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Daily news - 30th June 2022

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UK news

All Party Parliamentary Group on Complex Needs and Dual Diagnosis: Alcohol Related Deaths – A Briefing Note (PDF)

Current data shows an increase in alcoho lrelated risk, consumption, hospitalisations and deaths. Guest speakers explored this unprecedented rise and the ways in which the government, services and society can help reduce the avoidable harm we continue to see | APPG, UK

Drugs Policy Committee - video

Coverage of the Home Affairs select committee session on drugs and drugs policy with evidence from the British Transport Police, the National Police Chief's Council and the National Crime Agency, from Wednesday 29 June | BBC Parliament, UK

Calls for overdose prevention centre to tackle Dundee drug deaths

Harm reduction charity Cranstoun is meeting with politicians this week to make the case for a facility in the city | STV, UK

Scottish Government review of minimum unit pricing for alcohol now underway

A review is now underway on minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol in Scotland after it was delayed by the pandemic | Herald, UK

'SARM Goblins': The Young Men Hooked on Steroids

Increasing body pressure and reality TV have all been blamed for the staggering rise of performance-enhancing drugs in the UK | VICE, UK

Smoking: Children

To ask Her Majesty's Government how the consumption by individuals under the age of 18 differs between smokers of tobacco and users of e-cigarettes or vapes | They work for you, UK

Smoking: Health Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of allowing targeted messages to smokers on (a) e-cigarettes, (b) heat-not-burn products and (c) other reduced risk products through inserts in cigarette packs | They work for you, UK

Changing Lives and Saving Lives Impact Report 2021-22 (PDF)

The theme of this year’s Impact Report – Changing Lives and Saving Lives – is a very bold claim for any organisation to make. But it is an echo of what families tell us about the difference we are making across Scotland every day | SFAD, UK

Football fans face drugs tests on arrest to combat surge in cocaine-fuelled violence

[Possible paywall] Growing use of cocaine at matches contributing to ‘potentially problematic cocktail’ of drug-induced euphoria | Telegraph, UK

Police target drink and drug-drivers in summer campaign

Drink and drug-drivers are being targeted in a new summer campaign by Devon and Cornwall Police | BBC, UK

First firm granted Isle of Man medicinal cannabis licence

GrowLab Organics (GLO) has been offered a conditional licence to cultivate, extract, manufacture, import and export the drug | BBC, UK

Cannabis farm worth £350k found in Crawcrook church

A cannabis farm with an estimated street value of £350,000 has been discovered in a former church and community centre | BBC, UK

Two million illicit cigarettes seized in Glasgow raid

Two men have been charged with excise duty fraud after HMRC officers seized about 2.2million of illicit cigarettes at a business unit in Glasgow | BBC, UK


International news

Over One Hundred Years of MDMA Research

3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), also known as Mandy, Molly, Ecstasy or ‘E’, is a class A drug known for inducing feelings of happiness, chattiness, liveliness, and overall feelings of ecstasy, making it a common adjacent to enhancing raves, clubs and parties. Lesser known, MDMA has historically also been used in research to aid in therapy until it became illegal. More recently, there has been a shift back to focusing on the use of MDMA in medical research | Drug Science, UK

European Commission proposes ban on flavoured heated tobacco products

The European Union’s executive branch said its proposal comes in response to a significant increase in the volume of such products sold across the 27-nation bloc | Irish News, Ireland

Using the Global Drug Survey for harm reduction

The data from the Global Drug Survey (GDS) contains invaluable information that can answer key and novel questions related to the epidemiology of psychoactive substance use as well as inform the development of pragmatic harm reduction resources that put people first. This paper looks at the history of the GDS and the range of harm reduction tools that have been created using data from the survey | EMCDDA, Portugal

Monitoring drug use in the digital age: studies in web surveys

[Updated] This collection of papers aims to demonstrate the significant role that web surveys can play in drug data collection | EMCDDA, Portugal

U.S. Supreme Court sides with inmate in crack-cocaine sentencing challenge

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that federal judges can weigh new facts and law when considering whether a defendant deserves a shorter sentence under a bipartisan 2018 reform law that sought to reduce racial disparities for cocaine offenses | Reuters, USA

Destigmatizing alcohol use disorder among nurses

The use of alcohol to cope with work-related stress is an increasing problem among nurses. However, barriers to diagnosis and treatment keep nurses with alcohol use disorder (AUD) from getting the help they need. This article discusses the issues and treatment obstacles affecting AUD among nurses, and outlines compassionate, stigma-free paths forward | Nursing 2022, USA

Injection and Sexual Behavior Profiles among People Who Inject Drugs in Miami, Florida

[Open access] The dynamics of injection drug use and higher-risk sexual practices compound the risk of HIV and HCV acquisition. Published literature on people who inject drugs (PWID) has examined risk of infection assuming homogeneity of cohort behavior. Categorizing subgroups by injection and sexual risk can inform a more equitable approach to how syringe services programs (SSPs) adapt harm reduction resources and implementation of evidence-based interventions. We explored injection and sexual risk profiles among PWID to determine significant predictors of class membership | Substance Use & Misuse, USA

Vancouver artist installs sculptures around the city to ensure those the community has lost will not be erased

Since August of last year, Lupo has been making cement and wire figurines ranging from thumb- to life-size and installing them in public spaces around Vancouver in honour of people he has known and lost | Vancouver is Awesome, Canada

Use, awareness and uptake of take-home naloxone among a sample of people who regularly inject drugs and use opioids in South Australia

The aims of this bulletin are to determine the extent to which a sample of people who regularly inject drugs who use opioids in Adelaide, SA (i) are aware of naloxone (2013-2021); (ii) are aware of take-home naloxone programs (2013-2021); (iii) have accessed naloxone (2020-2021); and (iv) have resuscitated peers or have been resuscitated by peers using naloxone (2020-2021) | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Ethics and alcohol policy – a key informant interview study in Australia

In this blog post, Dr Mary Jean Walker discusses the acceptance of drinking and drunkenness, responsibility, identity and culture, and the ethicality of various alcohol policy processes | SHAAP blog, UK

What impact does opioid agonist treatment have on mortality at a population level?

Opioid agonist treatment (OAT) is the use of prescription opioid drugs, such as methadone and buprenorphine, to treat people who are opioid dependent and inject drugs. For the first time, in a new study in Sydney and the Australian State of New South Wales (NSW), we evaluated the population-level impact of the OAT programme on drug-related deaths | NIHR HPRU in Behavioural Science and Evaluation at the University of Bristol blog, UK

The FDA and Juul are fighting over a vape ban, but the role of e-cigarettes in the world of tobacco abuse is not clear-cut

On June 23, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that all Juul products must be removed from U.S. markets. This decision essentially broadened an existing ban on teen use of the company’s nicotine e-cigarettes to include adults as well. The next day, Juul asked a federal appeals court to temporarily block the ban while Juul challenged the decision. The court agreed to the pause, and for now, Juul products are still for sale in the U.S | Conversation, USA

Study debunks fears of youth vaping

A comprehensive review of youth vaping in the US has concluded that the harm from vaping is greatly exaggerated and that vaping is unlikely to be causing an increase in youth smoking | Colin Mendelsohn, Australia