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Daily news - 26th January 2022

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UK news

UK funding crisis threatens to derail anti-smoking agenda

Increasingly constrained public health budgets are calling into question the UK’s ambitious goal of reducing smoking levels to one in 20 people by 2030 – a full 10 years ahead of comparable EU targets | London Loves Buisness, UK

Non-Communicable Diseases: Progress Report on Health Harming Product Action (PDF)

We know that non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, liver disease and lung disease are the leading cause of death and disability in Scotland. In 2020, these NCDs were responsible for more than 40,000 deaths, more than 62% of all deaths | Alcohol Focus Scotland, UK

Tobacco: Health Hazards

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the relative harms caused by (1) combustible tobacco products, and (2) non-combustible tobacco products | They Work for You, UK

Annual Conference 2021: The challenge of benzodiazepine use in the context of escalating drug deaths

At the SSA Annual Conference in November 2021, Dr Sarah Welch chaired a session about the challenging context of benzodiazepine use in Scotland. Watch the series of talks and follow-up Q&A now | SSA, UK

WDP launches IPS Into Work impact report

WDP’s Individual Placement and Support (IPS) impact report for 2019-2021 report reflects the huge benefits that tailored employment support can have for people with experience of addiction as well as the wider community | WDP, UK

New approach to supporting people into employment for Forward Leeds

Forward Leeds is now running an individual placement and support scheme to help people into work that will aid their recovery | Forward Leeds, UK

Recovery Conversation Café

This toolkit supports you to run your own recovery conversation café. It helps you to engage with people in a meaningful way to find out what is important to them. Use and adapt the toolkit to suit your needs and let us know how you get on! | Scottish Recovery Network, UK

Tynemouth sea swims pivotal part of recovering alcoholic's journey

A recovering alcoholic says a daily dip in the North Sea has helped him on his journey of recovery | BBC, UK

Key Findings - February

This is a quick summary of the main discovery for each research paper we have published, organized issue by issue. Each key finding is below the article title, with a link to the abstract | Addiction, UK

SUAB Webinar: Radicalisation, extremism and substance use

Wed, 16 March 2022, 13:00 – 14:30 GMT. Exploring current knowledge and interventions focused on substance use, radicalisation and extremism | SUAB, UK

Tomasz Dembler death: Family say he struggled with drink and drugs

A man whose mutilated body was found buried in a park was struggling with drink, drugs and money, a murder trial has heard | BBC, UK

Drill music artist B-Levelz jailed for drug dealing

A rapper who bragged about his drug dealing in music and videos has been jailed | BBC, UK

Lancashire drug traffickers' family to hand over £530k in assets

The family of two brothers convicted of drug trafficking and money laundering are to hand over £530,000 in assets | BBC, UK


International news

Addressing epistemic injustice in HIV research: a call for reporting guidelines on meaningful community engagement

Despite the widely recognized ethical and practical benefits of community engagement in HIV research, epistemic injustice persists within the field. Namely, the knowledge held by communities disproportionately affected by HIV is systematically afforded less credibility than that of more privileged academic researchers. In order to illustrate what this looks like in practice, we synthesized the extent of reporting on community engagement within recent high-impact HIV intervention research papers | JIAS, UK

It’s time to improve drug testing

Accurate drug impairment testing is something that people on all sides of the drug policy debate can agree is an essential tool for a society with any level of drug use. Currently, however, drug testing practices and technologies are not fit for purpose, often unable to provide accurate information as to whether someone is actually impaired by the drugs detected in their system | Volteface, UK

(Re)framing regime performance: A critique of the INCB report for 2020

In this report, IDPC and the Global Drug Policy Observatory take a critical look at the narratives that the UN drug control system constructs to justify its own existence, and to create an appearance of success | IDPC, UK

Which Drugs Will Survive Climate Change? We Investigated

You might have to experience the end of the world sober, after all.  That’s because climate change will unleash havoc on the world of drugs. And it may be a whole lot tougher on the most mainstream stimulants—grocery store stuff like coffee, beer and wine—than on hardcore illicit narcotics like heroin, cocaine and meth | VICE, UK

France takes over EU presidency with the motto ‘Recovery, strength and a sense of belonging’

This month, France took over the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU with the motto ‘Recovery, strength and a sense of belonging’. Over the next six months, the country will lead work at all levels of the Council, building cooperation, agreement and solidarity between EU Member States | EMCDDA, Portugal

How we view the future may hold keys to recovery from alcohol use disorder

In a study in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, Virginia Tech researchers at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC suggest that modifying the time perspective of people with alcohol use disorder (AUD) may improve their recoveries | Medical Xpress, USA

Performance enhancing substances linked to eating disorder symptoms

With increasing value and emphasis being placed on muscularity and leanness as today's body ideal, the use of appearance- and performance- enhancing drugs and substances (APEDS), such as whey protein and steroids, has become increasingly prevalent among college-age men and women | Medical Xpress, USA

Recreational cannabis companies marketing and advertisements have a strong influence on kids and teens

A new study led by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health finds many recreational cannabis companies market their products in a way that appeals to children and teens, despite state-based regulations prohibiting it | University of Wisconsin Madison, USA

NY Doctors Can Now Recommend Medical Marijuana for Any Condition

As New York prepares the launch of its adult-use marijuana market, the state Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) announced a significant expansion of the existing medical cannabis program on January 24 | Filter Magazine, USA

With dozens of pot shops popping up across northern Ontario, legal weed market could be at 'saturation point'

$87 million in cannabis sales in northern Ontario in 2021, up from $15 million in 2020 | CBC News, Canada

Thailand allows marijuana to be grown at home, in Asian first

Thailand has become the first country in Asia to approve the de facto decriminalisation of marijuana, though authorities have left a grey area around its recreational use | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

Getting high for “likes” – TikTok exposes teens to videos on cannabis

Teenagers are being exposed to videos on social media platform TikTok that portray cannabis-use as funny and entertaining rather than risky, University of Queensland researchers have found | University of Queensland, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Cannabis: increased schizophrenia risk in young people linked to both low and high use

An estimated 200 million people use cannabis across the world. Next to alcohol and tobacco, it’s the most widely used drug in many countries. But while many may no longer see cannabis as a risky or harmful substance, there are still many things experts don’t know about cannabis – including why some people develop schizophrenia after use | Conversation, UK

Exploring the potential of managed alcohol programmes during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland

Managed Alcohol Programmes (MAPs) are a harm reduction intervention for those experiencing homelessness and alcohol use disorders (AUDs) which provide regular and measured doses of alcohol to service users throughout the day, alongside a range of health and social supports. In this post, Danilo Falzon, Dr Hannah Carver and Professor Tessa Parkes share their mixed-methods research exploring the potential for MAPs to reduce the risks faced by those experiencing homelessness and AUDs in Scotland during the COVID-19 pandemic | SHAAP blog, UK

It’s Now Possible to Quantify a Cannabis “High”

The behavioral consequences of intoxication with THC are well documented and include impaired cognitive function, including temporary amnesia and altered psychomotor performance, such as impaired driving | Psychology Today blog, USA