Daily news - 26th April 2021

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UK news

RMOC Buprenorphine Long-acting Injection Guidance

On behalf of the national Regional Medicines Optimisation Committee system, RMOC (South) has led development of “Buprenorphine long-acting injection: considerations for opioid substitution treatment use in community settings and secure environments in England” | Specialist Pharmacy Service, UK

Members of the House of Lords debate Commission on Alcohol Harm report

On 22 April, a debate was held in the House of Lords about the report by the Commission on Alcohol Harm ‘It’s Everywhere’—Alcohol’s Public Face and Private Harm | AHA UK, UK

Over a third have changed their drinking habits over the past year

Over a third of people (34.4%) reported a change in their drinking habits over the last year, and of those nearly half (49.1%) say they are currently drinking more alcohol compared to March/April 2020, find UCL researchers as part of the Covid-19 Social Study | UCL, UK

Children: Social Services

We are also investing a further £17 million through the 'Supporting Families: Investing in Practice' programme, enabling local authorities to help keep families safe by embedding Family Drug and Alcohol Courts, Family Group Conferencing, and the Mockingbird Family Model... | They work for you, UK

Britain could make millions from cannabis oil as ministers consider ditching EU laws

[Limited number of free articles per week] Britain is one of the biggest consumer markets for CBD at £300 million, and it is projected to increase to £1 billion by 2025 | Telegraph, UK

UK medical cannabis sector renews call for reform to kickstart growth

Just three prescriptions have been administered by the NHS since 2018, industry reports | FT, UK

Supervised injection sites eyed at London hospitals

Safe injection sites and availability of new needles are among measures that may be adopted by London’s hospitals under a new harm reduction strategy for patients who use methamphetamine | Blackburn News, UK

YMCA campaign aims to highlight increase in County Lines across Brighton and Hove

A new campaign has been launched to educate young people about an increase in County Lines activity across Brighton and Hove | CYP Now, UK

Leeds Festival: Council announces safety changes following death of teenager in 2019

Leeds City Council has announced that there will be new safety measures put in place at Leeds Festival following the death of a 17-year-old girl in 2019 | ITV, UK

Prof Kathleen Brady, In Love with Addiction Neuroscience, April 8th 2021 - video

In ISAM-NIG's new monthly talk series "In Love with Addiction Neuroscience”, addiction neuroscientists from across the world share their personal stories/experiences on the beauty of addiction neuroscience and how/why they have decided to invest their scientific life in this field | ISAM NIG, UK

Bomb-sniffing rats to be recruited by British Army

[Limited number of free articles per week] A complex system to train rodents [to sniff out bombs and drugs] has been devised scientists at Porton Down | Telegraph, UK

Question: Smoking related litter

The most effective way to tackle smoking related litter is by reducing the prevalence of smoking in the first place. The Government has committed to publish a new tobacco control plan for England later this year, to deliver its ambition of a smoke-free country by 2030 | They work for you, UK

Alcohol Occasionals - Drinking transitions during lockdown

Wed, 28 April 2021, 12:30 – 14:00 BST. Emily Nicholls - "Understanding drinking transitions during lockdown: social inequalities, alcohol and the COVID-19 pandemic" | SHAAP, UK

Careers in Drug Science

Wed, 28 April 2021, 17:00 – 19:00 BST. Careers in Drug Science provides a unique insight into career opportunities in cannabis, psychedelics, and addiction treatment | Drug Science, UK

Nottinghamshire EncroChat drug dealers jailed after network hack

A drug trafficker and two couriers have been jailed after police hacked into an encrypted criminal phone network | BBC, UK


International news

Menthol cigarettes could be banned in the US - audio

The F.D.A. is under a court order to respond to a citizens’ petition to ban menthol cigarettes by April 29th. The deadline comes as President Joe Biden is considering whether to force tobacco companies to reduce nicotine in their products to a level that would stop them being addictive | BBC, UK

