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Daily news - 21st June 2022


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UK news

Latest information on alcohol consumption, price and harms in Scotland published

Public Health Scotland has published the MESAS Monitoring Report 2022, as part of the continued delivery of the Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) programme. This annual report provides the latest available information and key statistics on alcohol consumption, price, related harms and inequalities | Public Health Scotland, UK

Poorest Scots five times more likely to die of alcohol abuse

The Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland's Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) report 2022 found rates of alcohol-specific deaths were five times higher in Scotland's poorest communities | BBC, UK

Call to amend Misuse of Drugs Regulations to make it easier to pilot overdose prevention centres

In the United Kingdom, in 2020, there were 4,517 deaths related to illicit drug use; the highest rate of drug related deaths since records began. It is necessary to provide the full range of evidence-based drug treatment and harm reduction interventions to prevent these deaths. We call on the Government to amend the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 to make it easier to establish pilots of overdose prevention centres. This is an easy step that would not require primary legislation. It would help local agencies to build the evidence base and save lives | Faculty of Public Health, UK

Public Health and Smoking: A framework for action (PDF)

This report is a practical document, designed to drive action locally, regionally and nationally across sectors. It is for people and organisations developing plans and strategies to improve mental and physical health in our communities, particularly those working to implement public mental health approaches to prevent poor mental health in society | ASH et al

New report finds smoking is a cause of depression and schizophrenia

Smoking increases the risk of developing schizophrenia by between 53% and 127% and of developing depression by 54% to 132%, a report by academics from the University of Bristol published today [20 June] has shown. More research is needed to identify why this is the case, and more evidence is needed for other mental health conditions such as anxiety or bipolar disorder | ASH, UK

Is there a causal effect of smoking on Mental Health?

In this report, we summarise evidence around two key questions about smoking and mental health: 1) does smoking increase the risk of subsequent mental health problems, and 2) does quitting smoking improve mental health symptoms. Establishing whether or not these are true causal effects will help to better target successful public health policies and to hopefully increase life expectancy and improve health amongst individuals with mental illness | University of Bristol, UK

PSHE: We need to talk about cannabis

Use of cannabis among teenagers is on the rise and charity the Alcohol Education Trust has responded with new workshops for schools. CEO Helena Conibear offers some tips on tackling cannabis education | SecEd, UK

UK’s cannabis industry could be worth more than £1bn by 2026, says new analysis

The research, by Prohibition Partners, comes as the country readies to host the Web Summit for cannabis next week, which will see industry leaders urge the government to welcome the market with open arms | City AM, UK

Eccleshall: Former alcoholic completes 70-triathlon challenge

A former alcoholic has completed a 70-triathlon challenge for charity to see what he was "capable of". | BBC, UK

Families Awareness Week - 20th-26th June 

Families Awareness Week exists to highlight that over 5 million* adults in Great Britain are currently negatively affected by the drinking, drug use or gambling of a family member or friend. It is led by Adfam, the national charity tackling these effects. Get involved by doing 5 things, at home or at work, online or in person to help raise awareness and support the Forgotten 5 Million | Adfam, UK

What’s the role of a peer reviewer?

The publisher Wiley has produced a bundle of resources about the peer review process – including top tips on how to peer review an article, and what it takes to become a reviewer. Below is an edited excerpt from their website, printed with permission from Wiley | SSA, UK

Nearly 400 drug driving cases abandoned due to lab delays

Since 2019 police have been able to conduct roadside mouth swabs and request blood samples from drivers suspected of being impaired by drugs | BBC, UK

Teenager brings complaint against Met police over alleged racist stereotyping

19-year-old says he was groomed into county lines crime then was treated as drug gang member by police | Guardian, UK

Merseyside drug dealer caught after photo found on his phone

A drug dealer was identified and caught after police found a photograph on his mobile phone of a distinctive mural | BBC, UK

Take the Lead

Team up with your furry friend and walk a marathon (26.2 miles) between 1 and 31 August. Raise money so we can provide a bed and support to over 3,200 people experiencing homelessness each night | St Mungos, UK

 

 

International news

Thailand cannabis: From a war on drugs to weed curries

Thailand legalised cultivating and consuming cannabis this month, reversing a hard-line approach of long prison sentences or even the death penalty for drug offences. The BBC's South East Asia correspondent Jonathan Head reports on what's behind the dramatic change | BBC, UK

Colorado town considers renaming itself ‘Kush’ to celebrate cannabis industry

The drug was legalised in the state in 2012 and the idea for the name change has come from Mike Biggio, the owner and founder of Area 420, which licenses land for cannabis growing in Moffat | Independent, UK

COVID-19 pandemic curtailed young adults' access to addiction treatment

A study analyzing prescription claims for a drug used to treat opioid addictions found that adolescents and young adults were less likely than usual to get treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially if they were covered by private, commercial health insurance | Medical Xpress, USA

Cannabis consumption may relieve fatigue according to new study

In a recent article published in the Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids journal, investigators analyzed the impacts of Cannabis flower consumption in the treatment of fatigue | News Medical, USA

“COVID just kind of opened a can of whoop-ass”: The rapid growth of safer supply prescribing during the pandemic documented through an environmental scan of addiction and harm reduction services in Canada

In the context of the ongoing overdose crisis, a stark increase in toxic drug deaths from the unregulated street supply accompanied the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Injectable opioid agonist treatment (iOAT – hydromorphone or medical-grade heroin), tablet-based iOAT (TiOAT), and safer supply prescribing are emerging interventions used to address this crisis in Canada. Given rapid clinical guidance and policy change to enable their local adoption, our objectives were to describe the state of these interventions before the pandemic...| IJDP, USA

 

 

Blogs, comment and opinion

Naloxone Saves Lives But We Need To Improve Its Availability

The new (17 June) Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) report on naloxone (the drug used to reverse opioid overdoses) makes it clear that naloxone saves lives but that its availability, particularly in England, needs to be much more strategic to make it available to all | Russell Webster, UK

The unchecked power of philanthropy

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ crusade against vaping is doing more harm than good | Marc Gunther, USA