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Daily news - 6th June 2022

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Tackling Drug Deaths and Drug Harm [Scottish parliament]

As the convener of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee, I welcome the opportunity to open the debate. When my committee took evidence from the Minister for Drugs Policy last year, it became apparent that a number of key policy levers in this area lie with the United Kingdom Government. As part of our joint scrutiny work, we heard evidence that the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is outdated and fails to reflect the public health-led approach that we want to pursue in Scotland | They work for you, UK

Veterans (Data on Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Abuse) [Scottish parliament]

To ask the Scottish Government what data it collects on any difficulties faced by veterans in Scotland, including on the prevalence of mental health issues and drug and alcohol abuse | They work for you, UK

ScotRail told to rethink alcohol ban after admitting it failed to seek expert advice

[Possible paywall] ScotRail has been urged to reconsider its alcohol ban after it emerged the operator failed to consult police or behavioural experts about its decision. The train operator, which was taken into public ownership in April, has no plans to lift its ban on alcohol, which was imposed during the first Covid lockdown in 2020 | The Times, UK

Mental Imagery to Reduce Alcohol-related harm in patients with alcohol dependence and alcohol-related liver damaGE: the MIRAGE pilot trial protocol

In the UK, alcohol use is the main driver of chronic liver disease and each year results in over 1 million unplanned hospital admissions and over 25 000 deaths from alcohol-related liver disease (ArLD). The only effective treatment to prevent progression of liver damage is reducing or ceasing alcohol consumption | BMJ Open, UK

UK beer costs soar as average price of pint tops £8 in one London pub

Price hikes driven by combination of factors, including inflation and the war in Ukraine | Guardian, UK

Naloxone: Bedfordshire Police pilot scheme to help save lives and counter drug overdoses

Bedfordshire’s deputy chief constable, Trevor Rodenhurst, told the PCC the Delivery and Beating Crime Meeting that the force is piloting a scheme for community teams to carry Naxalone | Bedford Today, UK

£1.4million announced to improve drug and alcohol addiction treatment in Wirral

Wirral  is set to receive £1.4 million after being recognised as being one of the local authorities with the highest level of need for drug and alcohol addiction treatment | Wirral Globe, UK

Leicester selected for £800K funding to improve drug and alcohol addiction treatment

Leicester is set to receive just over £800,000 of funding to tackle the lack of local drug and alcohol treatment available for those suffering from addiction. The city has been selected by the Government’s Department of Health and Social Care due to having one of the "highest levels of need" | Leicester Mercury, UK

Recovery Street Film Festival - open for entries 2022

This year, the Recovery Street Film Festival is looking for film submissions of one to three minutes in length themed around the question: “Who am I?” Read more about the theme for film submissions to our 2022 competition, take a look at our resources aimed at helping you to make your film, and submit your film when it’s ready | RSFF, UK

UCLAN student who struggled with drug addiction composes live music festival to challenge the stereotype of ‘once an addict, always an addict’

A creative arts festival has been organised in tune with Blackpool’s recovery community to deliver a message of hope to people struggling with drug addiction | Blackpool Gazette, UK

The NHS APA invites you to join us at our free and virtual conference on Tuesday 8th of November 2022

Following on from our 2021 conference which focused on spotlighting the problem of stigma and its impact on people with addiction, our 2022 conference aims to build upon its success and the success of our #StigmaKills campaign to put strategies for tackling stigma into real action, both as individuals and across our sector | NHS APA, UK

Miscarriage of justice watchdog refers case of trafficked child forced to work on cannabis farm

The miscarriage of justice watchdog is sending the case of a trafficked child found working in a cannabis farm to the Crown Court. Five years ago the boy then aged 17 years old pleaded guilty to the production of cannabis | Justice Gap, UK

Addiction Journal Current List - June 2022

This is a quick summary of the main discovery for each research paper we have published, organized issue by issue | SSA, UK

Derby dealer had to be revived by police after trying to swallow drug wraps

As the cops approached the car they saw 53-year-old Harris had stopped breathing and was unconscious, and had to give life-saving medical help. Nine wraps of drugs, containing heroin and crack cocaine, were removed from his throat, where they had become stuck, before he was taken to hospital and then arrested | Derby Telegraph, UK

