Daily news - 17th August 2021

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UK news

Priti Patel wants to ‘make an example’ out of middle-class cocaine users

‘There will be high-profile arrests,’ says Home Office official | Independent, UK

How universities could educate students about safe drug use: Calling for reform

Campaigners are calling on universities to move away from punitive policies and instead turn to harm reduction when it comes to drugs. But what would an alternative approach look like? | HuckMag, UK

How to sesh safely when fake and high strength drugs circulate

Reports of imposter substances going around as well as dangerous pills make the case for widespread drug testing and harm reduction – here’s how to keep the party problem-free | Dazed Digital, UK

Letters between DHSC and Imperial Tobacco UK

Correspondence between Imperial Tobacco UK and the Department of Health and Social Care, published under Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control | DHSC, UK

Letters between DHSC and the UK Vaping Industry Association

Correspondence between the UK Vaping Industry Association and the Department of Health and Social Care, published under Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control | DHSC, UK

Invitation to tender for research on Alcohol Change UK's behaviour change campaigns

We are commissioning a research project on Exploring the barriers to engaging with Alcohol Change UK behaviour change campaigns - the deadline for submissions is 9am on Monday, 11 October 2021 | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Policy Research Programme - Evaluation of alcohol-free and low-alcohol availability

The NIHR Policy Research Programme (PRP) invites applications for a research project to monitor and evaluate the impact of Government policy to deliver a significant increase in the availability of alcohol-free and low alcohol products by 2025. The policy covers England only. The research will examine impacts on alcohol consumption, including trends in availability and consumption, behavioural effects, unintended effects and impact on health inequalities | NIHR, UK

Psychedelic drugs start-up founded by aristocrat ‘Queen of Consciousness’ raises £58m

[Limited number of free articles per week] Beckley Psytech's Lady Amanda Feilding has gained notoriety for her research into trepanning, which involves drilling holes into the skull | Telegraph, UK

Gun licence applicants to face drug and alcohol testing in wake of Plymouth shooting

[Limited number of free articles per week] New rules will see former partners and neighbours interviewed to assess if an applicant should be allowed to own a firearm | Telegraph, UK

Over 7,000 licensed premises still in limbo following 'freedom day'

More than 7,000 licensed premises are in limbo, not yet reopening after last month's 'freedom day' and not yet permanently closed, the latest Market Recovery Monitor from CGA and AlixPartners has revealed | Morning Advertiser, UK

Peers are Partners: expanding naloxone provision across Scotland

Fri, Aug 27, 2021 1:00 PM - 3:15 PM BST. SDF received funding from the Drug Deaths Taskforce to maximise peer to peer naloxone supply with a coordinated and supported approach by delivering high quality training, providing ongoing support and developing a national peer network to enhance the delivery of naloxone provision. Importantly, this includes paying peers as sessional workers. In this webinar we will hear about the progress of these funded projects, and other from across the country | SDF, UK

Luton drug operation: Three charged after £200k of cocaine found

Temporary Det Supt Louisa Glynn, from the Bedfordshire force, said it was a "significant seizure of illegal drugs" | BBC, UK

Drug-driver jailed over pedestrian's death in Nechells

Thompson pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving while over the prescribed limit for drugs and was jailed for two years | BBC, UK


International news

Is the future of the Irish pub alcohol-free?

A dry bar in Dublin has been such a success that its owners are exporting the idea to the Middle East – and eyeing up the US and Australia. Will it catch on? | Guardian, UK

Red tape shifting medicinal cannabis investment into Europe, entrepreneur warns

[Limited number of free articles per week] A British medicinal cannabis firm has blamed red tape for "incentivising" UK entrepreneurs to shift investment into continental Europe as the company revealed it had chosen to open its first production facility in Spain | Telegraph, UK

How the Taliban advance could lead to the West being flooded with cheap heroin and meth

In the past two decades, Afghanistan’s production of opium soared | i news, UK

Bathers in Spain catch suspect after ‘drug boat’ runs aground on beach

Beachgoers give chase, with more than 700kg of cannabis found onboard vessel, say police | Guardian, UK

Men can hit weekly alcohol limit for just €7.65, women for €4.95

Cheap cider and beer sold in shops continue to drive harmful use of alcohol, with 42% of retailers not following guidelines to separate alcohol from other products | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Key Principles of Harm Reduction in Homeless Settings - video

This short video is a product of the Harm Reduction for Homelessness Erasmus Project. The aim of the HR4Homelessness project is to foster the capacity of homeless services to provide effective Harm Reduction support | Drug Reporter, Hungary

