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Daily news - 28th January 2022

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UK news

Substance misuse treatment for young people: statistics 2020 to 2021

Alcohol and drug treatment data for young people under 18, from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) | OHID, UK

Substance misuse treatment in secure settings: 2020 to 2021

Statistics for alcohol and drug misuse treatment in prisons and other secure settings from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) | OHID, UK

Statistics on Alcohol, England 2021

280 thousand estimated admissions to hospital in 2019/20 where the main reason was attributable to alcohol. 2% higher than 2018/19 and 8% higher than 2016/17 | NHS Digital, UK

Alcohol causes one in 20 hospital admissions, with rising figures ‘compounded’ by Covid pandemic

[Limited number of free articles per week] Older generations most likely to need medical attention, as statistics show ‘increasing need’ for a comprehensive alcohol strategy in the UK | Telegraph, UK

Prescriptions for drugs to treat alcohol misuse at 167,000 in 2020/21

The number of prescriptions for drugs to treat alcohol misuse was 167,000 in 2020/21, according to newly published data from NHS Digital | NHS Digital, UK

Current and former users asked to advise government on drug policy

Scotland’s drugs policy minister has announced a group including people with lived experience of drug use which will be asked to make recommendations | Independent, UK

Annual 2020 Alcohol-Specific Deaths statistics [Northern Ireland]

The total number of alcohol-specific deaths registered in 2020 was 351. This was an increase of 15 from the previous year (336) and the highest since the start of the series, accounting for 2.0% of all deaths registered in 2020 | NISRA, UK

Drug and alcohol harms 'significant and growing', says Stormont report

A Stormont report into addiction services has said harms caused by drug and alcohol use are "significant and likely to get worse" | BBC, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Death

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help reduce deaths from alcohol in the North East | They work for you, UK

Spiking (Offence)

I beg to move, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to create an offence of administering or attempting to administer drugs or alcohol to a person without their consent; | They work for you, UK

Media & Impact: How to communicate your research effectively

Wed, 16 February 2022, 14:00 – 15:30 GMT. This event will focus on how to become a more effective science communicator for addiction research. Communicating research to a wide audience helps disseminate the evidence-base ensuring that treatments for addiction are based on research | SSA, UK

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion says town in fear of cannabis gangs

Residents in parts of a South Yorkshire town are living in fear of gang warfare as groups fight to produce cannabis at an "industrial scale", an MP has said | BBC, UK

Men who sold 'Prada' stamped cocaine bricks worth £5.6M jailed

The drugs - worth £5.6million - were distributed around the UK including in Worcester, Wales, Gloucestershire and Nottingham | ITV, UK

Liverpool and Maryport Drugs gang jailed for county lines scheme

The three men from Liverpool and a man and woman from Maryport, Cumbria, were part of the scheme to bring heroin and crack cocaine from Merseyside to Workington by road and rail | BBC, UK

Covid: Newport man spent most of £50,000 loan on drugs

Louis Glyn Maxwell, 35, from Newport, obtained the Bounce Back Loan in August 2020 after overstating his projected income for Mr Tow Recovery Logistics | BBC, UK



International news

20,000 Coconuts Filled With Liquid Cocaine Seized by Shocked Officials

A huge shipment of 20,000 coconuts filled with liquid cocaine has been discovered at a Colombian port en route to Italy | VICE, UK

Almost 290 drug intimidation cases reported in Dublin last year

Assistant Commissioner Cagney described Drug-Related Intimidation as a “dreadful crime” with a significant impact on communities | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Notes from the Field: Increased Incidence of Fentanyl-Related Deaths Involving Para-fluorofentanyl or Metonitazene — Knox County, Tennessee, November 2020–August 2021

Data from the National Center for Health Statistics indicate that drug overdose deaths in the United States have increased by 28.5% during 2020–2021, from 78,056 during a 12-month period ending in April 2020 to 100,306 during the same period in 2021 | CDC, USA

Two powerful drugs now adding to US overdose crisis

[See also report above] Emerging reports show that two little-known drugs are making lethal new contributions to America's drug overdose crisis | Medical Xpress, USA

