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UK news

Legalising cannabis won’t tackle disproportionate policing outcomes for ethnic minorities, crime minister says

[Possible paywall] “We need to look at disproportionality in policing outcomes from a number of outcomes, but I don't think legalising cannabis is the way,” Mr Malthouse told The Independent. | Independent, UK

Middle-class drug users face random tests and electronic tags

[Limited number of free articles per month] Kit Malthouse plans escalating scale of sanctions that would create a sense of ‘pending catastrophe’ for users | Telegraph, UK

UK Government urged to back planned drugs testing scheme

Scotland’s drugs minister has urged the UK Government to “look favourably” on proposals to pilot a testing scheme in three cities | National, UK

Associations between smoking to relieve stress, motivation to stop and quit attempts across the social spectrum: A population survey in England

Smoking prevalence in several high-income countries is steadily declining but remains persistently high in ‘lower’ socioeconomic position (SEP) groups, contributing to inequities in morbidity and mortality. Smoking to relieve stress is a commonly endorsed motive for continued smoking; however, it remains unclear whether smoking to relieve stress has a negative impact on motivation to stop and future quit attempts and if so, whether associations are moderated by SEP | PLOS One, UK

Drink Driving

Scotland reduced the legal limit from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg per 100ml of blood in 2014. What discussions, if any, have you had with a) the Scottish Government about the effect of this change; and b) the UK Government about implementing such a change in London and the rest of the UK? | They work for you, UK

 

 

International news

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe: 5. OxyContin & Drug Abuse - audio

Patrick Radden Keefe's award winning account of America's opioid epidemic tells the story of the Sackler family, how they amassed their fortune, and the role of their pharmaceutical company in a public health crisis that spanned the nation. Today, OxyContin drug abuse makes disturbing headlines and the Sacklers response is unexpected | BBC, UK

How a Tweet Led to the Downfall of a $1 Billion Drug Cartel

The Kinahans are accused of running a murderous criminal gang comparable to the Camorra in Italy or Los Zetas in Mexico. As the law catches up with them, it appears their ties to big-match boxing could be their undoing | VICE, UK

Announcing the Winners of the Jude Byrne Emerging Female Leaders Award

The award was announced in October last year to honour the memory of legendary drug user activist and former INPUD Chair Jude Byrne, a pioneering advocate for the human rights of people who use drugs, an INHSU board member, a mother, and so much more | INPUD, UK

HSE Environmental Health Service takes market surveillance action against certain disposable e-cigarettes

The HSE is today (Wednesday, 18th May 2022) asking the public to stop using certain e-cigarettes from the Aroma King range of disposable electronic cigarettes which are non-compliant with EU tobacco legislation. They are also asking retailers to stop selling these products | HSE, Ireland

When the party's over: Hard-hitting chemsex play to premiere at Cork market 

Party Scene uses dance and drama to explore a scene which is having a detrimental effect on the lives of some gay men | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Cork City retailers remove foil-wrapped products from shelves after surge in heroin use

One shop has also stopped wrapping deli products in tinfoil after it emerged that heroin users were using it to prepare the drug for consumption | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Study examines the drug injection risk behaviors that lead to severe bacterial infections

Over the last decade, severe bacterial infections associated with intravenous drug use have been increasing in frequency in the U.S. Many studies examine the injection risk behaviors associated with transmission of HIV and hepatitis C but few delve into the causes of severe bacterial infections among people who inject drugs | Medical Xpress, USA

Major uptick reported in cannabis vaping for all adolescents

Cannabis vaping is increasing as the most popular method of cannabis delivery among all adolescents in the U.S., as is the frequency of cannabis vaping, according to research at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. The study found that the frequency of vaping cannabis among adolescents from all demographic groups is reported at six or more times per month, and rising faster than occasional use. Those who vape and smoke nicotine are more than 40 times more likely to also vape and smoke cannabis | Medical Xpress, USA

Medicinal cannabis shown to reduce pain and need for opiate painkillers among 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 | EurekAlert, USA

Hybrid Governance in Online Drug Distribution

[Open access] A growing share of illicit drug dealing occurs on online platforms. Technological innovations, such as encryption and anonymous payments, have enabled new and more complex ways of organizing transactions. This conceptual essay advances the study of online drug dealing by describing how governance mechanisms from markets, networks, and hierarchies are combined to reduce transactional uncertainty | CDP, USA

BZO-4en-POXIZID

BZO-4en-POXIZID is classified as a synthetic cannabinoid. Synthetic cannabinoids have been reported to cause psychoactive effects similar to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) | NPS Discovery, USA

“A Dire Public Safety Issue”: Cannabis Regulators Push Congress for Accessible Banking

As lawmakers work to advance marijuana banking reform, a coalition of cannabis regulators representing 40 states and United States territories are explaining to Congress just what the current lack of access to traditional financial services means—not just for the businesses and the programs they oversee, but for the regulators navigating this federal-state conflict themselves | Filter Magazine, USA

The impact of opioid agonist treatment on hospitalisations for injecting-related diseases among an opioid dependent population: A retrospective data linkage study

Injecting-related bacterial and fungal infections cause substantial illness and disability among people who use illicit drugs. Opioid agonist treatment (OAT) reduces injecting frequency and the transmission of blood borne viruses. We estimated the impact of OAT on hospitalisations for non-viral infections and examine trends in incidence over time | DAD, Australia

 

 

 

Blogs, comment and opinion

Psychedelics: how they act on the brain to relieve depression

Up to 30% of people with depression don’t respond to treatment with antidepressants. This may be down to differences in biology between patients and the fact that it often takes a long time to respond to the drugs – with some people giving up after a while. So there is an urgent need to expand the repertoire of drugs available to people with depression | Conversation, UK

The Mexican Supreme Court's contradiction: Yes to cannabis use, no to possessing it

Édgar is a young man who, while riding his skateboard through the streets of one of the most popular neighbourhoods in Mexico City, was arrested by the police for carrying cannabis and sentenced to trial for the crime of simple possession | IDPC blog, UK

From King of Opium Substitutes to Global Health and Beauty Retailer: A S Watson

This article is an abstract of Patrick Chiu’s forthcoming book “Transformation from Colonial Chemist to Global Health and Beauty Retailer: A S Watson” due to release at the end of May 2022 | Points blog, USA

Opinion: The kids are alright… but only when we empower them

"What I've learned over the years from speaking to hundreds of teens is that what they want – and what they need – are honest conversations about drugs." | Vanciuver is Awesome opinion, Canada