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Daily news - 29th July 2022

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UK news

Drug Related Deaths in Scotland

Statistics of drug-related deaths, broken down by age, sex, substances implicated in the death, underlying cause of death, and NHS Board and Council areas | National Records of Scotland, UK

Small decrease in drug death figures

1,330 people lost their lives to drug misuse in Scotland in 2021, according to latest figures published by National Records of Scotland | National Records of Scotland, UK

Scottish government under pressure as drug deaths fell by just nine in 2021

‘Heart-breaking’ figures are first decrease since 2013 but raise questions over slow progress | Guardian, UK

Right to Recovery Bill will get ‘fair hearing’, drugs policy minister vows

Angela Constance was speaking as she visited River Garden Auchincruive, near Ayr, to learn about the work of the residential rehabilitation centre | Evening Standard, UK

Sister of drug overdose victim plans to set up support centre

Liz Daly is working with Faces and Voices of Recovery UK's to buy a property in the east end of Glasgow | BBC, UK

Addict saved from overdoses nine times in one year

The 49-year-old was homeless, sometimes sleeping in hostels in Glasgow, and had lost contact with his family | BBC, UK

I never enjoyed taking drugs - it was self harm

Before he turned 16 Chris Middlemass had tried cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD and amphetamines | BBC, UK

High rates of avoidable deaths among most disadvantaged

A new study, looking at more than half a million adults in Scotland, has highlighted very high rates of premature mortality from avoidable causes of death amongst society’s most disadvantaged | University of Glasgow, UK

Genetic study provides evidence that alcohol accelerates biological aging

The short-term effects of excessive drinking are well known, but to date it has been less certain whether alcohol also accelerates the aging process | University of Oxford, UK

Painkillers: 'Buying online fuelled ruinous addiction'

A woman has described how easy access to drugs on the internet fuelled an addiction that started with a prescription for period pain when she was 19-years-old | BBC, UK

Coventry shopkeepers want to stop selling cigarettes to customers

One store owner helped three women from one family convert to smoke-free alternatives | Coventry Live, UK

Newcastle men jailed for running global drugs ring

Kohi Choudhury, Sabir Ahmed, and Arif Shomel admitted their roles in the conspiracy which saw £29,000 worth of Class A drugs seized in July 2021 | BBC, UK

Police received calls about Ipswich cannabis factory before fire

Three anonymous calls were made to police about an alleged cannabis farm before a fire there damaged five homes, it has emerged | BBC, UK


International news

Legal psilocybin prescriptions in Canada

On January 5th 2022, Health Canada amended the Food and Drug Regulations and the Narcotic Control Regulations to allow previously excluded ‘psychedelic’ drugs such as Psilocybin to be included on the ‘Special Access Programme’ (SAP) | Drug Science, UK

In Europe’s drug death capital, politicians plead for new powers to stem the tide

Scotland’s fatal overdose rate casts a dark cloud over the independence debate | POLITICO, Belgium

#WorldHepatitisDay — EMCDDA practical resources to help European countries beat viral hepatitis

To mark the occasion, the EMCDDA is showcasing its online toolkit designed to help European countries beat viral hepatitis. The practical resources aim to support countries in promoting HCV testing and care for people who inject drugs (PWID) through drug services | EMCDDA, Portugal

The Global Cannabis Cultivation Research Consortium (GCCRC): a transnational online survey of cannabis growers

This paper presents some of the key findings of an innovative online survey of cannabis growers in Europe, Australia and North America. The International Cannabis Cultivation Questionnaire (ICCQ) present generated important findings about cannabis cultivation, along with policy insights and methodological lessons that would likely have been unattainable through other methods | EMCDDA, Portugal

Civil Society Demands Balanced EU Funding for Drug Policies

Civil society organisations sent an open letter to the EU Commission to criticise the new call for drug policy grant proposals that almost only focuses on law enforcement and excludes harm reduction | Drug Reporter, Hungary

Switzerland Fully Legalizes Medical Cannabis And Allows Export

Switzerland is to join other European countries that have legalized cannabis for medical purposes. From August 1, patients can get medical cannabis through a medical prescription | Forbes, USA

Ketamine found to be unlikely to lead to addiction

A team of researchers at the University of Geneva has found that ketamine is unlikely to be addictive to people who use it for extended periods of time | Medical Xpress, USA

Geographic Trends in Opioid Overdoses in the US From 1999 to 2020

The US opioid crisis has evolved over time. Ciccarone posited a theory of 3 overlapping waves of opioid-involved overdose deaths (OODs) based on supply (iatrogenic and new illicit sources) and demand (social, cultural, and technological) | JAMA Network Open, USA

Future wave of opioid-involved overdose deaths will spike in rural and urban areas

Over the past 21 years of opioid overdose deaths-; from prescription drugs to heroin to synthetic and semisynthetic opioids such as fentanyl-; geography has played a role in where opioid-involved overdose deaths have occurred, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study | News Medical, USA

Biden’s Drug Czar Is Leading the Charge for a ‘Harm Reduction’ Approach

[Free registration may be required] Experts describe the president’s drug control strategy as the most progressive since Richard Nixon appointed the nation’s first drug czar in 1971 | NYTimes, USA

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia annual report

In 2020–21, around 139,300 clients aged 10 and over received AOD treatment. The four most common drugs that led clients to seek treatment were alcohol (37%), amphetamines (24%), cannabis (19%) and heroin (4.6%). The median age of clients was 35 years | AIHW, Australia

Criminal justice contact and health amongst people who inject drugs in Greater Brisbane, Queensland: Findings from the Illicit Drug Reporting System

This bulletin looks at self-reported contact with the criminal justice system among a sample of people who inject drugs in Greater Brisbane, Queensland | NDARC, Australia




Blogs, comment and opinion

With You responds to new Scottish drug related death stats

Rosie McLuskie, Director of Services at drug, alcohol and mental health charity With You says: “The number of drug-related deaths in Scotland remains at crisis levels. We are losing more than three people every day, with each death sending ripples through families and communities, leaving children without parents and partners bereaved. Every one of these deaths is preventable... | With You, UK

National Records of Scotland confirm almost no change in rate of drug-related deaths

David Liddell, CEO of Scottish Drugs Forum says: “Today’s statistics are a record of personal, community and national loss.  The tragedy is that each of these preventable deaths represent an on-going systemic failure in to address poverty and support vulnerable people and their families... | SDF, UK

The stories we share about alcohol matter

In this blog, Nick Bibby discusses how we talk about alcohol and how that affects those whose lives have been harmed by it | SHAAP blog, UK

Utrecht opens the world's first MDMA shop

Compared to cannabis, the public debate around the legal regulation of stimulants has been restrained in most parts of the world. It’s not hard to see why. Cannabis has tended to dominate public debate; as the most used illegal drug, one that is very easy to produce and procure, and also one associated with lower risks relative to most other drugs, it has, unsurprisingly, been at the forefront of reform efforts around the world | Transform blog, UK