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Daily news - 29th June 2022

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UK news

Three men's deaths in Birmingham related to new synthetic drug

The three deaths in Birmingham, since October 2021, happened after the men took opioid N-pyrrolidino etonitazene | BBC, UK

Interim monitoring report on statutory funded residential rehabilitation placements

This is the third report on Residential Rehabilitation within the Monitoring and Evaluation Programme led by Public Health Scotland. The report presents information on the number of Alcohol and Drug Partnership statutory funded placements into residential rehabilitation, with estimated costs, that were approved between 1st April 2021 and 31st March 2022 | Public Health Scotland, UK

National drug and alcohol treatment waiting times: 1 January 2022 to 31 March 2022

This data release by Public Health Scotland reports on waiting times for people accessing specialist drug and alcohol treatment services between 1 January and 31 March 2022. In 2011, the Scottish Government set a Standard that 90% of people referred for help with problematic drug or alcohol use will wait no longer than three weeks for specialist treatment that supports their recovery | Public Health Scotland, UK

Realising our rights: How to protect people from alcohol marketing (PDF)

Exposure to alcohol marketing causes consumption. Alcohol marketing encourages positive attitudes towards alcohol, influences our drinking behaviour and creates a culture where regular alcohol consumption is considered normal and desirable | Alcohol Focus Scotland, UK

Alcohol Focus Scotland and Alcohol Marketing Expert Network Report Launch

30 June 2022, 10:00 – 11:00 BST. This new report presents evidence of the impact of alcohol marketing on people with (or at risk of) an alcohol problem, children and young people, and the general population | Alcohol Focus Scotland and the Alcohol Marketing Expert Network, UK

Multiple disadvantage and co-occurring substance use and mental health conditions (PDF)

This briefing is informed by conversations with local areas from across the MEAM Approach and Fulfilling Lives networks, providing an in-depth understanding of the difficulties faced by support services - including homelessness, drug and alcohol and 3 mental health services - in meeting the needs of individuals with co-occurring conditions, as well as partnership-working, good practice and changes over time | MEAM, UK

Electronic Cigarettes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of trends in the take-up of vaping products since 2015 | They work for you, UK

Liver Diseases

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department has taken to help reduce stigma in respect of liver disease | They work for you, UK

Recovery walk - Newcastle

17th September 2022. The UK Recovery Walk 2022 will be held this year in Newcastle. Starting point is 12.30 at Ceremonial Way (next to the Civic Centre). We will walk down Ceremonial Way, to the City and then back to the park for the rest of the day | FAVOR UK, UK

Tik Tok alcohol post banned for 'drunk' claims

Rosie Breen, of Basingstoke, was promoting a fizzy alcoholic drink saying it was "only 63 calories a can" but could "actually get you drunk". | BBC, UK


International news

Cashing in on the green rush - audio

Some countries have legalised cannabis, often with the hope of kick-starting a lucrative new source of tax revenue - but just how profitable has it been? | BBC, UK

War on drugs prolonged Colombia’s decades-long civil war, landmark report finds

Truth commission’s report, touted as a chance to heal after half a century of bloodshed, called for a ‘substantial change in drug policy’ | Guardian, UK

Prohibited Plants: Environmental Justice in Drug Policy

As scholarship and activism on ‘environmental justice’ points out, poorer and marginalised communities face particular exposure to environmental harms. This holds particularly true for populations in the global South. The role of illicit drugs in relation to these environmental stresses is an underexplored terrain. Yet, as this report will argue, drugs, as well as the policy responses to them, are an environmental issue | TNI, The Netherlands

Making smoking cessation a game increases abstinence among smokers not yet ready to quit

How can smokers who aren't yet ready to quit be motivated to do so? According to a study co-authored by UMass Chan Medical School researchers, smokers in a randomized clinical trial were nearly twice as likely to stop after participating in a technology-assisted abstinence game, compared with those who only received nicotine replacement lozenges to manage cravings | Medical Xpress, USA

Global Forum on Nicotine Seeks to Accelerate Harm Reduction for All

At a hotel in central Warsaw, hundreds of public health experts, consumer advocates for safer nicotine alternatives, industry representatives and drug policy reformers from across the world gathered to discuss the fact, as the event’s tagline had it, that tobacco harm reduction (THR) is “here for good.” | Filter Magazine, USA

