Daily news - 2nd August 2021

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UK news

Drug-related Deaths in Scotland in 2020

Statistics of drug-related deaths in 2020 and earlier years, broken down by age, sex, substances implicated in the death, underlying cause of death, and NHS Board and Council areas | National Records of Scotland, UK

Six ways to tackle Scotland's drugs crisis

In January, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced £250m in extra funding over five years to tackle the rising number of fatalities after admitting that her government should have done more. But almost three years after the deaths were declared a public health emergency, what can be done to tackle the problem? | BBC, UK

Scotland drugs deaths: Tories and Labour demand urgent Holyrood statement

Labour's Anas Sarwar and Conservative Annie Wells are demanding a response from Nicola Sturgeon | National, UK

Consideration of barriers to research: part 1

Recommendations to reduce barriers to research, using compounds described by the third generation synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists generic definition | ACMD, UK

Has the increased participation in the national campaign ‘Dry January’ been associated with cutting down alcohol consumption in England?

[Open access] Dry January is a national multimedia campaign in the UK that encourages people to abstain from drinking alcohol during the month of January. The population-level campaign makes extensive use of email and social media to support participants and has reported a substantial increase in participation since 2015 | DAD, UK

Nottingham church minister's journey from drugs and gang crime

Living in a squat, addicted to heroin and caught in a seemingly unbreakable cycle of crime, Paul Traynor was trapped and destitute. Until one day, something happened that many would find unbelievable | BBC, UK

Man dies and two ill after taking drugs at Tottenham nightclub

The Met Police said the 21-year-old died in hospital after he was taken unwell at The Cause nightclub in Ashley Road in Tottenham early on Saturday. His death is being treated as unexplained. The two other men are in a stable condition | BBC, UK

Guernsey drug and alcohol strategy published

A new five-year strategy on drug and alcohol use in Guernsey and Alderney has been announced | BBC, UK

Lord's bans fans from bringing alcohol into Hundred matches following crowd trouble

[Limited number of free articles per week] Exclusive: move follows alcohol-fuelled crowd problems during London Spirit games against Trent Rockets on Thursday | Telegraph, UK

Escobar pub accused of glorifying drug lord's reign of terror

The Escobar venue launched in Market Street in Nottingham in December but could not host customers until May due to Covid restrictions | BBC, UK

Dog sniffs out hole in a wall cigarette stash in Stoke-on-Trent

Thousands of contraband cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco have been found hidden in a hole in a wall | BBC, UK


International news

Helping the drug addict who stole my dog to get into rehab - video

Canadian Brayden Morton was devastated when his beloved dog Darla was stolen from him. He ended up tracking her down but when he encountered the thief, he saw a distressed young homeless woman with a serious drug addiction and his own past was brought back to him in an unexpected and painful way | BBC, UK

Organisers investigating after athletes drinking violates COVID-19 curbs

Tokyo Games organisers said they are investigating after a group of athletes were found drinking alcohol in the Olympic village this week, violating measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 | Reuters, USA

Lung Health and Vaping

Vaping is often marketed as a safer version of tobacco smoking. As regulations became widely introduced across the world to encourage people to stop smoking tobacco, such as a ban on smoking indoors in public spaces, the number of smokers finally began to fall. However, vaping emerged in its place | News Medical, USA

Seniors rarely discuss their drinking with their doctors

Plenty of seniors may struggle with problem drinking, but a new study shows that less than half of them discuss their alcohol use with their health care providers | News Medical, USA

Dual-drug therapy shows promise for treating alcohol use disorder

UCSF researchers have leveraged two new molecules, one of which is currently in clinical oncology trials, to devise a dual-drug therapy for alcohol use disorder (AUD), without the side effects or complications associated with current treatment regimens | Medical Xpress, USA

How American Attitudes About Drugs Changed Overnight

Drug Policy Alliance founder Ethan Nadelmann spoke with GQ about his new podcast, shroom epiphanies, and bonding with Darren Aronofsky over ayahuasca | GQ, USA

Judaism’s Psychedelic Renaissance

This summer’s Jewish Psychedelic Summit heralded the reintegration of acid, ecstasy, and other consciousness-altering drugs into Jewish spiritual life, a tradition as old as the tribe itself | Tablet Magazine, USA

Was It 'Reasonable' To Ship 81 Million Opioid Pills To This Small West Virginia City?

