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Daily news - 19th July 2022

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UK news

Open consultation: ‘Swift, Certain, Tough: New Consequences for Drug Possession’ white paper

This white paper sets out a tough, escalatory framework aimed at adults caught in possession of low levels of so-called recreational drugs. It includes a combination of proposals for legislation, as well as broader areas for reform. The results of this consultation will inform the government’s approach to reforming the way the criminal justice system deals with adult drug possession offences and to changing drug testing on arrest powers. This consultation closes at 11:59pm on 10 October 2022 | Home Office, UK

Press release: Illicit drug users to face tougher consequences

'Recreational' drug users to face tougher penalties under new proposals subject to consultation | Home Office and The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, UK

Policy paper: olice stop and search powers: draft revised code of practice

Outlines changes in the draft revised code of practice covering the exercise of stop and search powers by police officers under the Terrorism Act 2000| Home Office and The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, UK

ACMD advice on 2-benzyl benzimidazole and piperidine benzimidazolone opioids

A review of the evidence on the use and harms of 2-benzyl benzimidazole (nitazene) and piperidine benzimidazolone (brorphine-like) opioids | ACMD, UK

Government crackdown on smoking and alcohol paused until next PM is chosen, ITV News understands

A major drive to reduce the harm caused by heavy smoking and alcohol use has been placed on pause until a new prime minister is in place, ITV News understands | ITV, UK

Innovative research project to tackle alcohol-related hospital admissions

Alcohol-related hospital admissions in England continue to rise, with estimates that 10% of patients admitted to acute hospitals may be alcohol dependent | University of Southampton, UK

Lockdown restrictions led to poor health behaviours

Strict lockdown restrictions during peak periods of the COVID-19 pandemic have been linked to poorer health behaviours such as drinking more and exercising less | UWS, UK

Cheshire East Council to pay pregnant smokers £400 to quit

Cheshire East Council health committee was told about 10% of the area's expectant mothers were smokers and a pilot scheme paying them over six instalments would cost about £116,000 | BBC, UK

Associations between moderate alcohol consumption, brain iron, and cognition in UK Biobank participants: Observational and mendelian randomization analyses

Brain iron deposition has been linked to several neurodegenerative conditions and reported in alcohol dependence. Whether iron accumulation occurs in moderate drinkers is unknown. Our objectives were to investigate evidence in support of causal relationships between alcohol consumption and brain iron levels and to examine whether higher brain iron represents a potential pathway to alcohol-related cognitive deficits | PLOS One, UK

Systems mapping to understand complexity in the association between image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs) and harm

Effective harm reduction work is needed to prevent and respond to the harms associated with image and performance enhancing drug (IPED) use and the diverse needs of IPED communities. Methods based around understanding and mapping complex systems have previously been applied to advance thinking on a range of complex health issues. We applied a systems perspective to explore factors that contribute to IPED-related harms in the UK and to identify harm reduction priorities | IJDP, UK

Sheffield Bassfest: Drugs warning after man dies at music festival

A man has died and several people are seriously ill after they were believed to have taken drugs at a festival | BBC, UK

HMP Northumberland inmate died from drugs given by visiting mother

A prisoner who died after swallowing drugs smuggled in by his mother should have been monitored, a report found | BBC, UK

Forward Leeds rated outstanding by national regulator

The city’s alcohol and drug service, is ‘highly innovative’ and a place where, ‘staff always go the extra mile to support clients’ according to a recent assessment | Forward Leeds, UK

Cannabis farm found in abandoned pub

Officers went to The Bendigo, in Sneinton Hollows, Sneinton, shortly before 10:00 BST | BBC, UK


International news

Oireachtas Health Committee seek age restrictions on e-cigarettes and ban on flavourings

The committee asked the Minister for Health to look at other countries where ages for vaping and smoking are 21 | Journal, Ireland

Responsiveness and preparedness in addressing drug-related needs of displaced Ukrainians in EU countries bordering Ukraine

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, it is estimated that around 8 million people have fled the war in Ukraine, of which an unprecedented 5 million people have crossed the borders into the European Union. An unknown proportion of those displaced will have established drug-related problems and will require medical care for opioid dependence, in particular OAT, as well as for prevention and treatment of drug-related infectious diseases | EMCDDA, Portugal

Luxembourg leads the charge for a new European drug policy

On Friday, Minister of Health Paulette Lenert and Minister of Justice Sam Tanson met with representatives from Germany, the Netherlands, and Malta at Senningen Castle. The aim? To coordinate a softer regulatory approach to cannabis | RTL, Luxembourg

Legalization of marijuana linked to increased traffic crashes, fatalities

States that legalized recreational marijuana saw a subsequent increase in traffic crashes and fatalities, according to new research in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs | Medical Xpress, USA

Experts divided on whether taking Juul off market would dent teen vaping

The Food and Drug Administration made international headlines late last month when it stripped vaping giant Juul’s products from the e-cigarette market, drawing praise from anti-tobacco advocates and lawmakers. The agency said Juul did not prove that keeping its products on the market “would be appropriate for the protection of the public health | The Hill, USA

Transdermal CBD no better than placebo for drug-resistant focal epilepsy

For adults with drug-resistant focal epilepsy, no difference in efficacy was observed at 12 weeks for adjunctive therapy with transdermal cannabidiol versus placebo, according to a study published online July 8 in JAMA Network Open | Medical Xpress, USA

The Long, Strange Relationship Between Psychedelics and Telepathy

It’s impossible to tell the story of psychedelics without telepathy. How will these experiences fit into psychedelics' mainstream, medical future? | VICE, USA

Biden: “We’re Working on” Fulfilling Pledge to Free Marijuana Prisoners

President Joe Biden says his administration is “working on” plans to fulfill his campaign pledge to free people who are incarcerated for marijuana. This marks the first time that the president has publicly made a substantive comment about cannabis policy since taking office more than a year ago | Filter Magazine, USA

Momentum Builds to Broaden Access to Methadone and Buprenorphine

Momentum is building for legislation to broaden access to buprenorphine and methadone, the lifesaving medications for opioid use disorder. Its impact would be felt particularly in rural areas with few providers | Filter Magazine, USA

Canberra launches first drug-testing site

The six-month pilot will enable people to test drugs and pills free of charge, and provide advice on general, sexual and mental health via drop-in consultations with nurses | New Daily, Australia

Acute alcohol use linked to one quarter of New Zealand suicide deaths - study

The authors of a ground-breaking University of Otago, Christchurch study are calling for immediate changes to Aotearoa New Zealand’s suicide prevention strategy and the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, due to figures showing more than 26 per cent of all suicide deaths in this country involve acute alcohol use | University of Otago, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

How to write an academic book proposal

The publisher Wiley has written guidance to help you on your journey from initial idea to published book. The following edited excerpt, printed with permission from Wiley, focuses on that nerve-wracking first step: writing your book proposal | SSA, UK

Canada publishes proposed regulations to require a health warning directly on every cigarette

On 10 June 2022, Canada announced proposed regulations for its third round of picture warnings, together with a requirement for a health warning to appear on every cigarette, a world first.  The draft regulations are subject to a 75-day consultation period, ending 25 August 2022.  Final regulations are expected to be adopted in the first half of 2023, with the new warnings for cigarette packages and sticks to be implemented 180 days later at the manufacturer level, and 270 days later at the retail level | BMJ Tobacco Control blog, UK

Addiction professionals? Substance use professionals? Recovery professionals?

For 28 years, an important part of my professional identity has been “addiction professional.” Over that 28 years, addiction professionals have never been a very harmonious group | Recovery Review blog, USA