Digital tool helps emergency department doctors treat opioid use disorder

Emergency departments (EDs) are an important point of care for people with opioid use disorder. But EDs in the United States have been slow to meet patient needs for opioid use treatments like buprenorphine, past research shows. A new tool developed by Yale researchers aims to close this gap by helping physicians feel more prepared to offer these medications | Medical Xpress, USA

Providing naloxone to people who are prescribed opioids is a cost-effective way of preventing opioid overdose deaths

Much of the research on the effects of naloxone distribution has focused on people with opioid use disorder. This Australian study investigated the public health impact and cost-effectiveness of naloxone access for individuals prescribed opioid medications, more generally, to help inform a comprehensive naloxone distribution strategy | Recovery Research Review, USA

Unintended spillover effects of cannabis legalization for youth who use e-cigarettes

With cannabis laws and polices changing across the United States, it is important to understand the potential risk to youth so they can be addressed. Youth e-cigarette use (i.e., vaping) is a well-studied occurrence with unique physical and behavioral health risks. Cannabis use initiation following vaping is one risk. Both vaping and cannabis use have potentially detrimental effects on young people’s brains and social development. This study explores if the connection between youth e-cigarette and cannabis use is amplified by state-level cannabis legalization for adults | Recovery Research Review, USA

An intervention to reduce tobacco use in residential substance use treatment programs by promoting tobacco-free grounds

This week, ASHES reviews a study by Caravella McCuistian and colleagues that examined changes in smoking prevalence, tobacco use behaviors, and receipt of tobacco-related services by clients of residential SUD treatment programs participating in California’s Tobacco-Free for Recovery Initiative | BASIS, USA

Win for Pain Patients as SCOTUS Cuts DEA’s Power to Persecute Prescribers

On June 27, the United States Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that the government cannot rightfully prosecute prescribers for violating the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) unless it can demonstrate that the violation was committed knowingly or intentionally | Filter Magazine, USA

Oklahoma reaches opioid settlement with 3 drug companies

Oklahoma officials have reached an opioid settlement with three drug companies that would bring more than $250 million to finance efforts to battle opioid addiction, state Attorney General John O'Connor has announced | Medical Xpress, USA

US Drug Czar Acknowledges the Medical Value of Marijuana

On June 27, the White House “drug czar” recognized the therapeutic potential of marijuana in pain treatment, and said that the Biden administration has not strayed from its support for incremental reforms such as descheduling cannabis. He added that the president believes existing federal marijuana policies “have not worked.” | Filter Magazine, USA

Cannabis use and risks of respiratory and all-cause morbidity and mortality: a population-based, data-linkage, cohort study

Although no significant association was observed between cannabis use and respiratory-related ER visits or hospitalisations, the risk of an equally important morbidity outcome, all-cause ER visit or hospitalisation, was significantly greater among cannabis users than among control individuals. Therefore, cannabis use is associated with increased risk for serious adverse health events and its recreational consumption is not benign | BMJ Open Respiratory Research, Canada



Blogs, comment and opinion

Stigmatising language in academic manuscripts: the view from a reader and peer-reviewer

Dr. Stephen Parkin shares his observations about the use of stigmatising words and phrases in academic writing, and offers a list of person-centred and pragmatic alternatives | SSA, UK

The Road to Quitting Smoking Is Paved With Candy

June, National Candy Month, is described by the National Confectioners Association as “a time to celebrate the authentic, fun treats that candy companies have been producing for more than 100 years.” | Inside Sources, USA

Research to Move Policy — Using Evidence to Advance Health Equity for Substance Use Disorders

Racial and ethnic disparities in treatment access and outcomes among patients with substance use disorders (SUDs) have widened, despite substantial efforts to address the epidemic of drug-overdose deaths in the United States | NEJM perspective, USA

Cannabis Consumption in India: A History

Much before the Irish physician Sir William Brooke O Shaughnessy (1808-1889) introduced cannabis into Western medicine sometime around the mid-nineteenth century, Ganja (hemp) had already been part of India’s living culture as medicine and an intoxicating agent – even before 1000 B.C. | Points blog, USA