The outcome of a landmark federal opioid trial in West Virginia that reached closing arguments this week rests on two legally thorny questions | npr, USA

Toxic drug crisis, pandemic have left front-line workers struggling to cope

Zoe Dodd had just given an emotional presentation to Toronto’s Board of Health when she realized that something wasn’t right. It was mid-November, the COVID-19 pandemic had exacerbated Canada’s runaway toxic drug crisis, and the long-time harm-reduction worker was in tears as she spoke about front-line workers responding to thousands of overdoses and finding bodies in portable toilets and doorways | Globe and Mail, Canada

How a new drug-checking kit could turn smartphones into overdose prevention tools

Dr. Dan Werb expects his new device to cost around $300. Similar tech today costs thousands | CBC News, Canada

Philippines’ Duterte taunts ICC, saying war on drugs far from over

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday the battle against narcotics is far from over, more than five years after he began a brutal war on drugs that has killed thousands and prompted an accusation of possible crimes against humanity | KFGO, The Phillipines

Deadly drug 25B-NBOH sold as powdered LSD in Melbourne, spike in Victorian hospitalisations

Victorian Department of Health officials said reports from people who had used the synthetic drug known as 25B-NBOH were calling it “highly potent” – meaning it had a strong effect at very small doses | The Australian, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

With You says rising drug death figures are tragic and preventable

"With You remains concerned and saddened by the tragic and continual increase in the numbers of lives lost due to problems with drugs. Every drug-related death is preventable, and each death has a huge impact on families and communities, continuing to be felt years down the line | With You, UK

Taskforce responds to latest Drug-Related-Deaths figures

We believe the approach of putting evidence into action has saved lives, and we will analyse the detail behind the headlines and look to build upon those areas showing progress and to address those areas requiring more attention | Drug Deaths Taskforce, UK

David Liddell: Change is needed to deliver a national mission as Scotland’s public health emergency continue

These figures confirm that Scotland’s national public health emergency continues. These deaths are personal tragedies | SDF, UK

Britain’s criminal approach to drugs

Our nation’s politicians have long been guilty of an inflated sense of exceptionalism. But there is one area in which Britain indisputably leads Europe: the rate of citizens succumbing to drug-related deaths | Unherd, UK

Scotland’s drug deaths

I’ve been waiting for today with a degree of anxiety throughout the whole of July. Even with the Mediterranean temperatures we’ve basked in this month, my thoughts have regularly turned in dark anticipation to today. Now it is here. Today the new drug-related death statistics for Scotland have been published | Recovery Review blog, UK

Improving Commissioning For Drug Treatment

Dame Carol argues that the increased funding she recommends will not improve services unless the commissioning process is strengthened. She found that many local authorities commissioning structures and processes are not sufficiently robust or effective | Russell Webster, UK

How I Built a Career in Drug Harm Reduction in Addiction Services - In My Professional Opinion

In this Drug Science webinar, Dr Chloe Sakal explains how she built a career as a psychiatrist focusing on drug use and addiction. She describes her day to day work in a typical week as an addiction psychiatrist and shares the other options available to work in psychedelic research and harm reduction | Drug Science, UK

The WHO’s bizarre war on e-cigarettes

[Register for free to unlock 5 articles a month] When the COP26 climate change conference hits Glasgow at the end of October, the media will be out in force to discover how world leaders are going to meet their ambitious carbon emission targets. It will be on the front pages | Spectator, UK