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Daily news - 10th June 2022

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UK news

The Khan review: making smoking obsolete

Independent review by Dr Javed Khan OBE into the government’s ambition to make England smokefree by 2030 | OHID, UK

Characterising smoking and smoking cessation attempts by risk of alcohol dependence: A representative, cross-sectional study of adults in England between 2014-2021

There is a strong shared association between smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol. This study aimed to compare smoking prevalence and smoking characteristics in drinkers who were versus were not at risk of alcohol dependence in England | Lancet, UK

Gambling losses in online gaming very skewed to deprived areas – UK study

Major report raises concern at low intervention by firms and puts pressure on government review | Guardian, UK

London Joint Working Group on Substance Use and Hepatitis C 

Thursday June 16th 2022. This year’s conference will hear from experts about the barriers and solutions to London becoming first global city to eliminate hepatitis C. The event will be primarily in-person at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 1 Birdcage Walk, London, SW1H 9JJ and we encourage as many people as possible to join us (COVID considerations permitting), but we will also live-stream speeches to allow guests to engage remotely. This event is free to attend for all healthcare workers, charity employees, peer support staff and patient advocates | LJWG, UK

Hunter White: Parents of baby who died 'hid dad's drug use'

Two parents sentenced after the death of their baby hid the father's drug use from social workers, an inquest heard | BBC, UK


International news

ACT government to decriminalise possession of small amounts of drugs including cocaine and heroin

Under new laws, anyone found with amount that falls within threshold will be fined, but not charged | Guardian, UK

Woman spared jail after drone used to transport drugs over closed NSW-Victorian border

The drone was flown across the Murray River in September 2020, with 336 grams of methylamphetamine attached, court told | Guardian, UK

My mum 'blossomed' as she fought Nigeria’s fake drug barons - audio

Chidiogo Akunyili-Parr watched her mother Dora Akunyili take on Nigeria’s fake drug cartels despite threats and assassination attempts | BBC, UK

Half of gambling addicts also have a problem with substance abuse

Almost half of people seeking treatment for gambling addiction have an associated problem with substance abuse, according to a new Health Research Board study | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Street brawls in Cork prompt renewed calls for supervised injection facility

Lord Mayor and the head of the HSE's regional drugs services respond to spate of antisocial behaviour on St Patrick's Street | Irish Examiner, Ireland

EMCDDA webinar: Drug consumption rooms in Europe - video

Objective: The main objective of this webinar is to provide an overview of the different types of drug consumptions rooms (DCRs) in Europe. It will describe the challenges and current reality, as well as look towards the future and consider how this service could adapt and evolve | EMCDDA, Portugal

The war is speeding up Ukraine's efforts to legalize medical cannabis

Minister of Healthcare Viktor Liashko wrote on Facebook on Tuesday – more than 100 days into the war – that Ukraine's cabinet had approved a bill "on regulating the circulation of cannabis plants for medical, industrial purposes, scientific and scientific-technical activities to create the conditions for expanding the access of patients to the necessary treatment of cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from war." | npr, USA

"People Don’t Have to Die:” Inside America’s First Overdose Prevention Center | Amanpour and Company - video

In 2021, more than 107,000 people died of a drug overdose in the U.S. This amounts to one overdose death every five minutes for a full year. One man attempting to change all this is Sam Rivera, executive director of OnPoint NYC. The organization prevents drug-related deaths by providing safe spaces where people can use illegal drugs under staff supervision. New York is the first U.S. city to allow such centers. Under federal law, they remain illegal. Sam Rivera joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss the lifesaving work taking place at his organization | Amanpour and Company, USA

N-Cyclohexyl Butylone (PDF)

N-Cyclohexyl 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. Novel stimulants have been reported to cause psychoactive effects similar to amphetamines | NPS Discovery, USA

Illicit Drug Toxicity Deaths in BC (PDF)

This report summarizes all unintentional illicit drug toxicity deaths in British Columbia (accidental and undetermined) that occurred between January 1, 2012, and April 30, 2022, inclusive. It includes confirmed and suspected illicit toxicity deaths | BC Coroner's Service, Canada

More people died of illicit drug overdoses in first third of this year than ever before in B.C.: report

More people died of illicit drug overdoses in British Columbia in the first third of the year than ever before in the province, just-released data shows, in part because the street supply contains more of an antidote-blocking drug. A report from the B.C. Coroners Service shows 722 deaths have been attributed to drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl (and often a combination) between January and April | CTV News, Canada

Is there fentanyl in my drugs? How 'take-home' testing could be a game changer

People who use drugs in Vancouver can use take-home strips to detect fentanyl in their supply. But how accurate are the results from self-administered tests? And, perhaps more importantly, what is the likelihood that someone who uses drugs will use them? | Vancouver is Awesome, Canada

Trends in methamphetamine use, markets and harms in Australia, 2003–2019

[Open access] These findings suggest that problematic methamphetamine use and harms escalated from 2010 to 2012 onwards in Australia, with continued demand and a sustained market for methamphetamine | Drug and Alcohol Review, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Pharmacies and opioid dependency: working together to better support recovery

One patient in particular led Rachel Britton to discover and develop the role of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in helping people with opioid dependency | Pharmaceutical Journal opinion, UK

Prohibition of non-combustible nicotine products in Mexico

The WHO awarded a prize to Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (known as AMLO) on May 31, the International No Smoking Day. Although the official reason was the approval of a new Tobacco Law, it is evident that AMLO was prized for his five presidential decrees that ban the commercialization and importation of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS e-cigarettes and heat not burn products) | NSP blog, UK

Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie: ‘Cocaine and champagne made me perform better’

The boys used to get provided with cocaine in Heineken bottle tops onstage, but Stevie and I only did the tiny little spoons. I suppose sometimes we got a bit out-there, but we were quite restrained, really. I always took fairly good care of myself. My drug of choice was cocaine and champagne | Guardian, UK

US fight against opioid overdoses becomes one of racial justice: researcher

In 2020, the death rate from drug overdose among Black people surpassed that of white people in the United States for the first time since 1999, according to a study published this year | Medical Xpress, USA

Elizabeth Bass, The G-Woman at the Federal Bureau of Narcotics – Part 2

In the second of two posts which re-open the Points ‘Hidden Figures of Drug History‘ feature, Bob Beach explores Elizabeth Bass’s career as a G-Man at the Federal Bureau of Narcotics | Points blog, USA