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Daily news - 5th May 2022

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UK news

The United Kingdom's first unsanctioned overdose prevention site; A proof-of-concept evaluation

[Open access] The United Kingdom (UK) is currently experiencing a public health crisis of drug-related deaths. The government has rejected recommendations to open overdose prevention services, under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. To report on the operation and use of an unsanctioned overdose prevention service which operated in Glasgow city centre from September 2020 to May 2021 | IJDP, UK

Local Tobacco Control Profiles: May 2022 update

The extent of tobacco use, tobacco related harm and the measures being taken to reduce this harm at a local level in England | OHID, UK

ScotRail admits 'no timeframe set' for return of alcohol on services

Scotland’s national rail operator says it has “no plans” to reverse a Covid-enforced ban on consuming alcohol aboard services – despite government restrictions being effectively lifted last month | STV, UK

Faith, families, and recovery

12 May 2022. Alcohol Change UK and Adfam are inviting you to take part in an online event discussing faith, family, and recovery | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Videos: How to communicate your research effectively

Watch two new videos from the Early Career Research Network event on science communication, featuring top tips from a panel of experts and a Q&A session | SSA, UK

NHS hospital worker struck off for inhaling laughing gas on duty

Ruramayi Runzirwayi was spotted by other staff near to anaesthetic machines, with their nitrous oxide flowmeter turned up to a high level, three times in 2018 and 2019 | BBC, UK

Whitworth car flip: Nitrous oxide use and speed 'factors' in crash

A driver was "very fortunate" to walk away with "cuts and grazes" after "speed and the use of psychoactive substances" led to a car being flipped on to its roof, police have said | BBC, UK



International news

Otoniel: Colombia drug kingpin extradited to US

Colombia has extradited the drug baron leader of the country's biggest crime gang to the US, Colombia's president has announced | BBC, UK

Amber Heard says Johnny Depp struck her when on drugs

Amber Heard has told a court that Johnny Depp repeatedly struck her during drug and alcohol-fuelled rages that she said turned her ex-husband into an "awful thing" | BBC, UK

HHS Announces $55 Million Funding Opportunity for Latest Iteration of its Tribal Opioid Response Grant Program

The U.S Department of Health and Human Services, through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is announcing $55 million in funding for its Tribal Opioid Response (TOR) grant program. This program reflects the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) commitment to evidence-based programs addressing opioid and stimulant misuse and use disorders in tribal communities, as well as the Biden-Harris Administration’s Unity Agenda item of combatting addiction | SAMHSA, USA

Le Havre Cocaine Bust Marks French Port’s Prominence in Pipeline to Europe

A shootout involving French police and suspected cocaine traffickers in the northern city port of Le Havre has dramatically underscored the seaport's growing role within the cocaine pipeline to Europe | Insight Crime, USA

Evaluation of Trends in Alcohol Use Disorder–Related Mortality in the US Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Mounting evidence indicates that alcohol sales, alcohol consumption, and complications of alcohol use have increased during the pandemic. However, there are limited data on nationwide alcohol use disorder (AUD)–related mortality. Here, we use projective modeling to evaluate AUD-related mortality rates in the US from 2012 to 2021, with a focus on trends during the COVID-19 pandemic | JAMA Network Open, USA

The FDA Is Moving Forward with a Menthol Cigarette Ban. Here's What the Science Says

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is moving forward with plans to ban menthol cigarettes and all flavored cigars—policies that agency officials say could help prevent some of the roughly 500,000 U.S. deaths linked to tobacco each year | TIME, USA

Study offers new insights on gene activity and addiction

Researchers at North Carolina State University have demonstrated that neuron-like cells derived from human stem cells can serve as a model for studying changes in the nervous system associated with addiction. The work sheds light on the effect of dopamine on gene activity in neurons, and offers a blueprint for related research moving forward | Medical Xpress, USA

A clash over online Adderall prescriptions is raising new questions about telehealth

Online pharmacy startups have pledged to make it faster and easier than ever to get needed medications. But a high-profile series of setbacks is calling into question whether the realities of drug prescribing are clashing with those promises | STAT News, USA

Research probes effect of pandemic on treatment of people who use fentanyl

How has the pandemic affected people who use the potentially deadly street drug fentanyl and those who treat them? A research project by University of Windsor social work professor Adrian Guta will delve into this question, shedding light on the wider impact the pandemic has had on Canadian society | University of Windsor, Canada

Nearly 1 in 3 employees to die from an opioid overdose works in construction. Is the industry doing enough to confront the crisis?

Amid a surge of fatal overdoses, Ontario’s construction industry is taking steps to raise awareness of the stark impact on the sector | Toronto Star, Canada

Mobile illicit-drug testing pilot program coming to Calgary

The Alberta Alliance Who Educate and Advocate Responsibly (AAWEAR) is bringing a first of its kind illicit-drug testing and education program to Calgary | Livewire Calagry, Canada

The Bulletin - May issue

It’s been a big few weeks in federal politics – not only at home in Australia, where our government has committed Budget funding to harm reduction measures, but also at the highest level of decision-making in the United States | Penington Institute, Australia

Swarbrick targets drug laws as 49 substances reclassified

Green MP Chloe Swarbrick has used the reclassification of 49 drugs - including Fentanyl - to argue New Zealand's drug laws increase harms and should be replaced | RNZ, New Zealand



Blogs, comment and opinion

Talking Drugs Updates from Eastern Europe and Central Asia [March-April 2022]

Compendium of updates on the situation in Ukarine from the last three months | Talking Drugs, UK

Pharmaceutical Inequalities

Pharmaceuticals, and the processes of pharmaceuticalization, have valuable stories to tell about social justice, equity, and inclusion in scientific and technological processes. To date, much has been written about discriminatory drug laws disproportionately targeting persons of color or the ways in which socioeconomic status are associated with substance use disorders, yet pharmaceutical inequities also clearly persist... | Points blog, USA