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Daily news - 24th March 2022

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UK news

Alcohol strategy (No. 2): EDM (Early Day Motion)1109: tabled on 22 March 2022

That this House notes that ten years have passed since the last Alcohol Strategy was published on 23 March 2012; recalls that, although the Government announced plans for a new strategy on 8 May 2018, this was not forthcoming; recognises that, since then, the initiatives of the Alcohol Charter, published on 16 October 2018 by APPGs and the Commission on Alcohol Harm report, published on 19 April 2021, provided an informed and widely supported basis for a new strategy; notes with concern that approximately 70 people in the UK die every day from an alcohol-related cause; and calls on the Government to prioritise the introduction of a new strategy | Parliament.uk, UK

Effects of multi-component programmes in preventing sales of alcohol to intoxicated patrons in nightlife settings in the United Kingdom

[Open access] This study estimates the association between sales of alcohol to pseudo-intoxicated patrons and implementation of three multi-component interventions in four nightlife settings | Addictive Behaviors Reports, UK

Development and roll-out of ‘SURE’ to measure recovery from alcohol/drug dependence

‘Recovery’ is central to addiction treatment policy and practice, and increasingly services are being asked to demonstrate that they are enabling people ‘to recover’. Despite this, there has been no consensus on what recovery means or how to assess it. To address this issue, researchers at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre developed and tested a new tool for measuring addiction recovery - the Substance Use Recovery Evaluator (SURE) | NIHR, UK

Opiates: Prescriptions

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help support patients to phase out the use of prescribed opioids following surgery | They work for you, UK

Prison Officers: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the total number of prison officers of all grades was who were referred to the police on suspicion of (a) supplying and (b) using drugs in the latest period for which figures are available | They work for you, UK

Alcoholism: Ketamine

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of ketamine in the treatment of alcoholism | They work for you, UK

Addiction Audio: drinking patterns during lockdown with Iain Hardie

Dr Iain Hardie talks to Addiction Audio about his research into alcohol use changes during lockdown. His research is the first to report longitudinal data on changes in drinking quantities and characteristics. Dr Hardie talks about using an interrupted time series analysis to identify the impact of the pandemic on drinking habits | SSA, UK

Gambling addiction could be nine times higher than industry claims

Landmark study finds 1.4m being harmed and 1.5m at risk as government readies to unveil reform | Guardian, UK

Blood-borne viruses nurse Jess Oke shortlisted for award

Our blood-borne viruses nurse Jess Oke has been shortlisted for the innovation award at the British Journal of Nursing Awards 2022. We are incredibly proud and excited for Jess, who rightly deserves the recognition she has received for her ongoing work to test and treat every person involved in our services for Hep C and other blood-borne viruses | BDP, UK

APPG Evidence Session

Tue, 29 March 2022, 17:00 – 18:00 BST. We are running our next evidence session on Tuesday, March 29th at 5pm. The topic is "Social prescribing and the 12 steps" | APPG 12 Steps, UK

Moving Forward for Forward

Move for 23 minutes a day to raise funds for our work rehabilitating prisoners in 23-hour lockdown | Forward Trust, UK

Overnight fraud and drugs raids lead to 17 arrests

Seventeen people have been arrested following a series of raids by police across Kent, Sussex, London, Essex and Suffolk | BBC, UK


International news

Students for Sensible Drug Policy: Open letter on youth engagement to Ms. Ghada Waly, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime

Students for Sensible Drug Policy Foundation and Students for Sensible Drug Policy International, alongside 64 NGOs, call on the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to provide transparency on youth involvement in decision making and ensure their meaningful participation in the development and implementation of drug policies and programs | IDPC, UK

New WHO web-based knowledge hub unravels the myriad influences behind our health behaviours

