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Daily news - 28th July 2022

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UK news

Drug-related deaths 2021 (Scotland)

These statistics are scheduled to be published at 9.30am this morning. Please check the link above | Public Health Scotland, UK

NHS smoking cessation local delivery plan standard quarterly

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) presents information on NHS Stop Smoking Services in Scotland and their progress towards their annual Local Delivery Plan (LDP) Standard | Public Health Scotland, UK

Rolling alcohol licences proposed for Isle of Man firms

Under the proposals, licences would be renewed automatically each year as long as the businesses continue to meet industry standards | BBC, UK

Four arrested as drugs seized in Belfast and Lurgan

Four men have been arrested following the seizure of more than a quarter of a million pounds worth of suspected illegal drugs in Belfast and Lurgan | BBC, UK



International news

World Hepatitis Day - 28th July

World Hepatitis Day (WHD) takes places every year on 28 July bringing the world together under a single theme to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change. In 2022 the theme is ‘I Can’t Wait’. On World Hepatitis Day, 28 July, we call on people from across the world to take action and raise awareness of hepatitis because Hepatitis Can’t Wait | World Hepatitis Alliance, UK and Switzerland

Israel's Teva reaches potential $4.25 bn US opioid settlement

Israeli generic drug maker Teva has reached an agreement in principle to pay $4.25 billion over 13 years to settle a series of court cases over its role in the US opioid epidemic | Medical Xpress, USA

Study identifies new links between REM sleep disturbances and drug relapse

Relapse presents a major barrier to recovery from substance use disorders—when people begin taking drugs such as cocaine again after a period of abstinence. Sleep disruptions have long been associated with drug withdrawal and relapse. Now, a new study provides a more detailed picture of recovery-related sleep that could lead to insights for better recovery treatments | Medical Xpress, USA

San Francisco Launches Bid to Decriminalize Psychedelics

City lawmakers in San Francisco are introducing a resolution to decriminalize naturally occurring psychedelics, or “entheogens.” The measure would remove criminal penalties for possession of drugs like psilocybin or mescaline—both to reduce criminalization in itself, and to make it easier for people to use these drugs for therapeutic purposes | Filter Magazine, USA

People respond differently to psychedelic drugs—genetics could be the reason

Cluster headaches, anxiety and depression can be debilitating for people living with these conditions. Psychedelic drugs have shown benefits as treatments for these conditions in clinical studies, but not for everyone | Medical Xpress, USA

The High-Stakes Race to Engineer New Psychedelic Drugs

As psychedelic therapies for mental health go mainstream, companies are recruiting chemists to create patentable versions of hallucinogens. Critics say it’s all a bad trip | WIRED, USA

COVID-19 restrictions saw alcohol and other drug treatment service providers adapt

In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and with the introduction of new health regulations, the delivery of specialised treatment by alcohol and other drug treatment services was impacted. As restrictions eased in most jurisdictions, services adapted traditional practices as the type of treatment and where it is delivered are interrelated | AIHW, Australia

Pharmacological treatment for methamphetamine withdrawal: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

Cessation of methamphetamine use may result in a characteristic withdrawal syndrome, no medication has been approved for this indication. This systematic review aims to assess the efficacy of pharmacotherapy for methamphetamine withdrawal, the first comprehensive meta-analysis since 2008 | DAR, Australia

Australia urged to join New Zealand in tobacco ‘endgame’

Leading tobacco-control experts have urged the federal government to join New Zealand in pursuing “endgame” reforms that could eliminate smoking and dramatically close the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and white Australians | SMH, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Scotland's drug deaths crisis: 'People deserve the legal right to treatment'

Writing in the Glasgow Times today, Annemarie Ward, chief executive of Favor, gave her opinion on what has happened since last year’s record figures were released | Glasgow Times opinion, UK

Culture matters! Changes in the global landscape of cannabis

In assembling this special issue, we aimed at conceptual, topical and geographical diversity in order to map the variability of cannabis cultures and markets on a global scale. The issue accordingly covers the stigma, gendered use, comparisons, social worlds, symbolic boundaries, subcultures, identity work as well as digital, regulated and markets in transformation | DEPP editorial, UK

It’s been 4 years since my son died

It’s been 4 years since my son Ben died from a heroin overdose. I would like to say the grief has lessened and I have come to some kind of peace and acceptance, but the truth is I haven’t found any peace. The only acceptance I’ve experienced is coming to terms with the fact that I will always have this ball of pain and sadness within me | Anyone's Child, UK

The opioid crisis isn’t just the Sacklers’ fault – and making Purdue Pharma pay isn’t enough on its own to fix the pharmaceutical industry’s deeper problems

You may have heard of the Sackler family and the role that they and their privately held company, Purdue Pharma, played in the opioid crisis. One TV series depicting the family as a villainous clan has earned 14 Emmy nominations. Another is in the works | Conversation, USA

New Zealand’s ‘tobacco endgame’ law will be a world first for health – here’s what the modelling shows us

With the first reading of a new bill in parliament today, Aotearoa New Zealand’s plan to be smokefree by 2025 takes another tangible step forward | Conversation, New Zealand