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Daily news - 13th January 2022

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Regulating Right, Repairing Wrongs: Exploring Equity and Social Justice Initiatives within UK Cannabis Reform

This report proposes 14 guiding social equity principles which should be integrated in the UK’s future legally regulated cannabis market. This paper builds on Release’s national research on the disproportionate policing of ethnic minority individuals and other disadvantaged groups, and evaluates regulatory frameworks emerging in North America and beyond. It outlines an evidence-based roadmap to prioritise and protect those most vulnerable to the harms of prohibition in legal recreational markets, while still ensuring the benefits of cannabis legalisation and regulation for all | Release, UK

The regulation of e-cigarettes

The new European Union Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) entered into force on 19 May 2014. It introduced new regulatory controls on electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes)... The UK Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016implemented the TPD in full. This Commons Library Briefing Paper outlines the new product requirements for e-cigarettes and identifies where national regulations have gone beyond what is in the TPD | House of Commons Library, UK

Drug deaths chief resigned over 'rushed job'

The head of a Scotland's drug deaths taskforce resigned because she was not prepared to do a "rushed job" on the final report, she has told the BBC | BBC, UK

Drink Spiking Committee - video

Coverage of the Home Affairs select committee session on the spiking of drinks at pubs and nightclubs | BBC, UK

A tribute to David Stuart

We are shocked and saddened to learn that David Stuart has died suddenly. David was a chemsex activist and former colleague with us at London Friend in our Antidote team | London Friend, UK

Online video support sessions

Peter Cartwright, in collaboration with Adfam, has produced a series of online support video sessions for families affected by a loved one's substance use | Adfam, UK

Are young people in Wales turning their backs on alcohol?

Four young people in Wales have spoken out about their decision to stay sober as a recent study shows more and more people in their age group are cutting back on alcohol | ITV, UK

The alcohol-free 'off-licence' helping with Dry January - video

Laura Willoughby MBE gave up drinking 10 years ago because she felt it would take her to a dangerous place and it was affecting her mental health | BBC, UK

Prisons: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 5 January 2021 to Question 94398 on Prisons: Drugs, whether he will publish data on the weights of drug finds by individual type of (a) Class A, (b) Class B and (c) Class C drug | They work for you, UK

Children being able to buy e-cigarettes 'consequence of Assembly collapse'

Under 18s will not be able to buy e-cigarettes from the beginning of February | Belfast Live, UK

Drink and drug addicts offered £2.7m rehab lifeline

More than 2,700 people, almost two thirds of them male, received treatment for drink and drug problems in the most recent financial year – to the end of March 2021. The vast majority – 2,587 of them – were treated in the community while 35 attended in-patient detox treatment | Brighton and Hove News, UK

HCV Action Webinar: Hepatitis C services in Wales

January 18, 3pm. This webinar will explore hepatitis C services in Wales, with talks on BBV services, peer-to-peer support, drug services, and treatment for children and young people. We will be joined by expert speakers from the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, The Hepatitis C Trust, and the Welsh Government, followed by a Q&A session with speakers | HCV Action, UK

Drug and Mental Health: Youth RISE Webinar

Fri, January 21, 2022, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM GMT. Come to our webinar on 'Drugs and Mental Health' - an important topic for all people who use drugs, including young people who use drugs | YOUTH Rise, UK

Building the case for peer support: an Evaluation Stories webinar with East Renfrewshire Health & Social Care Partnership

9 February 2022. In this webinar we will focus on the use of OutNav for the evaluation of peer support approaches in health and social care, where people with lived experience of mental health issues or addictions are trained and employed to support others in recovery | Matter of Focus, UK

Encrochat: Salford drugs barons jailed over £1m conspiracy

Two gangsters who "flooded" Greater Manchester with "ruinous drugs" have been jailed after police took down a secret crime communications network | BBC, UK


International news

Do cannabis plants prevent Covid infection? New research suggests they could

A non-psychoactive compound found in live cannabis plants could help sabotage the spike protein on coronaviruses, scientists have found | Independent, UK

Severity of anabolic steroid dependence, executive function, and personality traits in substance use disorder patients in Norway

[Open access] Our findings indicate that specific executive dysfunctions and personality features, particularly those associated with poor emotional control, reduced empathy, and impulsivity are associated with more severe Anabolic androgenic steroids dependence in the substance use disorder population | DAD, UK

South Africa's 'King Khoisan' arrested over cannabis plants at president's office

South African police have uprooted several cannabis plants growing near President Cyril Ramaphosa's office in Pretoria | BBC, UK

