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Daily news - 22nd July 2022

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UK news

Changing Lives - Final Report (PDF)

Over the last three years, we in the Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce have listened to the voices of people from across Scotland and beyond with lived and living experience of using drugs, families, service providers in the public, private and voluntary sectors, community representatives, those in our justice and emergency services, academics and many more. We have heard their stories and learned from their experience. Combined with findings from our examination of the evidence base, these stories and experiences are at the heart of our recommendations and actions | SDTF, UK

Drugs death taskforce chief says punishing addicts must stop

The head of Scotland's drug deaths taskforce has called for an overhaul of addiction services and reform of drugs laws to halt overdose deaths | BBC, UK

Calls for opioid agonist treatments to be used in the treatment of injecting-related infections

Medications such as buprenorphine and methadone should be used to help treat patients with opioid use disorder who come to hospital with injecting-related infections, finds new research from UCL and UNSW, Sydney | UCL News, UK

‘Left in limbo’: Pubs and brewers disappointed as alcohol duty legislation pushed back

Draft legislation was set to be published this summer, to be consulted on before being introduced through the 2022/2023 finance bill | City AM, UK

Chris Kirkland: ‘I didn’t know who I was, couldn’t remember where home was’

Former Liverpool goalkeeper discusses his battle with a painkillers addiction and the steps he has taken to tackle it | Guardian, UK

The Hepatitis C Trust hosts parliamentary reception ahead of World Hepatitis Day 2022

The Hepatitis C Trust would like to thank all who attended our World Hepatitis Day reception event in advance of World Hepatitis Day itself on July 28th. The event was a great opportunity to bring together staff from The Hepatitis C Trust... with supportive parliamentarians and representatives from NHS Operational Delivery Networks, NHS England, pharmaceutical partners in the NHS England hepatitis C elimination deal, and others | Hepatitis C Trust, UK

Its game on for the Recovery Games

Saturday 24 September 2022. After a two-year absence due to the pandemic the Recovery Games is back and taking place at Hatfield Activity Centre in Doncaster, DN7 6EQ on 24 September 2022. The all-day event is a key attraction in the recovery calendar bringing together people from all walks of life from across the UK to celebrate the achievements of people in recovery from a drug and alcohol dependency. Video of 2019 Games| Aspire, UK

Blackpool drug arrests: Three held over California cannabis imports

The crackdown on "brazen" drug dealers importing cannabis from California - where cannabis is legal - featured three raids in the Lancashire resort | BBC, UK

Former Liverpool nursing home was factory for Scottish drug smuggling

A former nursing home in Liverpool was used by a criminal gang as a drugs factory to smuggle millions of pounds of amphetamine into Scotland | BBC, UK


International news

Democrats introduce long-awaited bill to decriminalise cannabis on federal level

Bill has uncertain future despite support from Chuck Schumer | Independent, UK

Music festival patrons launch class action against NSW police alleging unlawful strip-searches

Plaintiffs allege children ordered to strip and squat and women told to remove tampons at festivals including Splendour in the Grass | Guardian, UK

EMCDDA becomes official partner of COPOLAD III

The EMCDDA becomes an official partner of COPOLAD III, a programme promoting dialogue and bi-regional cooperation on drug policy between the European Union and Latin American and Caribbean countries | EMCDDA, Portugal

Cocaine Insights (PDF)

The cocaine market presents a clear threat at global level. Well-defined locations of production in South America and large consumer markets in the Americas and Europe lead to trafficking routes from a circumscribed origin to specific, even if far-flung, destinations. While some parts of the world play a crucial role as transit regions, the routes, modalities and networks employed by criminal actors continue to evolve, diversify and become more efficient | UNODC, Austria

Cigarette smokers who try to quit often end up vaping and smoking

Most of the 40 million Americans who smoke cigarettes say they want to quit, and some move to e-cigarettes as a step toward quitting. However, a growing number of such people become dual nicotine users: They smoke traditional cigarettes and vape e-cigarettes, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found | Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, USA

Estimating Weekly National Opioid Overdose Deaths in Near Real Time Using Multiple Proxy Data Sources

In this cross-sectional time series analysis, signals from 5 overdose-related, proxy data sources encompassing health, law enforcement, and online data from 2014 to 2019 in the US were combined via a statistical model that was able to demonstrate that these data can be used to estimate national opioid overdose death rates with an approximate 1% error | JAMA Network open, USA

The Devastating Rise in Overdose Deaths of Black and Indigenous People

Overdose deaths among Black and Indigenous people in the United States surged in 2020, rising at far faster rates than for white people, according to a new analysis from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Disparities were even starker when data were broken down into certain age and gender categories | Filter Magazine, USA

FDA Head Orders a Review of Its Nicotine Division, to Mixed Response

On July 20, Robert Califf, the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), announced that he would commission external experts to conduct “a comprehensive evaluation” of the agency’s food and nicotine divisions | Filter Magazine, USA

With new campaign, Philly recruits former smokers to encourage current ones to quit

A new city antismoking campaign is highlighting Philadelphians' stories about quitting to encourage others to do the same | Medical Xpress, USA

The DRAM, Vol. 18(8) - A pathway from socioeconomic deprivation to alcohol dependence

There are connections between socioeconomic status and drinking behaviors and outcomes. Understanding this relationship is an important step towards developing stronger and more effective intervention plans. This week, The DRAM reviews a study by Ruichong Shuai and colleagues that examined an indirect pathway from socioeconomic deprivation to alcohol dependence | BASIS, USA

N-Propyl Butylone

N-Propyl butylone is classified as a novel stimulant and substituted cathinone. Substituted cathinones are modified based on the structure of cathinone, an alkaloid found in the Khat plant | NPS Discovery, USA

Australia's first fixed-site pill testing to open in Canberra in bid for harm reduction

The CanTEST Health and Drug Checking Service will be located in Canberra's CBD and will offer the free, confidential testing of drugs | abc.net.au, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

British drugs policy is punitive and contradictory. And now it’ll go backwards

While other countries are abandoning a failed ‘war on drugs’, in its final days the Johnson administration is doubling down | Guardian opinion, UK

Everything You Need to Know About the Drugs White Paper

Controversial plans outlined this week to curb recreational drug use have caused confusion and consternation, as a classically ‘cakeist’ white paper full of contradictions and codswallop emerges from the dying days of the Johnson government. But cut through the noise, and might there be some light as well as heat? | Volteface, UK

‘Lena left a big impression on me and my practice as a pharmacist’

Dr Rachel Britton, Director of Pharmacy for the charity With You, talks to the SSA’s Natalie Davies about the significant impact one person had on her professional life and perspective, and the role pharmacists and pharmacy technicians can play in a person’s recovery | SSA blog, UK