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Daily news - 19th January 2022

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UK news

NHS smoking cessation local delivery plan standard quarterly

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) presents information on NHS Stop Smoking Services in Scotland and their progress towards their annual Local Delivery Plan (LDP) Standard. The LDP Standard for NHS Scotland in 2021/22 is to achieve at least 7,026 self-reported successful twelve-week quits through smoking cessation services in the most deprived areas | PHS, UK

Chronic pain, prescribed opioids and overdose risk: a qualitative exploration of the views of affected individuals and family members

[Open access] In 2019 in Scotland, prescription analgesics contributed to, or were implicated in, approximately 19% of drug related deaths. The experiences of those prescribed opioids for CNCP and family members, particularly their perceptions of overdose risk, are under-explored in the literature. This study aimed to address this gap by exploring how individuals and family members perceive the issue of overdose in relation to opioid analgesics, and their views of overdose prevention and potential interventions | DEPP, UK

Including the multiply excluded: a mixed methods study exploring intragroup stigma towards people who use synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists

[Open access] People who use drugs are a highly stigmatized population. This study explored within-group stigma associated with the use of synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (SCRA) in a sample who accessed a support service in a large city in England | DEPP, UK

Naloxone trials: How police preventing overdoses can change everything

[Free registration required] Police forces both in the UK and internationally are increasingly equipping officers with overdose reversal medication such as naloxone, in an effort to cut the catastrophic numbers of drug-related deaths; drugs policing expert Ben Twomey, who wrote the policy for the first force in the UK to carry the medication, writes about what it means for the war on drugs | Policing Insight, UK

Mayor of London urged to drop cannabis diversion pilot

15 MPs have written to the Mayor of London requesting he drop a pilot scheme that would divert young people away from the criminal justice system | Cannabis Wealth, UK

With You delivers new scheme to help divert young people from the criminal justice system

With You trials new approach to supporting young people in possession of drugs in Cornwall, Kent, Lancashire and Sefton | Safer Cornwall, UK

The Rise of Study Drugs at British Universities

Students are increasingly using drugs like speed, Ritalin and Modafinil to cope with the stress of uni | VICE, UK

Changing Lives: Recovery Talks: Episode 2: Recovery - A Commissioner's View - podcast

In this episode, host Andy speaks to Oonagh Mallon and John Liddell, local authority leads from North Tyneside and Northumberland, about what it's like to commission work that helps people in recovery. They speak about their roles, their learning from working in the sector and their hopes for the future | Changing Lives, UK

How magic mushrooms changed my life

[Limited number of free articles per week] Having seen the life-changing benefits psilocybin therapy can bring, I hope UK patients will soon be able to access it safely and legally | Telegraph, UK

Volunteer with us

You can choose to volunteer in community or prison settings, with our Devon-based service, Together or our Dorset-based service, Reach | EDP, UK

£10m of cocaine hidden in Belgian waffle lorry

James Davidson, David Mullarkey, Ellis Hardy and Wayne Smith were caught by detectives on a Glasgow industrial estate in June 2019 | BBC, UK

Met Police makes 130 arrests during drugs operation

More than 130 arrests were made during a three-day operation targeting drug crime on London's roads and rail networks, the Met has revealed | BBC, UK

Stephen Lawrence murder: Jamie Acourt 'cannot repay £90k' from drugs plot

One of the men suspected of murdering Stephen Lawrence in a racist attack has said he cannot pay £90,000 he made from a £3m drugs plot | BBC, UK



International news

Thailand plans to make marijuana legal and axe jail terms for possession

Possession of cannabis in Thailand is currently punishable by up to 15 years in prison | Independent, UK

US Senate candidate smokes cannabis in campaign ad in push for legalisation

Gary Chambers Jr is hoping third time’s the charm later this year when he runs for a Louisiana Senate seat | Independent, UK

