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Daily news - 27th January 2022


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UK news

Alcohol misuse and older people: providing support and challenging stigma

Alcohol misuse is a growing problem for older people. But old age psychiatrist Dr Tony Rao believes all practitioners have a role to play in identifying those in need and ensuring they receive support without stigma or shame | Geriatric Medicine Journal, UK

Holyrood committees to focus on scourge of drugs deaths in Scotland

Three committees will hold joint sessions to take evidence from leading figures in the UK and Scottish Governments | STV News, UK

Project ADDER helps over 13,000 people receive drug treatment

Over 600 organised crime groups have been disrupted and more than 13,000 people supported in drug treatment interventions thanks to a whole-systems approach to tackling drugs | Local Gov, UK

Pre-arrest drug diversion: A consistent approach reduces reoffending and improves life chances

[FREE to read if you have registered an account - no subscription is required] UK police forces are increasingly opting to divert people found in possession of small quantities of drugs away from the criminal justice system; drugs policing expert and social justice charity leader, Meg Jones, who led the development and implementation of pre-arrest drug diversion in the West Midlands, considers the impact of the changing approach, and what it means for the future of policing drugs | Policing Insight, UK

Why is British Drug Policy so Disjointed?

In early January, as the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced a tentative degree of policy experimentation by piloting, in three boroughs, a diversion scheme whereby young people in possession of small amounts of cannabis would be offered counselling and support instead of arrest, the Metropolitan Police were out in Shoreditch conducting their own diversion scheme, swabbing revellers to deflect attention from the relentless failures of Britain’s drug war | Volteface, UK

Public Spaces Protection Orders: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department holds data on the number of local authorities in England and Wales that have introduced Public Space Protection Order's to prevent the use of psycho-active substances | They work for you, UK

Illicit Tobacco

Ealing Trading Standards have prosecuted a shopkeeper for selling illicit tobacco. As Mayor, what powers do you have to support the public health message that there are serious consequences to health from illicit tobacco, as these products do not comply with UK safety and consumer regulations? | They work for you, UK

Barriers to Support for People Experiencing Problem Substance Use and Homelessness

Thu, Feb 24, 2022 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM GMT. This webinar will explore the barriers to accessing support for people who are experiencing both problem substance use and homelessness. Drawing on evidence gathered from a range of primary research and systematic reviews, interventions to address these barriers will be discussed | ISSUP, UK

Local man ‘distraught’ after police seize his medical cannabis

Liam Lewis has now been issued with a recorded police warning – while the medication he needs to manage debilitating chronic migraine has been confiscated pending further investigation | Shetland News, UK

Glasgow cannabis factory men were human trafficking victims

Two Albanian men caught at a cannabis factory in Glasgow have been freed from prison after it emerged they were the victims of human trafficking | BBC, UK

 

International news

Cocaine helped first ever pig heart transplant

Doctors have managed to transplant a genetically modified pig heart into a human being for the first time, with the help of a small amount of cocaine | Independent, UK

Brazilian D.A.R.E. Programme is A Failure. We Need Real Drug Education

Previous studies conducted in other Brazilian states—as well as in other parts of South America and the world —have reached the same conclusion: the Drug Abuse Resistance Education programme fails to prevent drug use among children and teenagers | Talking Drugs, UK

Flowered steering: How well do drivers fare after smoking cannabis?

In largest study of its kind, randomized trial revealed magnitude and time course of impairments, including in relation to cigarette THC content, cannabis use history and perceptions of impairment | EurekAlert, USA

Study points to marketing of OxyContin as origin of the opioid epidemic

A state prescription drug policy first adopted in 1939, and last ended in 2004, appears to have influenced where Purdue Pharma chose to market its opioid drug OxyContin upon launch in 1996 | Medical Xpress, USA

Multi-level program enhances primary care treatment for opioid use disorder in rural Colorado

Researchers studied the implementation of a multilevel program called Implementing Technology and Medication Assisted Treatment Team Training in Rural Colorado (IT MATTRs). The program included a practice-focused intervention to improve the awareness, adoption and use of buprenorphine to treat opioid dependence and opioid use disorder | Medical Xpress, USA

Variations in risks from smoking between high-income, middle-income, and low-income countries: an analysis of data from 179 000 participants from 63 countries

[Open access] Separate studies suggest that the risks from smoking might vary between high-income (HICs), middle-income (MICs), and low-income (LICs) countries, but this has not yet been systematically examined within a single study using standardised approaches. We examined the variations in risks from smoking across different country income groups and some of their potential reasons | Lancet, Canada

“They treat you with such disdain:” Experiences of overdose among people who inject drugs

new report captures and explores people’s experience of overdose – what happened, where, and how others responded to help. Based on surveys with almost 250 people as well as in-depth interviews with 17 people who inject drugs, the report highlights how unwelcoming Ontario’s health-care system can be for people who use drugs | Unity Health, Canada

Mobile overdose prevention site in Abbotsford seeks to meet drug users where they are

Service will be located in parking lot near intersection of Lonzo Road and Sumas Way, 3rd of its kind in city | CBC News, Canada

Katie drinks more than she should. Research shows more middle-aged women are doing the same

Katie (not her real name) says most nights she drinks half a bottle of wine on the couch to unwind after a long day juggling two young kids with full-time work | abc.net.au, Australia

Victorian Drug Trends 2021: Key Findings from the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) Interviews

This year, we have provided a suite of products with the most up-to-date findings from interviews conducted annually from 2000-2021 with a cross-sectional sentinel group of people who regularly inject drugs recruited from Melbourne, VIC | NDARC, Australia

Western Australian Drug Trends 2021: Key Findings from the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) Interviews

This year, we have provided a suite of products with the most up-to-date findings from interviews conducted annually from 2003-2021 with a cross-sectional sentinel group of people who regularly use ecstasy and other illicit stimulants recruited from Perth, Western Australia | NDARC, Australia

Northern Territory Drug Trends 2021: Key Findings from the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) Interviews

This year, we have provided a suite of products with the most up-to-date findings from interviews conducted annually from 2000-2021 with a cross-sectional sentinel group of people who regularly inject drugs recruited from Darwin, NT | NDARC, Australia

Queensland Drug Trends 2021: Key Findings from the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) Interviews

This year, we have provided a suite of products with the most up-to-date findings from interviews conducted annually from 2000-2021 with a cross-sectional sentinel group of people who regularly inject drugs recruited from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Queensland | NDARC, Australia

 

Blogs, comment and opinion

Why doctors have a moral imperative to prescribe and support medical cannabis—an essay by David Nutt

The field of medicine developed empirically with doctors doing what they could to help reduce the suffering and improve the health of their patients. Medicines were what doctors gave patients to assist this process. Medical cannabis presents a novel challenge to current medical practice—many patients reporting large benefits from self-medicating with illicitly sourced products would dearly like to have them prescribed on the NHS but are unable to do so | Drug Science, UK

2021 alcohol consumption and harm: no signs of a ‘return to normal’

In terms of alcohol consumption, in England, the rise in the proportion of people who are drinking at increasing or higher risk levels has been sustained through 2021 | IAS blog, UK

Booze lubricated Partygate – let’s confront that inconvenient truth

It is not just politicians who need to rethink the culture of alcohol and work. We all do | Independent voices, UK

[Limited number of free articles] Morgan Godvin arrived at the Multnomah County Inverness jail in Oregon in June 2013. She had volunteered to be locked up during a drug-court appearance for felony heroin possession. Like many Americans, she believed that incarceration would help her recover | NY Times opinion, USA