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Daily news - 24th May 2022

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UK news

Addiction: The Road to Recovery - video

An exploration of a new approach to helping people dependent on drugs and alcohol being trialled in the north west of England | BBC, UK

Wirral Ways to Recovery, Change Grow Live, feature as pioneering drug and alcohol service in new BBC Documentaries (PDF)

A two-part documentary, broadcast this weekend, highlighted how Change Grow Live – the UK’s largest provider of drug and alcohol treatment services – Wirral Ways to Recovery Village is bringing about landmark changes to substance misuse and mental health support | Change Grow Live, UK

Jack Ritchie death: Gambling addictive as heroin, addict's parents say

The parents of a gambling addict who took his own life say the dangers of betting should be treated like those of smoking | BBC, UK

IAS Annual Report 2021/2022

Report showcasing the work of the Institute of Alcohol Studies over the last year | IAS, UK

Share your story

By raising awareness of alcohol harm in the media and in our work we can reach more people. We rely on personal stories to help us engage decision makers and the public around our cause and bring our work to life. If you’re interested in sharing your story in a magazine, newspaper or on TV, would like to write something for our blog, or be quoted in our policy work, please fill in the form below | AHA UK, UK

Drug use and parenting support: a conversation about power

Fri, 10 June 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

Suitcase abandoned in Belfast alleyway contained £75,000 of Cannabis, Court told

A suitcase abandoned in an east Belfast alleyway contained up to £75,000 worth of herbal cannabis, a court has been told | ITV, UK



International news

Heard's team change course on Johnny Depp testimony

On Monday, the court in Fairfax, Virginia, heard from several witnesses called by Ms Heard's team, including psychologist David Spiegel. Dr Spiegel testified that Mr Depp "has behaviours that are consistent with someone that both has substance use disorder as well as behaviours of someone who is a perpetrator of intimate partner violence" | BBC, UK

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe - audio

Today, in Patrick Radden Keefe's award winning account of America's opioid epidemic federal prosecutors in Virginia investigate the Sackler's family run pharmaceutical business. Millions of pages of documents bring to light revelations about the company and its powerful pain killer, OxyContin. Kyle Soller reads | BBC, UK

Changes in Alcohol Use in Denmark during the Initial Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Further Evidence of Polarization of Drinking Responses

[Open access] The year 2020 was marked by the COVID-19 pandemic. Policy responses to COVID-19 affected social and economic life and the availability of alcohol. Previous research has shown an overall small decrease in alcohol use in Denmark in the first months of the pandemic. The present paper focused on identifying which subgroups of individuals had decreased or increased their consumption | Karger, USA

California debates opening supervised sites for people to use drugs

Lawmakers in California are debating whether to open sites where people can inject or snort illegal drugs under the watchful gaze of a health care worker. These facilities are an effort to save lives as overdoses skyrocket across the country | NPR, USA

Can medications for excessive alcohol use help prevent and treat alcohol-related liver disease?

Excessive alcohol consumption can harm the liver, causing a range of conditions from relatively minor liver damage to serious problems such as cirrhosis and liver cancer—all of which fall under the umbrella of alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD). Though medications that help patients reduce their alcohol intake exist, they are widely under-prescribed | Medical Xpress, USA

Comparison of Medical Cannabis Use Reported on a Confidential Survey vs Documented in the Electronic Health Record Among Primary Care Patients

In this survey study, among 1688 primary care patients, 26.5% reported explicit and 35.1% reported implicit medical use of cannabis. The prevalence of medical use documented in the electronic health record was 4.8%, missing most medical cannabis use reported by patients | JAMA Network Open, USA

Price and convenience can drive consumers to purchase cannabis from illegal, rather than legal, sources: Study

Despite the legalization of cannabis sales in Canada and many U.S. states, an illegal market still exists. A new study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs suggests that higher prices and inconvenience associated with legal sources may be barriers that encourage consumers to seek out illegal providers instead | EurekAlert, USA

Alabama Medicaid Under Fire for Denying Drug Users Hep C Cure

On May 9, the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI) and AIDS Alabama filed an administrative complaint with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), alleging that Alabama Medicaid is illegally discriminating against people with substance use disorder by obstructing access to treatment for hepatitis C | Filter Magazine, USA

The Methadone Clinic System Needs Abolition, Not a Tepid Reform Bill

Peter Vanderkloot’s groundbreaking article—Methadone: Medicine, Harm Reduction or Social Control—hit me hard. As a social worker, I helped people who used heroin get into methadone programs. His insightful analysis and refreshingly angry takedown of the United States methadone clinic system explained both negative interactions I’d had with clinic staff and traumatic incidents that clients shared with me. I go back and review the article often | Filter Magazine, USA



Blogs, comment and opinion

Diversion isn’t controversial – when will media depictions begin to reflect this?

Criminalising young people for low-level drug possessions has never led to anything beneficial. The desire to appear ‘tough on crime’ has only perpetuated and increased criminality – particularly amongst young people. The current approach is a failure, doing nothing to prevent reoffending, or tackle problematic drug use | Volteface, UK

The Need for Integrating Addiction Medicine and Hepatology

Vannier and colleagues reported the results of a large retrospective cohort study that aimed to investigate the incidence of alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD) development in patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD) who received a medication for AUD. Using electronic medical records, these authors identified 9635 patients with AUD, among whom 3906 patients were treated with pharmacotherapy for AUD | JAMA Network, USA

The Drug War Drives Exploitation. We Need Drug Regulation, Not Criminalization

With more than a million lives lost in the United States in the two decades since the drug overdose crisis began and more than 103,500 in 2021 alone, some would have us believe that we are at a crossroads — where we either double down on prohibition or institute a purely profit-driven commercial infrastructure that treats drugs like other products | Truthout blog, USA