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Daily news - 16th March 2022

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UK news

Latest suspected drug deaths report

The latest quarterly report on the number of suspected drug deaths during 2021 shows a fall of 8% (116) on the previous year. The report on suspected drug death Management Information from Police Scotland shows there were 1,295 deaths between January and December 2021. The equivalent number of suspected drug deaths for 2020 was 1,411, though official statistics from National Records of Scotland showed the confirmed number of drug-related deaths in 2020 was 1,339 | Scottish Government, UK

Suspected drug deaths in Scotland: October to December 2021

This report focusses on Police Scotland management information as a key indicator of recent drug death trends in Scotland | Scottish Government, UK

Suspected drug deaths in Scotland fell by 8% in 2021

Suspected drug deaths in Scotland fell by 8% last year, according to Police Scotland figures | BBC, UK

Pregnant women should be asked how much they drink

Pregnant women should be asked how much alcohol they are drinking and the answer recorded in their medical notes, new "priority advice" for the NHS says | BBC, UK

Closed consultation: Expanding access to naloxone

The consultation received 704 responses. Just under a third of the responses were from organisations and just over two-thirds were from individuals. There was strong support for the proposals in the consultation. Most of the respondents agreed that the individuals and services we consulted on should be able to supply naloxone without a prescription. Most respondents also agreed that allowing the individuals and services we consulted on to supply take-home naloxone without a prescription would help reduce overdoses and drug-related deaths | DHSC, UK

The impact of COVID-19 on access to harm reduction, substance use treatment and recovery services in Scotland: a qualitative study

[Open access] People who use drugs (PWUD) are considered vulnerable to COVID-19 exposure and the sequelae of infection due to their social circumstances, health conditions, drug purchasing, and substance use. They can depend on access to services that provide harm reduction, substance use treatment, recovery and support, and general healthcare. Social distancing measures and service restrictions posed significant challenges to the health and wellbeing of PWUD | BMC Public Health, UK

Wakefield: Warning issued over street drug sold as 'diazepam'

Police in Wakefield have issued a warning after a batch of tablets being illegally sold as 'diazepam' caused several people to collapse | BBC, UK

The truth about steroids and ‘roid rage’

[Limited number of free articles per week] Can steroid treatment really make you more aggressive and erratic? David Cox asks the experts… | Telegraph, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Excise Duties

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of lowered alcohol duty on (a) beer, (b) cider and (c) other alcoholic beverages on rates of harmful drinking among (i) young people and (ii) other age groups in the UK | They work for you, UK

Apprentice Success at Humankind’s Teesside Crisis Peer Support Service

Four apprentices from Humankind’s Teesside Crisis Peer Support service based at our Home Intensive Treatment hubs have secured future employment after working with the support service for over a year | Humankind, UK

Met Police apologises for strip-search of Hackney schoolgirl

A black schoolgirl was strip-searched by police after being wrongly suspected of carrying cannabis | BBC, UK

SUAB Webinar: Radicalisation, extremism and substance use

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

Family law series, part 3: Drug and alcohol assessments

Wed, 13 April 2022, 17:30 – 18:30 BST. Delivered by Sam Watts, barrister, Coram Chambers, this session will focus on drug and alcohol judicial assessments | LawWorks, UK



International news

Denmark considers ban on cigarette sales to anyone born after 2010

Health ministry says it may limit the sale of nicotine products to prevent next generation from taking up smoking | Guardian, UK

El Huevo: Alleged drug lord's arrest causes violent clashes in Mexico

A suspected drug lord, whose arrest sparked clashes in north-eastern Mexico, has been deported to the US | BBC, UK

Quarter of motorists admit to driving over the limit the morning after a night out

One in four motorists (26%) admitted there were times when they may have been over the limit when driving the morning after a night out according to new attitudinal research*released by the Road Safety Authority (RSA). The stark findings come as the RSA and An Garda Síochána launch an appeal for all road users to act responsibly and not to drink and drive over the extended St Patrick’s Day Bank Holiday weekend 2022 | RSA, Ireland

Community perspectives on supervised consumption sites for people who use opioids

Supervised consumption sites (SCSs) are one of many harm reduction strategies intended to minimize the negative consequences associated with drug misuse. SCSs offer a controlled setting where people who use opioids can consume already-purchased drugs under supervision of trained staff who monitor for overdose, obtain sterile syringes and other materials, and receive referrals to health and social services | BASIS, USA

Where next for the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control?

At the launch of Tobacco Control in 1992, the concept of a global treaty to address the growing tobacco epidemic could have seemed farfetched but for the efforts of the late Professor Ruth Roemer who, in 1993, was encouraging tobacco control advocates to consider international treaty law to address the global needs of tobacco control. The rest, as it’s said, is history | BMH Tobacco Control, USA

State laws linked to very small changes in opioid prescribing

State laws are associated with small and non-statistically significant changes in opioid prescribing or nonopioid pain treatment, according to a study published online March 15 in the Annals of Internal Medicine | Medical Xpress, USA

Give Fentanyl Test Strips to People Who Could Benefit Most

Go slow. Don’t use alone. Always have naloxone. This is the advice we’re supposed to give people when their dope tests positive for fentanyl. It’s also great advice if it somehow doesn’t have fentanyl, which is why harm reductionists have been saying it for years, regardless of whether anyone had fentanyl test strips | Filter Magazine, USA

People Who Use Drugs Talk About the One Drug They Won’t Do

“I’m afraid that even trying it once would be so addictive that you just can’t stop chasing that high.” | VICE, USA

Canada's opioid crisis: How families of overdose victims are coping

Mary Breen spoke about her daughter, Sophie’s overdose death in a moving and honest obituary a few days after her passing on March 4, 2020, in Guelph, Ont | CTV News, Canada

Dangers of vaping highlighted in new health campaign

Teenagers are the target of a new campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of using vapes or e-cigarettes | NSW Government, Australia

Customs seizes 700 kilograms of cocaine in shipping container from South America

Customs has seized more than 700 kilograms of cocaine in a shipping container, breaking the record for a border seizure that was set just two weeks ago | NZ Herald, New Zealand



Blogs, comment and opinion

We Can Help Scots to Recover From Drug Addiction by Working Together

Last week, Scotland’s spending watchdog Audit Scotland concluded there was a “lack of transparency” in how money is spent on drug and alcohol services | Scotland Can, UK

Crack Pipes & Dog Whistles – Behind the Racist Media Coverage of Harm Reduction in the US

As fatal overdoses continue to rise amid the pandemic, there is a growing acceptance of harm reduction and its necessity among the general public. More people are shedding the abstinence-only mindset, understanding that individuals who use drugs need compassionate, tailored support and services to meet them where they are, so they can make informed and safer decisions | Talking Drugs, UK

In Memoriam: Richard Saitz (1963–2022)

Richard saitz passed away on January 15, 2022. Rich had a tremendous impact on the field of alcohol and other drug research and on those who knew him personally. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Angela Jackson, and two daughters, Isabella and Tatiana | JSAD, UK

NSW Health’s misinformation campaign is bound to flop

Young people should not vape or smoke. They should also be given accurate evidence-based information to help them make informed choices. The NSW Health ‘Do you know what you’re vaping?’ campaign is alarmist and provides many misleading and inaccurate messages and is bound to flop | Colin Mendelsohn, Australia