of the new drug strategy published last month and which I summarised here. We have already looked in some detail at the main objectives of the strategy: cutting drug-related crime; building back our treatment system; and reducing the demand for drugs. This post looks at what the strategy has to say about how these objectives will be achieved | Russell Webster blog, UK

Fulfilling the ambitions of the drug strategy by supporting families

The Government’s Drug Strategy presents an exciting opportunity to reinvigorate the drug treatment and recovery system across the UK, boosting its capacity and capability to support society’s most vulnerable by injecting much needed investment, whilst carrying out the recommendations from Dame Carol Black’s Review of Drugs | Adfam blog, UK

‘A Total Waste of Police Time’ - Labour Rows Over Drugs Policy as Cannabis Offences Surge

New data shows a mounting drugs problem in England and Wales, while Labour and the Conservatives remain committed to status quo solutions, reports John Lubbock | Byline Times, UK

Labour’s values of security, prosperity and respect must apply to drug policy

During his Q&A with journalists on Tuesday, Starmer was asked about the London mayor’s proposed plans. Disappointingly, he doubled down on his prohibitionist stance regarding drug laws and their enforcement, saying: “I’m not in favour of us changing the law or decriminalisation. I’m very clear about that.” | Labour List, UK

Five ways to keep your #NewHappyHour on track

No matter what your reasons are for reducing or abstaining from alcohol, and finding your #NewHappyHour, Dry January offers lots of benefits including better sleep, increased energy, and decreased anxiety | NHS APA blog, UK

The debt I owe to cannabis

Through my father’s small-time drug dealing, marijuana funded my education | Spectator, UK