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Daily news - 20th January 2022

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UK news

The use of out-of-court disposals and diversion at the ‘front end’

This report examines the effectiveness of out-of-court disposals and diversion programmes and considers whether there is scope to increase their use. Our research included analysis of the latest evidence and trends, an in-depth study in the Thames Valley Police force area and a nationally representative survey. We concluded that there is a strong case to be made for the expansion of out-of-court sanctions - building on pockets of good practice across England and Wales... | CREST Advisory, UK

It’s high time that people caught with cannabis be spared jail, declare public

[Limited number of free articles per week] Survey finds overwhelming support for community resolutions as a better deterrent to drug possession than prison time | Telegraph, UK

UK pupils taught about alcohol with ‘misleading’ industry-funded resources

Researchers say teaching materials play down harms and shift responsibility on to young people | Guardian, UK

Needle exchange practitioners accounts of delivering harm reduction advice for chemsex: implications for policy and practice

[Open access] Needle exchange and harm reduction programs in the UK provide a range of interventions which could be effective in reducing the risk of physical and psychological harm and minimizing the spread of blood-borne viruses for men who have sex with men who engage in chemsex. To understand the existing practice, this qualitative study was undertaken using semi-structured interviews with 17 harm reduction practitioners working in needle exchange services in two UK cities | DEPP, UK

New Drug Deaths Taskforce vice-chair

Drugs Policy Minister Angela Constance has appointed former Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Professor Fiona McQueen as Vice-Chair of the Drug Deaths Taskforce | Scottish Government, UK

Prescription Drugs: Addictions

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Public Health England review of dependence forming medicines, what plans he has to commission (a) a 24 hour helpline, (b) dedicated local withdrawal services, (c) an investigation into the harms caused by long-term prescribing of benzodiazepines and z drugs and (d) mandatory prescribing guidelines for dependence forming drugs such as benzodiazepines and z drugs, as a result of that review | They work for you, UK

The way substance misuse is handled in UK prisons ‘needs to be overhauled to prevent avoidable deaths’

A GP specialising in prisons and substance misuse is leading calls for a “whole-systems approach” to prevent avoidable deaths in custody | i news, UK

The Way We Depict Drugs, and People Who Use Them, Must Change

Problematic depictions of drugs in stock imagery first gained my attention whilst researching for a piece about the use of poppers in the LGBTQ+ community | Volteface, UK

Alcohol industry sustainability commitments - video

Seminar Three explores the voluntary commitments on sustainability made by alcohol producers, examining pledges in the wider context of industry corporate social responsibility | IAS, UK

Alcohol & Human Rights - Sustainability Series seminar 4

Wed, 2 March 2022, 10:00 – 11:30 GMT. The last seminar in our four-part series will consider human rights and alcohol | IAS, UK

We have been awarded the Investing in Volunteers Standard

We are extremely proud to announce that Change Grow Live has been awarded the Investing in Volunteers Standard. Investing in Volunteers is the quality standard for all UK organisations that rely on the hard work and dedication of volunteers | Cahnge Grow Live, UK

Travelling scholarships

A budget of £5,000 is available at each deadline to support members or associates of the Society to travel to international meetings in combination with a visit to laboratories and/or clinics, to collaborate in research and further their training. A maximum of £2,500 will be awarded to a successful applicant, after the application deadlines in February, June and October | SSA, UK

Recruiting | Recovery Orchestra Percussion Volunteer

BDP (Bristol Drugs Project) is a dedicated and energetic charity with over 35 years’ experience supporting some of the most vulnerable people in Bristol. BDP Creative Communities uses music, creativity and the arts to support people who use, or have used, drugs and alcohol | BDP, UK

Covid-19: Vaccine passport laws in pubs could be scrapped

Laws on vaccine passports in some settings could be scrapped next week under proposals given to Stormont ministers | BBC, UK

University of Hull student's union seals Wetherspoon partnership

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon has gone into partnership with a students' union in the first deal of its kind at a British university | BBC, UK

Drug gangs - audio

How the battle against drug gangs is going here in the county | BBC Radio Norfolk, UK

Sheerness: Cocaine worth £5m seized at Kent port

Taped packages of the class A drug were found by Border Force officers in the fan motor space of a container at Sheerness Port on Sunday, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said | BBC, UK


International news

Right to Try Psychedelic Therapy with Spencer Hawkswell - podcast

This week’s episode features Spencer Hawkswell the CEO of TheraPsil – a non-profit coalition dedicated to helping Canadians in medical need access legal, psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy to treat end-of-life distress | Drug Science, UK

Aussies could be BANNED from smoking on their own balconies after 'game-changing' court ruling

An unhappy resident living on the ninth floor of the Artique Resort in Surfers Paradise complained their downstairs neighbour was a 'chain smoker' | Mail Online, UK

Report to show 'substantial' rise in cocaine use in colleges

A study on drug use at third level due to be published [today] will highlight a “substantial increase” in cocaine use, an Oireachtas committee has heard | Irish Examiner, Ireland

David Stuart: An Inspirational Leader in Chemsex Harm Reduction

The harm reduction and LGBTQ health movements have unexpectedly lost a leader, David Stuart. On January 12, the news was publicized by London’s largest sexual health clinic, to which David dedicated eight years of his pathbreaking career as a chemsex support worker | Filter Magazine, USA

London’s Cannabis Diversion Plan Draws Political Fire

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is hoping to introduce a scheme that would enable young people to avoid getting arrested for possessing small amounts of cannabis—a move that’s being opposed by the United Kingdom’s two biggest political parties | Filter Magazine, USA

Factors Associated With Receipt of Smoking Cessation Advice and Assistance by Health Professionals Among Latino and Non-Latino White Smokers With Medicaid Insurance in California

In this cross-sectional study of 1861 patients, Latino smokers were less likely to receive advice from clinicians in the unadjusted model. When adjusted for sociodemographic factors, smoking behavior, health care factors, and acculturation measures, the difference was not statistically significant | JAMA Network Open, USA

Despite restrictions, recreational cannabis companies use marketing that appeals to adolescents: Study

 Many recreational cannabis companies market their products in a way that appeals to children and teens, despite state-based regulations prohibiting it, according to a new study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. This marketing is easily viewed by people of all ages on social media platforms | EurekAlert, USA

Evidence on the acute and residual neurocognitive effects of cannabis use in adolescents and adults: a systematic meta-review of meta-analyses

This meta-review measured the magnitude of acute and residual effects of cannabis on cognition in adolescents and adults provided by meta-analyses and evaluated quality of evidence | Addiction, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Cricket may have a drinking culture - but that does not have to be a bad thing

[Limited number of free articles per week] Some of my happiest memories in cricket came when players were sharing a cold beer and some nice food at the end of a day’s play | Telegraph, UK

Substance Use Disorders as a category

This post was originally published in 2016. By now, the DSM-IV is a distant memory but this post seemed relevant to our recent discussion about the conceptual boundaries of addiction and its relationship to the disease model and recovery | Recovery Review blog, USA

2021 Was A Year Of Drug Law Reform, What Will This Year Bring?

In the USA, we saw Oregon become the first US state to decriminalise the possession of all drugs after passing a ballot initiative in late 2020. The move is sparking discussions in other states to do the same. In another pioneering step, New York City  became the first US state to open “overdose prevention centres” to allow supervised injecting | 360 edge blog, Australia