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Daily news - 18th January 2022

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UK news

Scoping project: A peer-based needle exchange service in London (PDF)

With 43% of people who inject drugs reporting sharing needles or other unclean works in 2020, the overall level of hepatitis C transmission changing little in recent years, and infections amongst people who inject drugs increasing, there's a need for renewed investment and innovation in harm reduction services.... This report explores the feasibility, acceptability, and practical considerations of developing a peer-based needle exchange service. It draws on focus groups with people who use needle exchange services and peer support workers, interviews with experts from services and commissioning bodies, and international evidence | LJWG, UK

Sajid Javid plots vaping revolution to help poor live longer

[Free one month trial available] England will become the first country in the world to prescribe e-cigarettes on the NHS to help smokers quit as part of plans to increase life expectancy for the poorest | Sunday Times, UK

It’s time to quit our lockdown love of alcohol

[Free one month trial available] In lockdown there was a saying doing the rounds, that you will emerge from lockdown either “a chunk, a hunk or a drunk”. The chunks and the hunks have been mostly melted away, their bodies settling back down to pre-lockdown stability. The drunks, however, are still with us | The Times, UK

Bod Australia to start long-Covid trial using medicinal cannabis in UK

Bod Australia is to start a clinical trial of its medicinal cannabis product, MediCabilis 5%, to treat long-Covid after the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) granted the company a clinical trial authorisation (CTA). The six-month open-label trial analysing MediCabilis will be carried out in collaboration with Drug Science UK | Clinical Trials Arena, UK

Pregnant women and new mums wanted for study into staying smoke-free

Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) are looking to recruit both pregnant women and new mums to test a new support package | Eastern Daily Press, UK

Help co-design new Lanarkshire service

Join us for an online information session on 23 February to find out more about getting involved in this exciting new mental health service co-design project | Scottish Recovery Network, UK

Healthcare worker who helped tackle Edinburgh HIV epidemic up for lifetime award

Colleagues who nominated James Shanley for the Our Health Heroes award said he had undoubtedly saved many lives and reduced HIV rates in the city | Independent, UK

Criminal Gangs Are Making Billions Selling Illegal Tobacco From Derelict Shops

Middle Eastern gangs are using rundown shops in the UK as a front to sell illegal tobacco. The immigrants working for them are victims of modern slavery, investigators tell VICE World News | VICE, UK

Behind The Scenes | Student Drug Use

Thu, 20 January 2022, 12:30 – 13:30 GMT. Behind the Scenes webinar, we will be taking an in-depth look into students' relationship with drugs and alcohol | BDP, UK

Irish Security Series #25:Trafficking Drugs Into and Between the UK and IRL

Wed, 2 February 2022, 14:00 – 17:00 GMT. Drug trafficking is the most profitable illicit enterprise available to illicit entrepreneurs and organised crime groups | SAR Consultancy, UK




International news

Policy windows for drug consumption rooms in Finland

[Open access] Use of drug consumption rooms is a novel harm reduction approach to reach marginalised and isolated people who used drugs, under the high risk of overdose deaths and infectious diseases. The aim of this article was to evaluate the policy opportunities and barriers of the Helsinki City initiative for establishing the first drug consumption room (DCR) in Finland from the multiple streams framework | Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, Finalnd

Clamping down on tobacco advertising

Swiss voters will decide on February 13 on a wide ban on tobacco advertising, aimed at protecting young people. Switzerland, home to the world’s largest cigarette companies, has some of the weakest laws against tobacco advertising in Europe | SwissInfo.ch, Switzerland

Cities Turn to Legal Injection Sites to Combat Overdose Deaths

The nation’s first legal overdose prevention centers, operating in the New York City neighborhoods of Washington Heights and East Harlem, have reversed 76 overdoses since opening last Nov. 30 | The Crime Report, USA

Psychedelic beer served at intimate dinner parties helped an ancient empire in the Andes rule for centuries, study finds

Beer laced with hallucinogenic drugs may have helped the rulers of an ancient, pre-Incan empire in South America maintain power for about 400 years, according to new archaeological research | Business Insider, USA

Outdated Cannabis Regulations Are Holding Back COVID-19 Research

We should be exploring all avenues of possible treatment and prevention for COVID-19, but patchwork laws and federal prohibition put up roadblocks | VICE, USA

CBD and cannabis products for acne, psoriasis? Buyer beware, dermatologists say

Growing numbers of folks are turning to CBD or cannabis products to treat skin conditions like acne or rosacea, but researchers warn that the science on their safety and power hasn't kept up with demand | Medical Xpress, USA

Amid a booze-soaked culture, the ‘sober curious’ movement is gaining ground in Canada. Here’s why

Dry January is a popular time to cut back on alcohol, but more people are rethinking their drinking year round. The non-alcoholic spirit industry is booming | Toronto Star, Canada

Drug addiction – a big challenge for Taliban government

Taliban officials often round up and forcibly take drug addicts to rehabilitation centres, which are over capacity | Al Jazeera, Qatari



Blogs, comment and opinion

[Video] The Case for Rescheduling Psilocybin

The third Monday in January has been nicknamed ‘Blue Monday’ in reference to the prevalence of depression and low mood at this time of year. Though the original term ‘Blue Monday’ itself was coined by a travel ad, the concept has grown into an annual moment of recognition of the severity of mental health conditions, with factors including the colder weather, debt from the festive season and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) creating a climate in which the visibility of unmet mental health needs and possible treatment options are more important than ever | CDPRG blog, UK

The Trip Report 17/01

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

Office drinking culture slowed down in the 90s. But not for journalists – and now they are running the country

Spirits at work were common in the 60s, and pints at lunchtime were normal in the 80s, but most workplaces sobered up | Guardian opinion, UK

Understanding the Relational Dynamics of Recovery

The complexity of addiction requires an equally complex notion of recovery. Holistically, recovery is generally conceptualized across three classes of variables- individual, social, and ecological. The biopsychosocial model of recovery fits well within this framework | Recovery Review blog, USA