How the UK Is Allowing Vapes to Save Hundreds of Thousands of Lives

am rather happy that my country is widely regarded as a global leader in tobacco harm reduction. Enthusiastic take-up of vaping products has led to the UK boasting the second lowest smoking prevalence rate in Europe, behind only Sweden. Sadly, it hasn’t always been this way | Filter Magazine, USA

SAMHSA distributes $11 million in grants to train first responders, community groups to prevent overdoses

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is announcing the distribution of 13 grants totaling $11 million to reduce the number of prescription drug/opioid overdose-related deaths and adverse events by training first responders and other key community groups | SAMHSA, USA

Rural Counties Awarded $78 Million through Opioid Response Program

The federal government has allocated more than $80 million to combat the opioid-involved overdose crisis and support public health in rural communities | Filter Magazine, USA

Comparison of a Single-Session Pain Management Skills Intervention With a Single-Session Health Education Intervention and 8 Sessions of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Adults With Chronic Low Back Pain

In this 3-arm randomized clinical trial that included 263 adults with chronic low back pain, a single-session pain management skills class was noninferior to 8 weeks of CBT and superior to a health education class for pain catastrophizing and multiple secondary outcomes at 3 months after treatment | JAMA Network Open, USA

Andrews man awarded $5.5M in suit against La Fogata Mexican Grill

An Andrews man was awarded $5.5 million on July 27 after he filed a civil suit against La Fogata Mexican Grill, claiming the restaurant and bar was negligent when they overserved him alcohol, which he alleges later caused him to be injured in an altercation with another customer | Chron, USA

Changes in Canada’s cannabis retail market 2 years after legalization

recent study by public health researchers published in Drug and Alcohol Review documents the rapid expansion of the cannabis retail market in Canada in the two years following legalization | EurekAlert, Canada

Unhealthy alcohol use in a 65-year-old man awaiting surgery

Three months before elective hip arthroplasty, a 65-year-old man with osteoarthritis presents to his family physician to discuss his alcohol consumption. His surgeon had expressed concern and advised him to speak to his family physician about decreasing his drinking before surgery | CMAJ, Canada

Vapers urged to see GP for prescriptions, but also to discuss quitting smoking options

Users of overseas vaping products will need an Australian prescription to be posted with their products or they risk losing them at the nation's borders, with the Therapeutic Goods Administration now urging people to visit their GPS to become informed about the laws | The Advocate, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

I’m waiting for the Van

Drug Consumption Rooms, SIFs, Enhanced Harm Reduction Centres – whatever you prefer, these units have been discussed in our sector with increasing energy. But it was the actions of one man, heroic Peter Krykant, which catapulted the cause to international status. Peter, almost singlehandedly, took the crusade for safer drug consumption mainstream. He decided that people were worth saving, and was ready to fight the courts to prove it | Kaleidoscope blog, UK

The Trip Report 16/08

Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and SaferParty, we know a little more about the drugs in circulation. The report provided below is a summary of their findings over the last week | Cameron Scally, UK

Can ketamine metabolites and gamma power help predict clinical response for ‘treatment resistant depression’?

Ketamine has shown benefit as a rapid treatment for symptoms of depression (Kryst et al., 2020). However, ketamine has downsides: the potential to lead to addiction (Bonaventura et al., 2021), dissociative side effects and long term high dose use may be associated with neurotoxicity and bladder problems (Zhu, et al., 2016) | Mental Elf blog, UK

Why Everything We Thought About Drugs Was Wrong

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, I worked with a group of friends and colleagues to advocate drug decriminalization, harm reduction, and criminal justice reform | Michael Shellenberger, USA

Rat poison is just one of the potentially dangerous substances likely to be mixed into illicit drugs

Over 150 people in Illinois started bleeding uncontrollably after using synthetic cannabis-based products – including fake marijuana, Spice and K2 – that contained the rat poison brodifacoum in March and April 2018. By the end of July 2021, these banned products were still being sold in 10 states and the District of Columbia, resulting in hundreds of severe bleeds and several deaths | Conversation, USA

Cannabis for depression: How Forbes got it wrong

Most of the news stories covered by AOD Media Watch involve stigmatising representations of drugs. However, the representation of drugs in positive ways can also be problematic – particularly when journalists extrapolate beyond the science | AOD MediaWatch, Australia

Victoria’s Ongoing Heavy-Handed Cannabis Policing Is Harmful

The Victorian state government has created a “ring of steel” enforced and protected by police. Protection from COVID-19, you’re thinking?  Well, yes, but there is another ring of steel operating in this state, which is preventing drug policy reform | Sydney Criminal Lawyers blog, Australia