Daily news - 20th August 2021

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UK news

NIN on drug health harms briefing – May 2021

This [just published] briefing summarises the topics covered at the May 2021 meeting of the national intelligence network (NIN) on the health harms associated with drug use, with updated information where appropriate | PHE, UK

MS patients ‘denied’ approved cannabis treatment – charity

Thousands of people are being “denied” a cannabis-based treatment which can help improve symptoms of spasms, a charity has said | Evening Standard, UK

Teens who use cannabis frequently more likely to have premature baby, study suggests

Teenagers who use cannabis frequently may be more likely to have children born preterm, when they become parents up to twenty years later, finds a new University of Bristol-led study. The research, published in Scientific Reports, repeatedly assessed 665 participants in a general population cohort on their tobacco and cannabis use between ages 14 to 29 years, before pregnancy | University of Bristol, UK

Drivers more confident after drinking one double than two singles

[Limited number of free articles per week] Even though the amount of alcohol is the same, motorists say they are happier to get behind the wheel after one stiff drink | Telegraph, UK

'Fake ecstasy' from China is flooding UK clubs: Dealers are selling synthetic substitute likened to METH that users say causes memory loss and terrifying hallucinations of 'shadow creatures'

Dr Oliver Sutcliffe, director of the research group, said: 'These compounds are potentially more harmful, but the fact is they're not fully understood therefore people don't really understand what doses of things to take or what happens if they are taken in combination | Mail Online, UK

Emergency medical treatment: slides for medical education

This is the fifth in a series of slides designed for medical education as well as for all people interested in addiction. This slide set covers the core and distinctive issues for emergency medical treatment for adverse effects of drugs and has been designed in collaboration with Drug Science | SSA, UK

Faulty lab tests could put hundreds of drug driving convictions in jeopardy

Over 800 prosecutions of motorists suspected of driving whilst on drugs may collapse because of faulty laboratory testing, it has been found | Independent, UK

Kevin Molloy obituary

My friend and former work colleague Kevin Molloy, who has died from lung cancer aged 63, was a true champion of the harm reduction approach to public health, latterly as head of the Global Tobacco Harm Reduction Scholarship Programme, which aims to build research capacity into tobacco harm reduction and to raise awareness of the implications of that research for public health policy | Guardian, UK

Peers are Partners: expanding naloxone provision across Scotland

Fri, 27 August 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. In this webinar we will hear about the progress of these funded projects, and other projects from across the country, from the peers and other staff involved in their delivery | SDF, UK

Report launch: 'Alcohol marketing during the 2020 Six Nations Championship'

Thu, 30 September 2021, 14:00 – 15:00 BST. Our webinar launches the findings and discusses implications of the University of Stirling's publication on Six Nations alcohol marketing | IAS et al, UK

Health Harming Products and Non-Communicable Disease Prevention in Scotland

Mon, 6 September 2021, 12:00 – 13:30 BST. A cross-party discussion on the impact of health-harming products to launch a new report on by ten of Scotland's leading health charities | British Heart Foundation, UK

West Yorkshire: Take Drugs Seriously

Tue, 28 September 2021, 19:00 – 21:30 BST. Drugs can be dangerous. But does banning them cause more harm than good? Join the discussion about what a new approach to drugs could mean for West Yorkshire, your family and your community | J Slater, UK

Scottish Families: Let's talk about Stigma and Kindness - A 2 hour workshop exploring stigma and the power of kindness

In support of Highland Alcohol and Drug Partnership's commitment and pledge to reducing stigma we are offering these workshops to explore the stigma that people who use substances, their families and whole communities can experience | SFAD, UK

Scotch whisky exports show signs of recovery

New figures from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) show the value of exports in the first half of this year was 31% higher than the same period in 2020 - with volume up by 42%. However, the value was still 10% down on 2019's record figure | BBC, UK

Cannabis farm worth £1m found in Bury town centre

Cannabis plants with a street value of £1m have been found at a flooded property in Bury town centre | BBC, UK


International news

Turning the tide: Growth, visibility and impact of the civil society drug policy reform movement at the UN

