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Daily news - 4th May 2022

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Drink and Drugs News: May 2022 edition out now

The number of women dying a drug-related death has increased by a staggering 80 per cent in the last decade, which is why we’re keen to support an initiative to improve women’s access to treatment (p6). We need to replace failing practice with a new system that puts women at its heart, says Karen Tyrell – well illustrated by The Oasis Project’s inspiring work (p8) | DDN, UK

National naloxone programme Scotland: annual

This release by Public Health Scotland presents information on the number of take-home naloxone (THN) kits issued by the National Naloxone Programme in Scotland. 22,366 THN kits were issued in Scotland, an increase of 67% from 2019/20 (13,414). Around the time of the first national COVID-19 lockdown on 23 March 2020 there was a marked increase in the number of THN kits issued in Scotland, with 8,040 kits issued between April 2020 and June 2020 | Public Health Scotland, UK

Measures being considered to cut down on alcohol advertising in Scotland

Ministers will consider whether new legislation needs to be introduced to tackle the issue | STV News, UK

Alcohol pricing 'has cost Scots drinkers £270 million' finds new research

On the four-year anniversary of MUP, new research from the Institute of Economic Affairs, authored by Christopher Snowdon, John C. Duffy and Mark Tovey, reveals the policy will cost Scottish consumers £270m – over three times what was predicted | IEA, UK

Introducing our new Deputy Chief Executive

As the largest providers in the sector, Change Grow Live's focus in the coming months is to build a stronger national profile and partnerships that will help us use our expertise and scale to influence policy, shape practice, and exploit the opportunities we now have to design better, more effective services. Given the scale and urgency of these tasks, I decided to introduce a Deputy Chief Executive role to lead on strategy, partnership development and communications and external affairs... | Change Grow Live, UK

Durham service rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission

The service, which provides free and confidential support to more than 3,800 people each year, received the rating following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in February | Humankind, UK

Parents who use drugs: whose rights, what rights?

Fri, 13 May 2022, 12:30 – 13:30 BST. A safe space for parents, practitioners, policy-makers and researchers to discuss and reflect on drug use and family life | ESRC Relations Study, UK

Small grants for community organisations

Community organisations can access support to help improve health and wellbeing in their communities by addressing smoking.
This includes: A small grant of £500 for participating in the project. A package of tailored support. Access to free resources and training | ASH Scotland, UK

E-cigarettes for stopping smoking review feedback April 2022 - survey

We are a group of researchers who are looking into whether electronic cigarettes help people to stop smoking, and whether they have any unwanted effects when used in this way. We gather information from studies to try to get all of the best information in one place to explore this subject. We update our study monthly to catch new information as it comes out; a living systematic review. Please help us to evaluate this approach by letting us know if you are aware of this review and of our supporting materials and by providing any feedback you may have | Oxford University, UK

Five British soldiers arrested for ‘dealing cocaine at base’ after raid by military police

Raid at Larkhill barracks reportedly resulted in mass drug testing | Independent, UK

County lines: Arrests in Kirkby and Everton over Macclesfield drugs

Seven people have been arrested as police seized heroin and cannabis in a series of raids targeting "county lines drug dealing", a force has said | BBC, UK

Crime gang members jailed for £1m Peterhead cannabis operation

Four members of a foreign crime gang have been jailed for their involvement in a major cannabis operation | BBC, UK

Nabeel Khan: Former Barnsley PC pleads guilty to drug charges

PC Nabeel Khan was arrested in February 2021 after a joint investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and South Yorkshire Police | BBC, UK


International news

The drug trade now flourishing in Afghanistan: Meth

During nearly 20 years of war, US and NATO-led efforts to eradicate opium production in Afghanistan were found to be some of the least effective and most wasteful operations | Independent, UK

Eight die in Iran after drinking homemade alcohol

Eight people have died after drinking tainted homemade alcohol in the Iranian city of Bandar Abbas, local media say | BBC, UK

A network approach to relationships between cannabis use characteristics and psychopathology in the general population [Germany]

Cannabis use characteristics, such as earlier initiation and frequent use, have been associated with an increased risk for developing psychotic experiences and psychotic disorders. However, little is known how these characteristics relate to specific aspects of sub-clinical psychopathology in the general population | Nature, UK

Finland bans smoking at playgrounds, beaches

Under the new Tobacco Act, brand images and logos will be phased out from tobacco product packaging | YLE, Finland

Evaluating the Outcomes of the Menthol Cigarette Ban in England by Comparing Menthol Cigarette Smoking Among Youth in England, Canada, and the US, 2018-2020

This survey study of 7067 youth smokers found that the menthol cigarette ban in England was associated with a significant reduction in the prevalence of menthol cigarette smoking, from 12.1% to 3.0%. Menthol cigarette smoking remained stable in the 2 comparison countries, Canada (3.1%-2.3%) and the US (33.6%-36.9%), and the association was consistent across all demographic groups | JAMA Network, USA

