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Daily news - 8th March 2022

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UK news

Substance misuse: providing remote and in-person interventions

Guidance for alcohol and drug treatment services to help them get the balance right between providing remote and in-person interventions for service users | OHID, UK

Demand grows for UK ministers to reclassify psilocybin for medical research

People suffering debilitating cluster headaches say the active ingredient in magic mushrooms is a help | Guardian, UK

Government's drug and alcohol plans must be clearer, says report

The Scottish government must come up with a clearer spending plan for its "complex" drug and alcohol services, a watchdog has said | BBC, UK

Evaluating the impact of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) of alcohol in Scotland on cross-border purchasing

This report looks at the impact of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) on cross-border purchasing of alcohol. The report aims to find out if it is happening at a level that affects alcohol consumption, groups of people in Scotland, or retailers | Public Health Scotland, UK

Study finds cross-border alcohol buying is minimal

A study into the impact of minimum unit pricing of alcohol (MUP) in Scotland has found it did not fuel major bulk buying across the border in England | BBC, UK

DDN March 2022

Looking for an escape from reality drew Kelly into online bingo – a few games that led to an all-consuming gambling addiction and financial and emotional devastation (page 6). This addiction may be ‘invisible’ but the drivers can have much in common with any other form of compulsive behaviour that offers us time away from real life | DDN, UK

Women’s alcohol and drug treatment

For many women, turning up at drug and alcohol treatment services can be a daunting experience, especially as women’s needs are often very different from men. Women face different challenges to accessing services to start with, and their experiences once they are in a service can be different too | Collective Voice, UK

Today is the Day: No Smoking Day, 9th March 2022

This toolkit supports local campaign activity for No Smoking Day 2022. This year’s theme is: “Don’t give up on giving up. Every
time you try to stop smoking, you’re a step closer to success.” We are using the voice of health care professionals to communicate this message in the assets we have created | NHS, UK

Understanding the long-term policy influence strategies of the tobacco industry: two contemporary case studies

[Open access] This paper explores transnational tobacco companies’ (TTCs) long-term policy influence strategies using two case studies, harm reduction and illicit tobacco, to identify lessons for the tobacco control movement and wider efforts to address the commercial determinants of health | BMJ Tobacco Control, UK

The Hidden Dangers of Legal Weed - video

2022 might be the biggest year yet for legal weed. But there are problems. After decades of the War on Drugs, the cartels are not giving up their hold on the market – and the new legal business is in danger of being taken over by giant corporations | VICE News, UK

Harmless tipple or brink of addiction? How the over-50s drinkers are living in denial

Hugh Davenport grew up surrounded by a culture that didn’t think twice about alcohol consumption | Metro, UK

Independent enquiry evidences the merits of targeted and intensive support for vulnerable adults with learning disabilities across Essex

Phoenix Futures are delighted to announce that after an independent review funding for the Vulnerable Victims pilot has been extended for a further 12 months and work is currently underway to expand the provision across the County of Essex | Phoenix Futures, UK

Creative Communities Spring Concert - [Facebook page]

Monday 28th March at 3:15pm in the Unitarian Hall, Brunswick Square, BS2 8PE. Join us for our Spring Concert as we play in the new season and celebrate all of the progress we have made this term.
There'll be performances from Rising Voices Recovery Choir and Bristol Recovery Orchestra, who will be joined by players from Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Expect a bit of Stevie Wonder, a bit of art inspired music made by the groups, some singing to bring on the light, and a sea shanty thrown in for good measure | BDP, UK

National Careers Week 2022: Why we need green skills today for the workforce of tomorrow

As part of National Careers Week, Forward's Executive Director of Employment Services Asi Panditharatna shares his reflections on the importance of green skills and careers in building the workforce of the future | Forward Trust, UK

Media & Impact: How to communicate your research effectively

Wed, 16 March 2022, 14:00 – 15:30 GMT. This event will focus on how to become a more effective science communicator for addiction research. Communicating research to a wide audience helps disseminate the evidence-base ensuring that treatments for addiction are based on research | SSA, UK

Cannabis farm with 900 plants growing over three floors found in disused Consett nightclub Trades

Police teams in County Durham have discovered one of the largest cannabis farms they have ever seen - inside an old nightclub | ITV, UK

Ipswich house fire: Men arrested in cannabis growth probe

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of growing cannabis after a roof fire spread to neighbouring properties | BBC, UK


International news

‘People don’t choose to become addicts’: the push to end Victoria’s war on drugs

Doctors think it’s a good idea, as does the UN. So why can’t Australia bring itself to consider widespread drug decriminalisation? | Guardian, UK

EU Justice and Home Affairs agencies’ joint statement on Ukraine

The EU Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) agencies support the work of the EU institutions and Member States as they help Ukraine and its people now that war once again touches Europe | EMCDDA, Portugal

Fully Fund the Global Fund: Harm Reduction Brief

A fully funded Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) is crucial for harm reduction in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). With only eight years left to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and end AIDS, TB and malaria, advocates called upon donors and governments to make their most ambitious pledges to date and fully fund the Global Fund to ensure access to harm reduction in LMICs | HRI, UK

Scaling up the implementation of international drug policy commitments on improving availability of and access to controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes

During its 65th session in 2022, the CND will devote attention to scaling up the implementation of international drug policy commitments on improving availability of and access to controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes. A series of awareness-raising events and discussions, as well as an information media campaign, will take place throughout the year. To kick-off this initiative, the CND will be holding a High-Level Event on the first day of its 65th session – Monday, 14 March 2022, 12:15 p.m. Vienna time | UNODC, Austria

Sweden Introduces Bill to Prohibit Flavored Vapes

The Swedish government has formally proposed a ban on non-tobacco vape flavors, including menthol. The proposed law covers nicotine and non-nicotine e-liquid, and also captures regulatory authority over all synthetic nicotine products | Vaping360, Germany

How My Drinking Was Used to Deny Me Treatment for Depression

Five years ago, I called the hotline for adult psychological services at a major university hospital’s psychiatry department. After completing a half-hour intake, during which I had disclosed problematic alcohol consumption, I was informed I could not receive treatment for my crippling depression because I must first “graduate” from addiction treatment | Filter Magazine, USA

China and synthetic drugs: Geopolitics trumps counternarcotics cooperation

Opioids are the cause of the deadliest U.S. drug epidemic ever. Between October 2020 and September 2021,  another new record number of Americans — 104,288 — died of drug overdose, with opioids accounting for 78,388 deaths | Brookings, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

The Benzo Research Project: a UK Platform for Young People

If you’re from the UK or US, you’ve most likely heard of benzodiazepines, or ‘benzos’ for short. They’re commonly used as a form of tranquilliser in medical fields for treating anxiety and sleep disorders. When prescribed by medical professionals and taken correctly, benzos such as diazepam can be lifesavers for individuals experiencing anxiety attacks or dealing with heightened levels of general stress | Volteface, UK

Substance use is higher and more excessive in transgender people: evidence, limitations and gaps

Andrea keeps reviving those traumatic events. When she was transitioning to Andrea at school, some kids didn’t accept her appearance. At university, a group of men made her life one of the most denigrating and distressing experiences anyone can face. Now, Andrea is trying to get help, but she can’t; she has to wait for years. As a result, Andrea has been struggling with substance misuse | Mental Elf blog, UK

Tripping over red tape: psychedelics for mental health

In this blog, Professor Jo Neill outlines the evidence-based case for the rescheduling of psilocybin and other drugs, including the benefits they can bring to health, national prestige, and the UK economy | Drug Science, UK