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Daily news - 20th May 2022

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UK news

Illegal Drug Use Committee - video

Commons Home Affairs Committee session on illegal drug use, with evidence from academics, as well as members of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, from Wednesday 18 May | BBC, UK

SDF Publish Report on the Experiences of Those Who Have Provided Emergency Help to Someone Experiencing an Overdose

Providing emergency help to someone having an overdose: your experiences is based on the survey responses of 285 people who have provided emergency help. This included support workers, healthcare professionals, emergency services workers, family members, and members of the public | SDF, UK

Legal smoking age in England could be raised to 21 – report

The legal smoking age in England could reportedly be raised from 18 to 21 after a “radical” review into plans to make the country smoke-free by 2030 | Guardian, UK

LGA: Illegal cigarettes risk widening health disparities during cost-of-living crisis 

Certainty over long-term funding for council public health services is needed to meet the 2030 ambition and eradicate the social and geographical inequalities in smoking. Local authorities’ public health grant has seen a reduction of £1 billion since 2015/16, adversely affecting councils’ ability to invest in services and functions that prevent ill health, reduce health inequalities, and support a sustainable health and social care system, including smoking cessation and tobacco control | LGA, UK

Retail sales jump in April driven by cigarettes and alcohol

Sales of alcohol and tobacco were the main driver behind a surprise rise in overall UK retail sales in April | BBC, UK

Man caught with £10,000 cannabis haul spared jail after cancer patients defend ‘life-saving treatment’

The medical cannabis supplier faced a 15-year sentence for providing the oils to suffering patients | Independent, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Labelling

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he will publish (a) the consultation on calorie labelling of alcoholic products and (b) the labelling elements under consideration by that consultation | They work for you, UK

Nitrous Oxide: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help reduce the recreational use of nitrous oxide by young people | They work for you, UK

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Answer of 24 March 2021 on the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, what further progress she has made in her discussions with the Department for Health and Social Care on the potential merits of amending the Misuse of Drugs Act to allow paramedic advanced practitioners working in hospital settings to prescribe medication they can administer in the community | They work for you, UK

Event report: IOTOD Conference 11-12 May 2022

Improving Outcomes in the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (IOTOD) is an educational initiative that aims to improve opioid dependence healthcare through a variety of programmes, such as the THN toolkit, reports, and other educational resources. As part of their education initiatives, IOTOD also run an annual conference, and this year Hazel @Team DRNS was delighted to be able to attend the 20th of these events | DRNS, UK

West Midlands: Take Drugs Seriously

Wed, May 25, 2022, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM BST. Birmingham. Come along to learn about the impact of drugs in the West Midlands and how we can better protect our community. Join the discussion about what a new approach to drugs could mean for the West Midlands, your family and your community | J Slater, UK

The astonishing story of a drug lab in mid Wales which supplied the world becomes a musical

Operation Julie tells the tale of the biggest drugs bust Wales has ever seen | Wales Online, UK

Consultation on plan to ban barbecues and alcohol at Teesdale beauty spot

Durham County Council is seeking views on enforcing a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in Low Force, High Force and Gibson's Cave. The order would give council officers and police the power to hand out fixed penalty notices to offenders | BBC, UK

Drinking alcohol to be banned at Guernsey's bus terminus

The terminus and nearby Church Square have been hotspots for anti-social behaviour, said the States | BBC, UK



International news

What is Tobacco Harm Reduction?

Tobacco harm reduction is a potentially life-saving intervention for millions of people across the world. To those who currently use high-risk tobacco products, like cigarettes and some oral tobaccos, it offers the chance to switch to a range of safer nicotine products (SNP) that pose fewer risks to their health. And, while it is a relatively new addition to the arsenal of global public health solutions, its effectiveness builds on decades of success with earlier harm reduction initiatives | GSTHR, UK

Legalise Cannabis rides high in Senate vote as grassroots campaign pays off

Micro party picks up 2-7% in most states and Northern Territory amid surge in cannabis consumption in Australia | Guardian, UK

Cigarette butt recycling scheme aims to stub out waste in Catalonia

Move could provide income for homeless and clean up Barcelona’s streets and beaches, says government | Guardian, UK

