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Daily news - 27th May 2022


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UK news

Drugs policy minister says that methadone 'should not be stigmatised' 

Methadone should not be stigmatised in treating people for drug addiction, MSPs have heard | STV, UK

Sue Gray report: Drunken No 10 party culture in lockdown laid bare

Staff partied in Downing Street while the rest of the UK was in lockdown, with the approval of their bosses, according to Sue Gray's report | BBC, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Children and Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much his Department (a) has spent in the last 12 months and (b) plans to spend in the next 12 months on the treatment of alcohol use in children and young people; and if he will require every integrated care system to fund such treatment | They work for you, UK

Alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the impact of minimum unit pricing of alcohol | They work for you, UK

Cannabis: Medical Treatments

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many medical cannabis licences have been granted to pharmacies in (a) Birmingham, Ladywood constituency, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England in each of the last 12 months | They work for you, UK

Medical cannabis charity announces funding available for Jersey residents to support access to “life changing” prescriptions

From mid May 2022, Jersey residents can now apply for a grant to fully support medical cannabis prescription from the UK’s only medical cannabis charity, Sapphire Medical Foundation thanks to new funding. Those selected who meet the eligibility criteria to access medical cannabis prescriptions and clinic appointments will be paid for by the Sapphire Medical Foundation for a minimum of one year | Wellbeing News, UK

Soldiers arrested on drug and money-laundering offences

Six soldiers and a veteran have been arrested on suspicion of drug, money-lending and money-laundering offences, the Ministry of Defence has said | BBC, UK

Man jailed for yacht £160m cocaine haul

A smuggler who was intercepted on a luxury yacht with a £160m cargo of cocaine has been jailed for 18 years | BBC, UK

 

International news

Big Tobacco is killing the planet with plastics. No smokescreen should be allowed to hide that

Greenwashing ploys cannot mask the pollution wreaked both by cigarettes and new nicotine products | Guardian, UK

Cocaine Bear: Final Ray Liotta film had just announced official release date

The Elizabeth Banks-helmed movie is set to come out on 24 February 2023 | Independent, UK

More than 40% of brain injury admissions to CUH involve alcohol

Falls account for more than half of all patients attending Cork University Hospital with traumatic brain injuries, while four in every 10 cases involve some level of alcohol, according to new medical research | Irish Examiner, Ireland

EMCDDA webinar: Drug consumption rooms in Europe — different realities, challenges and what to expect from the future

02 JUN 2022, Online.  The main objective of this webinar is to provide an overview of the different types of drug consumptions rooms (DCRs) in Europe. It will describe the challenges and current reality, as well as look towards the future and consider how this service could adapt and evolve | EMCDDA, Portugal

Electronic 'nudges' may improve safety in opioid prescribing among California doctors, study finds

On-screen prompts for prescribers decreased long-term, high-dose opioid prescriptions and increased orders for a lifesaving opioid overdose reversal drug, according to a new USC study that examined Kaiser Permanente prescribing data | Medical Xpress, USA

More young people begin recreational cannabis use illegally in states that legalize it

Once a state legalizes recreational cannabis, residents are more likely to start using it, including those too young to do so legally, report researchers at University of California San Diego. The findings, published online in the May 26, 2022 issue of Addiction, counter claims that legalization does not increase cannabis use, particularly among youth | Medical Xpress, USA

Washington state minorities found to die at younger ages from opioids than whites

While opioid-use cuts across socio-economic boundaries, racial and ethnic minorities in Washington state are more likely to suffer fatal overdoses earlier in their lives than non-Hispanic white residents, according to a recent study | Medical Xpress, USA

The DRAM, Vol. 18(6) – Alcoholics Anonymous attendance across sexual orientations

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the most widely available and used mutual-help program for individuals with alcohol use disorder (AUD) in the United States. AA is effective at addressing alcohol-related problems and AUD in the general population, performing as well or better than other treatment modalities, like cognitive behavioral therapy, on alcohol-related outcomes. However, little is known about whether people who identify as bisexual or gay/lesbian engage with AA to the same extent as heterosexuals. This week, as we approach Pride Month, the DRAM reviews a study by Briana L. McGeough and colleagues that examined rates and predictors of AA attendance across sexual orientations | BASIS, USA

Rhode Island Becomes the 19th State to Legalize Marijuana

The governor of Rhode Island signed a bill on May 25 to legalize marijuana, making it the 19th state to end prohibition | Filter Magazine, USA

'Mass poisoning crisis': Canadians need to change how we talk about drug deaths, advocates say

Harm reduction backers say rising number of deaths will continue until public outrage spurs government action | CBC News, Canada

Clearing the Smoke on Cannabis: Cannabis Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Presents the latest clinical evidence on how cannabis use during pregnancy and breastfeeding can affect a developing fetus and infant. Key points include: the effects of cannabis can be passed onto the fetus through the placenta or onto the baby through breastmilk, exposure to cannabis can impact the baby’s mental and physical development, and there is not enough evidence to support using cannabis to treat morning sickness nor pain. Healthcare providers will find this resource helpful for advising patients. Researchers will also find it useful for understanding gaps in the knowledge needed to support harm reduction efforts for this population | CCSA, Canada

 

 

 

 

Blogs, comment and opinion

Education, Education, Education – Harm Reduction Begins At School

Providing young people with simple, practical and accurate information is the best way to ensure their safety, allowing them to make informed choices about their use of alcohol, tobacco and all other drugs | Centre ThinkTank, UK

Is this the answer to Scotland’s drug death epidemic?

Scotland could pioneer a scheme to cut drug deaths by allowing users to consume narcotics under supervision and with medical assistance on hand. The establishment of overdose prevention centres (OPCs) is proposed in a consultation launched yesterday by Labour MSP Paul Sweeney, who believes his Bill will 'implement changes that will save lives' | Spectator, UK

Clare Shine: ‘I want people to look at my mistakes and not make the same ones’

The Glasgow City and Republic of Ireland forward opens up on her drug and alcohol addiction, and how she found a way back | Guardian, UK

Myro Rolim: Dismantling the Ideology of Drug Prohibition

Myro’s experience both as an educator and as someone highly involved in drug policy advocacy has developed his understanding of prohibition, and how it installed itself as the dominant thought for drug policy. While he speaks from a Brazilian context, prohibition is a global phenomenon that’s adapted to local contexts; many countries will have a similar model | Talking Drugs, UK