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Daily news - 20th May 2022

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UK news

Home Affairs Select Committee, Second evidence session of the inquiry into Drugs - 18th May - video

Witnesses include:  Dr Owen Bowden-Jones, Chair, Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs; Dr Emily Finch, Co-chair of the Recovery Committee, Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs; Professor Roger Knaggs, Chair of the Technical Committee, Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs; Professor Ornella Corazza, Professor of Addiction Science, Hertfordshire University; Professor Jo Neill, Professor of Psychopharmacology, Manchester University; Professor David Nutt, Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology, Imperial College; Professor Stuart Reece, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Western Australia | Home Affairs Select Committee, UK

Smoking and social housing: Supporting residents, addressing inequalities

A joint report published by ASH and the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN), setting out the case and opportunities for addressing smoking in social housing | ASH, UK

Neptune eLearning modules (newly revised)

In partnership with the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Project NEPTUNE has developed training modules to improve clinical practice in the management of harms resulting from the use of club drugs and novel psychoactive substances. These eLearning modules are accessible and easy to use for busy front-line clinicians and other practitioners, developed on the principles used by RCPsych for Continuous Professional Development (CPD). They include multi-media and interactive elements and are open access (free of charge) | Project NEPTUNE, UK

‘I took ketamine to treat my severe depression’

Rhys Edwards suffered from depression for most of his life. Instead of handfuls of antidepressants, perhaps psychedelics in conjunction with therapy was the answer | i news, UK

Football fans taking cocaine at matches face five-year bans

Move comes in response to significant increase in disorder at games, much of which, police say, is driven by class A drugs | Guardian, UK

Queen’s Jubilee: What will pub opening hours be like?

Keen to raise a late-night toast to her majesty over the Jubilee weekend? Depending on which part of the UK you’re in, you may well be in luck | Independent, UK

Families awareness week - 20th-26th June 

Families Awareness Week exists to highlight that over 5 million* adults in Great Britain are currently negatively affected by the drinking, drug use or gambling of a family member or friend. It is led by Adfam, the national charity tackling these effects. Get involved by doing 5 things, at home or at work, online or in person to help raise awareness and support the Forgotten 5 Million | Adfam, UK



International news

Weed legalisation linked to drop in alcohol, tobacco consumption, study says

Cannabis legalisation is linked to a reduction in alcohol and cigarette consumption, as well as pain medication misuse among young adults, a new study has suggested | Independent, UK

Baltimore Orioles pitcher Matt Harvey banned for 60 games for drug distribution

Baltimore Orioles player Matt Harvey has been suspended for 60 games after admitting to providing drugs to former Los Angeles Angels team-mate Tyler Skaggs, who later died | BBC, UK

Call for papers: Volatile substance use – pleasure, stigma, harms and piecemeal policy responses

This special section of International Journal of Drug Policy will be a collection of papers focusing on volatile substances, also known as inhalants or solvents. Volatile substances are a heterogeneous class of chemical compounds found in household and industrial products including paints, glues and solvents, fuels, aerosols, nitrates (i.e. amyl nitrate) and cream whipping chargers (nitrous oxide). Abstracts should be submitted to Vibeke A. Frank by 1st July 2022 (vaf.crf@psy.au.dk) | IJDP, UK

In plain sight?: a rapid review of the international literature and a national estimate of the prevalence of women who use substances and experience domestic violence in Ireland

According to the World Health Organization, violence against women is a major public health problem as well as a violation of women's human rights. This research aimed to understand the unique needs, internationally, of women who experience both substance use and domestic violence and to provide the first estimate of the hidden prevalence nationally in Ireland, based on figures from 2020 | SOAL Project, Ireland

E-cigarettes and heated tobacco sales in Europe boost shares in Imperial Brands 

Maker of Winston cigarettes has 'five-year strategy to shift to tobacco alternatives' | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Peer Recovery Support Services in Correctional Settings (PDF)

Incarcerated populations are both more likely to suffer from and be more vulnerable to mental health (MH) and substance use disorders (SUDs) and from violent and self-harm behaviors than the general population. Eighty-five percent of incarcerated individuals were either struggling with active SUDs themselves or were under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs at the time of their crime | BJA, USA

Mortality among people with substance use disorders: A toolkit for classifying major causes of death

Some people with substance use disorders, particularly people who inject drugs and people with cocaine, amphetamine, or opioid dependence, are at elevated risk of mortality. These elevated risks tend to be concentrated across a few key domains | NDARC, Australia

World-first trial to compare vaporised nicotine products and varenicline for smoking cessation

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Career Development Fellow, Dr Ryan Courtney from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at UNSW Sydney has been awarded $2.7 million to compare the cost-effectiveness of vaporised nicotine products (VNPs) and varenicline, the most effective pharmaceutical benefits scheme (PBS)-listed single form pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation | NDARC, Australia

New study finds Australians living with chronic pain may be negatively impacted by opioid restrictions

In a new study by researchers at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), UNSW Sydney, one-third of people prescribed opioids for chronic non-cancer pain reported challenges obtaining ongoing opioid prescriptions | NDARC, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Healthy life expectancy: why tackling alcohol is key

As I write, we await publication of the UK Government’s Health Disparities White paper, which promises to set out plans to enable people across the country to live longer, healthier lives. Disparity, or inequality, is often expressed as the gap in life expectancy between richest and poorest | IAS blog, UK

Saving lives: Bristol’s drug checking service

We have to deal with the way the world is, not as we want it to be. That especially true at a city level, when we have to pragmatically take on challenges and causes of harm in our communities and look for solutions. That’s why I am proud Bristol will become the first UK city to host a regular drug checking service | Mayor of Bristol, UK

Innovative Solutions Are Needed To Tackle The American Opioid Crisis

On a cold Sunday, I met 32-year-old Anthony Johnson who has been wandering the streets of the Bronx for more than seven years. He told me has no home or family and has lived in multiple shelters, none of which have helped him recover from his devastating reality: heroin and cocaine addiction. A former pickpocket, Johnson now sells recyclables to homeless people, to pay for the drugs he takes each day | Volteface, UK

Why is the FDA seeking to ban menthol cigarettes? 4 questions answered

The FDA has opened the public comment period for the agency’s proposed ban on menthol cigarettes. Epidemiology and global health professor Rafael Meza studies data modeling in disease prevention and cancer risk. David Mendez, who studies smoking cessation and tobacco control policies, is an associate professor of health management and policy. These University of Michigan researchers found that, in a 38-year period, African Americans suffered most of the harmful effects of menthol cigarettes | Conversation, USA