Daily news - 23rd August 2021

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UK news

SDF collaborate with partners in reaching the target to eliminate hepatitis C

Scottish Drugs Forum have recently collaborated on a successful three year study on how best to get hepatitis C treatment to those who need it most | SDF, UK

The Needle & the Damage Done — the relationship between problematic substance use & domestic abuse - podcast

Andy McClenaghan is joined by guests, Dr Sarah Fox and Professor Sarah Galvani from Manchester Metropolitan University, and Dr Wulf Livingston from Wrexham Glyndwr University, to explore the complex relationship between problematic substance use and domestic abuse | BASW UK

What is a systematic review?

If you are involved in research in any way, you will, at some point, need to master the systematic review. Rob Calder goes through a step-by-step approach this supposedly simple (but often not) research method | SSA, UK

Suffolk woodland workshop by Green Light Trust 'the best place in the world' - video

A former homeless man who had addiction issues has turned his life around thanks to the therapy gained from woodland workshops | BBC, UK

Southend Sober Socials: 'You can have a blast without the booze'

With Covid restrictions having eased in England, people are keen to get out and socialise. But a night out involving alcohol isn't for everyone, so how is a new weekly event in Essex providing a booze-free alternative measuring up? | BBC, UK

Bournemouth boy, 13, dies of suspected drug overdose

Mehmet Altun, from Bournemouth, died after emergency services were called to Columbia Road on Thursday at about 17:00 BST and he was taken to hospital | BBC, UK

My dad, Mr Nice: life as the daughter of Britain’s best-known cannabis smuggler

Howard Marks was a notorious drug smuggler. He was also a caring, fun father, says his daughter Amber – now a barrister and pharmacology expert. Could her family archives shed new light on his life of crime? | Guardian, UK


International news

Spanish couple arrested over toad-venom and ayahuasca rituals

Pair allegedly charged €150 for ‘ancestral’ ceremonies involving psychotropic substances | Guardian, UK

Afghanistan’s Opium Business Boomed Under US Occupation

The Taliban banned production of the poppy in 2000. After twenty years of war, Afghanistan is now responsible for 82% of the world’s opium supply | VICE, UK

The Taliban Can't Afford to Stop Producing Heroin – Unless the US Pays Them

“They will want a very good deal to end the production,” a former special forces soldier turned anti-narcotics consultant told VICE World News. “But let’s face it, they’re great negotiators.” | VICE, UK

Profiting From Pablo: Victimhood and Commercialism in A Global Society

[Open access] Collective memory of atrocities is a fractured and disputed terrain. In this article, we empirically explore the complex process of translating violent events that took place in Medellín during the 1980s and 1990s into collective memory | British Journal of Criminology, UK

Claim proposed Kerry needle exchange facility will help most marginalised

Rachel O'Donoghue of the Ana Liffey Drug Project was speaking in response to news that the HSE is to support the expansion of a needle exchange service in Tralee by the end of this year | Radio Kerry, Ireland

Mechanism behind compulsive alcohol use revealed

A small group of nerve cells in the brain determines whether an individual continues to consume alcohol even when it has negative consequences | Linkoping University, Sweden

Half of youth e-cigarette users intend to quit

More than half of youth current electronic cigarette users report intention to quit vaping, while more than two-thirds report past-year vaping quit attempts, according to a study published online Aug. 18 in Pediatrics | Medical Xpress, USA

Cannabis use disorder: another COVID risk factor

Should doctors take particular care to talk to patients about the potential dangers of COVID-19 if those patients have a problematic relationship with pot? | Washington University in St Louis, USA

Prosecutors Call on Biden to Create Task Force Aimed at Reform

Decrying “tough-on-crime” policies, a group of more than 100 law enforcement leaders, mostly prosecutors, sent a letter to President Joe Biden on August 17, asking him to create a Presidential Task Force on 21st Century Prosecution by the end of the year | Filter Magazine, USA

Fears grow for people drinking hand sanitiser in Alice Springs

Fears that some people are turning to hand sanitiser as an alcohol source in Alice Springs are growing, with health authorities warning of potentially deadly consequences of drinking the disinfectant | abc.net.au, Australia

Legalise kava production, says Bundaberg Regional Council in submission to DFAT

A local government in Queensland is seeking to grow a crop that has been banned in Australia for more than 20 years as it is considered a drug | abc.net.au, Australia

Hemp growers are taking medical cannabis to the black market, says Australia's largest hemp seed food producer

Industrial hemp growers in New South Wales are flouting the law to produce medical cannabis products for the black market, according to the head of Australia's largest hemp seed food producer | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Napo’s response to the HMIP Thematic Report on Drugs – August 2021

Napo members will be frustrated to read this report detailing the many failings of the failed experiment in probation privatisation that was Transforming Rehabilitation (TR). This report is released just weeks after Dame Carol Black has issues her Review of Drugs part two making recommendations for multi-agency, whole system partnership approach with ring-fenced funding | NAPO, UK

Kafe Kweer: a sober safe space for the LGBTQ+ community in Edinburgh

In this blog we hear from Zak, co-owner of Kafe Kweer, an alcohol-free LGBTQ+ cafe and art space in Edinburgh | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

No icy lager, no sundowners: could you handle a sober holiday?

For many of us, a getaway means sun, sea, sand and… alcohol. But what if you drink so much at home that a break is a chance to go booze-free? | Guardian, UK

Sugar: why some people experience side-effects when they quit

It might surprise you to learn that sugar consumption has actually been steadily decreasing since 2008. This could be happening for any number of reasons, including a shift in tastes and lifestyles, with the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets, like keto, increasing in the past decade | Conversation, UK

Blurring the Line Between Righteousness and Health

Make no mistake about it, public health is a righteous cause. Overwhelmingly, people choose careers in public health because they believe in the mission and they want to make a difference in the world. But righteous causes can bring a loss of objectivity | ConscienHealth, USA

‘Synthetic cannabis’: A dangerous misnomer

The term ‘synthetic cannabis’ (or ‘synthetic marijuana’) has been widely used. The term, however, is wrong. This may sound like a pedantic point, but the misnaming of these drugs has potentially dangerous consequences | NDARC blog, Australia