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Daily news - 24th June 2022

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UK news

Current status of implementation of new drug treatment standards across Scotland - news story

Public Health Scotland has published today a national report [see item below] that details the current status of the implementation of new treatment standards that aim to improve access, choice and care for people who experience drug problems | Public Health Scotland, UK

National benchmarking report on implementation of the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) standards - report

This is a benchmarking report on the progress that alcohol and drug partnerships in Scotland are making to meet the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) standards, April 2022. The report includes recommended actions to address gaps | Public Health Scotland, UK

Service user perceptions of smoking cessation in residential substance use treatment

Prevalence of tobacco smoking among adults in substance misuse treatment is much higher than the wider population, yet limited research is available, and residential treatment services have been overlooked as a potential setting for cessation interventions. Exploring the perceptions of service users about smoking cessation in residential rehabilitation is important to gain better understanding of this issue and identify ways to inform future intervention development | PLOS One, UK

Alcoholism: Rehabilitation

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of including (a) Nalmefene and (b) Naltrexone as part of an alcohol harm reduction strategy | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Labelling

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of requiring alcohol product labels to display the Chief Medical Officers’ low-risk drinking guidelines | They work for you, UK

Event report: DRNS Conference May 2022

In May 2022, DRNS was proud to deliver its 3rd Annual Conference. Attendees came from a variety of backgrounds and locations across the globe, and all were unified by their interest in drugs research. The theme of this conference was one which had great resonance for us all: ‘Complex lives and complex systems: untangling the complexity through drugs research’. | DRNS, UK

Alcohol Focus Scotland and Alcohol Marketing Expert Network Report Launch

Thu, 30 June 2022, 10:00 – 11:00 BST. Alcohol Focus Scotland and the Alcohol Marketing Expert Network invite you to join them for the launch of their new report | SHAAP, UK

Isle of Man medicinal cannabis cultivation centre plans submitted

Plans for a multi-million pound medicinal cannabis and science innovation centre on the Isle of Man have been formally submitted | BBC, UK

Pharmacy given first Manx medicinal cannabis dispensing licence

A pharmacy in Onchan has been awarded the Isle of Man's first licence to import and dispense medicinal cannabis products | BBC, UK

Arrests and £100,000 seized in series of drugs raids

Police have arrested 10 men and one woman and seized about £100,000 in cash and suspected illegal drugs | BBC, UK

Nottinghamshire cannabis grower found hiding in wheelie bin jailed

A drug farmer found hiding inside a wheelie bin by a police sniffer dog has been jailed for eight months | BBC, UK



International news

Juul: US bans all products from leading vaping company

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it did not have enough data to be sure that marketing the firm's products was "appropriate for the protection of public health" | BBC, UK

Dublin: Liquid cocaine in wine bottles among €2m drug seizure

Irish police have arrested seven people and seized drugs worth more than €2m (£1.7m) in a major operation against organised crime in Dublin | BBC, UK

The EncroChat Hack Was Hailed as a Major Coup Against Gangsters. But Europe Is Still Awash With Drugs

When police hacked into organised crime's secret messaging network, it led to a wave of high-profile arrests and drug busts. Two years on, analysis by VICE World News shows that it has failed to dent drug supply | VICE, UK

‘The PCC are after me’: the drug cartel with Paraguay in its clutches

A Brazilian former prison gang is threatening to turn its neighbour into a narcostate and its deadly tentacles extend much further | Guardian, UK

EMCDDA launches foresight toolkit for the drugs field

Analysing potential futures to support decision-making today is increasingly used in a world characterised by rapid, volatile and complex change. More and more organisations, including EU bodies (1), are integrating foresight approaches into their activities. Against this backdrop, the EMCDDA is launching a new online toolkit today to help stakeholders in the drugs field implement their own foresight exercise | EMCDDA, Portugal

EMCDDA renews accord with ISCTE-IUL for the next five years

The EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) and the University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL) will be continuing their fruitful 10-year cooperation, thanks to a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two bodies today in Lisbon | EMCDDA, Portugal

FDA bans Juul e-cigarettes tied to teen vaping surge

Federal health officials on Thursday ordered Juul to pull its electronic cigarettes from the U.S. market, the latest blow to the embattled company widely blamed for sparking a national surge in teen vaping | Medical Xpress, USA

Efficacy and Safety of Varenicline for Smoking Cessation in Patients With Type 2 DiabetesA Randomized Clinical Trial

In this randomized clinical trial involving 300 patients with type 2 diabetes who smoked, varenicline was efficacious at weeks 12, 24, and 52 of the trial compared with placebo. Nausea, insomnia, abnormal dreams, anxiety, and irritability were reported at higher frequency among patients in the varenicline vs placebo group. No treatment-related serious adverse events were noted | JAMA Network Open, USA

Psychosis, Addiction, Chronic Vomiting: As Weed Becomes More Potent, Teens Are Getting Sick

[Possible paywall] With THC levels close to 100 percent, today’s cannabis products are making some teenagers highly dependent and dangerously ill | NYTimes, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Diamorphine shortage could be more than just a problem for drug users

The UK has experienced many shortages of essential medicines, especially since the beginning of the pandemic. The latest shortage is of diamorphine, a painkiller that can be prescribed to drug users who have not responded well to other treatments | Conversation, UK

Drug Supply And Use Bounce Back After COVID

The rapid bounce back of drug supply and use following COVID-19 disruption is among the issues highlighted by this year’s annual report from the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA). The report delivers the latest overview of the drug situation in Europe, exploring long-term trends and emerging threats. At a time when the international situation raises new challenges, the report also looks at how ongoing global events may affect the dynamics of Europe’s drugs problem in future | Russell Webster, UK

Rethinking Drug Law Reform in the Asian Century

Origin stories are perennially fascinating. This is partly because of our intuition that beginnings are important and that they may sometimes provide a clue to hidden or buried truths. Origin stories further appeal by drawing on our deep human attachment to narratives and story-telling | Social and Legal Studies blog, UK

Taliban’s Poppy Ban Provokes Home Office Regulation Debate

Taliban’s poppy ban leads to Home Office concerns of an imminent synthetic opioid crisis in the UK – but what’s the solution? | Transform blog, UK

Legal Regulation in Colombia

Almost a century of evidence demonstrates that punitive, enforcement-led approaches to drugs have failed everywhere they have been tried. Prohibition and criminalisation were supposed to eradicate drug markets, deter people from using drugs, prevent harm and protect people – but they have done the opposite of that | Anyone's child, UK

The Recovery Alliance Initiative – Evolution

In the first post in this series, I described concepts connected to the origin and early formation of the Recovery Advocacy Alliance. For the sake of continuity and understanding, I encourage you to go back and read that post if you haven’t done that yet | Recovery Review blog, USA

Is a safe injection site a good idea in Philadelphia? | Pro/Con

Amid the overdose crisis in the city, some have proposed setting up a safe injection site. But many residents are skeptical | Philidelphia Inquirer, USA

“A Watershed Moment for Drug Policy”: Dr David Caldicott on the ACT Fixed Pill Testing Site

The greenlighting of a six-months trial of a fixed pill testing site in Australia’s capital is a “watershed moment” in terms of how the nation treats illicit substances, according to Dr David Caldicott, a long-term advocate for the nationwide rollout of the evidence-based harm reduction intervention | Sydney Criminal Lawyers blog, Australia