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

Researchers suggest that modifying the time perspective of people with alcohol use disorder (AUD) may improve their recoveries. Alcohol use disorder creates an estimated economic burden of $249 billion every year with more than 15 million adults in the U.S. coping with alcohol use disorder | Science Daily, USA

Birth Outcomes of Neonates Exposed to Marijuana in Utero

In this meta-analysis of 16 studies including 59 138 patients, maternal marijuana exposure during pregnancy was associated with increased risk of preterm deliveries and neonatal intensive care unit admission and decreased mean birth weight, 1-minute Apgar score, and head circumference of babies. There were no differences in mean 5-minute Apgar score or total infant length | JAMA Network, USA

Can CBD Help Reduce Cravings for People With Opioid Use Disorder?

The FDA has approved a Phase 2 clinical trial for a cannabidiol (CDB) pill for opioid use disorder (OUD) patients who are receiving buprenorphine | Filter Magazine, USA

BC Has a Safe Supply of Smokable Heroin and No One Can Use It Yet

For most of the nearly six years British Columbia’s overdose crisis has been declared a public health emergency, the consumption method linked to the most deaths has been smoking. Since 2017, smoking has been involved in more than 40 percent of BC overdose fatalities, nearly twice the prevalence of shooting or snorting deaths | Filter Magazine, USA

Insurers Illegally Denying Mental Health, Substance Use Disorder Benefits

The US Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury released a report on January 25 that suggests health insurers are illegally denying mental health and substance use disorder benefits to the growing number of people who need them | Filter Magazine, USA

New Wearable Device Could Help Prevent Overdose Deaths

To scale back these deaths, researchers from the College of Washington have developed a brand new wearable gadget that may inform when an individual is overdosing from opioids | Aron Health, USA

Naloxboxes' to give WV college campus easy access to overdose reversing drug

Two organizations fighting opioid abuse have partnered together to make an overdose-reversing drug more easily accessible in emergencies on college and university campuses across West Virginia | Logan Banner, USA

Impacts of overdose: Evaluating the effects of grief and loss from overdose on people who inject drugs and developing an intervention to address them

Many people who inject drugs, and people who work in harm reduction services, are living with grief and loss stemming from the ongoing crisis of opioid-overdose related deaths. These experiences of loss can take a psychological toll, yet there are few bereavement services available for people with theses experiences | MAP, Canada

Drug consumption room recommended for ACT

A study led by Burnet Senior Research Fellow, Amy Kirwan has recommended a drug consumption room (DCR) be introduced in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in a bid to counter significant and escalating drug-related harm occurring within the jurisdiction | Medical Xpress, Australia

Western Australian 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 Perth, WA | NDARC, Australia

Tasmanian 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 Hobart, Tasmania | NDARC, Australia

Victorian 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 Melbourne, Victoria | NDARC, Australia

Worldwide wastewater analysis reveals rise of designer drugs during lockdowns

Chemical analysis of sewage in 10 countries over Christmas and new year 2020–21 has shown how new psychoactive substances have spread across the world. One designer drug, the mephedrone analogue 3-methylmethcathinone, was found for the first time in New Zealand, having previously only been reported in Europe and North America | Chemistry World, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Drink problems at work got much worse during the pandemic – here’s how employers can tackle them

The Downing Street “partygate” scandal has shown how alcohol use can be embedded in the everyday workplace. The internal investigation being led by senior civil servant Sue Gray is expected to make clear how normalised the culture of drinking has become within the centre of government under Boris Johnson’s administration | Conversation, UK

Current and past trends in tobacco and e-cigarette use and the impact of control measures

Despite the ever-decreasing use of tobacco, smoking remains a primary cause of early death in the developed world. Tackling the harms to people’s health from tobacco use is a major global public health priority, and a number of legislative actions have been taken in the UK in the last decade relating to the supply and consumption of tobacco and e-cigarettes | NatCen blog, UK

Malta is on the right path with cannabis

Policymakers in the UK, across Europe and around the world are watching Malta’s cannabis reforms unfold with great interest. Malta will soon join a growing number of countries implementing reforms to the evident failures of cannabis prohibition. Canada, Mexico and 18 US states have already made the move and, with rival Democrat and Republican bills being debated in the Senate, federal US legalisation inches closer each day | Transform blog, UK