Cannabis use associated with an increased risk of anxiety and depression, using other drugs [Sweden]

Cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of other illicit drug use as well as of anxiety and depression—at least among those who have used cannabis during the 2000s, according to a new doctoral thesis from Karolinska Institutet. The results also show that cannabis-related diagnoses have gradually increased, especially in young adults and more commonly in men with less education, lower incomes and other psychiatric diseases | Medical Xpress, USA

Emergent Synthetic Stimulant Replacing Drug Sold as Ecstasy, Molly

N,N-Dimethylpentylone was first identified in toxicology samples in the U.S. in late-2021. To date, N,N-dimethylpentylone has been identified in 32 toxicology cases, including 26 postmortem. Cases have mostly been restricted to the east coast of the U.S., with the exception of one in Arkansas. Eight states have seen two or less cases, with Virginia recording five and Florida reporting an unprecedented 17 | Forensic Magazine, USA

We found dozens of TikTok accounts skirting the app's filters to peddle drugs by using nose and snowflake emoji and banned hashtags

TikTok accounts advertising illegal drugs can easily circumvent the app's word blocks to reach new audiences from the Discover page, an Insider investigation has found | Business Insider, USA

Severe bacterial infections in people who inject drugs: the role of injection-related tissue damage

[Open access] In the context of the current U.S. injection drug use epidemic, targeted public health harm reduction strategies have traditionally focused on overdose prevention and reducing transmission of blood-borne viral infections. Severe bacterial infections (SBI) associated with intravenous drug use have been increasing in frequency in the U.S. over the last decade. This qualitative study aims to identify the risk factors associated with SBI in hospitalized individuals with recent injection drug use | Harm Reduction Journal, USA

Having someone call 911 after an overdose increases likelihood of treatment engagement

A non-fatal overdose can be a critical time to engage someone in substance use disorder treatment. Yet, despite this opportunity, many individuals who experience an overdose do not engage in follow-up care, and this is especially true for individuals living in rural areas. To increase treatment engagement and to enhance targeted outreach for people who inject drugs in rural communities, the researchers in this study identified factors associated with entering treatment after a recent overdose | Recovery Research Institute, USA

Adolescents’ and youth adults’ perceptions of e-cigarette respiratory health risks

Youth use of e-cigarettes has increased since modern designs entered the marketplace starting in 2007. More recently, tobacco use has been listed as a risk factor for COVID-19 complications and other respiratory issues | BASIS, USA

When Putin Labels Zelensky a “Drug Addict,” It Implicates the Wider World

After two months, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has directly caused unknown tens of thousands of deaths, with widespread evidence of war crimes committed by Russian forces. With no end in sight, further devastating impacts range from the displacement of millions from and within Ukraine to the prospect of global food shortages | Filter Magazine, USA

Health Canada to Fund Research on Psilocybin for Substance Use Disorder

Applications have opened for Canadian researchers seeking federal funding to study psilocybin treatments for substance use disorder (SUD), as well as certain kinds of depression and end-of-life distress. The grants mark the first time Health Canada has funded psilocybin studies in this context | Filter Magazine, USA

Prevalence of cannabis use among tobacco smokers: a systematic review protocol

Understanding the prevalence of cannabis use among tobacco smokers has important implications for research in terms of intervention effectiveness and measurement in smoking cessation trials. The co-use of these substances also has important implications for health service planning, specifically ensuring appropriate and adequate clinical treatment. To date, there have been no synthesis of the literature on the prevalence of tobacco and cannabis co-use in adult clinical populations | BMJ Open, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

NoLo product placement in soap operas: Alcohol health promotion or alibi branding?

Following the news that The Woolpack and The Rovers Return will now have branded alcohol-free beer on tap, Dr Alex Barker, lecturer in Psychology at Nottingham Trent University, takes a closer look at alibi branding | AHA UK blog, UK

Is it harmful to frame addiction as a disease?

The question of how to describe and categorize addiction has been the subject of several of my recent posts. Some people scratch their heads about why I care so much about whether we think of it as a disease. Bill White summarized the stakes well here... | Recovery Review blog, USA

Don't Downplay the Risks of Rising Teen Marijuana Use | Opinion

Late last month, the Biden-Harris administration released its National Drug Control Strategy (NDCS). As a former senior drug policy adviser in the Obama administration who helped write the NDCS in 2009, I know how much work this document requires | Newsweek opinion, USA

Canada needs better CBD policies to protect consumers from unlicensed products

Cannabis has become increasingly common since a Canadian Senate committee first recommended legalizing the substance in 2002. They argued that prohibiting it didn’t reduce the use of cannabis products and that legalization was a better move | Conversation, Canada