Expert nursing group removed from National Drugs Strategy

An expert nursing body that had been due to help oversee the implementation of the latest National Drugs Strategy has hit out at Frank Feighan, the minister in charge, saying it feels a "deep sense of insult and sadness" over how it was removed from the process | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Commission proposes stronger mandate for EU Drugs Agency as illicit market proliferates

The Commission is proposing today to strengthen the mandate of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, transforming it into the European Union Drugs Agency. The proposed changes will ensure that the agency can play a more important role in identifying and addressing current and future challenges related to illicit drugs in the EU | Europa, Belgium

Statement from SAMHSA Leader on FDA’s Drug Safety Alert on Buprenorphine and Risk for Tooth Decay

SAMHSA supports the FDA’s recommendations that simple steps can help reduce the risk of tooth decay in people taking buprenorphine. This includes swishing with water after allowing sublingual and buccal formulations of buprenorphine to completely dissolve and brushing teeth one hour after taking the medication... | SAMHSA, USA

That Cloud of Smoke Is Not a Mirage

[Free registration maybe required] Cigarettes, once shunned, have made a comeback with a younger crowd who knows better | NYTimes, USA

Substance Use and Overdose in Public Libraries: Results from a Five-State Survey in the US

[Open access] In the U.S., overdoses have become a health crisis in both public and private places. We describe the impact of the overdose crisis in public libraries across five U.S. states, and the front-line response of public library workers | Journal of Community Health, USA

Binge drinking linked to first episodes of heart rhythm disorder

New Year's Day, Super Bowl Sunday and other days when more people consume more alcohol are also associated with more emergency room visits for atrial fibrillation, an often-deadly heart rhythm disorder, reported a new study led by UC San Francisco | Medical Xpress, USA

Largest study to date on delta-8-THC finds users say it's delta-9's 'nicer younger sibling'

First-of-its-kind research involving industry partner comes at a time when many states are restricting delta-8-THC while legalizing the more potent delta-9 | EurekAlert, USA

Peer pressure: The influence of social network on adolescent smoking

Early smoking initiation can lead to nicotine dependence and lung injury. Peer social networks influence adolescent health behavior choices, including smoking behaviors. This week, ASHES reviews a study by Georges E. Khalil and colleagues that examined the relationship between social network positions and smoking among teens in Scotland | BASIS, USA

Ten Underlying Reasons Behind Opposition to Vaping

For decades, tobacco control and public health organizations have sought to stigmatize tobacco, nicotine, smoking and smokers. The invention of vaping, a far safer nicotine alternative which looks like smoking, is a threat to their strongly-held views and the traditional approach | Filter Magazine, USA

Compulsory Treatment and Rehabilitation in East and Southeast Asia

Consisting of three booklets, this report documents progress and case examples pertaining to the transition from compulsory facilities for people who use drugs towards voluntary community-based treatment and complementary health, harm reduction and social support services in Asia-Pacific | UNAIDS, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Should e-cigarettes be licensed as medicines?

As the UK announces support for medicinal licensing of e-cigarettes, Nicholas S Hopkinson argues that this will give doctors another means to help smokers quit. But Jørgen VestboAndrew Bush, and Jonathan Grigg say that its benefit is unproved and that harms are likely | BMJ Head to Head, UK

If you’re struggling with Dry January, it might be a sign of a bigger problem

If I’d known about the brutal reality of alcoholism sooner, I probably would have managed to embrace recovery earlier too | Independent voices, UK

How to use reagents

In short, testkits allow you to do a little bit of kitchen science and identify what it is that you have in your stash. You can identify substitutions and some adulterations by comparing colour changes that result when you mix them up with the reagents | Drugs and Me blog, UK

New Year’s Resolutions from our Employment Services Directorate

Forward's Employment Service Director Asi Panditharatna looks at what we've achieved over the last year and goals for 2022 | Foward Trust blog, UK

What Are We Doing Once We Keep People Alive?

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to testify in front of the PA Senate Judiciary Committee in favor of legalizing Fentanyl Test Strips. One of the other testifiers, talked about the role of harm reduction in his own recovery process. Harm reduction was life saving for him | Recovery Review blog, USA

Reducing the harm in San Francisco's harm reduction program

“Leaving people untreated is murder.” That’s how celebrity doctor and addiction expert Drew Pinksy talks about homelessness in California. If you turn in any direction on a Bay Area street, you’ll see what Pinsky sees — a human tragedy compounded by substance abuse and mental health issues | The Hill opinion, USA