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Daily news - 23rd March 2022

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UK news

Alcohol retail sales data and population level consumption

Alcohol sales data are widely regarded as offering the most accurate means of estimating population-level alcohol consumption. Public Health Scotland uses retail sales data as part of the Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) programme and has today published two reports examining the data | Public Health Scotland, UK

Drugs Commission Two Year Review

Dundee partners are reaffirming their commitment to cut the city’s drug death toll, as the Dundee Drugs Commission delivers a review of progress on its original recommendations. You can download the Commission's full report - Time for Kindness, Compassion and Hope. The Need for Action Two Years Onand supporting evidence | Dundee City Council, UK

What are LGBTQ+ people’s experiences of alcohol services in Scotland? A qualitative study of service users and service providers

This research investigates the experiences of LGBTQ+ people who have used alcohol services in Scotland, and the views of service providers. We will explore how services can be made more inclusive to more effectively support the LGBTQ+ community | SHAAP, UK

Mental Health Services for Rough Sleepers - Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of the £30 million programme to provide specialist mental health services for people sleeping rough, as detailed in the NHS Long Term Plan; and what plans they have to publish an evaluation of the outcomes of that programme | They work for you, UK

Oral Tobacco: Health Hazards

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care,if he will make an assessment of the accuracy of the Action on Smoking and Health finding that the use of snus is over 100 times less harmful than smoking | They work for you, UK

We’re looking for new trainees for the Addiction Worker Training Project!

Scottish Drugs Forum’s award-winning Addiction Worker Training Project (AWTP) is a unique initiative which supports, trains, and prepares people with a history of drug and alcohol problems to work in Social Care. The Recovery Worker Training Project (RWTP) for the Highlands is also open | SDF, UK

Behind The Scenes | Nursing at BDP

Wed, 30 March 2022, 10:00 – 11:00 BST. Did you know that BDP employs nurses? This Behind The Scenes is an opportunity to learn more about the work of the nurses based at BDP | BDP, UK

Alcohol Occasionals - Youth drinking in decline

Wed, 20 April 2022, 12:30 – 14:00 BST. Dr Inge Kersbergen and Dr Laura Fenton on the implications of the decline in youth drinking for policy and practice | SHAAP/SARN, UK

Darlington children protected amid county lines drugs raids

Eleven children who were being groomed to traffic drugs have been taken to safety following a series of raids | BBC, UK


International news

Senior Cork garda urges families intimidated over drugs debts to come forward

Cork City’s most senior garda has appealed to families who have been subjected to intimidation because of drugs debts to report the incidents to gardaí | Irish Examiner, Ireland

NIH analysis of Reddit forum suggests experience of non-suicidal self-harm shares characteristics with addiction

Better characterizing clinical features of self-injury is critical to provide support and effective treatments | NIDA, USA

Alcohol-Related Deaths Spiked During the Pandemic, a Study Shows

[Limited number of free articles per week] The deaths were up 25 percent in 2020 compared with 2019 as stressors accumulated and treatment was delayed, according to a new report | NYTimes, USA

E-cigarettes reverse decades of decline in percentage of US youth struggling to quit nicotine

The number of adolescents who have attempted to quit e-cigarettes and failed has grown with the rapid increase of teen e-cigarette use in the past five years, according to a study by University of Michigan researchers | University of Michigan, USA

Research illuminates major racial disparities among older adults seeking treatment for substance use

New research co-authored by USC Price visiting scholar Dr. Jevay Grooms in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment shows that older Americans are increasingly seeking treatment for substance use disorder (SUD), and there are alarming racial disparities when it comes to completing treatment programs | USC, USA

The shame spiral of addiction: Negative self-conscious emotion and substance use

Shame and guilt are barriers to reducing stimulant use, and expanded efforts are needed to mitigate the deleterious effects of these self-conscious emotions in recovery from a stimulant use disorder | PLOS ONE, USA

Drug use beliefs found to be strongest predictor of youth substance use

What are the most important factors to consider for developing effective drug use prevention programs? Many current programs for adolescents focus on elements including peer and family relationships, school connection, and youth's self-confidence and self-assertion | Medical Xpress, USA

A psychedelic drug, combined with intense therapy, improves PTSD symptoms

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects millions of people each year. Since existing treatments don’t work for everyone, new therapies are urgently needed. Today, scientists report results and follow-up data from a phase 3 clinical trial of a psychedelic drug, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), known on the street as “ecstasy” or “molly,” combined with psychotherapy for the treatment of PTSD. Their preliminary data suggest that the therapy works even in hard-to-treat patients, such as those with drug or alcohol use disorders | American Chemical Society, USA

Study reveals consumer interest in 'nicotine pouches'

Consumer interest and awareness in nicotine pouches is growing. These are products that contain nicotine but have no tobacco, and they are most popular among younger smokers and those trying to quit, according to a Rutgers research study | Medical Xpress, USA

Drug Checking Report: Q1 2022

This report provides up-to-date information regarding the drug supply in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. 36 samples were reported between January and February 2022. Most “heroin” samples contained fentanyl cut with xylazine. Fentanyl combinations with methamphetamine and cocaine were observed in this sample set, however, not commonly. A counterfeit tablet was found to contain an NPS benzodiazepine | CFSRE, NSP Discovery et al, USA

We Know Visitors Aren’t the Ones Bringing Drugs Into Our Prison

The Tennessee private prison where I’ve been incarcerated since 2016 has long maintained that the supply of contraband drugs here is mainly brought in by visitors. But for most of the past two years, all visitors have been barred from entering the facility, yet the flow of drugs didn’t stop. It increased, and so did the frequency of overdoses. The only people coming in and out were staff | Filter Magazine, USA

Schumer joins bipartisan push to cut federal prison time for nearly 7,800 crack cocaine traffickers

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer is backing legislation to reduce jail time for drug traffickers by nearly a third, including thousands of felons already serving time in federal prison | Washington Times, USA

Joint media release with the Hon. Paul Fletcher MP - New international mail testing to stop mail-order drugs and weapons

​​​The Morrison Government is securing Australia’s international post from mail-order drugs and weapons using a new world-leading capability that will help identify overseas traffickers and screen mail in real time | The Hon Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Home Affairs, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Pregnant women who drink alcohol deserve compassion – not judgement

[Register for free to gain access to some articles] Higher consumption of alcohol is often related to mental problems like depression and anxiety | Independent Premium, UK

What do we really know about the link between cannabis and psychosis?

[Register for free to gain access to some articles] Frequent use of cannabis has long been associated with an increased risk of psychosis, but the amount of the drug needed is far lower than you might think | Independent Premium, UK

Government responds to Infected Blood Inquiry Chair on compensation framework report

The Paymaster General, Michael Ellis MP, has responded to a letter from the Infected Blood Inquiry chair Sir Brian Langstaff about the publication timetable for the Government’s now-completed study of options for an infected blood compensation framework | Hepatitis C Trust blog, UK

When the good news about smoking is bad news for anti-smoking groups

This month, the government made public the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS). The results should be cause for celebration | Marc Gunther, USA