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Daily news - 31st May 2022

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UK news

DDN June 2022 issue out now

‘The role helped me build my self-esteem back up and I felt like I had some purpose again… It turned a very difficult time in my life into something meaningful.’ In our cover story to mark Volunteers’ Week (p6), contributors speak volumes about the value of being welcomed into the workplace and supported to gain new skills and career goals. Our other main focus is housing, because as Claire McCreanor points out (p18), ‘the correlation between insecure housing and substance use is sadly as strong as ever.’ | DDN, UK

Drug deaths: Right to Recovery Bill lodged at Holyrood

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has lodged draft legislation at Holyrood to tackle drug deaths | BBC, UK

Residential rehabilitation: literature review

This paper forms part of a wider suite of research exploring residential rehabilitation across Scotland. It reviews the existing evidence from the Scottish, wider UK and international literatures pertaining to various aspects of residential rehabilitation as well as identifying research gaps | Scottish Government, UK

Drug Consumption Rooms and Public Health Policy: Perspectives of Scottish Strategic Decision-Makers

[Open access] There is widespread support for the introduction of Drug Consumption Rooms (DCRs) in Scotland as part of a policy response to record levels of drug-related harm. However, existing legal barriers are made more complex by the division of relevant powers between the UK and Scottish Governments. This paper reports on a national, qualitative study of key decision-makers in both local and national roles across Scotland. It explores views on the political barriers and enablers to the adoption of Drug Consumption Rooms and the potential role of these facilities in the wider treatment system | IJERPH, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Young Offenders

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, for children and young people who end up in the criminal justice system, what steps is he taking to divert them away from alcohol use, rather than taking a punitive approach | They work for you, UK

Research to shed light on how UK clinicians view medical cannabis

UK medical professionals are invited to take part in a new ​​outreach project | Cannabis Health News, UK

Alcohol Occasionals - Care for co-occurring heavy alcohol use & depression

Tue, 21 June 2022, 12:30 – 14:00 BST. Dr Kat Jackson and Dr Amy O’Donnell present on how people with co-occurring heavy alcohol use and depression describe the care they receive | SHAAP, UK

Vaping: Call for new Guernsey e-cigarette safety laws

Vaping in Guernsey should be regulated to ensure devices and their liquids are safe for users, health campaigners say | BBC, UK

Woman jailed for importing over £30k worth of drugs into Jersey

Janice Catherine Mawdsley, 42, from Southport, admitted importing more than £30,000 worth of cocaine into Jersey on 16 April | BBC, UK



International news

Spain looks at legalising medicinal cannabis, and a billion-dollar industry to grow it

‘Patients should be in the hands of the state and the doctors, not the drug traffickers,’ said Carola Pérez, the president of the Spanish Observatory of Medicinal Cannabis | i news, UK

The Drug Use in Higher Education in Ireland (DUHEI) survey 2021: main findings (PDF)

The overall aim of the DUHEI Survey was to determine the prevalence and correlates of drug use among the student population in the Republic of Ireland, to inform future policy and practice in the area. The survey population included undergraduate and postgraduate students aged 18 years and over in publicly funded HEIs | University College Cork, Ireland

'Staff are being attacked every day': Surge in crime on city street linked to crack-cocaine use

Business owners and publicans along a busy city centre street in Dublin have spoken of staff being attacked, threatened and intimidated due to a surge in drug use and drug-related violence in the area | Journal, Ireland

Two men charged over €1.4m drugs seizure

Two men have been charged in connection with a seizure of €1.4 million worth of drugs in counties Limerick and Clare last weekend | RTe, Ireland

World No Tobacco Day 2022: awards for tobacco control in the WHO European Region

On 31 May, World No Tobacco Day 2022 focuses on how tobacco throughout its lifecycle pollutes the environment we live in and damages the health of people. Each year, WHO presents awards to organizations and individuals who promote and enforce tobacco control in the Region. WHO carefully selects the recipients in recognition of their long-term commitment and outstanding contribution to research, advocacy, health promotion and capacity-building in these areas | WHO, Denmark

The uphill battle: the story of Georgia’s fight for a tobacco-free future

A new video recently launched by WHO/Europe tells the story of a long battle that united public health specialists, civil society activists, journalists and politicians against a powerful global industry that produces a highly addictive and harmful product. It describes how the fight against tobacco gained momentum in Georgia, and how the country continues to pave its way towards a tobacco-free future | WHO, Denmark

Medical cannabis use shown to improve cancer-related symptoms in new study

Over the past several years, several countries throughout the world, including Israel and the United States, have passed laws decriminalizing medical cannabis (MC) use in cancer patients. In these patients, MC use has been shown to reduce nausea from chemotherapy, as well as alleviate mental health issues | News Medical, USA

Tracking the opioid overdose crisis. Have Black and White communities in America been affected the same?