Is the legal cannabis business about to go global? - audio

Changes to the laws governing cannabis use are happening around the world. The number of States in the USA legalising cannabis is increasing rapidly. Uruguay and Canada have legalised it already, and Mexico may soon follow suit | BBC, UK

US Customs find $4.4 million of crystal meth hidden in shipment of pickled CUCUMBERS

American border inspectors intercepted an alleged shipment of $4.3million worth of methamphetamine that was hidden inside 114 packages of cucumber pickles | Mail Online, UK

Austrian Minister for the EU and Constitution visits the EMCDDA

Austrian Federal Minister for the European Union and Constitution Karoline Edtstadler, visits the EMCDDA today where she will meet EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel | EMCDDA, Portugal

People with heart rhythm disorders warned over cannabis use

A study of 2.4 million hospitalised cannabis users has found that those with an arrhythmia were 4.5 times more likely to die while in hospital than those without. The research is presented at EHRA 2021, an online scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) | EurekAlert, USA

Research shows pain relieving effects of CBD

It's been hailed as a wonder drug and it's certainly creating wonder profits. By some estimates, the Cannabidiol (or CBD) market could be worth $20 billion dollars by 2024 | Medical Xpress, USA

Younger age at first drug use tied to faster transition to substance use disorder

Younger age at drug initiation is associated with a faster transition to substance use disorder (SUD), according to a research letter published online March 29 in JAMA Pediatrics | Medical Xpress, USA

Effect of Changing Electronic Health Record Opioid Analgesic Dispense Quantity Defaults on the Quantity Prescribed

 In this cluster randomized clinical trial of 32 primary care and 4 emergency department sites, with a total of 21 331 prescriptions, a reduced uniform default dispense quantity of 10 tablets led to an increase in the percentage of prescriptions for 10 tablets or fewer (7.6 percentage points). No significant difference in health service use was noted | JAMA Network Open, USA

San Francisco Contends With a Different Sort of Epidemic: Drug Deaths

More people died from overdoses than from the coronavirus in San Francisco last year. Some think the toll, tied to homelessness, should force the city to re-examine its approach to illicit drugs | NYTimes, USA

Bill to legalize safe injection sites for drug users passes California Senate

A bill sponsored by Sen. Scott Wiener to legalize safe injection sites in certain cities in California was passed by the Senate on Thursday. The bill passed by one vote | State of Reform, USA

One Year Into COVID, Methadone Deliveries Show the Way Forward

Created in the spring of 2020, the New York City Methadone Delivery System (MDS) was the first program of its kind in the country, a collaboration between the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and the New York State Offices of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) | Filter Magazine, USA

New York looks to become America's next marijuana hub

Kaelan Castetter has plans for the unusued offices next to his factory: dedicate all 35,000 square feet of it to growing marijuana, which just became legal for recreational use in New York state | Medical Xpress, USA

The long-term effect of the NSW Drug Court on recidivism

This presentation showed how the NSW Drug Court is effective in reducing recidivism | NDARC, Australia

Problematic opioid use often temporary: study

Contrary to predominant thinking in pain management, there is considerable fluidity in opioid use over time among many patients with chronic non-cancer pain who use opioids, according to new research published in JAMA | AJP, Australia

Australia: As NZ legalises pill testing permanently, Australian MPs watch the death toll rise

New Zealand health minister Andrew Little announced on 9 April that the 12-month-long interim laws permitting legal pill testing at festivals will be made permanent prior to their expiration, as the services have been making a positive impact | Mondaq, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

A case for Festival Drug testing ahead of May’s PPC Elections

With Lockdown ending mid-June (fingers-crossed), it means many UK festivals will occur this summer | Volteface, UK

These bans on flavored e-cigarettes could do more harm than good Something very curious is happening as anti-tobacco groups led by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids seek city-by-city, state-by-state bans on flavored tobacco products | Marc Gunter, USA

Should we be routinely co‐prescribing naloxone for patients on long term opioids?

Community naloxone supply to prevent fatal overdose needs to consider patients using pharmaceutical opioids | MJA, Australia