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Daily news - 31st January 2022

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Listening to those with Lived and Living Experience

A new National Collaborative to ensure the views of people with Lived and Living Experience (LLE) are reflected in all aspects of the national mission on drug deaths will be chaired by human rights law expert Professor Alan Miller | Scottish Government, UK

Professor Alan Miller to chair national drugs collaborative

Professor Miller, an expert in human rights law, will head the collaborative, which has been formed to ensure that the experience and rights of people affected by drugs are reflected in all aspects of the mission | Scottish Legal News, UK

Ambulance service hands out 1000 naloxone kits to help save lives

It comes after the launch of a naloxone training programme last year, with a target being set of the distribution of 1000 of the Take Home Naloxone (THN) kits across the country by the service | STV news, UK

UK households’ spending on alcohol ‘up by 153% since 1987’

The increase in spending coincided with alcohol becoming 72% more affordable in the UK over the same period, according to the NHS Digital report | Independent, UK

Londoners back pilot cannabis education scheme

Half of those who would oppose fully decriminalising cannabis support the pilot scheme | YouGov, UK

5 Notable Takeaways from YouGov’s Big Survey on Drugs

The YouGov Big Survey on Drugs was recently  released attempting to examine attitudes towards and use of recreational and prescription drugs. The study was canvassed in September 2021, on a sample of 2,717 adults aged 16 and above | Volteface, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has any plans to devolve powers on drug policy to the Scottish Parliament | They work for you, UK

Have We Eliminated Stigma Surrounding Ketamine-Assisted Treatment?

Ketamine is beginning to be used as a treatment for mental health conditions such as depression and addiction and although research is progressing, societal stigma has been a significant barrier. This has limited access to funding, in turn limiting clinical research and a desire to engage in this area | Volteface, UK

Marketing and Consumption of No and Low Alcohol Drinks in the UK - video

With NoLo products increasing in popularity among producers and customers, a new report looks at how these drinks are marketed in the UK and how and why consumers drink them | IAS, UK

SSA interview: Nathan Critchlow talks about alcohol advertising policies

Dr Nathan Critchlow talks to the SSA about Ireland’s latest alcohol policy changes, including restrictions on advertising at sports events and on pubic transport. He also talks about how COVID-19 changed his research | SSA, UK

Alcohol must be kept away from checkout queues, says recovering addict

Father-of-two Matthew Penn has launched a petition to introduce the 'simple step' as the number of high-risk drinkers rises in the UK | Bristol Post, UK

Individual Placement and Support (IPS-AD) trial: privacy notice

Why we collect data for the Individual Placement and Support for Alcohol and Drug Dependence (IPS-AD) trial, what we do with it and who we share it with | OHID, UK

Gesturing to What is Possible: Drugs Users Supporting Each Other

11th March 19:00–20:30 2022. In 2020, Peter Krykant established the first grassroots mobile safer consumption site... Aura Roig is the Director of Metzineres, a community hub founded in 2017 as the first integrated harm reduction programme by and for women and non-binary people who use drugs in Catalonia. Drawing on these experiences, this wide-reaching conversation with Juan Fernández Ochoa will look at mutual aid practices based on the lived and living experiences of people who use drugs | Arika, UK

Liverpool man jailed for posting heroin to the Isle of Man

A Liverpool man who tried to "infiltrate" the Isle of Man with "vast sums of heroin and cocaine" has been jailed for 11 years | BBC, UK


International news

Gin twist: Japan reinvents the spirit with the help of green tea and oysters

Sales of the drink soar as distillers target a whole new market | Guardian, UK

Consumer protection messages in alcohol marketing on Twitter in Ireland: a content analysis

[Open access] Alcohol marketing provides a high-reach opportunity to communicate consumer protection messages... but there are concerns about the efficacy of self-regulatory practice. Through the Public Health (Alcohol) Act, Ireland will mandate the presence of such information | DEPP, Ireland

Over €3 million worth of cocaine seized at Dublin Port after vehicle stopped and searched

The drugs were concealed in the refrigeration unit of a vehicle that was stopped and searched | Journal, Ireland

Blurred lines? Alcohol experts criticise ‘champagne hairdresser’ plans

Thirty academics and experts have criticised the Dutch government for plans to ‘blur’ alcohol laws so that entrepreneurs can combine retail and catering services, for example, serving champagne at the hairdresser | Dutch News, Netherlands