Since the late 1990s, the United States has been experiencing an unprecedented overdose crisis driven primarily by opioids. Understanding how racial-ethnic groups may be differentially affected by this public health crisis is key to tailoring support and services. This study compared opioid overdose death rates between Black and White Americans from the beginning of the overdose crisis in 1999 to 2018 | Recovery Research Institute, USA

“Meeting young people where they’re at”: Integrating addiction services into primary care for young people who use substances

Adolescents and young adults with substance use disorder are notoriously difficult to engage and retain in treatment. Integrating addiction services into primary care may help reach more young people by meeting healthcare needs that include but are not limited to their substance use, which may improve engagement and retention. Researchers in this study described and evaluated the first 30 months of an integrated primary care clinic for young people who use substances | Recovery Research Institute, USA

Police officers’ perceptions of their role at overdose events: a qualitative study

[Open access] The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, a federal law enacted in Canada in 2017, aims to increase bystander response to overdoses by offering legal protection for arrests related to simple possession at the scene of an overdose. As this legislation suggests, a shift has occurred to view overdose events as a medical issue, constituting a shift in the role of police officers. Our study aimed to uncover the role police perceive for themselves at overdose events | DEPP, Canada

Trends in Overdose and Other Drug-Induced Deaths in Australia, 1997-2020

This report presents findings on all drug-induced deaths (i.e., overdose and other drug-induced deaths where drugs have been deemed the underlying cause of death) in Australia from 1997 to 2020 | NDARC, Australia

Join Australia’s biggest group of quitters on World No Tobacco Day

NSW Health is urging people who smoke to join the ranks of Australia’s largest quit-smoking group this World No Tobacco Day. The 2021 NSW Population Health Survey, published today, shows daily smoking rates decreased from 9.2 per cent of NSW residents aged over 16 in 2020 to 8.2 per cent in 2021 | NSW Government, Australia

Number of young people vaping doubles in a year as smoking rates drop

The number of people who smoke cigarettes in NSW has dropped to record levels, although experts have warned rising rates of vaping among under-25s could undo decades of work to reduce smoking rates. Eleven per cent of people aged 16 to 24 reported being a current user of e-cigarettes, or “vapes”, more than double the number in 2020, data from the NSW Population Health Survey, published today, showed | The Age, Australia

Highest medicinal dose of cannabidiol is driver-safe, study confirms

Millions of consumers and patients around the world will be heartened by the results of the latest study on cannabis and driving. The University of Sydney-led research finds that 1500mg, the highest daily medicinal dose of cannabidiol (CBD), has no impact on people's driving or cognitive abilities | News Medical, Australia

Second Report – Alcohol use and harm during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a catalyst for turbulence in Australia. Uncertainty has confronted the Australian population through waves of social isolation as a result of Government restrictions which raised concerns for health, mental wellbeing, and financial stability | FARE, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

The Right to Recovery – Tory Bill & Other Myths

Today the *final proposal* for a Right to Addiction Recovery (Scotland) Bill was submitted to @ScotParl after the draft proposal earned ‘full’ or ‘partial’ support from 78% of respondents | FAVOR, UK

Cannabis shouldn’t be legalised and here’s why, says Labour’s ‘lefty lawyer’ Emily Thornberry

The shadow attorney general acknowledges that Labour has yet to ‘seal the deal’ with the electorate but wants distill a coherent message about what the party would do in power based on a handful of key themes – including crime | i news opinion, UK

Cocaine isn’t the reason for violence at football matches, but alcohol might be

Far from reducing violence, government ministers are trying to divert attention from more obvious issues | Independent voices, UK

Don’t Pink My Drink: How Businesses Target Women With Alcohol Marketing

Sparkly, bubbly, and glittery. That is how a glass of Gordon’s Pink or Baileys might look like to a little young girl. She fantasises about the day she would be able to take a sip. But why would a little girl have dreams about alcohol at all? | Glasgow Standard, UK

I lost my identity as a footballer but now sobriety is my superpower

Ex-professional footballer, Fraser Franks, talks about his complicated relationship with alcohol, which started even before he’d touched a drop | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

Dear Richard Madeley: ‘My girlfriend has given up drinking and now we have nothing in common’

[Limited number of free articles a month] As The Telegraph's Agony Uncle, I weigh in on your dilemmas – the good, the bad and the ugly | Telegraph, UK

Cannabis policy changes in Africa are welcome. But small producers are the losers

Cannabis is a drug crop with a long history in Africa. Alongside coca and opium poppy, it has been subjected to international control for nearly a century. The International Opium Convention of 1925 institutionalised the international control system and extended the scope of control to cannabis | Conversation, UK

Can tailored text message quit support programs help close the gap in treatment outcomes experienced by low socioeconomic smokers in Australia?

Tobacco smoking is the leading preventable cause of death, globally. In 2019, approximately 14% of Australians aged 14 years or older were current smokers. That’s approximately 2.9 million Australians. On World No Tobacco Day, Dr. Ryan Courtney and his team would like to highlight the importance of quit smoking research in low socioeconomic populations and provide details on an exciting new technology-based quit support study that begins recruitment in June 2022 | NDARC blog, Australia