Man jailed for Isle of Man medicinal cannabis licence fraud

A man who fraudulently applied for a licence to produce medicinal cannabis products on the Isle of Man has been jailed for four years | BBC, UK


International news

Canada trials decriminalising cocaine, MDMA and other drugs

Canada has announced it will temporarily decriminalise the possession of small amounts of some illicit drugs in British Columbia (BC) | BBC, UK

‘We spark curiosity’: how the psychedelics industry is taking on Davos

The Psychedelic House of Davos, a satellite event happening in conjunction with the World Economic Forum, was a ‘genius strategy’ to build credibility, say experts | Guardian, UK

Morocco launches agency to regulate medicinal cannabis

Morocco's national regulatory agency overseeing the use of cannabis for medical use met for the first time Thursday in one of the last steps before legalisation in the world's top cannabis-resin producer | Mail Online, UK

Fox News slammed for suggesting link between marijuana and mass shootings

Speaking on Tuesday night, the Fox News anchor said mass shootings were the fault of individuals having “a dysfunctional home life” where drugs put them “on a highway to hell.” | Independent, UK

Let doctors use MDMA to treat veterans with PTSD and depression, former ADF boss says

Chris Barrie says he hopes common sense will prevail and the TGA will allow drug to be more readily used to treat patients | Guardian, UK

Calls for drug arrests to be replaced by $400 fine in New South Wales

Attorney general Mark Speakman says state’s drug laws are ‘clearly not working’ as he pushes case for reform | Guardian, UK

Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela: Colombian 'Chess Player' drug lord dies in US prison

At one point, Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela controlled the vast majority of the world's cocaine trade and was an arch-nemesis of Pablo Escobar | BBC, UK

Preparing Europe for Novel Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies

Thu, 23 June 2022, 14:00 – 16:00 CEST. Free online launch event for the Psychedelic Access and Research European Alliance (PAREA). We bring together 15 members, including EU patient advocacy groups in the field of mental health, neurology and chronic pain, scientific associations – neuropsychopharmacologists and cancer societies, psychedelic foundations, as well as industry partners | PAREA, UK et al

Three quarters of long Covid patients consuming problematic levels of alcohol

Two new studies have found that complications arising from long Covid are primarily brain related – not heart and lung conditions, as previously thought | Journal, Ireland

Supervised drug-use centres key to reducing harm says EU expert

Supervised centres where marginalised people can legally take drugs should be seen as “key instruments” in reducing the harm caused by substances, the head of the EU drug agency has said | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Gardaí vow to clean up Dublin city centre streets plagued by crack addiction

Workers and businessowners in the area described how they are often the victims of physical assaults and threats | Journal, Ireland

Older patients who consume alcohol regularly report better quality of life before and after surgery

Older adults (aged 60 or older) who consume potentially unhealthy amounts of alcohol report significantly better mobility, self-care and fewer problems undertaking daily activities after surgery compared to their peers who abstain from alcohol or drink at very low levels | EurekAlert, Italy

The volunteers risking their lives to help drug users in Ukraine

For Alexey Kvitkovskiy and other harm reduction volunteers, their mission has become far more dangerous and difficult | Al Jazeera, Qatar

Removing barriers to opioid use disorder treatment shows success during pandemic

Pandemic-era changes to prescribing guidelines for the lifesaving drug buprenorphine led to improved treatment outcomes for patients with opioid use disorder in Philadelphia, according to a recently published study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence Reports from researchers at Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health | Medical Xpress, USA

Disparities in opioid treatment access remain for women, Black and Hispanic people

Buprenorphine is a prescription approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that effectively treats opioid dependence or addiction. But women, as well as Black and Hispanic populations, do not have equal access to this potentially lifesaving medication, new Mayo Clinic research finds | Medical Xpress, USA

Survey: 1 in 3 Americans Tried Alcohol Delivery Service During Pandemic

One in 3 Americans say they have tried alcohol delivery services since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and 3 of 5 said they still use them, according to a poll released Sunday | NewsMax, USA

For those in recovery, non-abstinent approaches are common though abstinence associated with better quality of life

Abstinence-based models of addiction recovery tend to dominate the substance use treatment landscape, yet many people who report resolving an alcohol or other drug use problem continue some level of substance use. This study estimated the prevalence of adults in the U.S. in recovery who are currently abstinent or engaging in some substance use, as well as the associations between their substance use status and current well-being | Recovery Research Institute, USA

Cannabis or tobacco: Which type of smoking is more common in homes?

