Daily news - 31st August 2021

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International Overdose Awareness Day - 31st August

See events happening around the world today | Penington Institute, Australia


UK news

Health experts call for action on e-cigarette packaging aimed at children

Cartoon characters and sweetie names are being used to market products, which could encourage young people to give them a try | Guardian, UK

Reported drinking and driving: data tables (RAS51)

Data about the reported drink drive accidents and casualties, produced by Department for Transport | Department for Transport, UK

Number of deaths and serious injuries from drink driving accidents at eight-year high

New data showed that the number of people killed or seriously injured (KSI) in drink-driving crashes rose to an eight-year high in 2019 | City AM, UK

Festivals: Drug supply issues and low tolerance add to overdose fears

The Loop says supply chain issues could mean people end up taking stronger or more dangerous drugs | BBC, UK

Cambridge overdoses: Police heroin warning after three cases

Police have warned heroin users of a "potentially lethal" cutting agent which may be linked to three suspected overdoses in Cambridge | BBC, UK

‘The system didn’t give him a chance’: a father’s search for answers after his son’s death from alcoholism

In Fred Parry’s back garden is a cherry tree. Its solid trunk and wide low branches are great for climbing – his son Adam used to clamber on it with the neighbourhood kids and his wee brother | The Ferret, UK

Forward welcomes the Lords Public Services Committee recommendations for vulnerable children

Katherine Jenkins, head of centre for addiction treatment, sets out why the Forward Trust supports the Lords Public Services Committee’s recommendations to address child vulnerability and how better is possible for children, young people and families across the UK | DDN, UK

Hepatitis C cure will now be available to under-12s on NHS in ‘world-first

Young children in England will be offered a cure for hepatitis C for the first time, as part of a new nationwide NHS service | Edinburgh News, UK

The fishing group supporting men with their mental health

A County Londonderry fishing group is supporting men with their mental health, and helping those with addiction | BBC, UK

Meet the women who regularly microdose psychedelics

Every other day, after her alarm sounds, anthropology student Bea walks into the crowded kitchen that she shares with seven others, boils the kettle, grinds some micrograms of magic mushrooms into water and drinks them | Cosmopolitan, UK

The Role of Alcohol Care Teams In Hospitas - survey

Researchers want to  know your thoughts about the challenges for people with alcohol dependence when they go into hospital and what might make a difference | University of Southampton, UK


International news

Opium prices triple in Afghanistan after Taliban announces poppy ban

[Limited number of free articles per week] Opium prices have soared in Afghanistan amid a growing financial crisis after the Taliban told Afghan farmers to stop cultivating poppies | Telegraph, UK

Evidence-Based Approaches to Opioid Overdose Recognition and Management: Share the Facts – Save Lives

Tue, Aug 31, 2021 12:00 PM - 1:45 PM BST. To mark International Overdose Awareness Day on 31st of August 2021, the International Society of Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP), in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), will present an online event profiling naloxone programmes as a pathway for improving outcomes in the treatment of opioid dependence, overdose reduction, and saving lives | ISSUP, UK

Mobile drug aid van launched to respond to overdoses

A mobile drug aid van is being launched in Dublin to help prevent and respond to overdoses among the most vulnerable of drug users | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Cocaine nation: ‘The cliche of the rich man’s drug is long gone. It is everywhere now’

Powder cocaine occupies a peculiar space in drug culture. Unlike its more sinister cousin crack (cocaine in a smokable rock form), powder cocaine has, to some extent, maintained a shroud of mystique and glamour. A symbol of wealth and excess. White lines on silver platters. The young professional’s drug | Irish Times, Ireland

Drugs project in gang-hit community faces closure

A family drug project working across the north-east, including in gang-hit Drogheda, is on the verge of closing after more than 20 years because of what it says is a continuing funding crisis | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Discovery of new urinary biomarkers can boost the surveillance of synthetic drug abuse

A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has come up with a new solution to boost the surveillance of designer drug abuse | News Medical, USA

Smoking cessation after a heart attack linked with improved mood

Smokers with depression at the time of a heart attack who quit smoking are more likely to improve their mood than those who continue the habit. That's the finding of research presented at ESC Congress 2021 | Medical Xpress, USA

A Proclamation on Overdose Awareness Week, 2021

During Overdose Awareness Week, we recommit to taking bold actions to prevent overdoses and related deaths, and enhance our support for individuals with substance use disorders | The White House, USA

At least 80% of opioid overdoses aren't fatal. How do they affect the brain?