A critical review of drug testing policy in the Philippines

The drug testing policy in the Philippines will have to keep up with the changing drug trends and drug testing innovations in the world to truly address the current administration's war on drugs. With the adoption of new drug testing methods using modern analytical platforms, the cut-offs used for drug testing interpretation should be updated | Drug Science, Policy, and Law, UK

Engaging and Impacting the Universal Periodic Review: Guidance for People who Use Drugs

Join INPUD on 25th May , 13:00 CEST – 14:30 CEST for a webinar on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a key human rights mechanism where the human rights record of States are reviewed in five year cycles by other States as well as through civil society contributions such as shadow reports | INPUD, UK

Alcohol may be more risky to the heart than previously thought

Levels of alcohol consumption currently considered safe by some countries are linked with development of heart failure, according to research presented at Heart Failure 2022, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology | ESC, Spain

Coming soon: European Drug Report 2022 to be released on 14 June

What do the latest data tell us about trends in drug use and the market? What hazardous new drugs are emerging? What substances are posing the greatest health threats? Find out more when the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) launches its European Drug Report 2022: Trends and Developments in a live online press conference on 14 June | EMCDDA, Portugal

Liver transplants from drug overdose deaths rose sharply during COVID-19 pandemic

Liver transplants from drug overdose donors rose significantly in the pandemic's first year, helping keep the number of liver transplants in the U.S. stable despite COVID-19 disruptions, according to a study to be presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2022 | Medical Xpress, USA

Cannabis users require more sedation for endoscopy

Patients who use cannabis required higher levels of sedation during gastric endoscopies than non-users, according to research to be presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2022. As cannabis is legalized in more places and usage rises, clinicians should be aware of patients' habits and prepare themselves and their patients for increased sedation and accompanying risks, researchers said | Medical Xpress, USA

Medicinal cannabis can be considered as alternative to pain relief medicines for cancer patients

A comprehensive assessment of the benefits of medical cannabis for cancer-related pain found that for most oncology patients, pain measures improved significantly, other cancer-related symptoms also decreased, the consumption of painkillers was reduced, and the side effects were minimal. Published in Frontiers in Pain Research, these findings suggest that medicinal cannabis can be carefully considered as an alternative to the pain relief medicines that are usually prescribed to cancer patients | Medical Xpress, USA

The phytochemical diversity of commercial Cannabis in the United States

The legal status of Cannabis is changing, fueling an increasing diversity of Cannabis-derived products. Because Cannabis contains dozens of chemical compounds with potential psychoactive or medicinal effects, understanding this phytochemical diversity is crucial | PLOS ONE, USA

Improving cultural responsiveness in non-Aboriginal drug and alcohol services

This webinar presented a project working with non-Aboriginal AoD services to improve experiences of Aboriginal people attending them | NDARC, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

The Prescription Opioid Overdose Risk 1 (POOR1) study: Developing a bespoke overdose prevention intervention for people who are prescribed high-strength opioids for chronic non-cancer pain

This is the first of a two-part series that discusses recent research conducted by the Salvation Army Centre for Addiction Services and Research (SACASR) at the University of Stirling around prescription opioid overdose risk, in collaboration with NHS Fife | DRNS blog, UK

Novelist Julie Myerson on sharing her children’s secrets: ‘I’ve got in so much trouble’

She was accused of ‘betraying motherhood’ when she was revealed as the author of the Guardian’s Living With Teenagers column. Will her novel about a child with addiction issues reopen old wounds? | Guardian interview, UK

Grief and Depression as Factors in Addiction Counseling

In his 1916 article titled “Mourning and Melancholia” Sigmund Freud grappled with clarifying the differences between melancholy and mourning.  In his usage melancholy refers to what we would loosely call “depression” and mourning refers to what we would loosely call “grief” | Recovery Review blog, USA

Legalise Cannabis Australia did well at the ballot box – but reform is most likely to come from a cautious approach

One of the surprising results from the federal election was a record vote for Legalise Cannabis Australia, a minor party previously known as the Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) party | Conversation, Australia