'War on drugs’ not an effective response to usage, minister to tell committee

Frank Feighan is expected to tell an Oireachtas committee that drugs continue to be a “major policy challenge” in Ireland | Journal, Ireland

Giving up smoking can halve cost of life insurance in a year

Experts at insurer Royal London said smokers who quit this January could be in line for massive savings on their cover next year | Independent, Ireland

Offering buprenorphine medication to people with opioid use disorder in jail may reduce rearrest and reconviction

A study conducted in two rural Massachusetts jails found that people with opioid use disorder who were incarcerated and received a medication approved to treat opioid use disorder, known as buprenorphine, were less likely to face rearrest and reconviction after release than those who did not receive the medication | NIDA, USA

Cannabis use to cope with race-related stress among incarcerated African American men

African American men experience disproportionate legal repercussions for non-violent drug offenses and negative stereotypes framing them as dangerous or violent. African American men may use cannabis to deal with stress from racial discrimination, contributing to a vicious cycle of legal consequences and racist stereotyping | BASIS, USA

Man Hospitalized With Spinal Cord Problems From Nitrous Oxide Abuse

"Given the patient’s non-vegetarian nutrition, negative autoimmune workup, it was determined that the patient’s B12 deficiency and megaloblastic anemia were the results of heavy nitrous oxide," the team wrote in their report, published in Cureus | IFLScience, USA

Cocaine E-Cigarette Could Help People Struggling with Addiction

In a paper recently published in the journal Drug Science, Policy and Law, toxicologist Fabian Steinmetz and addiction research professor Heino Stöver conceptualized a cocaine e-cigarette | Discover Magazine, USA

New Jersey Governor Signs Bills to Expand Harm Reduction

On January 18, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed harm reduction legislation that will expand syringe service programs (SSP) in the state, establish local drug overdose fatality review teams, decriminalize the possession of syringes and permit certain expungement for the possession and distribution of hypodermic needles | Filter Magazine, USA

Half of people who died from opioids in 2020 sought health care in the month before

A study suggesting “missed opportunities” looked at Ontario deaths during the first wave of COVID-19 | Toronto Star, Canada

Is vaping nicotine safer than smoking?

Thu, 17 February 2022, 4:00 AM – 5:00 AM GMT. This presentation reviews the risks to health from vaping nicotine compared to smoking tobacco | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Could COVID expand the future of addiction research? Long-term implications in the pandemic era

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted face-to-face research. This has propelled ideas and plans for more remote styles of research and provided new perspectives on conducting research. This paper aimed to identify challenges specific to conducting remote forms of experimental addiction research, although some of these challenges apply to all types of addiction research | Addiction Opinion and Debate, UK

Why is alcohol thought to be relaxing? Victorian and Edwardian explorers might hold the clue

After a long, stressful day, I often find myself sitting down with a bottle of beer or a glass of wine. Such rituals are a sign that the working day is over and that the time for fun and relaxation is here | Conversation, UK

Find A New Happy Hour: Manage Your Drinking Habits and Improve Your Mental Wellbeing

As part of our latest campaign, ‘find a new happy hour’ we’re encouraging people to rethink their drinking habits and providing alternative ideas to take care of their mental health | NHS APA blog, UK

Gambling killed my husband. We must stop this predatory industry claiming more lives

Luke was targeted by adverts for ‘free bets’ to lure him back to gambling after he had quit. I’m campaigning to have this kind of marketing banned | Guardian opinion, UK

Defining addiction and problem ownership

Yesterday’s post and the discussion around it brought up a lot of good questions. Among them was the question, does it really matter whether we call it a disease? | Recovery Review blog, USA

Dr. Stuart Kreisman: Time for Canada's first smoke-free generation

Canada has been a laggard with respect to raising age of purchase. While national polls have consistently shown 70 to 80 per cent support for raising it, only PEI has enacted Age 21 tobacco legislation, wisely doing so for both smoking and vaping | Vancouver Sun opinion, Canada