NGO engagement in international drug control can be traced as far back as when the issue started being debated under the League of Nations, and has been critical in shaping the trajectory of policy developments ever since. Starting off with only a handful of NGOs attending the Vienna-based Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in the 1950s, civil society participation has grown exponentially in both numbers and breadth of expertise | IDPC, UK

Sweden pays drug dealer £1m after seizing his Bitcoin

[Limited number of free articles per week] The authority has to return 33 bitcoin, worth about £1.1m, to the man | Telegraph, UK

Homemade alcohol poisoning kills 16 people in Lithuania

At least 16 people have died and two others are in intensive care in Lithuania after consuming homemade alcohol | Euronews, Belgium

Fentanyl Is Creeping Into the Mainstream Drug Supply

Post-lockdown, social drug users are facing a new normal where the drug supply, including cocaine and meth, is increasingly tainted with fentanyl | VICE, USA

Experts urge caution, increased education about opioid use for people with heart disease

The American Heart Association is addressing the opioid epidemic and advancing the science on opioid use and its effects on heart and brain health through evidence-based research, detailed in a new American Heart Association Presidential Advisory and published today in the Association's flagship journal Circulation | Medical Xpress, USA

Current focus on protecting kids from vaping could overshadow the efforts in adult smoking cessation

Considerable evidence suggests that e-cigarettes are an effective smoking-cessation tool for adults in the United States, where hundreds of thousands of people die of smoking-related illness each year | News Medical, USA

Tobacco Control Experts Unite for Unprecedented Endorsement of Vaping

In a new paper, the most influential tobacco control experts in the country have come together to endorse the harm reduction benefits of vaping for adult smokers, calling for the rehabilitation of its public image and emphasizing its ability to save lives as a safer alternative to combustible cigarettes | Filter Magazine, USA

American Airlines says no alcohol in coach cabins until 2022

American Airlines will not begin serving alcohol again in the main cabin of flights until at least January 2022 amid a surge in unruly passenger incidents during the coronavirus pandemic, the company confirmed to The Hill on Thursday | The Hill, USA

Extreme opioids hit Toronto streets causing overdose deaths

In recent months, powerful synthetic opioids have been discovered in Toronto’s street drug supply, resulting in a spike in overdose deaths | DATAC, Canada

Substance Use and the Trades Infographic

This infographic, developed in partnership with the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), provides employers with information to recognize and break stigma, and tips to address and prevent impairment in the workplace | CCOHS, Canada

Key findings from the ‘Australians’ Drug Use: Adapting to Pandemic Threats’ (ADAPT) Study Wave 4

This bulletin outlines preliminary findings from the 197 participants who completed ALL surveys from Waves 1-4, describing changes in drug use and behaviours, health ratings and drug/mental health treatment access and engagement pre- and post-COVID-19 restrictions | NDARC, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Dame Carol Black's Independent Review on Drugs Part II: A breakdown of the recommendations

What are the CDPRG's biggest takeaways from Dame Carol Black's recommendations? And, are current proposals going far enough? Our new researcher @IramSalam MSc analyses the Independent Review on Drugs and its implications on our blog | CDPRG blog, UK

What effect does harm reduction have on recovery culture? Guest blog by Dylan Lundgren

It seems to be human nature to go to extremes; especially when something shows promising results. Harm reduction has been shown to save lives and therefore should be celebrated and implemented. However, it seems that harm reduction has become the entire conversation about recovery; specifically, the support of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) | Recovery Review blog, UK

The Taliban plans to ban drugs in Afghanistan. That could change the world for the worse

After the Taliban’s opium ban in the early 2000s, a heroin drought in Estonia led underworld chemists to start manufacturing fentanyl | Independent Voices, UK

Can India push some fair laws on tobacco?

A detailed study on tobacco from a US-based think tank, R-Street, made some interesting reading. Titled, The Tobacco landscape in India: An argument for harm reduction, the study has triggered some interesting thoughts for India’s big tobacco market and what it called its persistent and multifaceted problem | Times of India blog, UK