Cannabis smoke produces heavy particulate matter emissions, which is linked to cardiovascular harm for both the smoker and also potentially for others around them who do not smoke. Though there are similar health risks, smoking cannabis is often seen as safer than smoking tobacco, and more people allow cannabis smoking in their homes. Understanding the rate of in-home cannabis smoking can help inform the need for public health educational campaigns. This week, ASHES reviews a study by John Bellettiere and colleagues that compared in-home cannabis and tobacco smoking among psychoactive drug users from 17 countries | BASIS, USA

Why ketamine is a speedster antidepressant

Study is first to identify how it works; could be adapted for use without its many side effects | EurekAlert, USA

Judge Orders County to Offer OUD Meds to All Jailed Patients, in US First

ANew York district judge has ordered upstate Jefferson County to offer medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) to all people who were taking such medicine at the time of their detention. In his May 16 ruling, Judge David N. Hurd certified the New York Civil Liberty Union’s request for a class action suit against the county over its denial of access to MOUD of people detained in the Jefferson County Correctional Center | Filter Magazine, USA

Los Angeles Becomes Largest US City to Ban Flavored Vapes

On June 1, the Los Angeles City Council voted to ban flavored vapes and tobacco products in a 12-0 decision. The ordinance now moves to the desk of Mayor Eric Garcetti, who’s expected to sign it. The law, which prohibits the sale of non-tobacco flavored vaping products, flavored cigars and menthol cigarettes, would go into effect in January 2023 | Filter Magazine, USA

Cancer and alcohol: Advocates push the need for warning labels to help consumers choose safely

The pop of a cork and the fizz of champagne flowing down the side of the bottle. The glug-glug-glug of wine being poured into a glass. The clink of a bottle cap landing in a stash of caps | Capital Current, Canada

Injecting room has not only saved lives, it has protected clients from violence

Violence is no stranger in the world of illicit drugs. But Sydney’s injection room gives its users a much-needed respite from it | UNSW, Australia

Penington Institute June bulletin

In The Bulletin’s June issue, hear directly from people on the front line of harm reduction and medical care | Penington Institute, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

What can the UK learn from Australia and New Zealand’s fight for mandatory alcohol warning labels?

Health advisory information or health warnings are used to expose the health risks associated with harmful products. They are used in a variety of settings and on an exceptionally large range of products including pharmaceuticals, chemicals, tobacco and household appliances. But not alcohol | IAS blog, UK

PhD corner: How to write an annotated bibliography

More key skills for the budding addictions researcher. If you read our blog ‘five ways to bring order to your literature review’, you might recall that one of the tips was to keep an annotated bibliography. Below, we describe what this involves, and how it differs to a regular bibliography | SSA blog, UK

Africa will be the world’s ashtray if big tobacco is able to get its way

Smoking in the west is declining, so the industry is turning to untapped markets, where governments must act to stop it | Guardian, UK

You booze you lose! The rise of sober-curious TV

TV’s most compelling heroines are currently kicking the habit. Thanks to shows like The Flight Attendant, alcohol-free television is where it’s at for fascinating, action-packed viewing | Guardian, UK

Behavioural science mantra of acting responsibly is failing and enabling corporate obstructionism

In a recently published working paper: The i-frame and the s-frame: how focusing on the individual-level solutions has led behavioural public policy astray, co-authored by Nick Chater & George Loewenstein, both who had long subscribed to the influential line of thinking of behavioural science that many of society’s most pressing problems could be addressed cheaply and effectively at the level of individual... | Alcohol Action Ireland blog, Ireland

The Opioid Crisis—Not Just Opioids Anymore

Now in its second decade, the opioid epidemic has claimed more than 800 000 lives in the US, more than the combined total of all deaths in all US wars and armed conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the present | JAMA Network Open, USA

Introducing the Drinking Studies Network

The Drinking Studies Network is an interdisciplinary and international research group that connects scholars working on drink and drinking culture across different societies and time periods | Points blog, USA

Canada’s drug experiment could work here. This is why

The Canadian government’s announcement that it will trial decriminalisation of drugs in British Columbia for three years may seem radical to some outside observers, but for those of us in the alcohol and other drug field it’s been a long time coming | The Age opinion, Australia