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Daily news - 4th March 2022

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UK news

Victimisation and its relationship to drug misuse, common mental disorder and well-being in England and Wales: year ending March 2021

An overview of drug misuse, symptoms of common mental disorder and personal well-being in adults who reported being a victim of crime in the last year. Data are from the Telephone-operated Crime Survey for England and Wales | ONS, UK

Introduce price cap on cigarettes to reduce smoking – study

A maximum price cap for cigarettes sold in the UK would help cut smoking rates, according to a study | Independent, UK

Prison-based Addiction Treatment Pathways

I beg to move, That this House has considered prison-based addiction treatment pathways... | They work for you, UK

SMART GRAC Webinar #1: Complete Presentation - video

This first of two webinars featured members of GRAC as they provided exciting overviews of SMART Recovery research now in progress, critical updates on the latest findings, and a look forward to where SMART Recovery research is going in the future | SMART Recovery, UK

PhD Addicted to Research: smoking cessation in drug and alcohol treatment services

In this episode Rachel Coleman and Zoe Swithenbank talk about smoking cessation in drug and alcohol treatment services. Zoe talks about how a day on the Recovery Walk first made her interested in this area. They talk about including smoking in a person’s recovery plan, whilst acknowledging some of the challenges for the workforce referred to in the Dame Carol Black review | SSA, UK

Wetherspoons drops sales of Russian beer after Ukraine invasion

Wetherspoons announced on Wednesday that it will stop selling Russian beer following the country’s invasion of Ukraine | Evening Standard, UK

SUAB Webinar: Radicalisation, extremism and substance use

Wed, 16 March 2022, 13:00 – 14:30 GMT. Exploring current knowledge and interventions focused on substance use, radicalisation and extremism | SUAB, UK

Alcohol Occasionals - MUP: homeless / street drinkers & service providers

Thu, 31 March 2022. Dr Elena Dimova on her research "Minimum Unit Pricing: Qualitative study of the experiences of homeless/street drinkers & service providers" | SHAAP, UK

Live Q&A- How can medical cannabis help with chronic pain?

Thu, 10 March 2022. How can medical cannabis help with chronic pain? We answer your questions at our live Q&A. Register for the event and submit your questions | Zerenia Clinic, UK

Plymouth county lines drugs raids includes 46 arrests

Devon and Cornwall Police have arrested 46 people in a two-day crackdown targeting alleged drugs-related activities in Plymouth | BBC, UK

Guernsey court sentences drug smuggler to 19 years in prison

A 36-year-old man has been sentenced to 19 years in prison for bringing almost £250,000 worth of cocaine, MDMA and cannabis into Guernsey | BBC, UK


International news

Global Call for Solidarity with People who Use Drugs in Ukraine

INPUD stands in solidarity with the Ukranian Network of People who Use Drugs (PUD.UA/VOLNA), the Ukranian Network of Women who Use Drugs (UNWUD/VONA) and all Ukrainian peers, colleagues, and friends against the invasion of their country by Russia | INPUD, UK

Challenging stigma around addiction and recovery: Strength based approaches (PDF)

Wednesday 16th March, 2022. In this panel speakers from all over the world, with different and significant backgrounds, will present lived experiences and studies concerning stigma and social inclusion of people in recovery, while analyzing what kind of interventions can really support people in their path to recover | University of Derby, Aspire, et al, UK

Calls to overhaul methadone distribution intensify, but clinics resist

Days typically start early for patients undergoing opioid addiction treatment at Denver Recovery Group's six methadone clinics in Colorado. They rise before dawn. Some take three buses to get to a clinic by 5 a.m. for a 15-minute conversation with a counselor and their daily dose of methadone, all before they go to work or take their kids to school | News Medical, USA

Majority of young adults and adolescents in the United States are using cannabis instead of nicotine, study shows

Vaping is a matter of considerable public attention due to its rapidly increasing popularity among youth. However, little research has focused on what substance is being vaped by young people in the United States | UAB News, USA

Researchers find that blood pressure medications impact brain function

The research team discovered that drugs used to treat blood pressure unexpectedly increase the effect of opioids that the brain naturally produces. This can fine-tune the function of a specific brain circuit and counteract the addictive properties of opiates like fentanyl, which are used to treat pain | Medical Xpress, USA

How long-term benzodiazepine use leads to cognitive impairments

Benzodiazepines are effective and widely used drugs for treating states of anxiety and sleep disorders. While short-term treatments are considered safe, their long-term intake can lead to physical dependence and, particularly in the case of older people, to cognitive impairments | Medical Xpress, USA

Sacklers agree to new $6bn Purdue US settlement over opioids

The Sackler family will pay up to $6 billion to address damage linked to the US opioid crisis under an amended Purdue Pharma bankruptcy plan following an agreement with holdout states, according to a court filing Thursday | Medical Xpress, USA

It’s Time to Start Studying the Downside of Psychedelics

Before psychedelic therapy and services becomes widely available, there needs to be a better understanding of all the ways these experiences can go wrong | VICE, USA

The Federal Menthol Cigarette Ban Is Slowly Moving Forward

At the end of February, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) entered two proposed tobacco standards—one for menthol in cigarettes and another for characterizing flavors in cigars—into the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) system. Observers have noted that this usually signals that such rules are in their final stages | Filter Magazine, USA

Three States Have Bills to Ban Synthetic Nicotine by Stealth

Legislators in three different states—Georgia, Maryland and Mississippi—have recently introduced bills that would only allow the sale of vapor products authorized by, or pending authorization from, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Each piece of legislation would also establish directories to inventory authorized vapor products. The lists would eventually be made public | Filter Magazine, USA

NSW government tackling increasing problem of e-cigarette use in schools

Children are vaping more than ever and school authorities are bringing in tougher measures to combat the problem, including longer suspensions for students | News.com.au, Australia

Therapeutic psychedelics: Mental health ‘magic bullet’ or expensive trip?

Interest continues to grow in the use of psychedelics to treat a variety of mental health conditions, but there is disagreement over whether existing research supports their wider use | RACGP, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

A conversation with… Mark Gilman (part 2 of 2)

The second of a two-part conversation with Mark Gilman. In this part, we pick up the story in 1999, when Mark moved from Lifeline to the Home Office. The conversation ranges widely, covering treatment, recovery, social justice and crime, reflecting the unique breadth of Mark’s contributions to the field | Toby Seddon blog, UK

The Plan to Reschedule Psilocybin at the UN

One of the biggest barriers to global drug policy reform is countries’ need to adhere to international drug control regimes, also known as the UN conventions on drugs. While there have been a lot of advocacy efforts to change their national implementation, a coalition of drug policy reform named International Therapeutic Psilocybin Rescheduling Initiative (ITPRI) has been set up to push for greater change at the UN level | Talking Drugs, UK

Why America is losing the war on drugs

In the summer and early fall of 2020, as protests and riots swept across the United States, a new consensus began to emerge among progressive activists, writers and politicians. Given that black men, from George Floyd to Daniel Prude, were dying in drug and mental health-related altercations with law enforcement, perhaps police should not be handling these issues at all | UnHerd, UK

Addiction:  Understandings and Enactments of the Current Era

My starting place is to back up to the idea of a helping relationship. A helping relationship consists of a helper and the one being helped.  And that’s no different in the substance use arena | Recovery Review blog, USA