Major changes ahead for EMCDDA as it embarks on new work programme

I am proud to introduce today the EMCDDA’s Single Programming Document (SPD) for the period 2022–2024. This new programming period starts at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is still unfolding | EMCDDA, Portugal

Factors Associated With Opioid Overdose After an Initial Opioid Prescription

In this cohort study of 236 921 individuals who received a first opioid prescription, 667 experienced an incident opioid overdose. Patient risk factors included being aged 75 years or older, being male, receiving Medicaid or Medicare Advantage coverage, having a comorbid substance use disorder or depression, and having medical comorbidities | JAMA Network Open, USA

Are We Seeing Early Signs of Common Ground in US Tobacco Control?

On January 27, a group of tobacco control experts published a letter in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH), urging the public health community to move away from categorizing scientists as either “opponents” or “supporters” of e-cigarettes | Filter Magazine, USA

Top NJ Lawmaker’s Spurious Reasons to Keep Cannabis Home Grow Illegal

In New Jersey, where adult-use cannabis is legal, home grow remains criminalized, with penalties of up to five years in prison and a $25,000 fine for growing even a single plant. One of the state’s top lawmakers recently repeated misconceptions in arguing that the legislature should allow this situation to continue | Filter Magazine, USA

Increased psychedelic use during pandemic prompts new research

Denise Vidot, a University of Miami epidemiologist who has studied the impact of cannabis on well-being for a decade, has broadened her laboratory’s research to include psilocybin, aiming to explain a surge in use of both substances during the pandemic | University of Miami News, USA

Seattle Legalizes Psychedelics

Proponents of the legalization of psychedelics has won a victory. Seattle’s City Council approved a resolution Monday to decriminalize a wide range of activities around psychedelic drugs, including the cultivation and sharing of psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, ibogaine and non-peyote-derived mescaline | Seattle Medium, USA

Court of Appeal reserves decision on Alberta ID policy for supervised drug-use sites

udges from Alberta's top court have reserved a decision on a request to stop a provincial policy that personal identification be shown to get into supervised consumption sites | CTV News, Canada

Could a vaccine prevent drug deaths and cure addiction? U.S. research draws mixed reaction in B.C.

Researchers say early results of drug-specific vaccines use antibodies to prevent high in users | CBC News, Canada

ACT drug decriminalisation push hits cul-de-sac

The ACT Legislative Assembly’s Bill to decriminalise the use of heroin, ice, speed, cocaine and ecstasy has hit a legal roadblock, according to Gary Christian, research director of Drug Free Australia (DFA) | Canberra Weekly, Australia


Blohgs, comment and opinion

Commentary on Whitsel et al.: Smoking, alcohol use and the brain- the challenge of answering causal questions

Whitsel and colleagues have conducted an elegant longitudinal study, incorporating structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data. Their aim was to test if a history of heavier smoking and alcohol consumption in early mid-life is associated with more advanced brain ageing later | Addiction commentary, UK

Young people's alcohol use is still strongly related to social inclusion

Caluzzi and colleagues raise and explore an important question in relation to young people's alcohol use, which has been in decline since the early 2000s: are we seeing a denormalisation of drinking and a normalisation of non-drinking?  | Addiction commentary, UK

Lived experience and peer support are powerful tools that make recovery possible - Lesley Smith

As a nation, evidence shows that mental health is a growing concern as we plan our recovery from the impact of Covid-19. Recently published research from the Mental Health Foundation evidences the negative impact of the pandemic on our mental health. There are calls for more services to cope with this anticipated demand on, what is recognised, as already overstretched mental health services | Scotsman, UK

Ian Mulgrew: B.C.'s chief coroner laments lack of action as opioid crisis hits worst death toll yet

Opinion: What B.C. needs is immediate changes in laws and attitude and weekly TV appearances by top officials outlining the toll and costs of tainted drugs | Vancouver Sun opinion, Canada

New Drug Harm Index, new problems

The New Zealand Drug Harm Index 2020 just made it into 2021: it was quietly posted on the Ministry of Health website before Christmas. And it contains some startling claims. Not the least of them, that cannabis is New Zealand’s most harmful drug – accounting for $626 million in “community harm” every year. Would you be surprised if I told you more than a third of that was lost GST? | Public Address, New Zealand