Ever wonder why we don’t eat and drink what is good for us, exercise regularly or follow the advice of public health authorities on getting vaccinated? The new WHO web-based knowledge hub of behavioural and cultural insights (WHO BCI-Hub) provides a one-stop-shop for those interested in the complex question of how our health is impacted by who we are, what we know and what we do. It also provides background on the barriers to and drivers of healthy behaviours and practices | WHO, Denmark

Use of Medication for Opioid Use Disorder Among US Adolescents and Adults With Need for Opioid Treatment, 2019

In this cross-sectional study with a weighted sample of 2 206 169 people with treatment need, approximately 1 in 4 (27.8%) reported past-year medication for opioid use disorder  (MOUD) use, including no adolescents and only 13.2% of adults 50 years and older. Use of MOUD was low despite high prevalence of past-year health care or criminal legal system contacts | JAMA Network open, USA

The case for decriminalizing the street sale of buprenorphine

Isolation and anxiety caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has fueled an already out of control overdose crisis. In 2020 alone, more than 100,000 individuals died from overdose | STAT News, USA

Harm Reduction Therapeutics to Receive Additional Funding for the Development of its Over-the-Counter Opioid Overdose Reversal Medication from Purdue Pharma after Bankruptcy Court Approval

Harm Reduction Therapeutics (HRT) will receive up to $11 million of additional financial support from Purdue Pharma L.P. to advance its development of a low-cost, over-the-counter (OTC) naloxone nasal spray in the United States | Bakersfield.com, USA

Alcohol-Related Deaths Have Surged During the Pandemic

Anew study by researchers with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reveals that alcohol-related deaths in the United States rose dramatically at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic | Filter Magazine, USA

Non-Substance Addictions Are Key to Understanding What Drugs Don’t Do

The parents of a 13-year-old middle school student brought their son to a counselor of my acquaintance. “He spends all of his time after school—night after night—playing Mortal Kombat,” they said. “He has no friends and has fallen behind in all of his courses.” They were beside themselves with worry | Filter Magazine, USA

Hunger signals, including those from endogenous cannabinoids, mapped in the brain

Cannabis is well-known for having an effect on eating behaviors. However, how the natural cannabinoid molecules found in the body regulate feeding and eating is not well researched | Medical Xpress, USA

How 'magic mushrooms' could follow in the footsteps of cannabis

A growing number of states are considering bills to expand research or access to the drugs | Politico, USA

Nitazenes (CCENDU Drug Alert)

This alert summarizes the increased risk of accidental overdose due to nitazene compounds being identified in Canada’s unregulated drug supply. Nitazene compounds are ultra-high potency, synthetic opioids, usually found unexpectedly in substances thought to be other opioids, such as fentanyl | CCSA, Canada

Exploring emerging modes of governance and care in Safer Opioid Supply (SOS) Programs - video

In the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society's February Research and Practice Seminar, Associate Professor Adrian Guta of the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada, examines Canadian "safer opioid supply" (SOS) programs that were scaled up in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic | La Trobe UNiversity, Australia

Price warning as pot producers prepare over-the-counter CBD products for 2023

[Free registration may be required] Australian medical cannabis companies are ploughing millions into research in a race to bring the first over-the-counter CBD product to pharmacies, with the sector expecting stock to hit shelves next year | SMH, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The Treasury can't bail everyone out – let’s impose a levy on the tobacco industry instead

Our health needs are changing, and lifestyle choices are increasing our risk of preventable disease. As we continue to live longer with conditions like cancer, this inequality gap will only widen | Politics Home, UK

Roll on Sober Spring 2022

This year, Sober Spring is seeing some exciting changes. Founder Catherine Gray tells us what’s ahead | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

Expert reaction to research letter about US adolescents attempting to quit smoking or vaping

A research letter published in JAMA looks at failed attempts among US adolescents to quit cigarettes and e-cigarettes | Science Media Centre, UK

The Trip report

Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and SaferParty, we know a little more about the drugs in circulation. The report provided below is a summary of their findings over the last week | Cameron Scally, UK