An opioid overdose isn't a death sentence. In fact, estimates indicate that in the United States, only 4% to 18% of opioid overdoses that are treated in a hospital or pre-hospital setting—such as an ambulance or someone's home—actually kill the patient | Medical Xpress, USA

Mobile telemedicine unit as effective as traditional clinics for treating opioid addiction in rural areas

Rural regions in the U.S. have been disproportionately affected by the opioid epidemic, while also having the fewest number of programs to treat opioid use disorder | Medical Xpress, USA

FDA tells three small e-cigarette makers to stop selling flavored products

Three small e-cigarette makers have been told by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to stop selling their flavored products | Medical Xpress, USA

Vapes Outperform NRT for Smokers Who Have Tried Past Quitting Aids

For people who want to stop or reduce their smoking and have previously been unable to do so using conventional treatments, e-cigarettes are much more effective than nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT), according to new research | Filter Magazine, USA

Policy change in Canada leads to increased pharmacy-based naloxone distribution among high-risk populations

Overdose deaths continue to rise in the United States and neighboring countries like Canada, largely driven by an increase in opioid overdoses. Naloxone can reverse an opioid overdose if given in enough time and at the appropriate dose. However, there are many barriers to accessing naloxone. In this study, researchers measured the impact of a policy change in Canada that removed some of these barriers | Recovery Answers, USA

Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2021

Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2021 reveals that more than 2,000 Australians have lost their lives to overdose for the sixth year in a row | Penington Institute, Australia

Responding to Opioid Overdose in the Community

How do we respond to opioid overdose in the community? A review from a Primary Health Care Centre in Kings Cross, Sydney | NDARC, Australia

How a now-defunct site on the dark web led police to the biggest cryptocurrency seizure in Australia

They were “quite unremarkable in every way”, police said, living normal lives in the community having never before come to the attention of authorities | The Age, Australia

PSA: A Highly Potent Psychedelic Being Sold In Syd As MDMA Has Lead To Several Hospitalisations

NSW’s Alcohol and Drug Information Service has warned people to watch out for a highly potent psychedelic drug being sold as MDMA that has actually lead to several hospitalisations | Pedestrian, Australia

A trip into the therapeutic potential of Australia’s native magic mushrooms

Australia’s first legal, living collection of native magic mushrooms is being studied by scientists in a Brisbane laboratory to help identify characteristics that might be useful for medical research into psychedelic treatments | University of Queensland, Australia

The Level

The Level is a new straight-talking website providing information for people who use drugs | NZDF, New Zealand

Drug Foundation turns to Givealittle to fund life-saving overdose medicine

The NZ Drug Foundation is calling for donations to help them distribute a life-saving medication they have been spending years calling for | NZDF, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Personal Character and Recovery Activism

What is the role of character reconstruction in addiction recovery? In recovery activism? | William L White papers, USA

Overdose data highlight need for drug checking services

ON 29 July 2021, the Coroner’s Court of Victoria released a report presenting statistics related to drug overdose deaths for the period 2011–2020 | MJA Insight, Australia

Medically supervised injecting rooms and the politics of illicit drug policy

It’s often presumed that centre-left political parties and governments favour a public health-based approach to illicit drug use designed mainly to save lives and reduce harm to individuals and the community, even if it results in an overall increase in drug use (what is called harm reduction) | Monash University lens, Australia

Lazy drug journalism 101: The petty crime montage

Last year, AOD Media Watch published a piece about the Cranbourne Leader naming and shaming people who had committed petty drug-related crimes on their Facebook page. Earlier this year we covered a piece in which we exposed the Queensland print media doing the same | AOD Media Watch, Australia